EuroLeague Primer: Round 25 - Thursday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 25 - Thursday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

PREGAME UPDATES

THE SLATE

TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz at Khimki Moscow Region

Status Check: Devin Booker (KHI), Evgeny Valiev (KHI)

Best Bets for Success: The first EuroLeague game in nearly two weeks figures to be a high-scoring affair, as the over/under for this game is 14 points more than the next-highest total. That's generally the case when Khimki plays, as they haven't offered much resistance on the offensive ends. They have really struggled against players at each position, so just about every Baskonia player will have a plus matchup Thursday. Their most productive players have been Pierria Henry and Achille Polonara, and they'll both have plenty appeal on DraftKings, as neither is particularly pricy. Alexey Shved is averaging an even 9.0 more DraftKings points than anyone else on the slate, so of course he's going to land here for Khimki. He might not get up as many shots as he did over the past two Rounds with a couple key teammates back in action, but he's still averaging 23.8 ppg since the calendar flipped to 2021, and his $12,000 price tag on DraftKings isn't outrageous. 

DFS Darlings: Luca Vildoza and Alec Peters have been just about as productive as Henry and Polonara of late, and they'll both have plenty of appeal on DraftKings at their reasonable prices. Rokas Giedraitis has plenty of upside at his price, as will anyone who starts for Baskonia on Thursday, so fantasy lineups will want to monitor the starting lineups leading up to tip-off. Anyone on DraftKings – all the way down to Ilimane Diop at $3,300 – would be in the play in that scenario. Khimki's players won't have the enticing matchup their counterparts have, so their value options are more limited. Both Janis Timma and Stefan Jovic will be worthy of consideration, but it's also best to make sure they are starting if you go with them.

Olympiacos Piraeus at Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Status Check: Aaron Harrison (OLY), Kostas Papanikolaou (OLY), Tibor Pleiss (IST)

Best Bets for Success: Efes was getting a lot from its backcourt duo of Shane Larkin and Vasilije Micic before the break, and after getting some time to recharge both should be ready to pick up where they left off. The duo combined for 35 points last time these teams met, and Larkin was not even at full speed yet. Fantasy players that elect to use only one of those two players will have to flip a coin, but should note that Olympiacos is giving up plenty of steals and threes to opposing guards, which bodes well for Larkin. Kostas Sloukas slowed a bit the last couple Rounds, but he still averaged 16.4 points and 6.7 assists over his last nine games, making him the clear top option for the Greek team. Efes has done a pretty good job against opposing guards, but they're giving up some of the most assists to players at those two spots, and Sloukas is now back below five figures on DraftKings for the first time since mid-December.

DFS Darlings: With Efes' top two guards soaking up the stats and their frontcourt sharing the load and possibly getting Pleiss back, there won't be much for value on their squad. However, Bryant Dunston is far better than his $6,900 price on DraftKings suggests. Although he did not play much in the couple games before the break, he did play 30 minutes in Efes' last domestic game, and he could return 4-5x value if he gets another full workload. Sasha Vezenkov could argue for a spot in the top section, but with him at a cheap enough price to land in this section and coming off consecutive absences, we will place him here. Vezenkov did appear to be at full speed in Olympiacos' friendly match played earlier this week, and head coach Georgios Bartzokas indicated Vezenkov could see some time at the small forward spot. 

Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv at AX Armani Exchange Milan

Status Check: Omri Casspi (TEL), Zach LeDay (MIL), Jeff Brooks (MIL)

Best Bets for Success: Scottie Wilbekin's point totals were all over the board leading up to the break, but he has still averaged 15.1 ppg since the start of December and recorded his first EuroLeague double-double his last time out. He's returning some of the most average value on the board at his current price on DraftKings, but he will be going up against a Milan team that has contained opposing guards pretty well of late. Maccabi is limiting opposing guards to some of the smallest numbers in nearly every category, so it will be tough for Milan's guards to repeat the quality performances they had last time these teams met. Shavon Shields led his team in fantasy points in Round 24, and he's a good bet to do the same Thursday, especially when you consider he put up a double-double when these team faced off in November.

DFS Darlings: LeDay may have been Milan's top option if he was healthy, as Maccabi has had issues with players listed at the center position. Those two items do make Kyle Hines and Kaleb Tarczewski appealing options in Thursday's contests, though. Milan is giving up the most rebounds to opposing centers, which is good news for Othello Hunter, who is beneath the $8,000-mark on DraftKings. Elijah Bryant also finds himself in that range, which is a good bargain for a player who has put up at least 30 points on that website on five separate occasions, including his last time out.

Zalgiris Kaunas at FC Barcelona

Status Check: Lukas Lekavicius (ZAL), Patricio Garino (ZAL), Victor Claver (BAR), Leo Westermann (BAR)

Best Bets for Success: There's no doubt Nikola Mirotic is back at full speed these days, and he's generally one of the safest options on the board when he's 100 percent. He's got a couple things working against him Thursday, though, as he put up his fewest DraftKings points of the season last time these teams met and Zalgiris is allowing the fewest rebounds to players at the forward spots. Despite all that, he's the cheapest he's been all season on DraftKings, and he clearly has the potential to put up the most points on the slate. Cory Higgins scored in double figures for the 12th Round in a row his last time out, and he will keep landing here as long as that continues. Marius Grigonis is leading Zalgiris in fantasy points per game, so it seems unlikely Barcelona will limit him to five points like they did last time these teams met. Barcelona hasn't been too tough on opposing guards, and Grigonis won't run you more than $9,000. With averages of 15.1 points and 7.3 rebounds over his last seven appearances, Joffrey Lauvergne lands a spot here as well. He will have his work cut out for him, though, as Barcelona is allowing the third-fewest points and rebounds to opposing centers.

DFS Darlings: Lekavicius will be unavailable for the visitors, but Steve Vasturia will return, so Zalgiris' rotation should not change much. Nigel Hayes is returning some of the most value on the board, and he's worth considering on DraftKings at just $7,300. Brandon Davies, who averaged 14.0 points and 4.0 rebounds over the last three Rounds, is also pretty reasonably priced at $7,700. Last but not least, if Westermann sits, a $3,200 Leandro Bolmaro at least possesses enough intrigue to throw a dart at if you're looking for someone in that range.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Kevin O'Brien plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: kevob100, DraftKings: kevob100.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin O'Brien
Kevin mans the Packers and Brewers beats and moonlights as RotoWire's Director of Operations.
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