EuroLeague Primer: Round 6 - Thursday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 6 - Thursday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

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STATS AND INFO.

THE SLATE

Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv at Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz

Status Check: Darrun Hilliard (MTA), Jarell Martin (MTA), Steven Enoch (BKN)

The Breakdown: There will be no easing into action Thursday, as the first game up is the only one on the slate featuring two teams with winning records and also the contest that contains the highest over/under of the Round at 164.5 points. The visitors own a 28-point edge in the point differential department and 9.9-point margin in net rating, but the oddsmakers like the home team, as Baskonia is favored by at least 2.0 points on each website consulted. Baskonia's backcourt got a boost last week from Pierria Henry, and Maccabi's should get one in Round 6, as Hilliard is set to return from a multi-week absence.

Best Bets for Success: Extra help in the backcourt certainly doesn't hurt, but it's not like either team needed it, as three guards playing in this contest are among the top nine scorers in the league and another is fourth in assists and tied for first in steals. The safest options among the bunch reside on the Maccabi side, as Lorenzo Brown and Wade Baldwin have both put up at least 25.0 DraftKings points in all five Rounds. Brown has a bit of an edge on his teammate, as he is averaging more points in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge and on DraftKings. He might be the best option available on the latter website, as due to an inexplicable $500 price drop he is returning more average value than anyone on the board. While he isn't the Baskonia guard doing the most scoring and is coming off his least productive game of the season, Darius Thompson still looks like the best option on his squad for Round 6. Maccabi is not allowing guards to rack up many assists, but they are allowing players at those positions to put up more points than any other team and rank bottom-4 against backcourt players in all of field goal, three-point and free throw attempts.

Fantasy Factors: A couple quiet Rounds prevent Markus Howard from landing in the top section, and he's a bit too pricey to be considered a true value pick. However, we have to mention him somewhere, as he's as likely to put 30 points on the scoreboard as anyone and has as enticing a matchup as he will see. Henry remains a little too pricey for our liking in the Fantasy Challenge, but he will be in the mix on DraftKings at just $6,400. Maccabi is limiting frontcourt players to the second lowest field goal percentage, which limits the appeal for the rest of the Baskonia roster. However, they are allowing centers to grab a lot of rebounds, so Matt Costello could be worth a look in both contests. The Spanish squad, on the other hand, is ceding the second most points and rebounds to frontcourt players. Maccabi generally plays only five players listed at the forward and center positions, and they will be down one of them Thursday in Martin, so the remaining four all get a bit of a boost. We like Bonzie Colson the best given his versatility, but we'll also mention that Alex Poythress averaged 26.3 DraftKings points in two meetings with Baskonia last season.

Real Madrid at EA7 Emporio Armani Milan

Status Check: Guerschon Yabusele (RMB), Rudy Fernandez (RMB), Nigel Williams-Goss (RMB), Fabien Causeur (RMB), Anthony Randolph (RMB), Carlos Alocen (RMB), Shavon Shields (EA7), Naz Mitrou-Long (EA7), Tommaso Baldasso (EA7)

The Breakdown: On the scoreboard this game could be the opposite of the one above, as the experts expect fewer points to be put up in this contest than in any other matchup in Round 6. The margin may be similar, though, as Real Madrid is favored by only a couple points and the two matchups between these clubs last season -- both won by the Spanish squad -- resulted in four- and two-point victories. If the Italian team hopes to wind up in the winner's circle they will need to figure things out on the offensive end, as they have been well below average in that area and remain without their top scorer in Shields. Real Madrid's injured list is lengthy, but they will likely run out the same personnel they did in Round 5. 

Best Bets for Success: Two players have separated themselves a bit on the loaded Real Madrid roster, and those would be Walter Tavares and Gabriel Deck. The latter deserves top billing, as even at a season-high $9,400 on DraftKings he is one of three players on the slate returning more than 3x value. He also put up 25.0 on that website last time he saw Milan. Tavares was held in check by the Italian team last year, but he typically does his best work in fantasy contests when he produces in the points column, and no team is allowing centers to get up more shots than Milan. Three different players have led Milan in DraftKings points in the three games Shields has not finished, so there is not a true standout on their side. The visitors rank top-5 against forwards in five of the six counting stats, and it's not ideal to take centers against Real Madrid's imposing frontcourt, so we are going to go with Kevin Pangos in this section for Round 6. Pangos has been a bit hit-or-miss, but he is averaging 27 minutes and a team-leading 11.2 FGA per night, and Real Madrid does not offer nearly as much resistance in the backcourt.

Fantasy Factors: We nearly included Brandon Davies in the section above, but he and Kyle Hines have taken turns carrying the load down low, and the 26 minutes Hines averaged against the Spanish squad last season suggest it could be his night. Davies did put up at least 24.0 DraftKings points twice in his last three appearances, and he also recorded at least 20.8 points on that website in all three matchups with Real Madrid last season, so there's still ample reason to look his way on DraftKings at just $7,100. There's not a lot more to like on the Milan side, particularly with Mitrou-Long set to join the fray, but there are some potential value plays on the visiting team's roster. Dzanan Musa will be worth considering in both contests, as he remains below $8,000 on DraftKings and 10.0 credits in the Fantasy Challenge. He has hit the 20-point mark on DraftKings four times, after all. Mario Hezonja and Sergio Rodriguez are a bit expensive for our liking in the Fantasy Challenge, but they also make the cut, as Hezonja -- who remains just $6,900 on DraftKings -- could build off his best game of the season and Rodriguez could get some extra run against the team he spent the last three seasons with.

Anadolu Efes Istanbul at FC Bayern Munich

Status Check: Shane Larkin (EFS), Rodrigue Beaubois (EFS), Isaiah Taylor (EFS), Othello Hunter (BAY), Zan Mark Sisko (BAY), Jason George (BAY)

The Breakdown: This game may not stand out on the schedule, but it will be particularly interesting because through five Rounds these two clubs have underperformed as much as any in the league. A loss won't be season-ending, but it certainly will not help the vibe on either side. While Efes will be on the road, they are expected to win by at least 4.5 websites across the various websites. Bayern will no doubt be itching to pick up its first win, but they will need both to erase a 13.6-point deficit in net rating and for a fluid roster to gel in order to knock off the two-time defending champions.

Best Bets for Success: Both Vasilije Micic and Will Clyburn finished Round 5 with their lowest DraftKings point total of the season, but they still recorded 27.8 and 20.5 points, respectively, on that website, which is an indication of just how high their floor is. Micic is still averaging 3.9 more DraftKings points than anyone else available, and he is also averaging more points in the Fantasy Challenge than anyone else suiting up Thursday. Also, despite a price increase on DraftKings he is one of three players on the slate averaging over 3x value, and he also sits second in the league in minutes per night. The only player spending more time on the court is Clyburn, who is also averaging the second most FGA per night. Bayern is not allowing forwards to get up many shots, but they are also allowing players at those positions to make a whopping 56.0 percent of their attempts from the field. It's easy to envision both players bouncing back in Round 6. No one on the Bayern side comes close to matching the Efes duo in security, but Cassius Winston is at least close when it comes to upside, as he averaged 19.0 points and 29.2 DraftKings points over the last two Rounds. Efes ranks bottom-2 against guards in all of the points, three-pointers and FGA categories, so Winston could be primed for another productive night. 

Fantasy Factors: It's unclear how the playing time will be divided on the Bayern side, as nine players spent at least 10 minutes on the court in Round 5. Based on cost, though, there are several options to consider -- particularly on DraftKings. Augustine Rubit averaged 28.4 points on that website over his last two appearances, and he will run you just $7,400. Vladimir Lucic's best DraftKings night last season came against Efes, and he checks in at an affordable $8,100. Isaac Bonga and Elias Harris could get more involved, and neither will run you more than $4,700. Nick Weiler-Babb will be worth considering in the Fantasy Challenge at just 8.1 credits. Efes' backcourt could be shaken up a bit if Taylor makes his debut, and the three centers on their roster are all sharing the minutes, so it's tough to find a lot to like outside thee two players listed in the previous section. Amath M'Baye is getting enough minutes and doing just enough with them to warrant a look in both contests, however.

Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade at Panathinaikos Athens

Status Check: James Nunnally (PAR), Alen Smailagic (PAR), Aleksa Avramovic (PAR), Marius Grigonis (PAO), Nate Wolters (PAO)

The Breakdown: Notable returns will be the theme in the final game on the docket, as Zeljko Obradovic will coach in Athens for the first time since 2019, Ioannis Papapetrou will take on the team he used to captain for the first time since joining Partizan and Dwayne Bacon will suit up in a EuroLeague game for the first time since last season. The action on the court will hinge on how well the Greek team can control the league's highest-rated offense, and also how effectively they can score the ball against the league's most-beatable defense. The oddsmakers are expecting them to do a little of both, as the over/under and 2.5-point spread in the home team's favor indicate Panathinaikos will hold their opponent well below their scoring average and put up just enough points to get by.

Best Bets for Success: Three Partizan players have been producing consistently, and they are all set up for success Thursday. Matthias Lessort's DraftKings price continues to rise, and he now checks in at $11,500 after opening the season at just $6,800. However, he is still returning some of the most value on the board, ranks third in the league in minutes per night and will face a defense allowing opposing frontcourt players to both grab more rebounds and get up more shots than any other team. That matchup also bodes particularly well for Zach LeDay, who has not been as productive as Lessort but ranks eighth on the slate in average DraftKings points. Last but not least is Kevin Punter, whose minutes dropped the last couple Rounds but could pick back up with Nunnally unavailable. Punter ranks top-10 in the league in both points and FGA per game, and with a few more opportunities he could hit the 20-point mark for the third time this season. It's tough to find a sure thing on the Panathinaikos side, as four players have either led their team or tied for the lead in DraftKings points and their two steadiest players both play relatively the same position as Bacon. Derrick Williams seems like the safest option at least, as he is the only Panathinaikos player to receive 30 minutes this season and has done so four times. His scoring opportunities could take a hit with Bacon in the fold, but he coming into Round 6 he is averaging 4.4 more points than anyone else on his squad.

Fantasy Factors: Despite the uncertainty there are several other intriguing options on the Panathinaikos side. It's probably best to avoid most of them, but it could be worth betting that Georgios Papagiannis gets enough minutes to make a noticeable impact, and don't forget about Mateusz Ponitka, who is averaging more DraftKings point than anyone else on his team. You could also gamble that Bacon -- who averaged 13.9 ppg last season -- will make an instant impact, as he is not too costly on DraftKings nor in the Fantasy Challenge. Partizan has been running a short rotation, but Nunnally's absence could expand things a bit. Yam Madar's minutes were already trending upward, and he should garner consideration in both contests. Papapetrou and Danilo Andjusic are a bit pricey in the Fantasy Challenge, but both could be worth going with on DraftKings, as neither is listed above $6,300.

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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