Last week I managed to get 5/5 picks right in our selected Euroleague matches and this week I’ve decided to give you my EuroCup tips. The competition is now well under way and has reached the very final stages. Lokomotiv Kuban and Hapoel Jerusalem have already booked the semi-finals tickets, while the remaining two semi-finalists will be decided on Wednesday.
I’ll be looking at the final matches between Bayern and Unicaja, along with Valencia and Khimki. Both series are tied at 1-1 after two encounters. Following our success with Euroleague last week, we will try to give you more of the same with these previews, tips and analysis of the quarter-final EuroCup matches.
EuroCup Tips and Analysis: Bayern Munich vs Unicaja
Unicaja managed to stay in the series thanks to an impressive match in Malaga where they managed to take the German side on and with by 82:67. Some fantastic basketball allowed the Spanish side to stop the Bavarians’ string of ten consecutive wins in all competitions and complicate the situation in the quarterfinals. Dejan Musli led Unicaja with 15 points in this one and the ex Partizan centre played a crucial role in this victory as racket play is usually Bayern’s strongest weapon.
The German side has been posting the most jumps per match (nearly 40 per match). This strong jumping play gave Sasa Djordjevic’s side the much needed advantage that allowed them to win the match in Audi Dome. It is important to note that Bayern posted 11 offensive jumps in both matches and I expect Devin Booker and Maik Zirbes to dominate under the hoops once again.
Unicaja’s strongest weapon is certainly the three point shooting, which provided many of the points scored in the first two matches, much thanks to Dejan Musli’s fantastic performance. Joan Plaza’s team scored only 6 three pointers in the first match and lost but the second game saw their performance improve with 11 three pointers which gave them the win on Friday night. Centre Devin Booker starred for Bayern and is the best scorer and jumper of the team (12.6 points and 6.1 jumps per match). Beside Musli, Kyle Fogg plays an important role for Unicaja with 12.7 points per match and a good game from him will be important to any potential success for the Spaniards.
The two sides met four times this season in the EuroCup. Bayern is leading by 3:1 in victories and I believe the favourites will win this crucial match as well just as the bookies predict. I believe that too many things would have to come together for Unicaja to make anything happen as it will be very difficult to eliminate Bayern’s advantage under the hoops, stop Booker and score many three pointers as well as play well in the racket. It is much more realistic to expect another dominating match by the Bavarian side in a full gym where their loyal fans will surely give them the boost they need to crush Unicaja.
EuroCup Tips and Analysis: Valencia vs Khimki
The other quarterfinal match between Valencia and the Russians Khimki will see a clash of two much more equal sides. The first two matches brought completely different games. Valencia outjumped Khimki in the first match by a landslide (57:30 in jumps) with a competition record 27 offensive jumps. Despite such domination under the hoops, the Spanish side only managed to win by 6 (88:82).
The second duel gave the Russians an easy 98:74 win on Friday night which gave them a chance to play the third decisive match. Khimki managed more jumps and completely trashed Valencia with fantastic team play in this one. The Russians managed 26 assists and 10 three pointers in this one.
Khimki have some fantastic attacking options in Aleksei Shjved who has been playing the season of his life, scoring over 22 points per match. The best attacking side of the competition is made up of him, Jacob Pullen and E.J. Rowland, who are both scoring over 10 points per match.
Valencia, on the other hand, have the best defense of the competition on their side. Pedro Martinez will be handicapped by two important players missing the match in Guilem Vives and Viacheslav Kravtsov, who are both injured. This means that Fernando San Emeteri and Bojan Dubljevic will have to take on much more responsibility in trying to outclass the phenomenal visiting side.
This is a clash of two sides who are at Euroleague level and I definitely advise you to watch the game if you love watching good basketball. Looking at my EuroCup tips for this game, I see great value in the away win which is offered at 2.78. Those who are looking for a safer option can certainly also bet at a 4.5 handicap at 2.12 (as I don’t see Khimki losing by more than five under any circumstances).
Euro Cup tips and ProTipster
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