Basketball Champions League Predictions: Playoffs 2017-18

If the regular season serves as an indicator for what we will see in the playofss, we are certainly in for a treat! With the playoffs for the Basketball Champions League right around the corner, we make our predictions  – that will keep being updated as the playoffs progress. First we start with the final regular season ratings for each team:


These ratings are obtained through a regression model (a simplified version of it can be found here) and as we can see Monaco and Tenerife are the top-2 teams with Riesen Ludwigsburg following at the third place. Using these ratings we simulate the playoffs 10,000 times to make our predictions for the final ultimate winner. For the final 4 pairings, we draw them randomly in every simulation (since after all the same will happen when the 4 finalists are known!). Following are our initial projections:


It is not a suprise that Monaco and Tenerife are the favorites, while the cluster of Nymburk, Strasbourg, Neptunas and AEK that are matching up together at the top-16 and top-8 is the most balanced one in terms of probability of making it to the playoffs!

With the first leg of the top-16 round coming up following is the distribution of the expected point differential for each of these games:


Each colored area gives the win probability for the corresponding team (or else positive values for point differential correspond to home team win, while negative values correspond to visiting team win). As we see the two games that are expected to be the most balanced are PAOK-Pinar and Bayreuth-Basiktas.

With the first leg of the top-16 round over, following are the updates in our predictions. As you will see there are some pretty big swings in favor of Banvit, Nymburk and Riesen Ludwigsburg.


Taking the results of the top-16 leg 1 into account following are the projections for each of the upcoming rounds:


Tenerife is still at the top of the race, while Ludwigsburg has emerged as the second favorite, while Monaco’s poor outing (compared to the expectations) at leg 1 dropped their chances for the trophy to 10%.

Quarter finals

The first round of this year’s playoffs involved two major upsets (based on the results of the first leg and the team ratings). The first BCL champions, and the favorite for the back-to-back championship, Tenerife got disqualified after a sensetional performance by Murcia! Before leg 2, Murcia had a mere 1% chance of advancing! At the same time AEK with the (practically) buzzer beater from Punter covered in Nymburk the 10 point deficit from leg 1 in Athens and qualified in the top-8 after having just about 12% chance of doing so! Quarter finals are here and following are the point differential predictions for leg 1 and the updated probabilities for the rest of the tournament. AS Monaco is back at the top of its game and our ratings. However, don’t count out anyone just yet! An exciting round of quarter finals is ahead!



After the first leg AS Monaco remains the favorite for the title but there have been some favorites emerging for participating in the final four. After leg 1 of the quarter finals here are the updated odds.



Final 4

The final 4 is here and after the pairings’ draw here are the projections:

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AS Monaco is the big favorite but AEK – playing in front of its fans – has good chances to advance to the final and challenge the French team.

Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 12.31.41 PM


Our predictions for the semi-finals were correct and the final is going to be between AEK and AS Monaco. Monaco is the heavy favorite with a 74% win probability but never count out AEK in front of its fans (and I hope I am wrong — just to reveal my personal preferences if you have not figured them out yet :)).

Screen Shot 2018-05-05 at 12.28.00 PM.png


As you all might know by now AEK defied the odds and whon its 3rd European title. Closing out these predictions here is the in-game win-probability from the big final:

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 11.09.01 AM

Looking forward to a new season!

2 thoughts on “Basketball Champions League Predictions: Playoffs 2017-18

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