Panathinaikos vs Olympiacos
Panathinaikos has been far from impressive in Euroleague so far despite their 3-2 record. The struggled in their win against Maccabi at home, they were poor in their losses to Zalgiris (home) and Bayern (away) and their display was bad in their last E.L. game against the worst team of the league Buducnost. The only exception was the match against Gran Canaria, a team that had far less experience and seemed to have threw in the towel early as they had a tough schedule back then.
So, realistically speaking they took the bare minimum, without being convincing, in that easy schedule they had in E.L. so far.
Olympiacos (3-2) on the other side had a much tougher schedule as they faced some of the very best and experienced teams of the league so far and they were very convincing and satisfying on the road with wins over Baskonia-Khimki and a narrow loss to CSKA in a match that they had a terrible third quarter, found themselves trailing by 8 entering the fourth but tied the match late and could have won. Their other loss came at home against Milano (75-99) in a match that Milano was shooting light out while Olympiacos struggled big-time and as a result, Milano made 10 3P more than Olympiacos and that's 30 points!
Breaking those teams down: Panathinaikos went through changes and lost some leading players like PF Singleton, SF K.C Rivers, and CG M.James who relished big-games against Olympiacos and were the difference makers in Greek derbies over the past few seasons. Olympiacos on the other side kept its main core with Milutinov, Printezis and captain Spanoulis while judging from the results, they did a better job than Panathinaikos recruiting/ signing players this summer.
Coaching: Pasqual is a mastermind in THEORY but Blatt is the mastermind in PRACTICE that's the only accurate way I can put it. Pasqual got away with it for a very long time, having individuals who single-handedly- in unorthodox ways- carried Panathinaikos, but in his third season, Panathinaikos is still a very random team with no specific style of play to be known for, or maybe they are famous for their Plan-B which is 'take and pray' means that when your opponent has read you like an open book and you can't do anything to change the flow of the game, just take the worst possible shots (3P mainly) so that you avoid 24'' violation and pray that you make them.
Seriously now: Panathinaikos has issues in defense and especially inside the paint and in the low post, where Olympiacos thrives in pick-and-rolls with Milutinov and low post moves with Printezis. They also have struggled to do damage on fast breaks and the reason behind that is their struggle in defensive rebounds (21 per game, among the worst 5 teams in the league). On the other side, Olympiacos is doing a great job protecting their rim but their main issue has been defending the guard positions and long-range shots which have troubled them a lot but Panathinaikos is the third worst team in 3P (31.68%).
O.A.K.A is (allegedly) the loudest, hottest and most hostile arena in E.L. and you bet they will make some noise against their fierce rivals today, which is pretty much the only thing that gives an advantage to my team (BUT let's not forget that Olympiacos won in their last two visits) but apart from that I don't believe that Olympiacos are the big underdogs here, not even close! Blatt is the real deal compared to Pasqual and Olympiacos is a much better-orchestrated team which unfortunately seems ready to take over the reins in Greece and in terms of betting, taking a slightly higher line at 6p seems very safe.
Panathinaikos vs Olympiacos prediction
|Olympiacos AH (+6.0)||Pinnacle||1.74||8||93-80 LOST (-8 units)|