EuroLeague Primer: Round 8 - Friday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 8 - Friday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

PREGAME UPDATES

STATS AND INFO.

THE SLATE

Panathinaikos Athens at Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul

Status Check: Andrew Andrews (PAO), Neoklis Avdalas (PAO), Nemanja Bjelica (FBB)

The Breakdown: The second day of Round 8 action gets underway in Istanbul, with first-place Fenerbahce hosting a team that trails them by 15 spots in the standings. The Turkish team is 4-0 on its home court this season, and unsurprisingly, they are favored by as many as 10.5 points. While Panathinaikos got off to a slow start, their roster is more formidable than it was early on, and they blew out Baskonia their last time out. The Greek team could keep it closer than the experts expect, but they will have their work cut out for them, as Fenerbahce ranks second in the league in both offensive and defensive rating.

Best Bets for Success: Fenerbahce's guards are taking turns stuffing the stat sheet and face a tough matchup Friday, so their safest option at the moment is surely Johnathan Motley. The big man has put up at least 21.0 DraftKings points in all seven appearances, and he has been particularly productive in November, averaging 24.0 points and 8.5 rebounds through two Rounds. Things are not so cut and dried on the Panathinaikos side, as five players have put up at least 22.8 DraftKings points in back-to-back Rounds. We'll let the numbers guide us then. No team is faring better against forwards than Fenerbahce, and the Greek team's guards are still splitting the minutes, so their best option Friday looks like Georgios Papagiannis. The big man's most productive game last season came against the Turkish team, and he could be primed for another nice night, as Fenerbahce ranks bottom-5 against centers in all of the points, rebounds, field goal percentage and field goal attempts allowed.

Fantasy Factors: Both teams are pretty top-heavy, so it could be tough to find many true bargains. However, there are still some potential value picks on DraftKings. Scottie Wilbekin has been trending downward, but he looks pretty appealing at just $8,700. Dwayne Bacon will face a tough test and Nate Wolters has not played more than 21 minutes in a game, but Wolters is returning more average value on DraftKings than anyone else on the board and Bacon is right behind him in that department.

EA7 Emporio Armani Milan at Zalgiris Kaunas

Status Check: Shavon Shields (EA7), Billy Baron (EA7), Luigi Datome (EA7), Stefano Tonut (EA7), Mantas Kalnietis (ZAL), Dovydas Giedraitis (ZAL), 

The Breakdown: No team has fared worse when they have the ball than Milan, who rank last in the league in both points per game and offensive rating. Despite that and the fact they will be hitting the road, they are slight favorites in this one. Recent results point to a different outcome, as the Italian team has dropped three straight while Zalgiris went 4-1 over the last five Rounds. Milan does come into this one ranked first in defensive rating, so both teams could struggle to put points on the board. As such, the over/under on this game falls below 150 points, and it is clearly the smallest number among the four games on Friday's schedule. 

Best Bets for Success: No one is producing more consistently for Zalgiris than Keenan Evans, who has recorded at least 27.0 DraftKings points in four straight games. He will have his work cut out for him Friday, as no team is allowing guards to score more points nor get up fewer shots than Milan. You could go a number of ways on the Milan side, but the player most likely to lead his team in fantasy points is Nicolo Melli, who is the only active player on his side to top the 30-point mark on DraftKings and did just that his last time out.

Fantasy Factors: If you prefer to pass on Evans, you will have a few other options to consider on the Lithuanian team, as Edgaras Ulanovas, Rolands Smits and Kevarrius Hayes all check in at appealing price points on DraftKings. Only the two Panathinaikos players mentioned above are returning more average value than Naz Mitrou-Long, and Kevin Pangos has a couple things working in his favor, as he is listed at an affordable $8,400 and will be facing the team he broke into the EuroLeague with. Given the over/under in this contest, it's probably best to not go overboard when it comes to filling out your lineups.

Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz at AS Monaco

Status Check: Steven Enoch (BKN), Daulton Hommes (BKN)

The Breakdown: If you're looking for points you've come to the right place, as just under 170 points are expected to be put on the board in this contest. No team is playing at a quicker pace nor scoring more points than Baskonia, and Monaco also ranks top-5 in points per game. Monaco played at home just twice over the first seven Rounds, but they won both times and are expected to do the same Friday, as they are favored to win by at least 7.5 points. The Spanish squad has won just one fewer game than the home team, but they will need to sharpen things up to wind up on top Friday, as over the last three Rounds they were blown out twice by teams residing near the bottom of the standings. 

Best Bets for Success: Mike James brings the most upside to the table for Monaco any time he takes the court, and an up-and-down game certainly sets him up for a big night. We're also going to include Jordan Loyd for Round 8, as he topped the 30-point mark on DraftKings three times over his last five appearances. Baskonia's backcourt will also be in focus Friday, as Monaco ranks bottom-3 against guards in all of the points, rebounds, assists, three-pointers and FGA departments. Darius Thompson has been a bit steadier than backcourt mate Markus Howard, but we will give the edge to the latter in this one, as no team is allowing guards to both get up and make more triples than Monaco.

Fantasy Factors: No team is faring better against centers than Monaco, but they are also allowing forwards to get pretty involved, so we will toss out Rokas Giedraitis, Tadas Sederskis and Vanja Marinkovic -- particularly with Enoch and Hommes still out. With Baskonia thin in the frontcourt and ranking bottom-3 against forwards in points, rebounds, FG% and FGA, John Brown looks like a bargain on DraftKings, and although he is a little pricey for this section, Alpha Diallo is worthy of consideration as well.

Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv at Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade

Status Check: Dante Exum (PAR), Alen Smailagic (PAR), Aleksa Avramovic (PAR), Balsa Koprivica (PAR), Vladimir Brodziansky (PAR)

The Breakdown: The last game of the evening is expected to be a tight one, as Partizan is favored to win by no more than 2.0 points. The Serbian squad was taken apart by Olympiacos last time it took the court, but Maccabi has dropped two straight and are also 0-2 on the road this season. The over/under on this game comes close to matching the total in the game above, and the stats say the over is the way to go, as both clubs are above average on the offensive end and occupy the last two spots on the list when it comes to defensive rating. 

Best Bets for Success: Both these teams have a couple of players putting up big numbers on a regular basis, and the matchups for Partizan's top two producers -- Mathias Lessort and Kevin Punter -- are particularly appealing. No team is allowing centers to grab more rebounds than Maccabi, so it's easy to envision Lessort picking up his fourth double-double of the season. Maccabi also ranks bottom-5 against guards in points, triples, FG% and FGA, so it looks like it will be another productive night in the scoring column for Punter. Lorenzo Brown and Wade Baldwin IV have both been pretty matchup-proof, with Brown ranking second on the slate in average DraftKings points and Baldwin slotting in right behind him. Against a team that struggles on the defensive end, their success figures to continue.

Fantasy Factors: Josh Nebo has hit the 20-point mark on DraftKings in three straight appearances, and he could make that four in a row against a team short on big men. Partizan is allowing forwards to do a lot on both ends, so keep an eye on Bonzie Colson as well. The Serbian squad will have a few more players available than they did in Round 7, so their production figures to be slightly more spread out Friday. James Nunnally still makes the cut, though, as he will be facing the team he played for last season and averaged 26.1 DraftKings points over the last three games he appeared in.

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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