This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
- Milan's Nicolo Melli will not play Thursday due to an illness.
- Raymar Morgan, Marcos Knight and Paul Lacombe will all sit out Thursday for ASVEL.
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Real Madrid at Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
Status Check: Alberto Abalde (RMB), Adam Hanga (RMB), Anthony Randolph (RMB), Carlos Alocen (RMB), Okaro White (PAO), Stefan Jovic (PAO), Lefteris Bochoridis (PAO)
Best Bets for Success: The penultimate Round of the regular season gets underway with a matchup featuring two of the most storied teams in the EuroLeague. Real Madrid handled Panathinaikos with ease when these teams met back in Round 4, and the oddsmakers are expecting a similar result, as the visitors are favored by nearly 10 points. Real Madrid dropped their last two EuroLeague games, but they have been getting steady play from Walter Tavares and a resurgent Guerschon Yabusele, who averaged just a hair under 30 points on DraftKings over his last four appearances. He will be in position to deliver again Thursday, as Panathinaikos ranks bottom-3 against forwards in the points, rebounds and field goal percentage categories. Tavares has not been doing much scoring lately, and the Greek team fares pretty well against centers, but he just missed a double-double last time these teams met and his $9,600 price tag on DraftKings is rather appealing for a player that, on a per-game basis, leads the league in blocks and is second in rebounds. While it's been a tough season for Panathinaikos, they have been getting big-time production from both Nemanja Nedovic and Georgios Papagiannis. The Spanish squad shut down Nedovic last time they had the opportunity, but he is simply on another level now, averaging 19.7 points and 30.4 DraftKings points since the February break. Papagiannis is averaging 30.1 DraftKings points over the same period, and he is running neck-and-neck with Tavares atop the leaderboards, ranking first in the league in rebounds and second in blocks. The major concern for Papagiannis is the matchup, as Tavares is an imposing foe and Real Madrid ranks top-2 against centers in both the rebounds and FG% departments.
DFS Darlings: Ioannis Papapetrou is back from an extended absence, and he looked like his usual self in Tuesday's makeup game. Papapetrou has one of the toughest matchups on the board, as Real Madrid ranks top-4 against forwards in all of points, rebounds, assists, FG% and field goal attempts. However, at $6,500, he is going to be tough to pass up on DraftKings. The Greek team will be down three players Thursday, so Howard Sant-Roos also looks like a good option at $7,000. Lefteris Mantzoukas had a breakout game earlier this week, and if you believe he can back that up, he could be worth a gamble at a near-minimum $3,600. Gabriel Deck is a little pricey for out liking on DraftKings, but he will be worth a look with Real Madrid down three forwards. Nigel Williams-Goss is also in the mix facing a Panathinaikos team that ranks bottom-4 against guards in five of the six counting stats and is allowing players at the positions to get up more shots than any other team.
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne at Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
Status Check: Raymar Morgan (ASV), Marcos Knight (ASV), Paul Lacombe (ASV)
Best Bets for Success: The home team has gotten hot at the right time, going 4-1 in their last five games to surge up the standings. They can sew up a playoff spot with a win Thursday, and the experts are expecting them to do so, as they are nearly a double-digit favorite. Six players have been doing nearly all of the work for Maccabi of late, and they figure to be busy again Thursday -- particularly if ASVEL can keep the game close. Given their track records, Scottie Wilbekin and James Nunnally are the safest options on the Maccabi side. Wilbekin is not scoring like he was as recently as a few weeks ago, but he has topped the 30-point mark on DraftKings 11 times this season. Nunnally could be a better bet, Thursday, though, as he put up at least 29.5 points on DraftKings four times over his last five appearances and dropped 25 points when these teams squared off in Round 4. Plus, ASVEL is most vulnerable to opposing forwards, ranking bottom-4 against players at those spots in the points, rebounds and FG% categories. ASVEL has not had one player producing consistently in March, but Elie Okobo and Chris Jones have been their top producers over the course of the season, and both will be in position to get the job done Thursday, as Maccabi ranks bottom-4 against guards in points, assists and three-pointers. The duo combined for 37 points when these teams last faced each other, and both players are top-10 on Thursday's slate in average value. Plus, Jones should have some extra motivation playing in the gym he played his home games in a season ago.
DFS Darlings: Victor Wembanyama does not quite qualify for the section above, but he certainly lands here, as he tossed up some big numbers each of the last two times he took the court and checks in at just $8,000 on DraftKings. Maccabi's veteran and versatile frontcourt will present a tough challenge for the youngster, but ASVEL seems committed to giving Wembanyama all he can handle with them playing out the string in the EuroLeague, so another 30-point night on DraftKings is well within reach. If Morgan is available he is likely the best option on the entire board, as he is listed at a meager $3,400. However, it looks like he and a couple other pieces of ASVEL's rotation will be unavailable for Round 33. In a game that could get out of hand and with the French team out of the playoff hunt, their younger players could be more involved than usual, so Dylan Osetkowski is worth a look at $6,100. Youssoupha Fall has upside at $5,900, having topped the 20-point mark on DraftKings six times this season. Matthew Strazel checks in at just $4,900 and gets the same inviting matchup as ASVEL's top guards. Maccabi has three tantalizing options to consider in this section in Keenan Evans, Derrick Williams and Jalen Reynolds. None of them checks in above $7,700 and all of them averaged slightly more than 26 points on DraftKings over their last three appearances. Evans seems to have the most upside of the bunch, and Williams has the best matchup.
AS Monaco at AX Armani Exchange Milan
Status Check: Nicolo Melli (AXM), Konstantinos Mitoglou (AXM), Trey Kell (AXM)
Best Bets for Success: The last game of the day is expected to be the most competitive, likely because both these teams own top-8 spots in the standings. The visitors still have some work to do to secure a playoff spot, so you can bet Mike James -- the top producer on the slate -- will not be shy. Few -- if any -- players on the slate can claim as much upside as James, who has topped the 30-point mark on DraftKings 16 times this season, and he should be fired up to face his former team. However, he is also pretty pricey on DraftKings, and he will face a tough matchup against a team that ranks top-4 against guards in five of the six counting stats as well as FG% and FGA. If you choose to pass on James, you could hone in on either Alpha Diallo or Dwayne Bacon. The former is averaging 30.7 DraftKings points since the February break, and Bacon finished with a single digit in the scoring column -- while also scoring 16.5 ppg -- over his last 12 appearances. The Italian team would have had two players listed here if Melli was available, but with him sidelined, Shavon Shields gets the honor all to himself. Shields has put up at least 22.8 DraftKings points in all three games he has appeared in since returning from a lengthy absence, and he could finally play 30 minutes again with Melli sidelined.
DFS Darlings: The French team has had issues with forwards and centers all season, and there are quite a few minutes open in Milan's frontcourt, so there should be some value to be found there. Luigi Datome looks pretty good at $5,800, and one of -- or both -- of Ben Bentil and Gianpaolo Ricci figure to spend extra time on the court. Kaleb Tarczewski has been playing a regular role lately, and it will only cost you $3,900 to fit him in your lineups. On the Monaco side, Donatas Motiejunas has slowed significantly, but it was not long ago he found himself in the section above, and he is plenty affordable now at just $8,100. Donta Hall has been splitting the center minutes with Motiejunas of late and is returning some of the most value on the board, making him a player to consider at $7,100.