This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
- Monaco's Jordan Loyd will suit up Friday.
- Milan's Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will be in uniform for Round 15.
- Barcelona's Cory Higgins and Alex Abrines will be available for Round 15.
- Bayern's Augustine Rubit will play Friday, but Nick Weiler-Babb and Ognjen Jaramaz will not.
- Shane Larkin will sit out Friday for Efes, but Achille Polonara will be in uniform.
- Marius Grigonis will suit up Friday for Panathinaikos.
- Tyler Cavanaugh, Mantas Kalnietis and Liutauras Lelevicius will be unavailable Friday for Zalgiris.
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Panathinaikos Athens at Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Status Check: Marius Grigonis (PAO), Arturas Gudaitis (PAO), Panagiotis Kalaitzakis (PAO), Lefteris Bochoridis (PAO), Shane Larkin (EFS), Achille Polonara (EFS), Dogus Balbay (EFS)
The Breakdown: It was a rough double-game week for these clubs, as despite entering on extended winning streaks they both went 0-2. The experts expect Efes to get back on track, and to do so comfortably, as they are the biggest favorite on the board at 8.5 points. The Turkish team is the clear advantage in offensive rating, and they could be even more potent if Larkin takes the court as expected. Panathinaikos has the potential to keep it closer than expected, particularly if the get a big night out of the league's leading scorer, Dwayne Bacon. The over/under on this game is also the biggest on the board at 162.5 points. Given the number of potent scorers in this contest and the fact Panathinaikos ranks second among all teams in pace, don't be surprised if the over hits.
Best Bets for Success: Bacon is averaging nearly two more attempts from the field than any other player in the league, and he figures to get up plenty of shots Friday, as no team is allowing forwards to shoot the ball more often than Efes. Bacon has put up at least 26.8 DraftKings points in five straight appearances and only five players are returning more average value on that website. Derrick Williams had his least productive game of the season his last time out, but he also put up at least 39.3 DraftKings points in three of five appearances prior to that, and he has a prime opportunity to bounce back. Vasilije Micic and Will Clyburn don't trail Bacon by much in the scoring race, as they check in fourth and third, respectively. Micic has put up more DraftKings points than his teammates in four straight Rounds, but the stats say that could go the other way Friday. No team allows guards to make a higher percentage of their shots than Panathinaikos, but they also allow the second fewest attempts. Meanwhile, they are allowing forwards to grab more rebounds than any other club, and Clyburn's best fantasy nights have come when he is active on the glass. Rodrigue Beaubois has to earn a mention here, as perhaps no player has been hotter over the past month. However, if Larkin takes the court it will be tough for him to match the numbers he has put up of late.
Fantasy Factors: It's probably best to avoid the Panathinaikos backcourt with Grigonis expected back and Efes ranking top-5 against guards in points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentage, but they do have two appealing value plays in the frontcourt. The first is Georgios Papagiannis, who figures to see a boost in playing time with Gudaitis unavailable and averages 21.7 DraftKings points when receiving more than 25 minutes. The second is Mateusz Ponitka, who has not garnered as much fanfare as his fellow forwards but is returning some of the most value on the board and faces a team that allows forwards to rack up more assists than any other team. The rest of the players on the Turkish team have not been doing much with their top three producers stuffing the stat sheet, but Ante Zizic and Amath M'Baye have made some noise in recent Rounds and could again Friday. Panathinaikos is ceding the most points and blocks to opposing centers and also the second most field goal attempts. M'Baye could get more minutes if Polonara sits out, and he should grab a fair share of rebounds as well.
FC Bayern Munich at Zalgiris Kaunas
Status Check: Vladimir Lucic (BAY), Augustine Rubit (BAY), Nick Weiler-Babb (BAY), Andreas Obst (BAY), Ognjen Jaramaz (BAY), Zan Mark Sisko (BAY), Tyler Cavanaugh (ZAL), Lukas Lekavicius (ZAL), Liutauras Lelevicius (ZAL)
The Breakdown: The next game on the docket will be a big one for both clubs, as a victory for Zalgiris would tie them for the seventh best record in the league and a win for Bayern would leave them just two games out of a playoff spot. Bayern will face a tough test against a team that is 5-2 at home, and Zalgiris is favored by as many as 5.5 points in its own gym. The secondary stats are pretty even, but Bayern will hardly be at full strength, and their task will grow more difficult if even one of the players above who has not already been ruled out is unable to go. Both teams rank in the bottom half when it comes to pace, and fewer points are expected in this contest than any of the other three that will be played Friday.
Best Bets for Success: Keenan Evans led his team in DraftKings points in each of the last two Rounds and is averaging 7.5 more points on that website than anyone else on his team, so he remains the clear frontrunner for Zalgiris. Bayern is limiting guards to the second lowest FG% league-wide, but Evans is generally efficient when he puts the ball in the air. With a number of Bayern players already ruled out and several others uncertain, it's anyone's guess who will be their most productive player Friday. We are going to stick with Isaac Bonga, who delivered in this spot last week and figures to be busy again. He will not have to do a lot to return 3x value on DraftKings at just $7,200, and he put up at least 20.0 points on that website three times over the last four Rounds.
Fantasy Factors: There are bound to be some values on the Bayern side Friday, as only one player who avoided the 'Status Check' section checks in above $7,500 on DraftKings. Zalgiris has been tough on centers, so we are going to focus on the backcourt, where you will find Cassius Winston and Corey Walden. The former has slowed a bit but is still leading his team in DraftKings points, and the latter has been plenty involved of late. Both should be active as the only two guards on the roster at 100 percent. The German club ranks bottom-4 against centers in points, FG% and FGA, and Kevarrius Hayes averages 24.9 DraftKings points when he reaches double digits in the points column. Edgaras Ulanovas has topped the 20-point mark on DraftKings in three straight Rounds and could be even more involved Friday if Cavanaugh sits out. A Cavanaugh absence would also afford Rolands Smits a chance to get back on track, and he is worth considering with his DraftKings price dropping below $8,000 for the first time in over a month.
AS Monaco at EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
Status Check: Jordan Loyd (ASM), Shavon Shields (EA7), Kevin Pangos (EA7), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (EA7), Luigi Datome (EA7)
The Breakdown: The Italian team has been without three key pieces for a few weeks, and they could be down another Friday with Luwawu-Cabarrot under the weather. Despite that -- and the fact they trail their opponent by 15 spots in the standings -- they are only 1.5-point underdogs on at least one website. While the spread and the over/under suggest the oddsmakers have faith in a Milan squad that leads the league in defensive rating, they will have to find some answers on the offensive end to keep pace with a Monaco team that could get back its second best scorer in Loyd and scored at least 92 points three times over the last six Rounds.
Best Bets for Success: We have to start with Mike James, who has still yet to record fewer than 25.0 DraftKings points in a game this season. He will face a tough test Friday against a team ceding fewer points and FGA to opposing guards than any other club, but no player on the DraftKings slate is returning more average value, and James averaged an even 40.0 DraftKings points over his last two trips to Mediolanum Forum -- the arena he used to play his home games in. We are also going to list Alpha Diallo, as he put up at least 23.5 DraftKings points in six of the last eight Rounds and faces a team that ranks bottom-3 against forwards in both points and rebounds. You could go with several players here for the Italian team, but Billy Baron and Nicolo Melli look like the safest options. Baron averaged 18.5 points over the last two Rounds and will face a Monaco team that allows the most three-pointers to opposing guards and is also bottom-3 in assists. Melli has put up more than 20.0 points on DraftKings just four times this season, but he has also finished with fewer than 15.8 points on that website only twice and faces a team that ranks bottom-4 against forwards in points, rebounds and triples.
Fantasy Factors: Monaco has not been as tough on centers as it was earlier in the season, so this could be another spot to deploy Brandon Davies, who has had a couple big nights this month. Devon Hall will also be in the mix, and you could throw a dart at Johannes Voigtmann if Luwawu-Cabarrot is unable to go. Things will be thrown off a bit on the Monaco side if Loyd returns, and the matchups don't favor their guards and centers to begin with. John Brown and Jaron Blossomgame can be considered, though, as neither checks in above $6,400 on DraftKings.
FC Barcelona at Valencia Basket
Status Check: Cory Higgins (BAR), Sertac Sanli (BAR), Alex Abrines (BAR), Sergi Martinez (BAR), Sam Van Rossom (VBC), Martin Hermannsson (VBC), Millan Jimenez (VBC)
The Breakdown: These two Spanish squads will square off both at La Fonteta for the second time this season and in a EuroLeague game for the first time since January of 2021. Barcelona won handily when these teams met in an ACB contest back in October -- and that was without their best player, Nikola Mirotic. The visitors are favored by no more than 5.5 points Friday, but Valencia will need to be at its best to knock off a team that enters on a 5-1 run and now finds itself in first place. The home team plays at a far quicker pace than their counterparts, and the implied scores suggest both teams could get up-and-down a bit. However, that may not necessarily be a good thing for a Valencia team that finds itself third to last in defensive rating league-wide.
Best Bets for Success: Mirotic failed to lead his team in DraftKings points in Round 14 for the first time since returning to action, but he will be in prime position to do so Friday, as Valencia is allowing forwards to score more points and get up more shots than any other team and also ranks bottom-4 against players at those positions in rebounds, assists, steals and threes. The deck is stacked against Chris Jones a bit Friday, as he is playing through a sore knee and faces a team ceding the fewest rebounds, assists and triples to opposing guards while also allowing players at those positions to shoot a lower percentage from the field than any other club. However, Jones has been Valencia's top producer all season, is returning more than 3x value on DraftKings and put 19 points on the board last time these teams met. If you pass on Jones, Bojan Dubljevic looks like the next man up averaging 38.0 DraftKings points in the two EuroLeague games Valencia played last week.
Fantasy Factors: Jan Vesely had his best game of the season with Sanli sitting out in Round 14, and he will be in position to deliver again, as Valencia is allowing centers to make more than two-thirds of their attempts from the field. Nikola Kalinic will get the same matchup as Mirotic, and he could be a bargain on DraftKings at just $6,800. We will also include Tomas Satoransky, who checks in at an affordable $8,600. It's tough to find much for value on the Valencia side, but if their backcourt is contained they will need someone in the frontcourt to step up, and Jasiel Rivero is capable of doing so.