In round 1 of the 2019/20 season of Spanish Basketball League (ACB or Liga Endesa), two squads that made it to the playoffs last season but there both eliminated in the first round are clashing, when the eight last season Baxi Manresa, are hosting the fifth Baloncesto Malaga, more commonly referred as Unicaja.
Date/Time: 09-25-2019, 14:00 EDT
Spread: Manresa +5
Manresa finished last season with a 17-17 record and were tied with Tenerife in the 8th of the league. They had three consecutive losses and in their last game they lost at home against Real Madrid in Game 2 of the quarterfinals with a 73-88 score. They were led in scoring by Alex Renfoe with 14.1 ppg, who also added a team high 6.1 dimes per game.
Unicaja finished last season with a 21-13 record and were placed 5th in the league. They had back-to-back losses and in their last game they lost on the road against Valencia in Game 3 of the quarterfinals with a 79-76 score. They were led in scoring by Jamie Fernandez with 11.5 ppg and a team high 4.4 dimes per game.
Unicaja won both meetings against Manresa last season (at home by 2 points and on the road by 9). Manresa had a 9-8 home record, while Unicaja were 6-11 on the road. Unicaja had both a better offense with 83.6 ppg to Manresa’s 80.3 and a better defense, allowing 81.6 ppg to Manresa’s 82.2. They also had better percentages both in field goals (46.9% to 44.4%) and in 3-pointers (37.4% to 35.3%). Manresa on the other hand were better in boards grabbed (31.3 to 30.4), while Unicaja were better in dimes made (16.8 to 14.5) and both teams were almost equal in turnovers committed (12.5 to 12.8). Bookmakers give Unicaja a -5 spread and expect them to beat the odds for the road win against an inferior once again Manresa team.
Unicaja vs Manresa Prediction: Unicaja -3 (-110)
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