This season’s Euroleague Final Four sees “David” facing “Goliath” and if like that wasn’t enough, the “David” in this story – Zalgiris Kaunas – has to take down 3 titans, namely 2015’s title holders Real Madrid, 2016’s highlight CSKA Moscow, and the defending champions Fenerbahce in order to repeat the 1999 feat when the Lithuanians made away with the trophy.
Everybody labeled Zalgiris as the underdogs, but man those voices are surely deafened now that Sarunas Jasikevicius raised his men so high they are currently posing a real threat to the crowd’s main pick. But most people being wrong doesn’t mean the rest of the contenders are losing their value. Real Madrid’s Luka Doncic is having the time of his life, has been dubbed as the best player of the season, and a potential NBA draft pick. And not only him, there are plenty of strong, determined players who will take Belgrade by storm shortly, but all in due time.
For now, let’s take a quick look at how this is scheduled to go down:
- First, the defending champions are taking on the Zalgiris Kaunas’ rising stars in the first game
- The second clash will see the previous champions, CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid locking horns only 3 hours later
The boys from CSKA Moscow now find themselves in the Euroleague for the seventh year straight, but with only one win to show for all their efforts put into this. Apart from Zalgiris, every other team who made it this far have claimed the title at some point in the last decade. This made the Lithuanians fall out of the bookmakers’ graces, but with their recent display of strength they seem to be rising to fame much like the Phoenix from the ashes. Early predictions placed Jasikevicius’ side on either 14th or 15th place out of 16 total contenders. The fact that “Zaliai Balti” have the second lowest budget of the season could’ve negatively impacted the bookmakers’ impression of them, but now this factor seems redundant.
Recently, Fenerbahce’s Jason Thompson said that there is some unfinished business with Zalgiris in a press release. Understandably so, seeing these two open up the Final Four Matchday at 17:00 GMT +1 and after the Lithuanians handed it to the Turks on the latter’s home turf. However, the celebration was short, as Fenerbahce returned the favour. Nevertheless, Zeljko Obradovic’s men have acknowledged their opponent’s prowess and said they are taking nothing for granted, especially now that they’ll be matched up against a team that exploded through the ranks in such a short timeframe.
However cold it may seem, we have to be realists here and go with Fenerbahce for the victory. At the end of the day, the stats are speaking louder than motivation, and the top contenders to the title are the Russians and Turks, without question. With this being said, if you’re scouring the web for some Euroleague basketball betting tips, here are our predictions:
- Zalgiris puts up a good fight against Fenerbahce, but come short in the end
- CSKA Moscow almost obliterates Real Madrid on the road to the silverware
- Real Madrid saves face by taking it out on Zalgiris and claim 3rd place
It’s out in the open now, boys, this is how we see Euroleague 2018 going down this season. Now let’s go in deeper and talk about our pick: CSKA. Some of the most resounding names in the team like Nando de Colo and Kyle Hines did not make an appearance in the playoffs but are here now and ready to put Doncic and Llull in the rearview mirror. This could be the last chance for Real Madrid’s 19-year-old Slovenian before he makes the jump to NBA, so everything now is about riding the wave straight to the title for Doncic. However, there are few others with a point to prove in the Euroleague, like Llull, who missed out on most of the season because of various injuries.
Up to this point, both the majority, as well as the bookmakers favour Fenerbahce thanks to its consistency in terms of form and overall health. Being the defending champions, Obradovic’s men are now aiming for the rare case of consecutive titles. However, this feat was accomplished only twice this century by Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2004 & 2005 and Olympiacos in 2012 & 2013.
Sarunas Jasikevicius and his men are now a long way from where they started, all thanks to the legendary coach who played for Panathinaikos and brought them the title back in 2009. However, everybody agrees that Jasikevicius has to pull a miracle in order for his men to lift the silverware at Belgrade.
Before we conclude our business here, make sure to check out these players once they hit the court:
Real Madrid: Luka Doncic, Sergio Llull, Gustavo Ayon ( former NBA baller), Jaycee Carroll ( one of the sharpest 3-point shooter in the competition), Fabien Causeur, Felipe Reyes.
CSKA Moscow: Nando de Colo ( former NBA player), Sergio Rodriguez (brought Los Blancos the Euroleague title back in 2015, has ties to NBA), Kyle Hines, Andrey Vorontsevich, Nikita Kurbanov.
Fenerbahce: Bobby Dixon, Jan Vesely, Kostas Sloukas, Marko Guduric, Luigi Datome, Nicolo Melli, Nikola Kalinic, Brad Wanamaker.
Zalgiris Kaunas: Paulius Jankunas, Edgaras Ulanovas, Kevin Pangos, Brandon Davies, Beno Udrih, Arturas Milaknis.
Everything has been served to you on a silver platter, filled with carefully cultivated insight. And just like you have been used to, all the best online betting promotions you’ll find at Jetbull.