EuroLeague Preview and Best Betting Tips for Round 22 Games on Thursday, January 20, 2022

| January 19, 2022 9:12 am PDT

This time, COVID isn’t going to ruin EuroLeague’s plans. As things stand, all of the games of Round 22 will go as planned, with five matches taking place on Thursday, January 20.

The games in question are the following:

  • UNICS Kazan vs. Barcelona
  • Zenit Petersburg vs. Monaco
  • Fenerbahce vs. Zalgiris Kaunas
  • Alba Berlin vs. Real Madrid
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Olympiacos

I will now preview the games I think come with a lot of betting value. I’ll also share with you my picks for the remaining games, as well as show you which EuroLeague bets I’m planning to make on Thursday.

UNICS Kazan to Beat Barcelona

Knowing that Barcelona is among the betting favorites to win the 2021-22 EuroLeague, you might be surprised that the odds on this team are as long as 1.833 in the next match. The reason isn’t that Barça is out of form. It’s quite opposite actually – the Spanish team is coming off a win against the reigning EuroLeague champion, Anadolu Efes.

The real reason why oddsmakers think Barcelona might struggle is that they’ll be without their best player, Nikola Mirotic. The #1 MVP candidate tested positive for COVID last week, together with a few other Barcelona players, which was the reason why their ACB League clash with Valencia ended up postponed.

The silver lining is that as a result, they’ve had plenty of time to prepare for the EuroLeague clash. Barça had an entire week to prepare, which is three days more than UNICS.

Nevertheless, UNICS players probably feel great about their chances on Thursday, considering that they’ve been playing top basketball this season. The Russians are probably the biggest EuroLeague overachievers this season, with an 11-7 record ahead of Round 22.

Their home record is even more impressive. With a 7-3 record on their turf, UNICS ranks sixth, which is fantastic on its own. What’s even better is that they’re on a superb run at home. The Russians have lost just one game on their turf since October 10, 2021, winning 11 along the way.

During that run, the Russians defeated some real heavyweights including Barcelona’s arch-rival, Real Madrid.

Real Madrid to Beat Alba Berlin

Winning this game is a must for Real Madrid if they wish to throw Barcelona off the #1 position in the EuroLeague table.

Sure, one may argue that finishing at the top of the table isn’t the most important thing in the world as it doesn’t mean actually winning the title. Still, it does mean getting to play against the #8 ranked team in the playoffs. Plus, getting to the top of the table would mean getting one over their biggest rivals.

That said, you can be sure that leapfrogging Barça is on Real Madrid’s agenda. This goes especially because Los Blancos can easily do it. The thing is that they’ve played two games fewer than Barcelona, the team that has only one EuroLeague win more than them.

What this means is that if Real Madrid keeps on winning, we should see them at the top of the EuroLeague in the next few weeks.

For Real Madrid, the game with Alba is a sort of dress rehearsal for the ACB League clash with Barcelona in three days’ time.

So, can they beat Alba Berlin? Of course, they can! And it’s not just because Real Madrid players are among the best on the continent. It’s also because Alba’s players are among the worst in the EuroLeague.

With a 6-12 record, the team from the German capital is sitting three spots above the bottom of the table. Two-thirds of those wins did happen in Berlin, but this shouldn’t worry Real too much.

After all, Los Blancos tend to do well in Germany. This team has won every single away game against Alba since 1999.

Olympiacos to Beat Maccabi Tel Aviv

Maccabi Tel Aviv is desperate to end its eight-game losing run in the EuroLeague that started back in November. Unfortunately for them, a ninth straight defeat might be on the way. The reason? Maccabi is taking on the #3 EuroLeague team.

Olympiacos is sitting in third place in the EuroLeague table with a 12-6 record. However, the Greeks did lose their first EuroLeague game of 2022. It happened on January 11, when they played against Fenerbahce in Istanbul.

That was their sixth defeat on the road this season, suggesting that they struggle when they don’t have the support of their fans. Meanwhile, Maccabi is 5-3 in Tel Aviv this season.

Olympiacos now has a chance to get to the fourth away win in the 2021-22 EuroLeague campaign and I think they will take it. It’s just that they need to cash in on the horrible situation Maccabi is currently in.

Still, even if Maccabi wasn’t in a poor form, I’d still back Olympiacos. My #1 reason for leaning toward the Greek team is that their strongest weapon this season has been their three-point shooting. At the same time, defending against three-pointers has been Maccabi’s Achilles’ heel so far.

Olympiacos’ three-point percentage is 35.99%, which puts them in sixth place in the EuroLeague. Meanwhile, with 38.72% against them, Maccabi’s defense against three-point shots is the worst in the league.

For all these reasons, it’s no surprise that online sportsbooks see Olympiacos as the favorite. I agree with them, but I don’t think this is going to be an easy game.

Actually, history teaches us that Maccabi vs. Olympiacos games are never easy. Evidence of this is that five of their previous six duels were decided by just one or two points.

Picks for the Remaining Two Thursday’s Games

  • Zenit Petersburg to Beat Monaco
  • Fenerbahce to Beat Zalgiris Kaunas

I think hosts will win in both of these games. Oddsmakers agree with me on this, although they seem to expect a blowout win in both of those matches. I’m not so sure that Zenit is going to cover the seven-point spread nor do I think Fener will win by 11 points or more.

Sure, it might happen, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If you would like to see what I am planning to bet on this Thursday, the next section is for you.

Best EuroLeague Bets for Round 22 Games on Thursday

UNICS Kazan to Beat Barcelona 1.95
Real Madrid (-8.5) Against Alba Berlin 1.85
Maccabi Tel Aviv (+2.5) Against Olympiacos 1.95

If you decide to bet at 888sport, you will have the option to adjust the point spread in those two games. That wouldn’t be such a crazy idea, especially for the Maccabi vs. Olympiacos game. If you would like to play it safe, go for Maccabi Tel Aviv (+4.5) for which the odds are 1.75, which is still a pretty decent value.

Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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