This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
- Fenerbahce's Tonye Jekiri and Tarik Biberovic will be in uniform for Round 25, but Kostas Antetokounmpo will not be.
- Real Madrid's Dzanan Musa and Alberto Abalde are active Thursday, but Adam Hanga is not.
- Matt Thomas and Alexandros Samontourov will suit up Thursday for Panathinaikos.
- Bayern's Vladimir Lucic and Ognjen Jaramaz will not play Thursday.
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FC Bayern Munich at Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
Status Check: Augustine Rubit (BAY), Elias Harris (BAY), Zan Mark Sisko (BAY), Alex Poythress (MTA), Austin Hollins (MTA)
The Breakdown: EuroLeague play resumes Thursday, and the first game on the docket will feature two teams in big need of a win. On the heels of three straight losses the German club finds itself four games out of a playoff spot with 10 to play, and Maccabi has slipped outside of the top eight thanks to a 1-3 run. Both teams will look markedly different than they did over the past few Rounds, as Lorenzo Brown and Vladimir Lucic have returned but Rubit has been sidelined. The experts have given the hosts a 7.5-point edge, which is not surprising given their 9-2 record on their home court. Maccabi, however, ranks 17th in the league in defensive rating, and Bayern has proven it can take advantage, putting a season-high 98 points on the board when the clubs met in their arena in Round 11.
Best Bets for Success: Wade Baldwin IV and Bonzie Colson have to land here given the numbers they put up prior to the break, but Brown's presence will naturally limit their upside. While Brown has not appeared in a EuroLeague game in a while, he made a couple Israel State Cup appearances and was not limited, and he will be tough to ignore on DraftKings at just $9,600. Cassius Winston looks like the top option on the Bayern side, as his back issue is no longer a concern and he put up at least 24.0 DraftKings points four times in January. Plus, no team has allowed guards to score more points this season than Maccabi.
Fantasy Factors: It's tough to recommend anyone else on the Maccabi side with their top three players available, but you could consider Josh Nebo, as Bayern ranks bottom-5 against centers in points, rebounds, blocks and field goal attempts. For the German team, Lucic is certainly worth considering on DraftKings at an even $6,000, and we will also toss out Nick Weiler-Babb, who could be asked to do more on the offensive end with Rubit sidelined.
Panathinaikos Athens at EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
Status Check: Arturas Gudaitis (PAO), Matt Thomas (PAO), Georgios Kalaitzakis (PAO), Panagiotis Kalaitzakis (PAO), Dimitris Agravanis (PAO), Lefteris Bochoridis (PAO), Alexandros Samontourov (PAO), Shavon Shields (EA7), Kevin Pangos (EA7), Devon Hall (EA7), Giampaolo Ricci (EA7), Tommaso Baldasso (EA7), Paul Biligha (EA7)
The Breakdown: Milan has not played a EuroLeague game since Feb. 2, but they remain down a couple All-EuroLeague players -- and in fact will be thinner than they were that day. The visitors will be down a number of players as well, but their absences are not as pronounced as their opponent. Despite that, the Italian team is favored by 7.5 points against a Panathinaikos squad that has won just twice away from home all season. Both these clubs need a win more than the two in the first game, and the Greek club could have a little extra pep in its step, as it will play its first game under new head coach Christos Serelis. With rosters limited and both these clubs well below average in the offensive rating department, it should come as so surprise that the over/under on this game is easily the lowest on the board. However, these clubs did combine for 167 points in the Greek team's win back in Round 12.
Best Bets for Success: With a new coach on board, it's unclear exactly how things will shake out for Panathinaikos on Thursday. However, there is reason to have confidence in both Dwayne Bacon and Paris Lee. Bacon should be itching to get back on track after a bit of a slow stretch, and Lee averaged a whopping 30.7 DraftKings points over his last six EuroLeague appearances. It's no easy task identifying the top options on the Milan side, as five different players led them in DraftKings points over their last five games. We are going to play a bit of a hunch and go with Shabazz Napier, who should now be fully integrated into the team. Napier should get a full workload Thursday with Milan light in the backcourt, and only one team is ceding more assists to opposing guards than Panathinaikos. Napier will run you just $5,300 on DraftKings so even if he does not lead his team in fantasy points he figures to return useful value.
Fantasy Factors: While the over/under is a bit concerning, the lengthy list of absences will allow for plenty of value plays. The absence of Gudaitis makes Georgios Papagiannis a player to go after, and with a number of guards unavailable, Thomas will also be a top target. Despite putting up 24.0 DraftKings points in his Round 24 debut, he remains just $4,700 on that website. Nate Wolters and Mateusz Ponitka are also worth considering, with both falling below the $8,000 mark. Billy Baron looks like the best mid-tier option on the Milan side, and we also like Johannes Voigtmann, who has found his footing and is an affordable $5,800 on DraftKings. Brandon Davies should also get a mention, as the Greek club ranks bottom-3 against centers in points, rebounds and FGA.
Zalgiris Kaunas at Real Madrid
Status Check: Keenan Evans (ZAL), Tyler Cavanaugh (ZAL), Dzanan Musa (RMB), Sergio Llull (RMB), Adam Hanga (RMB), Alberto Abalde (RMB), Anthony Randolph (RMB), Carlos Alocen (RMB)
The Breakdown: After snapping a three-game losing streak in Round 24, Zalgiris will head to Spain to take on a Real Madrid that can pull into a tie for first place and whose only loss in 2023 came against the team above them -- Olympiacos. Zalgiris won by nine points when these teams met in Round 14, but the oddsmakers are expecting an easy win for Real Madrid this time around, as the Spanish squad is favored by as many as 11.5 points. The Lithuanian team has won just three fewer games than their opponent, but they have also been a far different team on the road, with a 4-8 record away from home and a 9-3 record at it. They will also be forced to contend with a team that rates better on the defensive end than any other club and owns a 12.4-point advantage in net rating.
Best Bets for Success: Zalgiris is containing both guards and centers fairly well, so we will look to the forward spots. Four players at those positions have been producing regularly, but given how he played over the last couple weeks Gabriel Deck looks like the best option of the bench for Round 25. You can include Musa, too, though it's not yet a lock that he will play. On the opposite side we will go with Ignas Brazdeikis. The Spanish squad will be extremely thin in the backcourt, and Brazdeikis averaged 19.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 triples over his last three EuroLeague appearances.
Fantasy Factors: Mario Hezonja will be in the mix on DraftKings at $8,100, as will Guerschon Yabusele at almost $1,000 less. It's tough to recommend either Nigel Williams-Goss or Sergio Rodriguez, but someone will need to deliver in Real Madrid's backcourt. Rolands Smits has picked up the pace again, putting him in play for the Lithuanian team. You could also consider Isaiah Taylor, who will have a chance to start Thursday and will run you just $3,500 on DraftKings.
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul at Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade
Status Check: Nemanja Bjelica (FBB), Tonye Jekiri (FBB), Sehmus Hazer (FBB), Tarik Biberovic (FBB), Balsa Koprivica (PAR)
The Breakdown: The last game of the day features two streaking teams, as Fenerbahce comes in on a 4-2 run and Partizan enters amid a 9-2 stretch that has helped them pull one spot behind their counterparts in the standings. The Serbian squad won by one point when these teams met back in Round 15, and the experts expect them to do the same Thursday, as they are favored by as many as 4.5 points. Only 145 points were put on the board in the first matchup, but a lot more are anticipated in the latest go-around, as the over/under has been set as high as 166.0 points -- easily the biggest number on the board. That comes as little surprise, as the hosts rank first league-wide in offensive rating and -- although they have improved -- last on the other end of the court. Fenerbahce is above average in both categories, owns a winning record on the road, and will be playing for more than themselves Thursday, as this will be their first game they have played since earthquakes struck their country earlier this month.
Best Bets for Success: No one on the Fenerbahce side was particularly consistent prior to the break, so their safest options presumably are Johnathan Motley and Nick Calathes. The former still leads his team in DraftKings points per game, and the latter fell just shy of the 30-point mark on DraftKings last time he faced Partizan. You could make a strong case for Nigel Hayes-Davis with Bjelica still sidelined, but he is a bit pricey on DraftKings. Similarly on the opposite side, it's tough to avoid Mathias Lessort, who finished with fewer than 20.0 DraftKings points just once over the last eight Rounds.
Fantasy Factors: With both teams just about at full strength, there won't be many opportunities available on either side. However, Scottie Wilbekin and Dante Exum are both enticing on DraftKings with their prices falling below the $9,000 mark. In what is expected to be a high-scoring game, Carsen Edwards is also intriguing at $6,400.