The bottom two teams in Euroleague Basketball face off on Friday. It LDLC Asvel vs Alba Berlin in the clash of the cellar dwellers
It’s the most miserable rivalry in Euroleague Basketball. LDLC Asvel and Alba Berlin do battle in an effort to avoid the last overall slot in the standings.
Who: LDLC Asvel (4-16) vs Alba Berlin (3-17)
Where: Astroballe, Greater Lyon
When: Friday 12 January at 21.00 CET, 20.00 UK/Ireland, 15.00 EST
Last time out
LDLC Asvel recorded their second straight win, literally half their season total, with a 100-91 home win over Crvena Zvezda on Wednesday night. This is easily Asvel’s best run of form this season.
Alba Berlin had a tough road loss, 82-76, at Olimpia Milano. It was their fifth straight defeat in the competition.
Timothe Luwawu-Caborrot and Joffrey Lauvergne have been the most consistent performers for LDLC Asvel this season. Combined, they are over 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists each night. They are ably aided by Paris Lee, who has dropped 6.6 dimes per game for an Asvel team which has recently exceeded our expectations. Limiting that trio is the top priority for the visitors.
Alba Berlin will be bolstered by the return of Martin Hermannsson this week but their season has been led by Johannes Thiemann. The FIBA World Cup winner is a workhorse and has logged averages of 13.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for his side. This big has a quick change of pace and that will be a key factor in this game.
BallinEurope is ramping up its YouTube game this season. Subscribe to our channel now for player exclusives, analysis videos, and much more.
Need to know
Domestic matters are bound to influence some of the thinking for both of these sides as their hopes of the Euroleague Basketball post-season are all but over. LDLC Asvel and Alba Berlin are both in solid positions for getting home court in the LNB and Bundesliga playoffs respectively. Both sides however still have some work to do. There are key games coming up at the weekend for both. Don’t be shocked if there are big changes to minutes late in the game if this one gets one-sided.
What the bookies think
LDLC Asvel are clear favourites here, backed by their recent run of form, at 2/5 outright while Alba Berlin are available at 9/5. The point spread favours Asvel by -5.5.
What we think
The idea of Asvel, well at least this version of Asvel, winning three consecutive games including a double-round sweep seems downright barmy. They’ve recorded a couple of impressive wins at home in the last week but the overall flaws here just can’t be ignored.
Alba Berlin are terrible, no doubt, but this looks a more than winnable game for the side that is currently bottom of the standings.
I was wrong about LDLC Asvel last time I picked one of their games. That said, I’m not chasing good money after bad. Alba Berlin may be bottom of the Euroleague Basketball standings right now but they are just plain better. That said, I’m going to take them with the points as there’s not quite enough value in the outright.
Pick: Alba Berlin +5.5