Using the playoff prediction model, we found scenarios that will help each team improve their odds in Round 29. The model is not 100% accurate and does have some holes, especially in relation to the 13-15 teams. However, as there are still thousands of scenarios, this gives the best estimate at what each team’s chances are looking like within a few percentage points. Using these estimates, Panathinaikos and Baskonia both seem to be very close to locking up a spot in the playoffs. Their odds of 96.2% and 82.8% are encouraging but a win in the Round 29 would definitely ease some nerves for their fans. A win for Panathinaikos guarantees a playoff appearance while a loss drops their odds to 91.1%. If Pitino’s team were to drop their Round 30 match against Buducnost as well, these odds would drop to 26.1% for a hypothetical 15-15 Pana squad. Baskonia wouldn’t have a playoff spot locked up with a win but a number of 95.2% would be better than the 61.7% chance with a loss.
Both of the teams that are currently 14-14 have chances to steal a spot from Panathinaikos or Baskonia. Despite Milano having a tiebreaker over Olympiacos due to 24 point and 9 point wins earlier in the season, Blatt’s squad are currently higher than Milano with a 58.7% chance to make the playoffs. This is partly due to their remaining schedule being much easier than Milano who has a 45.7% chance for playoffs. Olympiacos’ game against Zalgiris is the biggest game of the week as the only matchup of two teams’ who are uncertain about their qualification. If they lose either game their odds drop to 31.9%, while winning both would move their odds to 96.0%. Because of Milano’s tiebreaker over Olympiacos they are actually a third team that does control their own destiny, meaning they are 100% in if they win out. The only problem is that those games are against Fenerbahce and on the road against Anadolu Efes. There is hope that catching an injured Fener and an Efes team that knows they will be the 4th place team in the playoffs will allow them to beat both powerhouses. At 15-15, Olimpia Milano would have just a 46.6% chance to make the playoffs but that could be increased to 90.9% if Olympiacos also goes 15-15 because of the massive boost it would give their tiebreaker. Olympiacos going 16-14 would automatically disqualify a 15-15 Milano team from playoff contention.
The 13-15 teams have the most convoluted path the playoffs so their odds will be the least accurate. However as everything starts to clear up here’s what we can see each fan base should be cheering for during Thursday’s games:
Zalgiris and Maccabi Tel Aviv Supporters: Real Madrid, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Fenerbahce.
Although these numbers are likely both low, projections show these 3 results would increase Zalgiris’ odds from 4.4% to 6.8%. This is due to the advantage they would gain in 15-15 tiebreakers, as well as the increased odds of a 15-15 tiebreaker deciding playoff spots in the first place. A Maccabi loss drops their own chances to 0.0% so none of this matters for them if they can’t win. But assuming Tel Aviv stays alive the other two games help them similarly.
Bayern Supporters: Panathinaikos, Gran Canaria, Olimpia Milano
Although their chances remain slim no matter what, Maccabi and Olympiacos are the two teams that Bayern must avoid in a tiebreaker, and they probably need Milano to also finish 15-15 if they wants a shot.
It will no doubt be an exciting round, look for updates as the games play out and the picture gets clearer.
More details about the calculations are here
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