EuroLeague Primer: Round 5 - Friday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 5 - Friday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

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STATS AND INFO.

THE SLATE

FC Bayern Munich at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade

Status Check: Augustine Rubit (BAY), Othello Hunter (BAY), Isaac Bonga (BAY), Zan Mark Sisko (BAY), Elias Harris (BAY), Jason George (BAY), Nemanja Nedovic (CZV), Ben Bentil (CZV), Jaylen Adams (CZV), Dalibor Ilic (CZV)

The Breakdown: Two teams remain winless in the EuroLeague, but there will only be one after Friday, as the two clubs without a victory square off in the first game of the day. Both squad have had issues on both ends of the court, but more so on the offensive end, which explains why the over/under on this game falls well short of 150.0 points. Red Star's offense got a boost from Luca Vildoza and will get another if Nedovic plays -- even if he is not full speed -- and that could explain why they are favored to win by 2.5 points. Bayern has played shorthanded nearly all season, and it remains to be seen which of the players listed above will suit up for them Friday.

Best Bets for Success: The uncertainty on the German team's roster extends to this section, as a different player led Bayern in DraftKings points in each of the first four Rounds. With Rubit and Hunter banged up, Vladimir Lucic seems like the safest option, but he has underperformed up to this point. Cassius Winston looks like the player with the most upside, as he has steadily picked up the pace and broke out in Round 4. Winston was expected to be an impact player in his first season overseas, and he may have finally found his footing. Neither Vildoza nor Bentil is a true slam dunk here, but they are a notch above the rest of the Red Star roster. Vildoza has not played more than 17 minutes in a game since making his Red Star debut, but he did make an impact in both appearances and should be ready to spend more time on the court. He won't have to do all that much to return meaningful value on DraftKings at $5,700. Bentil responded to being bumped down a level in Round 4 by leading his team in both points and rebounds, and through four Rounds he is leading his team in scoring both on DraftKings and in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge. Bentil may not be 100 percent, but it seems like he will be good to go for Round 5.

Fantasy Factors: A lot could change in this section if certain players suit up and other don't, but we'll rely on what we know for now. Nick Weiler-Babb is a bit pricey on DraftKings, but he is leading his team in scoring on that website, so he is worth considering in the Fantasy Challenge at 8.2 credits. If Bayern's roster looks like it did at the end of Round 4, Paul Zipser and Andreas Obst will be worth considering in both contests, as neither costs more than $4,900 on DraftKings nor 6.3 credits in the Fantasy Challenge. You can also add Ognjen Jaramaz to the list in the Fantasy Challenge. Luka Mitrovic slides back down here after a quiet Round 4, but he's still affordable on both websites. If Nedovic remains out, you could make a case for Ognjen Dobric in the Fantasy Challenge at 6.2 credits.

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul at Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Status Check: Nemanja Bjelica (FBB), Tarik Biberovic (FBB), Shane Larkin (EFS), Rodrigue Beaubois (EFS)

The Breakdown: The biggest game of the day will take place in Istanbul and feature the two titans of Turkish basketball. Fenerbahce has the edge between these teams early on, as they remain the only undefeated team left at 4-0 and -- driven by the league's best defense -- have easily the best net rating out there. However, Efes is the two-time defending champion and will be playing on its home court, and the oddsmakers are leaning more on the past than the present, as the home team is favored by at least 3.5 points across the board. The over/under on this game is not the highest of the day, but it's not far off.

Best Bets for Success: The two priciest options on the DraftKings board are Vasilije Micic and Will Clyburn, which is hardly surprising given that they are averaging more points on that website than anyone else taking the court Friday. They are doing the same in the Fantasy Challenge, so you could make a case they are the two safest options out there. Both players stuffed the stat sheet last time they faced Fenerbahce in a EuroLeague game, and Clyburn's showing was his best of the 2021-22 season. Just be aware that Fenerbahce has been far tougher on forwards than they were during the previous campaign. We will go with two players for Fenerbahce as well, as both Nick Calathes and Johnathan Motley are delivering each time out. Calathes has recorded no fewer than 26.3 DraftKings points to date, and Motley is averaging just a shade under 25.0 points on that website.

Fantasy Factors: Scottie Wilbekin nearly landed in the section above, but he is a bit more volatile than Calathes and also a relative bargain in both contests at $8,600 on DraftKings and 11.5 credits in the Fantasy Challenge, so we will list him here instead. Bjelica remains sidelined for Fenerbahce, so Nigel Hayes-Davis remains in position to produce in fantasy contests. Carsen Edwards is still a little pricey on the EuroLeague website, but in a high-scoring game he could get the job done on DraftKings at $6,300. Micic and Clyburn are soaking up the bulk of the stats for the home team, but if Beaubois is out, Elijah Bryant could get a chance to capitalize. Like Edwards, Ante Zizic is a little costly in the Fantasy Challenge but a potential value pick on DraftKings at just $7,200. 

Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz at LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne

Status Check: Pierria Henry (BKN), Markus Howard (BKN), Steven Enoch (BKN), Parker Jackson-Cartwright (ASV), Joffrey Lauvergne (ASV), Alex Tyus (ASV)

The Breakdown: This matchup may lack the hype of both the game above and below it, but it should not lack in scoring, as the 160.5 total is the highest on the board. Putting points on the board is no problem for Baskonia, who have scored at least 92 of them in three straight games and lead the league in that department. The French team ranks near the bottom in that category and have the lowest rated offense in the league, but the experts expect them to keep pace Friday, as they are a slight favorite on all three websites consulted. Both teams should get a boost in the backcourt in this one, as it seems likely both Henry and Jackson-Cartwright will suit up for the first time this season.

Best Bets for Success: Baskonia has had arguably the best backcourt in the league up to this point, and the unit is about to get even stronger with the addition of Henry. His presence complicates things a bit, but assuming he is not yet ready for a full workload and the potential Howard may not be as well, Darius Thompson looks like the best option on the Baskonia roster for Round 5. Micic and Clyburn are the only players on the slate averaging more DraftKings points, and no team has ceded more points and assists to opposing guards than ASVEL. The door is now fully open for Youssoupha Fall, who will be the top center for his team moving forward with Lauvergne sidelined. Fall recorded two double-doubles over the last three Rounds and nearly notched another. He has always just needed the minutes and is now getting them.

Fantasy Factors: It may be worth waiting to see how Henry fits into Baskonia's backcourt, but he has both a history of success in fantasy contests and a prime matchup, and he could be worth a shot on DraftKings at just $7,300. Maik Kotsar has quietly gotten back on track following a quiet Round 2, and he is worth considering in both contests. Jackson-Cartwright appears set to make his EuroLeague debut, and in a game featuring plenty of points he could make an impact on DraftKings at $6,000. The experts are expecting ASVEL to score more than they usually do, so while not a lot else stands out, don't be surprised to see another or player or two outperform expectations.

EA7 Emporio Armani Milan at FC Barcelona

Status Check: Shavon Shields (EA7), Naz Mitrou-Long (EA7), Tommaso Baldasso (EA7), Nikola Mirotic (BAR), Kyle Kuric (BAR), Alex Abrines (BAR), Sergi Martinez (BAR)

The Breakdown: If both teams were at full speed you could make a case for this being the best game of the day, but alas, both teams will be without their top player in Round 5 -- and beyond. It is still a rather intriguing matchup, though, pitting teams that finished first and third in the regular season during the previous campaign yet fell short of their ultimate goals. The Italian team will again have to adjust around a Shields absence, and the oddsmakers are relying on Barcelona's stability, as they are favored by at least a handful of points across the board. More points are expected in this contest than the first one of the day, but not as many as in the middle two games. That could at least be in part because Milan's defense has been among the best in the league through four Rounds. 

Best Bets for Success: Kevin Pangos and Nicolo Melli stepped up in Round 4 after Shields left the game, and we are expecting them to be Milan's top contributors for the next few Rounds. Pangos is the more affordable option on both DraftKings and in the Fantasy Challenge, but Melli has the matchup edge, as Barcelona ranks top-2 against opposing guards in all of the points, rebounds and assists categories but is allowing opposing forwards to score more points than any other squad. We have gone with one or both of Tomas Satoransky and Nicolas Laprovittola for Barcelona in recent Rounds, but Laprovittola really struggled against Milan last season, so Satoransky seemingly is the better option Friday. Satoransky has not had a huge night just yet, but he has put up at least 22.5 DraftKings points in each Round.

Fantasy Factors: It's not totally clear how things will shake out on the Milan side with Shields sidelined, but he did not play in Round 1, so we at least have some data to go by. Johannes Voigtmann regularly produces when he gets enough minutes, and he had his best game of the season in the opener. Billy Baron has taken a back seat to Pangos, but Milan could use his scoring. Neither player is listed above $7,800 on DraftKings. Jan Vesely has come on for the Spanish squad, and although he is not a bargain in the Fantasy Challenge he is to some degree on DraftKings at $8,500. 

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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