EuroLeague Primer: Round 8 - Thursday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 8 - Thursday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

PREGAME UPDATES

STATS AND INFO.

THE SLATE

FC Barcelona at Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Status Check: Nikola Mirotic (BAR), Kyle Kuric (BAR), Sergi Martinez (BAR), Shane Larkin (EFS), Egehan Arna (EFS), Dogus Balbay (EFS)

The Breakdown: The first contest on a five-game Thursday will feature two teams who have had a lot of success in recent years but are currently trending in opposite directions. Both clubs got off to a 2-2 start, but Barcelona has not lost since and Efes has not won since. Despite the recent trends, the oddsmakers have given the edge to the two-time defending champions, who are slight favorites on a couple different websites.

Best Bets for Success: The Turkish team as been struggling, but its best players haven't been, as Vasilije Micic and Will Clyburn enter Round 8 ranked third and fourth, respectively, in points per game. The duo also checks in first and second in minutes played, and chances are they will get as many minutes as they can handle Thursday with Efes trying to right the ship. After averaging 22.5 points and burying 11 three-pointers over the last two Rounds, Nicolas Laprovittola looks like the best bet on the Barcelona side for Round 8.

Fantasy Factors: Mike Tobey got off to a slow start, but he has made a big impact of late, averaging 25.4 DraftKings points over the last three Rounds. It's tough to find a lot more to like on either side, as most of Barcelona's players remain pricey in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge and no one else on the Efes side has been particularly consistent. 

LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade

Status Check: Nando de Colo (ASV), Joffrey Lauvergne (ASV), Ognjen Dobric (CZV), Nikola Ivanovic (CZV), Stefan Markovic (CZV), Miroslav Raduljica (CZV)

The Breakdown: The Serbian squad won just one game over the first seven Rounds, but the experts are expecting new head coach Dusko Ivanovic to make an immediate impact and have installed Red Star as the favorites in this contest. The home team ranks last in net rating and the visitors are just above them, and that helps explain why this game has the lowest over/under on the slate.

Best Bets for Success: No team is allowing guards to get up more shots nor score more points than ASVEL, so both Nemanja Nedovic and Luca Vildoza will be set up for success Thursday. Vildoza has been a bit more productive than his teammate up to this point, but with Nedovic now back at full speed, don't be surprised if that changes moving forward. de Colo may have qualified here if he was 100 percent, but with his status uncertain, Youssoupha Fall is the safest option on the ASVEL side for Round 8. Fall delivered against Red Star last season, dropping a double-double against the Serbian squad in Round 9.

Fantasy Factors: ASVEL is containing opposing frontcourt players as well as anyone, but given their price points, Filip Petrusev and Luka Mitrovic are worth considering both on DraftKings and in the Fantasy Challenge. Zaccharie Risacher earns a mention for the same reason, and Parker Jackson-Cartwright will be a player to look at if de Colo winds up sidelined.

Olympiacos Piraeus at FC Bayern Munich

Status Check: Paul Zipser (BAY), Zan Mark Sisko (BAY)

The Breakdown: These teams are separated by 14 spots in the standings, but Bayern has won two straight after getting off to an 0-5 start, and Olympiacos is favored by as few as four points. In order for the German team to wind up on top they will need to overcome a 17.1-point difference in net rating and slow down what has been the most efficient offense in the league.

Best Bets for Success: There is no surer bet than Sasha Vezenkov, who is averaging more points than any other player on both DraftKings and in the Fantasy Challenge. Bayern is faring well against opposing forwards, but Vezenkov got the job done both times he faced Bayern last season and averaged 28.1 DraftKings points across the two matchups. It's also tough to go wrong with Kostas Sloukas, who has put up at least 25.5 DraftKings points six times in seven appearances this season. Bayern lacks the standout options Olympiacos has, but we are going to bank on a bounceback from Cassius Winston and leave him here for Round 8. Winston is the only player on his team averaging double figures, and he averaged 18.0 points per contest in the three games preceding last week's dud.

Fantasy Factors: Thomas Walkup was a bit quiet his last time out, but he is also returning some of the most value on the DraftKings board, and he remains relatively affordable both on that website and in the Fantasy Challenge. This could also be a spot for Moustapha Fall, as the German club ranks bottom-2 against centers in both points and field goal attempts allowed. Othello Hunter returned to action last week and is a player to keep an eye on in both contests, as he ranks third on his team in DraftKings points per contest.  

Valencia Basket at Virtus Segafredo Bologna

Status Check: Jasiel Rivero (VBC), Sam Van Rossom (VBC), Martin Hermannsson (VBC), Millan Jimenez (VBC), Tornike Shengelia (VIR), Awudu Abass (VIR), Leo Menalo (VIR)

The Breakdown: Both these teams have gotten going in recent Rounds, with Valencia going 4-1 over the last five and Virtus entering on a three-game winning streak. The Italian team has scored fewer points than any other team, but the oddsmakers are still expecting them to wind up on top Thursday. The Spanish squad gets up and down the court as much as any team in the league, but both the spread and over/under suggest Virtus will control the pace in this matchup.

Best Bets for Success: Chris Jones has gotten on a major roll, putting up at least 37.8 DraftKings points in three straight contests. He will have his work cut out for him Thursday, though, as Virtus ranks top-3 against guards in five of the six counting stats as well as FGA. Quite a few players on the Italian team have found themselves in this section at some point this season, but Milos Teodosic looks like his side's best bet to deliver Thursday. Teodosic's playing time has started to pick up, and he has scored at least 14 points in three straight appearances.

Fantasy Factors: Virtus could be down a key player Thursday with Shengelia slowed by an ankle injury, and if he sits out, Jordan Mickey will be in position to capitalize. Valencia is allowing centers to score more points than any other team and is allowing players at that position to make three of every four shots they get up, so Mam Jaiteh and Ismael Bako could be bargains in Round 8. Valencia continues utilizing an extended rotation, so it's tough to find a lot to like on their side. However, Rivero could be a decent option in the Fantasy Challenge at an affordable 9.6 credits.

ALBA Berlin at Real Madrid

Status Check: Maodo Lo (BER), Marcus Eriksson (BER), Louis Olinde (BER), Jonas Mattisseck (BER), Guerschon Yabusele (RMB), Rudy Fernandez (RMB), Nigel Williams-Goss (RMB), Fabien Causeur (RMB), Anthony Randolph (RMB), Carlos Alocen (RMB)

The Breakdown: The final game of the day is expected to be the highest-scoring on the slate, but also the least competitive, as the home team is favored by more than 10 points. The numbers say this one could be closer than the experts expect, as ALBA actually has a slight edge in net rating and one of the top-rated defenses in the league. However, they have also lost three straight in EuroLeague play and lost both matchups with Real Madrid last season by a combined 38 points.

Best Bets for Success: Luke Sikma has been a bit inconsistent this season, but he has also topped the 30-point mark on DraftKings three times, including his last time out. It's not easy to produce against Real Madrid's frontcourt, but Sikma put up at least 27.3 DraftKings points in each of his last three matchups with the Spanish squad. Yabusele's absence opens up some opportunities on the Real Madrid roster, and that will lead us to include all of Walter Tavares, Dzanan Musa and Gabriel Deck in this section for Round 8. The primary concern for all three players is the spread, as their playing time could be limited if the home team runs away on the scoreboard.

Fantasy Factors: Lo could return to action Thursday, and if he does, things would be thrown off in ALBA's backcourt. You could at least consider Malte Delow, though, as he will not need to do a lot to return 3x value. Yovel Zoosman stepped into the starting spot vacated by Olinde and will likely do the same in Round 8. Real Madrid's backcourt could be in flux as well, as Williams-Goss is expected to return from a lengthy absence. It's tough to predict how their rotation will look Thursday -- particularly if the game goes as expected -- but we do like Mario Hezonja on DraftKings, where he checks in at $7,100.

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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