EuroLeague Primer: Round 29 - Thursday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 29 - Thursday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

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STATS AND INFO.

THE SLATE

Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade

Status Check: Stefan Markovic (CZV), Maik Zirbes (CZV)

Best Bets for Success: The first game on Thursday's slate could prove to be pretty pivotal down the road, as these teams slot in seventh and ninth in the standings when the results against the Russian teams are excluded. Both teams picked up wins in three of their last five games, but the hosts come in a bit hotter, having won three in a row. No one on the Red Star side comes in particularly hot, but we're going to list both Nikola Kalinic and Nate Wolters here for Round 29. The former is his team's primary offensive option and has not played fewer than 26 minutes in a game since the start of February, and the latter takes on a Maccabi team that ranks bottom-3 against guards in all of the points, assists, threes and field goal percentage categories. Both topped the 30-point mark on DraftKings when these teams met all the way back in Round 2, but Wolters has a bit of an edge in the pricing department, as he checks in $800 cheaper. No one on the board is more expensive than Scottie Wilbekin, who finished with fewer than 29.0 DraftKings points just once over his last nine appearances. It's tough to match that level of consistency, but Wilbekin will have his work cut out for him Thursday, as Red Star is ceding the fewest points and field goal attempts to opposing guards. If you pass on Wilbekin because of the matchup, Ante Zizic will be the next man up for Maccabi. Zizic is getting a bit pricey on DraftKings, but he did average 24.8 points on that website over his last eight appearances, and the Serbian squad does not have much size to throw his way.

DFS Darlings: Red Star has been running a 10-man rotation lately, and Maccabi has been pretty top-heavy, so the value plays could be a bit slim in this one. Luka Mitrovic also topped the 30-point mark on DraftKings when these teams last squared off, so he will be in position to bounce back after a quiet game Tuesday, and he slots in at an affordable $7,800 on DraftKings. Nikola Ivanovic will get the same matchup as Wolters, and he has returned 3x value at his current price six times this season. James Nunnally is a bit expensive for this section, but he looks like one of the better options in the $9,000 range, as he has topped the 25-point mark on DraftKings 10 times this season and has notched his two most productive games of the season since the start of February.

Olympiacos Piraeus at ALBA Berlin

Status Check: Marcus Eriksson (BER), Johannes Thiemann (BER), Louis Olinde (BER), Yovel Zoosman (BER)

Best Bets for Success: This contest features the highest over/under on Thursday's slate -- but only by a little. The Greek team has a number of players who come in on a roll, with four of them averaging at least 21.0 DraftKings points since the start of February. None of them particularly stood out when these teams met in Round 6, but two of them do Thursday, and those players would be Sasha Vezenkov and Kostas Sloukas. The former has put up at least 25.5 DraftKings points in six straight appearances, and he will face an ALBA team allowing forwards to get up a lot of shots from the field. Sloukas, meanwhile, hit the 25-point mark seven times over his last nine games, and he will be in position to do that again with the German club allowing guards to rack up more assists than any other team. ALBA continues getting steady production from both Luke Sikma and Maodo Lo, with Sikma averaging 23.6 DraftKings points over his last nine appearances and Lo dropping double digits in 11 straight outings. Sikma has the edge between the two Thursday, as he is returning more average value than anyone above the $4,400 mark, has a more inviting matchup and nearly dropped a triple-double last time his club took on Olympiacos.

DFS Darlings: Neither of the other two players on the Greek team that were referred to above -- Tyler Dorsey and Moustapha Fall -- are a true bargain on DraftKings, with both running you at least $8,500. However, it's tough to find a lot more to like on the Olympiacos side, and both have the potential to contribute at the same level as the team's top two options. ALBA could be down as many as four players Thursday, and if that's the case, there will be some value to be found on their roster. Jaleen Smith is particularly appealing at $8,200, having put up at least 20.3 DraftKings points four times over his last six games and playing at least 20 minutes in all but one of those. Ben Lammers will have some appeal at $6,700 if Thiemann sits, as would Oscar da Silva, as he led his team in scoring when these teams last saw each other. 

Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz at LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne

Status Check: Elie Okobo (ASV), Chris Jones (ASV), Raymar Morgan (ASV), Charles Kahudi (ASV)

Best Bets for Success: The Spanish squad dispatched its opponent with ease when these teams saw each other in Round 14, and there's at least a chance that could happen again Thursday. The oddsmakers view this is a toss-up, but Baskonia blew out the defending champions Tuesday and is at full strength while the French club could be down its top two scorers if Jones is unable to go. You could certainly make a case for a few other players, but it's hard to argue anyone is hotter than Wade Baldwin, who averaged 18.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 triples over his last 11 appearances. It will be tough to look past Baldwin on Thursday, as he is only the seventh priciest player on the board and is returning more average value than only a couple players. The scoreboard could be a concern for Baldwin, but it's tough to envision him playing fewer than 30 minutes no matter the outcome. A healthy Jones would easily be ASVEL's top option, but with his status uncertain we are going to go in a different direction. Baskonia ranks bottom-4 against forwards in the points, rebounds, threes, FG% and FGA categories, and for that reason Marcos Knight looks like ASVEL's best bet Thursday. Knight has been a bit inconsistent, but he has hit the 30-point mark on DraftKings three times this season, and he dropped a double-double in early February against an Efes team that has had similar issues with opposing forwards.

DFS Darlings: David Lighty has appeared in just one EuroLeague game since Nov. 4, but he appeared to be at full speed in ASVEL's last domestic game, so he should be ready to handle a full workload Thursday. He is worth considering even if Jones plays, as he checks in at just $7,400 and has the same matchup as Knight. If Jones sits, he could be one of the best values on the board. Paul Lacombe would also be pretty appealing in that scenario. Victor Wembanyama will also be worth a look at $6,100, as ASVEL figures to give him plenty of opportunities down the stretch. Several players can be considered on the Baskonia side, and we will start with Matt Costello, who averaged 29.7 DraftKings points over his last four appearances and runs just $8,200. Simone Fontecchio and Rokas Giedraitis are also appealing in the same price range. Don't forget about Alec Peters, who is down to $7,200, nor Tadas Sedekerskis who remains a potential dart throw with him returning the most average value on the board.

AX Armani Exchange Milan at Real Madrid

Status Check: Shavon Shields (AXM), Sergio Rodriguez (AXM), Luigi Datome (AXM), Trey Kell (AXM), Riccardo Moraschini (AXM), Fabien Causeur (RMB), Nigel Williams-Goss (RMB), Jeffery Taylor (RMB), Carlos Alocen (RMB)

Best Bets for Success: The last game on slate will be a big one, as the visitors can move ahead of the home team in the reconfigured standings with a win. It will also be the toughest one to peg, as it is the only game of the day with a total beneath 150, features the biggest spread and includes two teams that generally spread the minutes around. Real Madrid's rough stretch continued Tuesday, as they fell for a fourth game in a row. They did get another big game from Walter Tavares, who put up at least 26.3 DraftKings points for the sixth time in eight appearances since the start of 2022. Tavares is returning some of the most average value on the board, but Milan figures to make it tough on him, as they limited him to just five points in Round 16 and rank top-3 against centers in both points and FGA allowed. Real Madrid ranks top-2 against frontcourt players in four of the six counting stats as well as FG%, Milan's top producer will likely be a guard, and chances are that player will be Malcolm Delaney. Since the start of February, Delaney is averaging a team-best 24.4 DraftKings points, and he has a shot to play 30 minutes Thursday with Rodriguez out of action. That's a lot to like for a player listed at just $8,600 on DraftKings.

DFS Darlings: While the matchup will certainly be tough, Konstantinos Mitoglou is cheap enough to consider at just $6,900. Devon Hall can be considered at $7,800, and Troy Daniels -- just $5,500 on DraftKings -- has done enough lately to warrant a mention. It has been over a month since either Guerschon Yabusele or Thomas Heurtel hit the 20-point mark on DraftKings, but Yabusele is far too talented to be listed beneath the $8,000 mark, and he put up 26.5 points when these teams last met. The Italian team ranks top-4 against guards in all of the points, assists, steals, threes, FG% and FGA categories, so Heurtel will not have an enticing matchup by any means. However, he could rejoin the starting lineup with Williams-Goss banged up, and he is averaging 9.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.1 threes in games he opens on the court. Gabriel Deck could also be a bargain at $5,500 with Real Madrid likely down a couple forwards.

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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