EuroLeague Primer: Round 21 - Thursday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 21 - Thursday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.


  • Efes' Shane Larkin, who was limited of late, is in Thursday's starting lineup. Teammates Krunoslav Simon and Dzanan Musa will both be available Thursday.
  • Zenit's Tarik Black will not make his team debut in Round 21.
  • Maccabi's Omri Casspi will sit out Thursday due to an illness.
  • ASVEL's Rihards Lomazs is parting ways with the club, so don't expect him to take the court in Round 21.


Anadolu Efes Istanbul at Zenit Saint Petersburg

Status Check: Krunoslav Simon (IST), Tibor Pleiss (IST), Alex Poythress (DYR)

Best Bets for Success: Shane Larkin and Vasilije Micic have both been rolling of late, with Larkin averaging 31.8 DraftKings points over the last five Rounds and Micic averaging 32.4 points over the last six. While they're safe options just about every time out, neither is a particularly appealing Thursday, as they face a Zenit defense that has locked down opposing backcourt players. Micic fared well against Zenit in Round 1, but Larkin did not play in that game; and while the latter will be available this time around, he may not be 100 percent. Arturas Gudaitis has been nearly as productive as both players of late, and with Tarik Black seemingly not ready to go just yet, he will fill this spot for Zenit on Thursday. Gudaitis is up to a season-high $9,000 on DraftKings, but he should continue receiving the extra minutes and shots he has gotten of late. 

DFS Darlings: It seems that Simon will return to action Thursday, and while it's unclear if he will play his regular role, he will soak up at least some opportunities. That's probably reason enough to avoid just about any Efes player, as none of them have a particularly inviting matchup. Dzanan Musa's potential makes him intriguing on DraftKings at $5,500, but there's no guarantee he plays a regular role. Austin Hollins doesn't have the matchup in his favor, but at just $6,000 on DraftKings, it wouldn't take him much to return useful value.

Khimki Moscow Region at Panathinaikos OPAP Athens

Status Check: Alexey Shved (KHI), Devin Booker (KHI), Jonas Jerebko (KHI), Greg Monroe (KHI), Janis Timma (KHI), Ioannis Papapetrou (PAN), Georgios Papagiannis (PAN)

Best Bets for Success: The home team will be down two of its top three players, which leaves the last one standing – Nemanja Nedovic – as his squad's clear top option Thursday. Nedovic has been a bit hit-or-miss of late, but he should get the green light Thursday, and Khimki is giving up a lot of points and threes to opposing guards. Khimki will be down all kinds of key players Thursday, and with their steadiest contributors in Shved and Booker joining the inactive list, it's anyone's guess who will lead the team in fantasy points Thursday. The safest pick is Jordan Mickey, who should get as many minutes as he can handle and will not have to contend with Panathinaikos' top two frontcourt players. Mickey has been playing well as it is, averaging 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks over the last four Rounds.

DFS Darlings: As is typically the case when Khimki is involved, the over/under on this game is noticeably higher than the rest. Add in the multitude of absences and appealing matchups on both sides and you get all kinds of value options in this one. The top one could be Errick McCollum, who won't be afraid to assume Shved's scoring load and runs just $6,100 on DraftKings. Shelvin Mack and Stefan Jovic are other players under the $7,000 mark that could garner a look. While he isn't as cheap as those players, Konstantinos Mitoglou will be in position to have a nice day with his two teammates sidelined. One of Ben Bentil or Zach Auguste will benefit as well, and a healthy Auguste is an intriguing wild card on DraftKings at just $3,700.

Real Madrid at Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv

Status Check: Anthony Randolph (MAD), Sergio Llull (MAD), Rudy Fernandez (MAD)

Best Bets for Success: With Shved out Thursday, Walter Tavares is the best bet for success on the entire board. Tavares is averaging 13.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2.3 blocks over 27 minutes per game since the start of November, and he put up fewer than 26.0 points on DraftKings only twice over that span. While Tavares is the safer option, Scottie Wilbekin is actually averaging the most DraftKings points among the healthy players on the slate. Wilbekin has not scored consistently of late, but he has been producing in all kinds of categories, and he's returning the most average value among the players in the upper tier.

DFS Darlings: Nicholas Laprovittola isn't the value he once was, but with Llull still out he should have another nice day Thursday. With Llull sidelined, both Gabriel Deck and Jaycee Carroll get a boost, and Deck is particularly appealing on DraftKings at just $4,800. Yovel Zoosman is another player under $5,000 worth a look, as he played at least 20 minutes in each of the last two Rounds and put some real numbers on the board in Round 20.

Valencia Basket at LDLC ASVEL

Status Check: Bojan Dubljevic (PAM), Klemen Prepelic (PAM), Vanja Marinkovic (PAM), Moustapha Fall (ASV), Amine Noua (ASV)

Best Bets for Success: Valencia will be without its top player again, and with its backcourt situation uncertain and ASVEL containing players at the forward positions as well as anyone, Mike Tobey gets the top spot for the Spanish squad once again. Tobey is averaging 11.3 points and 6.3 rebounds over 23 minutes since Dubljevic hit the sidelines. Valencia ranks at the exact opposite end against opposing forwards, so both David Lighty and Guerschon Yabusele will land here for the French team. Lighty has been the more consistent of the two, but Yabusele has put up at least 37.8 points on DraftKings three times since the start of December, and Lighty has not topped 31.5 DraftKings points this season.

DFS Darlings: Norris Cole has averaged 16.5 ppg since the calendar flipped to January, which makes him worth a look at just $8,000. If Fall remains out, Kevarrius Hayes will also be worth considering at just $4,800. Given the matchup, William Howard deserves a spot here as well. While it remains to be seen how the minutes in Valencia's backcourt will be divided, and if he will be 100 percent or not, Klemen Prepelic at least warrants a mention here. Prepelic reached double figures in five of his last six appearances and is providing some of the most average value on the board. Plus, while ASVEL is allowing the fewest threes per game, they are allowing the most points to players at the guard positions.

FC Bayern Munich at AX Armani Exchange Milan

Status Check: Wade Baldwin (MUN), Nihad Dedovic (MUN), Zan Sisko (MUN), Shavon Shields (MIL), Vladimir Micov (MIL), Jeff Brooks (MIL), Michael Roll (MIL)

Best Bets for Success: While Baldwin is not a lock to play Thursday, Bayern should have its top three players available for the third Round in a row. All three carry some degree of appeal in Thursday's contests, as Baldwin led his team in scoring when these teams matched up in Round 1, Jalen Reynolds will face a team allowing the second-most rebounds, and Vladimir Lucic provides the most average value of the bunch on DraftKings. Milan could have a tough time matching up against Lucic with several forwards sidelined, and that could be enough to make him the best bet among the trio. Milan continues sharing the wealth up and down its roster, but with the team even thinner in the frontcourt than they have been of late, Zach LeDay and Luigi Datome should keep producing. LeDay averaged a even 23.0 points on DraftKings over his last seven appearances, and Datome averaged 30.9 points on the same website over the two EuroLeague games his club played last week.

DFS Darlings: Riccardo Moraschini should also benefit from the rash of absences, and he won't have to do much to at least return 3x value on DraftKings. While Sergio Rodriguez will not directly replace any of the injured players, he is the only player on the slate returning 3x value on average at his current price, and he could be more involved if Milan opts to go small. Bayern could be down a couple players as well, and if Dedovic remains out, Nick Weiler-Babb would be a nice option at $7,100. Weiler-Babb put up at least 22.0 points on DraftKings in four of the last five Rounds.

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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