For the sides with A licences or multiple bids from their leagues, it’s easy to balance priorities between Euroleague and domestic play. Emmet Ryan however looks at the sides for whom remaining in the big show is a must but who rely on retaining national or regional titles to book their place.
If you’re Real Madrid, you can basically punt huge chunks of the ACB season and know you can still get the job done in the playoffs in order to focus on Euroleague. If you are Brose Bamberg, not so much. The balancing act isn’t easy but here’s how things stand for two teams who absolutely, positively, must retain their national or regional title to be back doing it all in Euroleague next season and one that really ought to just to restore some dignity.
Before breaking down the balancing act for all three sides, it’s worth looking at what the oddmakers say. The Euroleague and European basketball as a whole doesn’t have the same online betting coverage as football, so you’ll need to be smarter when looking for the best odds and lines. Comparison sites like this one can help show the way to some of the smaller oddsmakers with good basketball odds in this respect. Right now, Brose Bamberg are only second favourites in the Bundesliga, while Olimpia Milano are favourites for Serie A but remain a generous 15/8.
The Euroleague season is going way better than anyone anticipated for the German champions. This was meant to be the year they couldn’t compete but, despite losing some massive pieces in the off-season, they are roaring along nicely a 6-6 heading into this week’s games. That’s dreamland for this roster. Nobody saw them being this competitive or getting the type of quality wins they’ve been able to get.
Whatever about their luck at the big boys table, it’s a different story closer to home. Normally with Bundesliga basketball betting it’s a case of take Bamberg with the points. If you did that this year you’re broke. At 9-5 after 14 games, Bamberg are horribly vulnerable in their home league. As things stand they are a game out on getting a home series in the first round of the playoffs, three on doing so in the semi finals, and four out on somehow managing that for the finals. That’s assuming they get there but, if they do, there’s a loaded Bayern Munich roster that wants Euroleague ball. Things are going to get interesting if Bamberg keep this Euroleague playoff push going.
Like Bamberg, not a whole lot was expected from Zvezda coming into this season in Euroleague. Unlike Bamberg, things are going fine for them on both fronts. While outside of the playoff spots in Euroleague right now, the Belgrade club has already exceeded expectations for the season. We haven’t hit Christmas and they are playing with house money as it stands.
Their heroics against the best of Europe have crucially not come at a cost in the Adriatic League. Zvezda remain the league leaders at 10-2 and are comfortably in position for a spot in the playoffs. With the top four sides progressing to the post-season, which is notably one of the earliest in Europe, Zvezda hold a 4 game lead on 5th place Zadar. In short, they’re grand.
The one team in this column that is guaranteed its place in next season’s Euroleague no matter what happens domestically, they really need to win Serie A just to get their act together at this stage. Milano’s failure through two of the past three seasons to win the title in Italy has shown just how horribly unreliable this club is. Financially speaking the idea that this team could lose a 7 game series to anyone else in Italy should be implausible. They have the money to be just plain unbeatable. Instead their fragility has been exposed time and again.
This year’s Serie A is going so-so, with Milano at 8-3 and 2 games out of first place right now. Finishing with the 1 seed is more than doable but anything other than a convincing romp through the playoffs and a title should be frowned upon.