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basketball | Tuesday, December 28, 2021 8:37 AM
Euroleague Round 18 Best Bets: December 29th, 30th
Euroleague Round 18 Best Bets: December 29th, 30th
Contributor: ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

With 2021 coming to an end, this will be the final round of Euroleague action in the calendar year. With a lot of health/safety issues in recent weeks, it’s difficult to know exactly which games will be played, but I made sure to steer clear of the risky ones. That said, there wasn’t too much value to be found with the handicap numbers being very low in Round 18, but here are my 3 very best selections for the final round of the year.

Euroleague Round 18 Best Bets:

Match Time (UK) Selection Stakes Best Odds Bookmaker
Monaco vs Maccabi Tel Aviv  Dec 29, 18:00 Monaco -1.5   5/10 2.00 Marathonbet
Unics Kazan vs Anadolu Efes Dec 30, 16:00 Unics +1.5 7/10 2.10 Marathonbet
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade vs Zenit St. Petersburg Dec 30, 18:00 Crvena Zvezda +1 8/10 1.96 Marathonbet

Odds available as at 2 pm December 28th 2021. Odds may now differ

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Bet365 are offering odds of 7.62 for the three selections combined as an accumulator.

Odds available as at 2 pm December 28th 2021. Odds may now differ

Monaco vs Maccabi Tel Aviv

After an impressive start to the season, Monaco’s form has significantly decreased, and they are 16th in the Euroleague standings with 6 wins and 11 losses. They’ve won just 1 of their last 8 games, allowing 90.0 points per game during this stretch. But 5 of those games have been on the road, and their defensive effort has been much better in home games, allowing an average of 15-points fewer than on the road. Home advantage will be a very important factor in this game, and Monaco are worth considering in the handicap market.

Maccabi Tel Aviv started the 2021/22 season off incredibly well, winning 7 of their first 10 games, but their form decreased in recent weeks, and they are now on a 7-game losing streak. Poor defence has been the biggest reason behind their recent lack of success, allowing 78.5 points per game, and allowing opponents to shoot 38.6% for 3 and 52.1% for 2. They have won just 2 of their 9 road games this season, and I don’t expect them to bounce back in this one. The hosts provide a lot of value in the handicap market, and I expect them to get the job done at home against a struggling Maccabi side.

Tip: Monaco -1.5 at 2.00 odds

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Crvena Zvezda Belgrade vs Zenit St. Petersburg

Crvena Zvezda have quietly become a very good side in the last few weeks, with most of their injury issues resolved and their team finally living up to their potential. They have won 3 of their last 5 Euroleague games but managed to stay afloat even against much stronger teams like Barcelona and Anadolu Efes, losing to the defending champions by a single point. They have played very good defence this season, allowing just 67.2 points per game, and playing at home always gives them a significant advantage.

Meanwhile, Zenit have finally returned to their early season form after a 3-game losing streak in late November and early December. They have now won 3  Euroleague games in a row, and are coming off a 73-71 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv. But Zenit are a low-scoring side that averages 73.5 points per game with 71.6 points allowed. In their last encounter with Zvezda, they were kept to just 58 points and suffered a very difficult 11-point home loss. I expect to see another low scoring game between these two teams with very tough defence. 84% of bettors are backing Zenit in this one, and Zvezda are again providing solid value in the handicap market.

Tip: Crvena Zvezda +1 at 1.96 ods

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Unics Kazan vs Anadolu Efes

Unics Kazan had a difficult start to the season with a 1-4 record in their first five games, but they have managed to turn their season around and they are now 6th in the Euroleague standings. With 7 wins in their last 9 games, they are one of the hottest teams in the league and have provided a ton of value against the spread in recent weeks. In fact, both of their 2 losses in the last month and a half have come against elite teams – Olympiacos and Barcelona and both came by 3 points or fewer. They are coming off a difficult 111-109 overtime loss to Barcelona, and are looking to use their home advantage to get back into winning form.

Anadolu Efes had the exact same start to the 2021/22 season, losing 4 of their first 5 games, but their form has improved recently, and they have bounced back nicely. They are on a 3-game winning streak and coming off a close 84-83 home victory over Crvena Zvezda. But Efes are allowing an average of 79.5 points per game, and their perimeter defence has allowed opponents to shoot 37.4% from beyond the arc. This team relies too heavily on the individual talents of their star players in Micic, Larkin and Beaubois whilst failing to compensate on defence. They’re playing a side that plays lockdown defence and grabs 9.6 steals per game, and their last encounter was just a 71-68 home win for the defending champions. I expect home advantage to help Unics get the job done this time, and I’m backing them in the handicap market.

Tip: Unics Kazan +1.5 at 2.10 odds

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