Barcelona - Panathinaikos
Two European club basketball powerhouses start a new chapter in their rivalry in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs, as FC Barcelona Regal hosts Panathinaikos Athens in Game 1 of their best-of-five series on Tuesday.
Barcelona won its regular season and Top 16 groups, arriving to this game with a league-best 22-2 record, including an ongoing 12-game winning streak. Panathinaikos won 5 of its last 7 games and hopes to steal the home court advantage to win the series, just as it did in 2011 on its way to its sixth Euroleague title. Both teams meet for the 24th time in European club competitions. Barcelona has a 13-10 lead in the all-time series.
I do not like the way Panathinaikos is playing right now, but I don't want to invest in Barcelona handicap today too. Main reason of that is their schedule. Barcelona will play its 3rd game in 6 days interval and coming here after away match where they needed OT to overcome their opponents. Ok, leaders were rested and did not play more than 18-23 minutes there but I would like to see them 100% fresh before placing a bet on -8.5 handicap before the match.
As for the total I expect low paced game with defensive aproach from both sides. I see it as 138-148 points and this gives me only 2 points advantage over the 145 line.
My prediction here safe Barcelona victory by 6-14 points. But it hard to find a good bet with value in terms of betting.