Moscow & Fenerbache the biggest favorites for this year EuroLeague
CSKA Moscow & Fenerbache the biggest favorites for this year
CSKA Moscow has been installed as the pre-season favorite to seize
glory in the 2018/19 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague basketball
competition. Dimitrios Itoudis’ men finished top of the table last
season, with 24 wins out of 30 games, but faltered in the Final Four,
losing 92-83 to Real Madrid. Yet the Russian team has been extremely
consistent over the years and the oddsmakers expect it to enjoy another
fantastic season ahead. However, competition is fierce and it will face
several difficult showdowns over the course of the campaign.
Itoudis has been busy bolstering his roster in the off-season, and he
landed a real coup by signing exciting youngster
Alec Peters from the Phoenix Suns. The 6’9 small forward broke
Valparaiso records in scoring 2,348 points and grabbing 996 rebounds
during his career earning the Division 1 Player of the Year title. He
played 20 NBA games last year, and it will be up to the coach to
nurture his talent.
“Besides the fact that he could receive NBA offers, he was convinced
and decided to make this step in his career and come to our team,” said
Itoudis. “I believe he will help us with his extremely good long range
shooting, post game, court vision, selfishness, understanding of team
defense and other skills.”
The Army Team further bolstered its ranks by signing Joel Bolomboy, who
has played for Utah Jazz and the Milwaukee Bucks, plus Ivan Ukhov from
Parma and Daniel Hackett from Brose Bamberg. Leading sports betting
sites have installed CSKA as the 2/1 (+200) favorite ahead of the new
season, and it is a popular choice thus far among bettors.
Fenerbache is the second favourite at around 7/2 (+350) and right now
that is the most popular choice among bettors. It finished second in
the table last season and only narrowly lost to Real Madrid in the
Championship game. In the final quarter, it was losing by 11 points,
but cut the deficit to just three with a stirring comeback. A late
score saw Real Madrid secure a five-point victory, but Fenerbache
enjoyed a very strong season overall.
Since then it has gone all out in a bid to improve its roster, snapping
up NBA stars Joffrey Lauvergne and Tyler Ennis. Lauvergne is 26 years
old and he has represented the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder,
Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs in a varied career. Ennis has been
similarly prolific, playing for the Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks,
Houston Rockets and LA Lakers, despite only being 24. He played 54
times as a guard for the Lakers last season, and he is also a member of
the Canadian national team.
What of champion Real Madrid? It is third in the betting, well ahead of
Panathanaikos, Olympiakos and Barcelona, and many bookmakers are
expecting a three-horsed race this season. Real Madrid is not resting
on its laurels either and it has snapped up Klemen Prepelic from
Levallois Metropolitans and Gabriel Deck from San Lorenzo as it seeks
to build on last year’s success.
It only finished fifth in the table last season, so its achievement in
going on to win the championship was hugely impressive. It faces a
tough battle in trying to defend its crown, but the intense level of
competition is what makes the SuperLeague so exciting and we should be
in for another thrilling season.