EuroLeague Primer: Round 4 - Friday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 4 - Friday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

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STATS AND INFO.

THE SLATE

ALBA Berlin at Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Status Check: Maodo Lo (BER), Marcus Eriksson (BER), Jaleen Smith (BER), Johannes Thiemann (BER), Shane Larkin (EFS)

The Breakdown: The German team is off to a surprising 3-0 start, but they are getting no love from the oddsmakers, as the defending champions are are 10.5-point favorites on their home court. The secondary statistics suggest this game will be much closer than that, as heading into the contest ALBA has both the most efficient offense and the most efficient defense in the league. Working against the visitors are injuries, as the four players listed above sat out Wednesday and could remain out just two days later. The prognosticators are expecting this to be the highest-scoring game of the day, as its over/under is roughly five points above the total in the three games below.

Best Bets for Success: Vasilije Micic pulled comfortably ahead of Will Clyburn in the average DraftKings points column earlier this week, but the two remain nearly even in EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge scoring and Clyburn is still averaging over 30 DraftKings points per night, so there's no reason not to list both players here. The good news about Clyburn's pedestrian showing Tuesday is that he is $800 cheaper on Friday's slate. ALBA is off course a different team than they were during the previous campaign, but Micic put up a season-best 45.5 DraftKings points last time he faced them, so there is ample reason to believe he can return value in both contests despite his lofty price. Speaking of 45-point DraftKings nights, Luke Sikma notched one of his own earlier this week. Sikma is returning the second most value on the slate, and the only player doing better is Tamir Blatt, who has earned a spot in this section for Round 3. Blatt's upside will take a hit if even one of Lo or Smith suits up, but assuming they remain sidelined, Blatt will be as close as you can get to a lock at $8,400 on DraftKings and just 7.9 credits in the Fantasy Challenge.

Fantasy Factors: The conditions on the ALBA side are ripe for value plays, and we're going to list all of Louis Olinde, Yannick Wetzell and Christ Koumadje. The first two are returning well over 3x value on DraftKings and Koumadje -- at 7.2 credits -- is one of best centers options available in the Fantasy Challenge. It's unlikely all five ALBA players mentioned will return value, but they will have a shot if the German club utilizes the same roster they did in Round 3. ALBA's top two players are dominating the box score, so it's tough to find a lot more to like on their side. Achille Polonara's DraftKings price has risen slightly, but he remains a potential bargain at just $4,500.

AS Monaco at Panathinaikos Athens

Status Check: Georgios Papagiannis (PAO), Nate Wolters (PAO), Derrick Williams (PAO)

The Breakdown: Both these teams enter off tough losses of different varieties, as Monaco squandered a 19-point lead Tuesday and Panathinaikos was run out of the gym a day later. The Roca Team is favored by a handful of points, and while they will be on the road, their task could get easier if none of the players listed above suit up. The Greek team is averaging more possessions per 40 minutes than any team in the league and Monaco has the guards to get out and run, so don't be surprised to see plenty of points put on the board in this one.

Best Bets for Success: Mike James returned just over 2x value on DraftKings on Tuesday, but an off night for him is a great night for nearly everyone else, as he still finished with 26.5 points on that website. James remains as likely as anyone to hit the 30-point mark on DraftKings, and he did that twice in his last three visits to the OAKA -- the arena he called home for two seasons earlier in his career. We're also going to go with Alpha Diallo here for Round 4, as although the sample size is a little small, Panathinaikos has allowed players listed at the forward positions to rack up far more points and rebounds -- and also more assists -- than any other team. With three of the top players on the Greek team unlikely to go Friday, Marius Grigonis is a cinch for this section. He is leading his team in both points and field goal attempts, and it seems likely he will get as many scoring chances as he can handle in this one. He makes a prime target at just $7,200 on DraftKings and 9.3 credits in the Fantasy Challenge.

Fantasy Factors: Absences of course open up opportunities for other players, and assuming all three Panathinaikos players with a question mark sit out, all of Paris Lee, Mateusz Ponitka and Arturas Gudaitis will be in position to produce above their normal levels. They are all a little pricey in the Fantasy Challenge, but Lee and Ponitka are below the $8,000 mark on DraftKings and Gudaitis -- who recorded 27.8 DraftKings points last time he faced Monaco -- looks particularly appealing at $6,100. The supporting players on the Monaco side are also a little too costly on the EuroLeague's website, but with the matchup firmly in their favor, John Brown and Adrien Moerman are worth a look on DraftKings.

Olympiacos Piraeus at Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz

Status Check: Kostas Papanikolaou (OLY), Steven Enoch (BKN)

The Breakdown: In another matchup pitting an upstart versus an established foe, undefeated Baskonia will attempt to defend its home court against an Olympiacos team that made the Final Four last season and has also yet to lose during the current one. The road team is favored, but only by 3.5 points, so it would seem the oddsmakers are buying into the Spanish squad. These have been two of the best offenses in the league to date, so this could also wind up being a high-scoring affair, particularly if Sasha Vezenkov and Markus Howard -- arguably the two best players in the league through three Rounds -- remain on a roll.

Best Bets for Success: After recording a second consecutive double-double earlier this week Vezenkov is now the most expensive option in both contests. He needs to hit the 35-point mark on DraftKings to return 3x value, but he easily surpassed that number in his last two appearances and there's no reason to doubt a player who comes in second in the league in scoring and first in both rebounds and index rating. Kostas Sloukas has been overshadowed by his teammate, but he has earned his way here by hitting the 25-point mark on DraftKings in each of his first three appearances. The only player averaging more points than Vezenkov is Howard, who has burst onto the scene by scoring 63 points and making 15 three-pointers over his last two games. Friday's opponent will be the toughest he has faced to date, but we talked about his confidence in the previous edition of this article, and it has to remain sky high. Howard is not the only Baskonia guard producing in a big way, as Darius Thompson has been nearly as impressive as his teammate. Howard is averaging the most points of the two in the Fantasy Challenge, but Thompson has put up at least 30.5 DraftKings points in all three outings and is averaging four more points on that website than his backcourt mate.

Fantasy Factors: You won't find many other players producing consistently on either side, but one who has is Thomas Walkup, who has hit the 20-point mark on DraftKings in all three games. He is a quality mid-tier option on DraftKings at $8,100 and in the Fantasy Challenge at 9.1 credits. Shaquielle McKissic started in Round 3 is worth considering on DraftKings at $6,100, and Giannoulis Larentzakis -- shooting 60 percent from long range -- looks pretty good in the Fantasy Challenge at just 6.2 credits. Vanja Marinkovic has started back-to-back games and remains in the mix on both websites at just $5,400 on DraftKings and 5.3 credits in the Fantasy Challenge.

Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade at Real Madrid

Status Check: Nemanja Nedovic (CZV), Rudy Fernandez (RMB), Nigel Williams-Goss (RMB), Adam Hanga (RMB), Anthony Randolph (RMB), Carlos Alocen (RMB)

The Breakdown: While the scoreboards could get a workout in the gyms hosting the three games above, points could be at a premium in this one, as the over/under is about 10 points below the total in the first game and five behind the next two. The experts are expecting most of those points to be scored by the Spanish squad, as they are favored by at least 12.5 points on each website viewed. Red Star should get a boost from newcomer Luca Vildoza, but he has been with the team only a few days, and it's unlikely he will provide much help for a defense that has been among the worst in the league.

Best Bets for Success: Walter Tavares has not made much noise this season, but he looks like the only truly trustworthy option on his side. Tavares is averaging a healthy 25.6 DraftKings points, and there's reason to believe he can top that Friday, as he averaged 28.2 DraftKings points over his last three matchups with the Serbian squad. It's anyone's guess how the minutes will be distributed in Red Star's backcourt with Vildoza joining the fray, so we are going to again focus on the Red Star frontcourt. While he is not leading his team in DraftKings points, Luka Mitrovic is averaging more points in the Fantasy Challenge than any other Red Star player, and we're banking on him being the top producer for his club in Round 4.

Fantasy Factors: With this game having the lowest over/under on the board, 10 players on the Real Madrid roster averaging 10 minutes per game and 10 players on the Red Star side averaging 16 minutes per night, it's best to find your value plays elsewhere. However, both Ben Bentil and Dzanan Musa can be considered both on DraftKings and in the Fantasy Challenge. Bentil is the player leading the visiting team in DraftKings points, and Musa remains pretty affordable in both contests. Vildoza and Mario Hezonja are a little too expensive in the Fantasy Challenge for our liking, but it's not out of the question that Vildoza jumps right into the starting lineup, and he could be worth a gamble on DraftKings at just $4,200. Hezonja is still trying to get going, but he is now $3,000 cheaper on DraftKings than he was in Round 1, so it could be worth betting on a breakout. 

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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