Not much to report since the end of the Eurobasket. Just one game we got involved in for the Champions League and rightfully so as the odds were completely wrong there, but unfortunately we lost the win bet by just a basket. After a poor first part, Orlandina recovered well in the second half and even had the ball in their hands to take the win in the last seconds but a cheap turnover condemned them in the end. A pity really as this would have meant a good profit but at least the handicap bet landed and we squeezed a unit of profit for the month. Not good enough of course but considering all the unfortunate and peculiar circumstances that got in our way, I'm still glad we avoided going in red.
We should have plenty of opportunities starting from October so let's see if results will start going in our favour again.
Despite breaking even for the Eurobasket in terms of units balance and avoiding any losses, I can't help but feel a bitter taste in my mouth noticing just how unfortunate circumstances penalised us repeatedly during the tournament. This is a quick recap of our losing bets:
Serbia-Latvia 92-82 (Latvia +7.5)
An entirely misleading final score considering it was a very contested game and Latvia was actually leading 73-75 entering the final 3 minutes! So what happened? An improbable sequence of events in those last seconds lead to Latvia "managing" to lose by a 10-point deficit. Hard to believe but true.
Russia-Belgium 76-67 (Belgium Win and +8.5)
While Russia had control of the situation for most of the match, Belgium remained competitive throughout, keeping the deficit in single digits for the entire game. In fact the final +9 for Russia was also the biggest lead they had ever had and was the result of a pointless foul by Tabu when the game was already lost for Belgium. Frustrating.
Lithuania-Greece 64-77 (Lithuania -4,5)
I reckon nobody could have predicted this kind of dominant performance by Greece considering how poor they had played throughout the tournament. It was also by far their best performance in this Eurobasket. Simply a really bad timing for us. The Lithuanians seemed like hypnotized for most of the game as they probably thought it was enough to simply show up to claim victory.
Slovenia-Latvia 103-97 (Latvia Win)
I think it's safe to say no one expected Slovenia to outgun Latvia in this encounter. Despite being one of the worst teams in 3 point shooting, Slovenia shot an improbable 11/28 from the arc (almost 40%) and that was the key to their victory.
Doncic's three pointer almost at the buzzer in a really crucial phase of the game pretty much sums up the kind of night it has been for Slovenia.
Fortunately not everything was bad. The big wins of Hungary and Russia against Czech Republic and Croatia respectively, allowed us to stay afloat and avoid any losses. And that's the biggest win for us. I know it may not look this way now but trust me. If in times like these when all the small details seem to be going against us we avoid going in red, rest assured we have nothing to fear going forward. As long as we keep taking good value with our bets and have the probabilities in our favour, it's not a question of if but when the results will start going our way.
The new season starts soon with some Super Cup matches in Spain and Italy in a few days and beginning from October all of the competitions we are involved in get underway. Both October and November have always been very profitable to me probably because the bookmakers are still a step back in terms of proper evaluation of the teams' capabilities. This is a high risk-high reward kind of period as the margin of error is bigger from both parts (punters and bookmakers) with small or no sample of official games yet and no statistical database. One thing is certain though. One has to tread very carefully as this can become a double-edged sword in some cases. Hopefully we will be able to start the season with some profit.
Putting the betting aspect aside, Slovenia completed one of the biggest recent surprises to win the Eurobasket 2017 for the first time in their history. Although I had tipped them to fight for a medal, I simply considered their lack of consistent 3-point shooting and frontcourt depth were going to be exposed sooner or later but they proved me wrong. Incredibly they shot an almost unnatural 25/53 (47%) from the arc in the quarterfinal and semifinal games including 4 shots that went in off the glass(!), proving that besides skills you simply need some luck as well to achieve greatness. In any case, hats off to Slovenia!
I will talk to you guys soon!
For the second time the Eurobasket will be held in four different countries. Finland, Israel, Romania and Turkey will host the Group Phase consisting of 4 groups (6 teams each, 16 in total qualify for the Final Phase, the best 4 from each group) before moving to Istanbul, Turkey at the Sinan Erdem Dome for the Final Phase of the Eurobasket.
Οne thing that has characterized the days leading to the start of the tournament has been the high number of star players who for various reasons will not be able to partecipate in this Eurobasket. Antetokounmpo, Teodosic, Jokic, Batum, Gobert, Galinari, Vesely, Llull, Mirotic, Ibaka, Ilyasova and Gortat are just some of the biggest names missing who under normal circumstances would have been fundamental to their respective teams success.
But let's try taking a closer look at all the partecipants based on their strength and aspirations for the tournament and in the end I will have a few betting considerations as well. Keep in mind that the following list is obviously subjective and most of the times in this kind of tournaments there will probably be a couple of surprises as well as a few disappointments but more on that later on. Let's get started.
Spain: Perennial contenders these last 15 years with a seemingly endless pool of talent. NBAers Ibaka and Mirotic will miss the Eurobasket along with Llull who has had a phenomenal season with Real Madrid establishing himself arguably as the top European player outside the NBA. Despite Spain's depth these absences create somewhat of a conundrum for coach Scariolo on how to cover the shooting guard and power forward spots considering how indispensable Llull and Mirotic are for this team.
Serbia: Coming from the silver medal in last year's Olympic Games, Serbia would have been the team to beat if they could count on Bjelica, Markovic and especially Jokic and Teodosic. Unfortunately that is not the case, however a team with a backcourt consisting of Nedovic, Bogdanovic, Jovic and the giant Marjanovic patrolling the paint, has to be considered amongst the favourites.
France: Post Parker era for France and the first signs are not very encouraging. Absences (Gobert, Batum), chemistry issues, injuries (Diot, Seraphin) along with alleged signs of discontent from Westermann over his role don't bode well. Still, impossible to dismiss a team that can count on players like De Colo, Fournier, Heurtel, Seraphin, Diaw just to name a few. They have also dominated their last few preparation games if that counts for anything.
Lithuania: Dependability and consistency is what comes to mind when talking about Lithuania as they usually end up close or into the medals zone (two silvers, one bronze in the last 5 Eurobasket tournaments). The lack of backcourt talent is a little alarming though considering Kalnietis' bad season and injuries.
Greece: Losing Giannis Antetokounmpo a few days before the start of the tournament comes as a massive shock to the Greeks. More worryingly they didn't appear ready at all in their last preparation games. A lack of consistent 3p-shooting and post defense seem like serious issues while the late appointment of Missas as coach certainly raised a few eyebrows as well. Possibly one of the disappointments of this Eurobasket?
Croatia: The supremely talented trio of Bogdanovic, Saric, Simon and perhaps a somewhat improved supporting cast compared to last season although still lacking a true quality point guard. But can anyone really underestimate this team after last year's strong showing in the Olympics?
Slovenia: Undoubtedly the biggest european talent at his age Doncic, Miami's Dragic and now Real Madrid's Randolph constitute a force to be reckoned with, despite the lack of quality replacements at their frontcourt which might force coach Kokoskov to often play small ball.
Italy: They seem to constantly underachieve considering the NBA talent they could count on these last few tears but coach Messina's presence along with players like Bellinelli, Datome and Melli guarantee they will be dangerous. Losing Galinari to injury is a big blow but will also lower pressure and expectations.
Latvia: They have everything in place to be the big surprise of this tournament. A good coach in Bagatskis, a blossoming NBA star in Porzingis and quite a few established role players around him. Arguably the best shooting team in the tournament. Watch out!
Turkey: Playing at home will provide a huge boost but losing their best player Ilyasova with no obvious replacement for him at the power forward position is enough to raise some doubts on them as medalist candidates but let's wait and see whether promising coach Sarica has some tricks up his sleeve...
RESPECTABLE BUT CAN THEY GO A STEP FURTHER?
Montenegro: A really talented roster guided by the respected Tanjevic but with some chemistry issues as many are wondering whether star big men Vucevic and Dubljevic can actually play together. Paradoxically though Rice's performance might prove to be even more critical for this team.
Belgium: Methodical, well coached and tricky team to face even if veterans Van Rossom and Hervelle are past their best now. A pity Panathinaikos' Lojeski couldn't make it to join the national team due to injury.
Georgia: A respectable starting five but a paper thin bench depth, while the emblematic Zaza Pachulia still remains in doubt for the tournament because of injury.
Poland: A quality pair of wingmen in Ponitka and Waczynski but somewhat lacking in the paint. Will probably battle it out with the hosts Finland for the last qualification ticket in the group.
Russia: The golden era of coach Blatt is long gone and while this is a competent team with enough quality to make some noise, it is also inconsistent and capable for the best and the worst. Really tough to gauge their true potential.
Finland: Not a surprise anymore but this Finland team is always an insidious opponent. Perhaps over-reliant on their 3-p shots. The physical conditions of Barcelona star Koponen who missed all the preparation games is a serious cause of concern though.
Germany: Post Nowitzki era for Germany who will rely on Atlanta's ace Schröder for leadership. Should compete with most teams in a wide open group but is missing a true quality guard playing alongside Schröder.
Israel: A team loaded with savvy veterans in what may be the last Eurobasket competition for at least a couple of them. They have usually underachieved but are now playing at home and anything less than a round-of-16 qualification will be considered a failure.
Great Britain: An athletic but limited in quality and international experience roster. Last place in their group seems inevitable but will try to remain as competitive as possible throughout the tournament.
Czech Republic: The Czechs normally don't belong in this group of teams but the absences of at least 3 starters (Vesely, Balvin, Schilb) and critical role players (Jelinek, Benda, Pumprla) means they must rely on Satoransky to do almost everything. A pity.
Hungary: The name of Adam Hanga is immediately recognizable but Vojvoda and Allen will also provide a big help in their effort to secure the 4th and last ticket in their group and qualify at the expense of the Czechs.
Ukraine: Another team decimated by absences. Ukraine will be missing Fesenko, Len, Gladyr and Jeter and with them probably any chance of advancing to the next round.
Romania: Possibly the weakest team of this Eurobasket that as one of the hosts have automatically secured their partecipation. Moldoveanu remains the uncontested leader and the only Romanian with extensive european experience.
Iceland: A combative but also atypical team as their only true big man is Valencia talent Hilnason while the only other player exceeding 2 meters is Ermolinskij! Most of the roster competes in not very competitive leagues and their experience is limited. It's going to be tough avoiding last place in their group.
A FEW BETTING CONSIDERATIONS
There are certain aspects in this kind of tournaments that one should be aware of. To begin with we have no form guides. All of the teams arrive at their first official match after a series of 5-10 preparation games most of which are simply not indicative of the teams' true strength with everyone testing players and tactics. Spain losing by 18 at home to Belgium or Greece's 32 point loss to Serbia are just a couple of examples.
Then reaching the Final Phase there are only knockout matches which means you have a bad night and you're out, even you have won all previous games. Probably unfair but that's the format and is valid for everyone. This alone will inevitably create some surprises.
Finally there is the busy schedule one has to consider. The two finalists will have played 9 matches in 17-18 days, so basically a game every other day which will obviously challenge the teams short on depth.
Betting wise I am not a big fan of outright bets especially those that are settled after several months. The Eurobasket is obviously much shorter on duration (18 days) which makes it somewhat more predictable as there will be no players added to the rosters after the start of the tournament, no coaches fired and certainly fewer injuries. That said, it remains difficult judging the teams on rosters and tradition alone without a sample of official games in hand. It's easy to predict that Spain will be amongst the serious candidates for the gold medal. For years now they maintain a stable nucleus of players, the same coach as well as an established style of game with well defined roles but it becomes a lot harder giving a verdict on teams like Russia, Israel or Latvia for the exact same reasons.
But a little patience. Soon enough a lot of questions will be answered when the Eurobasket 2017 gets underway in just a few days.
Hi guys! Just an update. It seems there won't be any more picks for this season after all. The games of the finals are priced quite right so it makes no sense getting involved. As I mentioned in my previous post, there are no further matches until August 31st when the Eurobasket 2017 begins. So our appointment is renewed to this date although I will post a Eurobasket preview late in August so stay tuned.
Thank you for your support and I wish you all a relaxing summer!
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Our first negative month of 2017 and we suffered a small setback with 5 units lost. To be honest the frustrating thing was actually not the loss itself rather than a lack of betting opportunities these past couple of months. I realize this must have been even more frustrating for you guys but unfortunately there are some periods when there is simply no value at all in the schedule, so the best option is simply to stay put and remain patient.
One blatant example of this was Avellino-Venezia 3 days ago for the italian playoffs (May 30th). If you look back at the 8th of March it was coincidentally the same match I advised at 3.76 (for Venezia's win). Opening odds for the May 30th game instead were 2.42(!) at Pinnacle for the visitors (Venezia), barely reaching 3.03 by the time the game started. To make things even worse is that Avellino are actually in pretty good shape right now while back in March they were struggling and also missing a key player in Cusin! I think the numbers speak for themselves. The final result of these two games is obviously irrelevant as what I'm trying to point out here is simply the huge difference in value for Venezia's win between these two matches.
As far as May's picks are concerned we were quite unlucky with both our first 2 picks (Avellino's and Reggiana's advised wins), as our teams were leading until late in the game, only to suffer a furious rally from their opponents in the last minutes. As for the Real Madrid-CSKA game I believe the final result is indicative of Real's painful performance, so absolutely no objections there.
Considering June will be very light in games with only the semifinals and finals remaining in all the leagues we are betting on, now I think is a good opportunity to inform you of the schedule up ahead.
July and August is the summer break for the leagues and basketball in general so there is no activity. At August 31th though begins the Eurobasket 2017 which runs until September 17th and we will certainly get involved. Following the Eurobasket there will be another small window of inactivity until the first days of October when all of the leagues restart after the summer break and from that period on, we will go non-stop until the summer of 2018.
Plenty of time to talk about the new season though. Let's see if we can finish June with some profit. Take care!
It has been a quiet and unremarkable April with just over one unit of profit so nothing to write home about really. It was also a pretty bad month in terms of value opportunities across the leagues we are betting on and as a result there were just 5 bets, but it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Our last bet on Brindisi was actually the one I expected to make a difference in the end but the indifference of the visitors was simply shocking to see despite being the only team with a strong motivation for the game. In fact their lax attitude was criticized afterwards by coach Sacchetti and the Brindisi players responded last week with a strong performance and clear victory against Capo d'Orlando to move closer to a playoff spot, but they ruined our bet earlier.
Hopefully May will present more opportunities as the leagues will soon enter or have already entered the playoffs phase. Take care guys!
At the risk of stating the obvious, March has been a great month for us with 16 units of profit and an ideal way to end the first quarter of 2017 showing a steady increase of our bankroll each month. Now it's not the time to get carried away though. Remember this is a marathon not a sprint and inevitably we will face adversities down the road. The important thing is maintain the same approach with a few selective bets with great value and we make our recap only at the end of the year.
Looking back at the start of the month we began with two losing bets both on the handicap market only to turn things around nicely with 7 straight winners with average odds of 3.22 per bet. To be honest I was a little annoyed with Reggiana's losing game against Cantu where the hosts have simply broken most of their seasonal records, all in this single game! Points scored, 3 pointers made, highest percentage on 3 pointers, assists and turnovers committed. Incredible stuff really!Truth be told, Reggiana were simply atrocious especially on the second half and I may have misjudged Recalcati's impact to Cantu but still it was an almost miraculous game for them. As for our last bet on Pesaro (odds at 7.00) playing at Trento, it actually proved a good choice despite the result. In fact the game was really close throughout it's duration and Pesaro came within 2 points in the final seconds with a chance to at least tie the game but a missed defensive rebound condemned them in the end. A pity, considering how competitive they have been. I'm gonna leave it at that though, as it makes no sense complaining after a month like this!
It looks like we will have no bets for the weekend as the odds are really spot on and hold no value. There is only a game in Italy tomorrow for which I may reconsider provided the odds rise up a little to make our involvement worthwhile. In that case I will let you know in advance obviously.
I wish you all a good month and let's see if we can keep the momentum going in April.
A pretty good month for us with almost 8 units of profit made. A February that started bad but finished really strong although the second part of the month was not as busy as the first one. In fact I considered several matches during the last week but none them really convinced me to bet on and in the end it was the wiser move. No sense risking our money on dubious selections when the odds are not that good.
Remember guys that we as bettors have a powerful but often overlooked weapon. We are the only ones who decide when to place a bet and we should take a chance only when all of our pre-established criteria are met. No point making compromises especially concerning the odds. Allow me an analogy here. A successful bettor can be compared to a sniper. He should have the exact same qualities. Knowledge of his environment, patience, composure, absolute focus and he simply takes the shot (or bet) when the probabilities of hitting the target (or winning the bet) are in his favour!
As far as February’s bets are concerned, we got lucky to nail Reggiana and Sassari in matches that were decided in the last seconds but were really unfortunate with Milano’s match in Turkey. They were leading for 38 minutes including a 20 point difference during the second quarter but they simply fell apart in the last minutes losing their composure and making one bad decision after another! Still it was the right call taking this bet regardless of the result as the odds (5.31) were simply ridiculous considering how wildly inconsistent and unpredictable Efes Anadolu have been throughout the season.
Have a great month guys! I’ll talk to you soon…
A month in green is always welcome although those 4+ units won could have been almost 10 had Szolnoki not lost a game they had in their pocket. Up 3 points with just 3 seconds left, they only had to foul an opponent and send him to the free throw line. Instead they chose to rely on their defense only to suffer a 3-pointer that sent the game to overtime where subsequently Charleroi prevailed. The only regret I have is not backing Caserta's win too (against Reggiana) instead of just the handicap but obviously it's easy drawing conclusions afterwards.
On a side note I have noticed a slight increase so far in the picks for 2016/17 season. In fact there have been 50 picks in these past 4 months and that is a trend I hope continues for the rest of 2017. More is not necessarily better but a wider selection of matches means more chances to recover after a few unfortunate picks. In any case my selection process remains the same regardless of the number of games and you can rest assured there is good value in all of the posted picks.
Take care guys!