Handicap +7.5 : -7.5
Olympiada hosts 3rd last season (and Euroleague contender) Aris with significant changes occurring in both teams during summer transfers. Olympiada i think that may be one of the good surprises this year in the league. They kept the same coach (Christopoulos) who apart from being a serious coach, has an adequate knowledge of the American market. Came as no surprise that during summer he used this knowledge to build up a team mostly based on US players like Kelvin Gibbs, Dewayne Jefferson and Maurice Whitfield. I can't say that i have deep info for these players however i have a little faith in Christopoulos choices and i believe that most of them will turn out to be useful additions. Olympiada added some initially talented Greek players like Pettas, Dorkofikis and Petropoulos to a seemingly US base and recently agreed terms with the Lithuanian power forward / center Tautvydas Lydeka (played in Netherlands, so i guess he is a role player). I guess Olympiada has formed a strong peripheral game - that's the style Christopoulos likes to play either way - but i cannot see a reliable center there.
Aris on the other hand, made less but crucial changes in his effort to be established as the 3rd Greek team that will participate in the Euroleague. Biggest of all changes, coach Herbert replaced Matzon and i think this is the biggest blow for this team since Aris has fully adopted the style of the Italian coach, most of their success was based on the defensive minded tactic of Matzon which was transfered almost completely to every inch of the team. What Herbert will bring to this team is still unclear, relative information report about a strong, discipline coach, American school basketball but still is very early to tell if he will adopt to the mentality and existing roster of Aris. Moving on to the roster, Aris lost some crucial stuff there as well, principally very valuable Wilkinson, Scales (with his ups and downs), Fletcher (never really offered to the team), Giannoulis (low season) and Sigalas (who might seem like a decent move but i think that it will cost on mentality, psychological and defensive factor). Replacements like Finnish Mottola and Agadakos (ex Olympiacos and PAOK) seem adequate along with the existence of (surprisingly good last year) Massey , but still i think absence of Wilkinson will show at least in the first games. After all, everybody now knows about Massey (unknown factor last season), they will have a strategy to deal with him and Mottola is not the player to win games as Wilkinson did. Guard position was supplemented with the addition of US players Wright and Terry, i suppose they will need some time to adjust.
All in all i cannot see Aris repeating his great last season, i see absences of Matzon and Wilkinson as a big blow for the team and I'm not at all convinced that additions are equally as good to the ones who left. It might be very early but i rate Aris a little worse than last year and at the same time Olympiada owing greater potential. Apart from that the hosts delivered some good basketball during Greek Cup games, they showed some defensive skill and mature 5-to-5 play, it seems like Christopoulos have made decent choices for his team and i firmly believe we will see a fight on Sunday. Even if Aris takes the lead, i don't think they are still ready to thrash the hosts thus this handicap at 7,5 for Olympiada seems quite high and is mostly based on last year's position of the teams than on current circumstances. ML @ 3,7 provided by pinnacle might also do it for the riskier punters. Small stakes thought due to first round factor
AEP Olympias adams vs Aris betting tips summary
Pick Olympias +7.5
Stake 6 / 10
Bookmaker Pinnacle Sports