Defending champions CSKA Moscow will travel to the Yubileyny Sports Palace to face Zenit in the EuroLeague on Friday.
Favorites to retain their crown, CSKA have started the season well. They have lost just one of the five games in the EuroLeague so far. Until last week, they had a perfect record. In the first four games, CSKA recorded wins by more than 10 points in each one. They scored more than 90 points in two of those games, and their defense was impressive as well. Olympiacos was the side which brought an end to CSKA’s winning streak.
The Greek side claimed an 84-79 victory on Tuesday to stop CSKA in their tracks. Moscow managed just 15 points in the second quarter, and that proved to be their downfall. Mike James played well, and he had 22 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. James has averaged 19.8 points per game in the EuroLeague, which is the highest for CSKA. Only Alexey Shved and Nando de Colo have averaged more in the league. Darrun Hilliard and Will Clyburn have helped James carry the offensive burden.
CSKA are second in the EuroLeague behind Barcelona, who have won all their games. In the domestic league, CSKA are third. They have lost twice already, but both the losses came in the early weeks of the season. CSKA have won the last two league games by an average margin of 36.5 points. Coach Dimitrios Itoudis will want his side to bounce back in the EuroLeague as soon as possible.
Zenit were on a three-game losing streak when they faced Zalgiris on Tuesday in the EuroLeague. The game went to overtime, and Zenit claimed an 82-70 victory. It was an impressive win from their perspective to end the losing run. Mateusz Ponitka top-scored for Zenit in the game with 19 points. Three other players were in double figures for Zenit. They shot 46.6% from the field, and Zalgiris shot just 39.6% which proved to be the difference.
The win over Zalgiris was their second EuroLeague win of the season. The first one also came in overtime. Zenit faced Olympiacos and beat them 77-68. Ponitka was the main man for Zenit in that game as well. The Pole has averaged 12.4 points per game, which is the highest for his team. Will Thomas is the only other player in double figures for Zenit.
Zenit’s record at home has been poor this season. They have not won any of the three home games so far this season. Those games were not close as well, and two of those losses were by more than 10 points.
Zenit vs CSKA Moscow Betting Tips
CSKA will be favorites to bounce back and beat Zenit in the EuroLeague. They were in great form before the Olympiacos defeat, and it should continue. Both sides will score more than 70 points, as the offensive talent is there on each roster. But CSKA are defending champions for a reason, and they will get the two points.