EuroLeague Round 16 Predictions for Thursday, December 16
Round 16 of the EuroLeague starts just one day after the end of the previous round. Eight teams that last played on Tuesday are coming back on the basketball court on Thursday, December 16. The four games we’ll see that day are the following:
- Fenerbahce vs. Baskonia
- Panathinaikos vs. Barcelona
- Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Anadolu Efes
- Olimpia Milano vs. Real Madrid
If you would like to do some EuroLeague betting, perhaps my preview of those games could help you. I will analyze the stats, discuss the latest injury news, talk about odds, and so on.
At the end of the post, I will also reveal my top picks for Thursday’s games.
Fenerbahce to Beat Baskonia
On Tuesday night, local time, Fenerbahce beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 90-79. Two days later, the Turkish team plays against an even weaker opponent.
Baskonia is the team in question, a Spanish club that lost to Anadolu Efes 87-72 in Istanbul on Tuesday. It was no surprise as Baskonia was a 10-point underdog, with some online sportsbooks giving as long odds as 5.00 on the visitors winning the game.
One of the reasons for that is that Basakonia is horrible on the road. Their away record in the 2021-22 EuroLeague season is 1-6.
By beating Baskonia on Thursday, Fenerbahce would get to 7-9 on the season, which would bring them closer to the playoff positions. They’re on a three-game win series in the EuroLeague and if they continue winning, we could see them getting among the Top 8 by the end of 2021.
Unfortunately for Fener, doing that isn’t going to be easy as their fixture list looks very ugly. After the Baskonia game, they will have to play Real Madrid and ASVEL Lyon.
It’s almost certain Fener isn’t going to be the favorite in either of those games. However, Fener is favored to beat Baskonia. This seems like an opportunity the Turkish team must not miss. I believe they won’t.
Barcelona to Beat Panathinaikos
Not to brag, but I did predict Barcelona wasn’t going to demolish Crvena Zvezda on Tuesday. My betting pick was Zvezda (+8.5), which won as the game finished 76-69 in Barça’s favor.
The reason why I went for that prediction was that Zvezda is famously very good at home. The Serbian champion is 4-3 in Belgrade this season. A team that’s even better on its turf is Barcelona’s next opponent, Panathinaikos.
The Greek club is 4-2 in the EuroLeague, with their most recent win being the one against Alba Berlin two days ago. The other three home wins happened against Zenit Petersburg, Anadolu Efes, and Fenerbahce.
When it comes to the EuroLeague games Panathinaikos lost in Athens, there’s an explanation for why it happened. Their first home loss of the season happened against ASVEL Lyon, just two days after Panathinaikos obliterated the reigning EuroLeague champ Anadolu Efes 95-69.
Guess the Greeks were in an overly celebratory mood after the blowout win, which cost them dearly in the following game.
Panathinaikos’ second loss on home turf happened against UNICS Kazan. It was a very close game until the very end. In fact, it was the visitors’ drive in the last minute of the match that got them the win – the game finished 74-72 in UNICS’ favor.
Clutch Lorenzo Brown sinked a crucial dagger which allowed UNICS to leap over Panathinaikos in roaring OAKA ?? pic.twitter.com/GAEpfH3xTL— BasketNews.com (@BasketNews_com) November 12, 2021
Of course, the fact that Panathinaikos is great when playing in front of its fans doesn’t mean they stand any chance against mighty Barcelona.
Barça is the #1 favorite to win the 2021-22 EuroLeague and there’s a good reason for that. This team is probably the best basketball club on the continent, with a couple of players who could easily play in the NBA.
Nikola Mirotic is the best example, a Spanish-Montenegrin forward who’s currently the top favorite for the EuroLeague MVP award.
Anadolu Efes to Beat Maccabi Tel Aviv
Anadolu Efes is the reigning champion of the EuroLeague, the title the Turks didn’t win by accident. They were terrific in the 2020-21 season, with a 22-12 record in the round-robin phase of the competition.
Of those 12 losses, none happened against Maccabi. However, a season earlier, Maccabi did get a win over Efes. The game was played at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel-Aviv, the same venue which will host their duel on Thursday.
Are we going to see history repeating itself? Probably not, as most of the players who played for Maccabi in that game are no longer in the club, including such stars as:
- Deni Avdija (moved to the Washington Wizards)
- Tyler Dorsey (moved to Olympiacos)
- Elijah Bryant (moved to Anadolu Efes)
Speaking of Bryant, the American signed for Efes this summer after winning the NBA title with the Milwaukee Bucks. Of course, he didn’t play too big of a role while at Milwaukee, but since coming to Efes, he’s been an important part of the team.
Still, he’s nowhere near as integral as Efes’ superstars like Vasilije Micic, Tibor Pleiss, and Shane Larkin. These guys have been playing elite-level basketball lately, each scoring double figures in at least four of the previous five EuroLeague games.
Knowing all this, it’s only logical to assume they’re going to destroy Maccabi on Thursday.
Olimpia Milano to Beat Real Madrid
The biggest game of the EuroLeague Round 16 is taking place in Northern Italy. Mediolanum Forum in Milan is where two giants of European basketball will lock horns on Thursday.
The thing is that Olimpia Milano and Real Madrid are similar in several aspects. First of all, both teams have amazing players on the roster. Plus, most of their key players are men in their late twenties/early thirties with plenty of experience playing at the top level.
On top of that, both teams are led by true coaching experts. Olimpia Milano’s boss is legendary Ettore Messina, who already has four EuroLeague titles in his collection. Real Madrid’s coach, Pablo Laso, currently has two titles fewer.
Another similarity between Olimpia and Real is that both teams have been playing amazing basketball lately. Both won their games on Tuesday – Olimpia beat Panathinaikos; Real won against Alba Berlin.
So, which of these clubs is going to win on Thursday? Anything could happen in this game, but I think the hosts will labor a win in the end. After all, they did it two times in the previous season.
Best EuroLeague Bets for Thursday, December 16
There you have it, my top picks for Thursday’s games. The odds you can see in the list above are the ones I found at 888sport, one of my favorite online bookmakers for EuroLeague betting.