The defending champions of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball Fenerbahce are visiting the Eurocup champions of Unicaja Malaga in the first week of action in the league, with both teams looking to start the season on the right foot.
Date/Time: 10-12-2017, 15:00 EDT
Spread: Unicaja +3.5
Unicaja in Eurocup last year had a 4-4 record in the group phase with and were placed 4th in Group C. In the top 16 phase they had a 3-3 record and were placed 2nd in Group H. In the playoffs they eliminated Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals 2-1, Lokomotiv Kuban in the semifinals 2-0 and Valencia in the final with 2-1 wins. In their latest matchup they lost against Fuenlabrada on the road with a 77-69 score. Kyle Fogg led the team in scoring with 11.9 ppg, while Dejan Musli added 11.7 ppg and 3.7 boards. Nemanja Nedovic added 9.3 ppg and a team-best 3.5 dimes per game.
Fenerbahce had an 18-12 record last season and they were placed 5th in the league table. In the playoffs they eliminated Panathinaikos in the quarterfinals 3-0, Real Madrid in the semifinals with an 84-75 score and Olympiacos in the final with an 80-64 score, winning the championship. In their latest matchup they won against Banvit at home with an 80-63 score. Bogdan Bogdanovic led the team in scoring with 14.6 ppg, adding 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 dimes per game. Ekpe Udoh followed with 12.1 ppg and team-bests both in boards, with 7.8 per game and in blocks with 2.2 per game. Both players have left for the NBA.
This will be the 11th time those two teams meet in the history of the competition with each squad having won 5 times in the past. In their previous matchups back in the 2015/16 season, each team managed a home victory. Fenerbahce scored 76.6 ppg last season in Euroleague, while shooting with 47.2% from the field and with 40% from behind the arc. Unicaja were the third-worse offensive team in Eurocup last season with 75.6 ppg, while shooting with 45.4% from the field and with 37.1% from behind the arc. The defending champions want to follow a succesfull campaign by setting the tone with a convincing win, so pick Fenerbahce in this one.
Fenerbahce at Unicaja Prediction: Fenerbahce -3.5 (-111)