EuroLeague Primer: Round 2 - Thursday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 2 - Thursday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

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THE SLATE

Anadolu Efes Istanbul at AS Monaco

Status Check: Shane Larkin (EFS), Rodrigue Beaubois (EFS), Elie Okobo (ASM)

The Breakdown: Two games will tip at the same time to kick off Round 2, and we will start our analysis with this contest, as the over/under is roughly 10 points higher than the three games below and also a few points higher than any game on Friday's schedule. Efes will be down one of its top guards and possibly another, and the home team should be at full strength. The oddsmakers are expecting a close contest, as both teams are slight favorites on different websites.

Best Bets for Success: After putting up 38.75 points on DraftKings and 33.0 points in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge, Mike James now occupies the top spot on the board -- and with good reason -- on both websites. James put up 27 points, five rebounds and six assists over 29 minutes last time he faced Efes, and in what is expected to be a high-scoring affair he will have a chance to repeat that performance. Vasilije Micic was a bit quiet last week, but even then he recorded 28.0 points on DraftKings and finished 19th among all players in the Fantasy Challenge. It will be tough to go wrong with the reigning Final Four MVP as long as Larkin remains sidelined. Will Clyburn filled in for Larkin just fine in Round 1, and with him playing more minutes than all but two players league-wide, he did enough to occupy a spot here for Round 2.

Fantasy Factors: Monaco had trouble containing centers last season, and although their roster looks different, a lot of the same players up front remain. That could lead to a nice night for Ante Zizic, who is no longer the minimum price on DraftKings but is still reasonably priced at $7,900. Achille Polonara is listed as a forward but has center size, and he remains about as cheap as they come on DraftKings at $3,600. Beaubois delivered in Round 1, but his status for Thursday's game is uncertain, and if he sits out Elijah Bryant will be worth considering both on DraftKings and in the Fantasy Challenge. Jordan Loyd got lost in the shuffle a bit in Round 1, but don't forget about him on DraftKings, as it won't take much for him to bounce back and he could be more involved if Okobo is limited. Jaron Blossomgame did not stand out in the box score last week, but he did start and play 27 minutes, and at $4,500 he will not have to do a lot to return 3x value on DraftKings.

Panathinaikos Athens at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade

Status Check: Nate Wolters (PAO), Derrick Williams (PAO), Nemanja Nedovic (CZV), Ognjen Dobric (CZV), Stefan Markovic (CZV), Dalibor Ilic (CZV)

The Breakdown: The experts are expecting this contest to be the opposite of the previous one, as it is the only game that will be played over the next two days that features an over/under below 150 points. Red Star could remain thin in the backcourt, but the home team is still favored to win by about a handful of points.

Best Bets for Success: It was pretty easy identifying the top options in the game above, but it is no treat doing so in this contest given the list of injured players. We are going to bank on a bounceback from Georgios Papagiannis, who should not be faulted too much for a pedestrian game against Real Madrid's stout front line. Red Star contained Papagiannis in his lone appearance against them last season, but that came in a blowout, and don't forget the big man finished as the league leader in both rebounds and blocks per game during the 2021-22 campaign. We went with Jaylen Adams in this spot last week and he was held in check, so we are going to pivot to backcourt mate Nikola Ivanovic in Round 2. Ivanovic is hardly a slam dunk, but he does contribute in several categories and looks like the best option among the four Red Star guards who enter Round 2 without an injury designation.

Fantasy Factors: What Red Star lacks in certainty they do make up for in potential value, both on DraftKings and in the Fantasy Challenge. Ben Bentil led his team in DraftKings points in Round 1 and in scoring in Monday's domestic game, and he is not all that costly in contests on either website. Luka Mitrovic is a bit pricey on DraftKings but also just 7.6 credits in the Fantasy Challenge, Miroslav Raduljica is worth a look on DraftKings at just $3,100, and there is still reason to believe in Adams, who is plenty affordable in both contests. The top two producers for the Greek team in Round 1 were Williams and Paris Lee, and it may be best to avoid Williams with him less than 100 percent. However, only three players on the DraftKings slate are returning more average value than Williams is at his $7,200 price point. Lee will lead the charge again with Wolters still sidelined, and he led Panathinaikos in minutes in Round 1. Last but not least is Marius Grigonis, who had a rough debut with the Greens but did get up 14 shots. If he can but the ball in the basket a few more times, he could be a steal at just $6,500 on DraftKings and 9.0 credits in the Fantasy Challenge.

FC Bayern Munich at Virtus Segafredo Bologna

Status Check: Isaac Bonga (BAY), Tornike Shengelia (VIR), Milos Teodosic (VIR), Awudu Abass (VIR)

The Breakdown: Both these teams are playoff hopefuls, and both will be looking to avoid an 0-2 start to the season. The hosts will likely get a boost from Teodosic, and though he may not provide as much help as he will when he is at full speed, the oddsmakers are still expecting them to win by roughly five points.

Best Bets for Success: Most of Bayern's top players had a rough go of it in Round 1, so we are simply going to stick with Vladimir Lucic for another Round. Lucic put up just two points and three rebounds in the opener, but he did spend 29 minutes on the court, and after landing an All-EuroLeague spot each of the last two seasons it's going to take more than one slow showing to drop him too far. Teodosic will contend for a spot here when it's evident he is back at 100 percent, but he has not proven that yet, so we are going to again go with Jordan Mickey and Semi Ojeleye for the Italian team. Neither stood out in the opener, but they also finished first and second on their side in minutes played and reached double digits in the scoring column.

Fantasy Factors: Even with his price jumping to $8,500 on DraftKings, no player is returning more average value on that website than Othello Hunter. It's a stretch to expect the 36-year-old to contribute every time out, but he is at least worthy of consideration, and his price is a bit more reasonable in the Fantasy Challenge at an even 9.0 credits. Andreas Obst is a player to look at in both contests, as he remains underpriced and got up 10 shots in Round 1. It's worth waiting on Teodosic in the Fantasy Challenge given his lofty price, but he is worth a gamble on DraftKings at just $5,600. Teodosic's presence dings Iffe Lundberg a bit, and his $1,100 price jump on DraftKings is not ideal. However, he's still in the mix after putting up 27.0 points on that website in Round 1. Some people may be overlooking Mam Jaiteh this week, but we won't be -- at least on DraftKings. Jaiteh's price slipped as much as Lundberg's increased, and he was Virtus Bologna's top producer last season.

Real Madrid at FC Barcelona

Status Check: Rudy Fernandez (RMB), Nigel Williams-Goss (RMB), Alberto Abalde (RMB), Adam Hanga (RMB), Anthony Randolph (RMB), Carlos Alocen (RMB), Nikola Mirotic (BAR), Kyle Kuric (BAR), Sergi Martinez (BAR)

The Breakdown: The schedule makers did not wait long to pit the two Spanish powerhouses against each other, and the latest edition of El Clasico will take place at the Palau in Round 2. The home team is favored despite its season-opening loss in the same gym, but records and spreads can essentially be thrown out whenever these teams meet. These teams went to overtime in the Super Cup Final in late September, and Real Madrid wound up winning by six points.

Best Bets for Success: As mentioned last week Real Madrid will almost always have a few players to consider in this section, but Walter Tavares will get the space to himself at least for one Round. Tavares put up 14 points, six rebounds and four blocks in Round 1, surpassed all those numbers in the Super Cup Final and averaged just shy of 27.0 DraftKings points in three EuroLeague games against Barcelona last season. Mirotic remains sidelined and Real Madrid makes life tough for forwards and centers, so we are going to look to Barcelona's backcourt in Round 2. Tomas Satoransky may not yet be 100 percent, but he led his team in fantasy points in the opener and should show up for a rivalry game. Nicolas Laprovittola looks like an even better option, though, as he finished just behind Satoransky in Round 1, averaged 26.7 DraftKings points in this matchup last season and recorded a double-double against Real Madrid back in September. That's a lot to like for a player listed at just $7,500 on DraftKings and 9.7 credits in the Fantasy Challenge.

Fantasy Factors: Real Madrid's depth is being stressed by its lengthy list of injured players, but that makes things a bit easier to peg for fantasy purposes. Gabriel Deck -- fairly quietly -- led his team in minutes and just missed a double-double in Round 1, and his circumstances will remain similar Thursday. His price actually declined slightly on DraftKings, and he's not too expensive in the Fantasy Challenge at 10.3 credits. Dzanan Musa is now too pricey to be considered a bargain on DraftKings, but he remains below 10.0 credits in the Fantasy Challenge, and he dropped 19 points on Barcelona in the Super Cup. Sergio Llull is also a tad expensive on DraftKings, but he figures to show up for this one and could provide a nice return on investment in the Fantasy Challenge. There is not a lot of value to target on the Barcelona side, but Alex Abrines checks in at a reasonable price on both websites. Rokas Jokubaitis remains in the mix on DraftKings at just $5,300.

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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