Someone over at online sportsbook and official Euroleague sponsor SportingBet.com doubtlessly cannot wait for the 2009-10 season to begin, though we’re still, as the handy Euroleague.net countdown timer reminds, 67 days, 10.5 hours and change away from opening day. Already posted are odds for the upcoming season and whoo boy, is it some fodder for discussion, with shockers and controversial picks throughout.
The table is as follows.
Real Madrid: 19/4
FC Barcelona: 6/1
CSKA Moscow: 7/1
Montepaschi Siena: 10/1
Caja Laboral: 18/1
Maccabi Electra: 22/1
Efes Pilsen: 25/1
BC Khimki: 50/1
Fenerbahce Ülker: 125/1
AJ Milano: 150/1
Aris BSA, Benetton Basket, Partizan Belgrade, Virtus Roma: 250/1
ALBA Berlin, Cibona, Lietuvos Rytas: 350/1
Asvel Villeurbanne, Maroussi BC, Zalgiris: 500/1
Asseco Prokom, Union Olimpija: 1000/1
Le Mans: 1500/1
BK Ventspils, EWE Baskets Oldenburg, Orleans, Spirou Basket: 2500/1
More or less my first thoughts follow.
• Panathinaikos may be the favorite at 7/2, but much of this is the reputation of the defending champion…
• …while Olympiacos is at 15/4? That could well be the best line you’ll get on Linas Kleiza’s new team all season.
• Two lines that might have looked a lot different a week ago: BC Khimki at 50/1 and Zalgiris Kaunas at 500/1. Call it the Paulius Jankunas Effect.
• What does is mean to say Le Mans has 1500/1 chance, while Spirou Basket has 2500/1 odds? Does this that Le Mans is a lot better than Spirou or that both teams are so far out of the hunt that a 1000/1 difference means nothing? And who’s betting a Spirou Basket to take the whole thing anyway?
• Caja Laboral is … is … Is anyone else having trouble getting used to this name? I mean, this team was TAU Cerámica for only just short of a quarter-century. How about we just call them TAU Caja? Or Cajamica? Or maybe even TAU Caja Laborámica?
• CSKA Moscow’s 7/1 odds seem a bit generous. Plus, Sporting Bet ruined that “surprise dark horse” article Ball in Europe had on the backburner.
• Speaking of CSKA, i don’t care what the odds are on them winning Group C outright are, i’m taking the Red Army.
• Montepaschi Siena might be tempting at 10/1 as well, if you haven’t already committed the house to Olympiacos.
• My superdark horse pick? Partizan Belgrade at 250/1. You have to love what the black-and-white did in 2008-09 with a lot of youth and ingenuity. In the tournament, an upset here, an upset there and Shazam! Partizan wins the title about a year sooner than expected. More likely is that they sneak their way into the finals, only to be totally outclassed and thus motivated to win it all the following year. (Call it 2007-08 Los Angeles Lakers Syndrome.) Wonder what their odds are for 2010-11?