Euroleague: Los Blancos to dominate in Lithuania
Real Madrid are the hottest team in the Euroleague at the moment and their momentum won't be halted.
Unlike their under-fire footballing counterparts, Real Madrid are the best team in Europe at this moment in time and that doesn't look like changing soon. They beat their bitter rivals Barcelona 97-73 last time out and are sitting pretty at the top of Group E, winning their last three games by an average of 20 points.
They come up against Zalgiris Kaunas, who have a record of 2-4 but come off of a good win in Belgrade and made Madrid earn a 66-68 win in Lithuania during the regular season. However, when you face a team that's first in assists with 21.9, second in scoring averaging 86.9 a game and creating more possessions through turnovers than anyone else, you can expect a tricky afternoon. Back Madrid to win pretty comfortably by winning with the handicap at 9/10.
The other big game in Group E this Thursday sees the reigning champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv host ALBA Berlin, who've yet to beat the Israeli side this side of the millennium. Maccabi have won eight of their last nine, which includes their current five-game winning streak, and they look nailed on to go deep again in the Euroleague this season.
ALBA have got off to their best start ever to a Top 16 campaign but have lost their last two and have really struggled to create offence against the better teams, which have contributed to difficult losses. With Tel Aviv scoring at least 90 points in their last two weeks and Berlin unable to score more than 70 in any of their defeats, this looks like an almost certain victory for the champs. Take them at 9/10 to win with the handicap and continue to stay on the coattails of Madrid in Group E.
The last game to come from a very tight group sees fourth-placed FC Barcelona looking to create separation from the chasing pack when they take on fifth-placed Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul. A tough loss in El Classico leaves Barcelona with a 3-3 record and a perfectly even scoring ratio, having scored and conceded 472 points in six games.
They'll be buoyed by the fact they've never been beaten in five games against Galatasaray and the Turkish side come into this one on a three-game losing streak that has seen them plummet to 2-4. This'll be a pretty tight contest but Barcelona are too good on offence, third in the league averaging 83.3 points per game, for Galatasaray to handle so look to back Barca to win at 7/100.