As with every sport, bookmakers can sometimes have different opinions on a team’s chances of succeeding. Not everything can be measured by stats and precedent, with subjective opinion coming into play more often than not.
That’s why it’s interesting to check the latest odds for the 2018 EuroLeague winner, especially when it comes to the odds for Fenerbahce. Some bookmakers, Unibet and 888sport for example, have placed the Turkish side as the co-favourites with CSKA Moscow, with odds of 6/4 to win the Championship Game. Others, like Sportingbet, have put them at odd of 11/4 to win their second successive Championship.
Trio of CSKA, Fenerbahce and Real Madrid all backed to succeed
That divergence in odds is quite considerable, certainly at this stage of the season when we are in the playoffs. The question, however, is which of the bookmakers are correct in their odds? Should Fenerbahce be closer to the 2016 champions, CSKA Moscow? Or should they be closer in the odds to Real Madrid, who currently come in at 4/1 with all major betting brands? It is difficult to say, although anyone betting should really check the latest enhanced odds from major bookmakers to see if they can get an even better price.
Getting through the Final Four and winning the Championship Game is tough however, with odds counting for very little on the court. There have been seven different winners in the last eight years, with only Olympiacos (2012, 2013) successfully defending their crown in the last dozen years. Compare that, say, to Fenerbahce’s dominance in the TBL in recent years, winning three of the last four championships.
Obradović feats of consistency should be applauded
Indeed, Željko Obradović deserves a huge amount credit for making Fenerbahce such an ultra-consistent side in EuroLeague. Reaching the Final Four can be difficult enough, making it three years in succession is quite the achievement for a team that was not one of the traditional powerhouses of European basketball.
There is, of course, still an outside chance of seeing some shocks occur in the playoffs and we could still see a different champion outside of CSKA, Fenerbahce or Madrid. One of either Olympiacos (11/1) and their playoff opponents Kaunas Zalgiris (20/1) are guaranteed a place in the Final Four in – could they go one step further?
Fenerbahce slightly easier route to the Championship Game
It is interesting to note in fact that Fenerbahce (if they overcome Saski Baskonia) will meet wither Olympiacos or Zalgiris in the Final Four, whereas CSKA will play Madrid (again, providing they make it). Does that suggest Fenerbahce should be favourites, as they have the slightly less daunting route to the Championship Game?
You could probably guess that Obradović will not be thinking too much about that now. He will do what he has done best in his five-year tenure at the Turkish champions – take it game by game and strive to get the most out of his talented side. We will soon find out if that is enough.