Nice of the Euroleague to stack up nearly every game in the last round of the Top 16 on one night, eh? Sheesh, this is worse (or better, depending on viewpoint) than the weekend following the All-Star Game in the NBA. Of the seven games on the slate, six will still help shape the final eight field; the sole “pride game” tonight will be the Montepaschi Siena-Efes Pilsen match in Italy. Officially-derived possibilities for the final eight may be found at the Euroleague website.
Now, is anyone else surprised at some of the pointspreads posted (for the sake of this piece, as provided by Euroleague/Ball in Europe sponsor Sporting Bet)? Most eye-popping is the 17 points Partizan is getting in taking on the Spanish behemoth FC Barcelona in Espana; Partizan can finish first in the group, but only with a straight-up win at Barça or a Maroussi loss.
And Maroussi is, in fact, is one the weird end of another line. In the quest to shock Greek basketball by recording a more successful Euroleague season than defending champs and domestic rivals Panathinaikos, the littler club is a three-point underdog despite PAO having long since been eliminated. BiE wouldn’t be surprised to see the upset in Pana’s digs, or at least an OT loss.
More upset material: How about the BC Khimki-Olympiacos game, which has the Russian side favored by three over probably the second-best Euroleague team. Sure, Khimki’s playing for their continued existence in 2009-10 and surely have a big homecourt advantage; plus Olympiacos’ll be sitting their marquee players for much of the game. But BiE just can’t help thinking that, after a season characterized media-side by a squall of Barcelona-laden hype (hey, this writer admits his own complicity in the excitement), even the second-string Reds want to sweep the Top 16 to further fuel the scary swagger Olympiacos is building on this run.
A full listing of handicaps and over/under lines is listed below the break.
Panathinaikos vs. Maroussi BC
Handicap: Panathinaikos minus 3
Asseco Prokom vs. Unicaja
Handicap: Prokom minus 5
Caja Laboral Baskonia vs. Cibona Zagreb
Handicap: Baskonia minus 10
FC Barcelona vs. Partizan Belgrade
Handicap: FC Barcelona minus 17
Montepaschi Siena vs. Efes Pilsen
Handicap: Montepaschi minus 9
Sporting Bet has many other lines, odds and proposition betting on Euroleague games and European domestic basketball leagues. Click on either the logos or banner at far right for more information. Lotsa luck, y’all!