This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
- Zalgiris' Josh Nebo will not play Friday due to an ankle injury.
- Dyshawn Pierre will return to action Friday for Fenerbahce, but Danilo Barthel will not.
- Olympiacos' Moustapha Fall will be available for Friday's game.
- Zenit's Dmitry Kulagin remains out for Round 9.
STATS AND INFO.
Best Bets for Success: Friday's slate of games kicks off with the only matchup on the slate that features two teams with winning records. Olympiacos is off to a strong 6-2 start, but they have yet to win a game on the road, which is why they are slight underdogs in this one. If the visitors are to pick up their first win away from home, they will presumably need big nights from Sasha Vezenkov and Tyler Dorsey, and both are plenty capable of doing so. Zenit is allowing the fewest rebounds to opposing frontcourt players, but that might not phase Vezenkov, who recorded five double-doubles – including one in the last Round – over his last 19 EuroLeague appearances. Dorsey played a bit of a complementary role in his first four EuroLeague appearances with Olympiacos, but he has been his team's primary option on the offensive end since Round 5, when he dropped a career-high 32 points. Since that point, Dorsey is averaging 18.3 ppg, 10.5 field goal attempts and 5.3 free throw attempts per contest. Zenit's top option remains Jordan Loyd, who is averaging 2.3 more points than anyone else on his squad. Loyd was held in check in Round 8, though, and it will not be easy for him to get back on track in this one, as Olympiacos fares pretty well against opposing guards in most categories, including points per contest and field goal percentage allowed.
DFS Darlings: In addition to the two Olympiacos players mentioned above, the Greek team has also been getting pretty steady production from Kostas Sloukas, who has put up at least 18.8 DraftKings points in all but one game this season. At just $8,400 on DraftKings he is returning some of the most value on the board. Fall's status for Friday's game is uncertain, and if he is held out, Livio Jean-Charles – just $6,900 on the same website – is the most likely to benefit. A Fall absence would also be good news for Zenit's frontcourt players, as Olympiacos would have no one active taller than Vezenkov at 6'7". The Greek team is already allowing frontcourt players to get up a lot of shots, and that could mean more opportunities for Arturas Gudaitis and Jordan Mickey. The latter is particularly appealing, as after opening the season at $11,300 on DraftKings he now checks in at a far-more-affordable $7,900.
Best Bets for Success: First-place Milan has won four more games than Fenerbahce this season, but they could be in for a fight Friday, as Fenerbahce is actually favored to take home the win. In order for them to do so, they will likely have to lean on their frontcourt, as Milan is allowing the fewest points and three-pointers to opposing guards while limiting them to the worst percentages both from the field and behind the three-point line. Jan Vesely certain seems up to the task, having averaged 16.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists over his last four games. Devin Booker does as well, having reached the 25-point mark on DraftKings for the fourth time this season his last time out. The home team has had a lot of issues with opposing forwards, ranking at or near the bottom against players at those positions in every counting stat. That sets things up nicely for Shavon Shields, who in addition to being Milan's top scoring option also owns the most well-rounded line on the roster.
DFS Darlings: Milan has all kinds of forwards you consider in this matchup, and you could get away with taking more than one on DraftKings given their price points. $8,400 Nicolo Melli has been the Italian team's top producer besides Shields , $7,900 Konstantinos Mitoglou has the upside, and $6,800 Luigi Datome is doing enough to deserve a mention. For what it's worth, Melli and Datome will also be forcing their former team. Given Milan's numbers against guards and the fact Fenerbahce could get two players back Friday, it's probably best to pick your value plays from teams other than the Turkish squad.
Best Bets for Success: This is a pivotal game for both teams, as Monaco will seek to move back above .500 and Bayern will look to draw even with them in the standings. The home team will be led by Mike James, who is the priciest player on the board but is also returning the most value on the slate. He could have a tough time scoring against a Bayern team allowing opposing guards to get up by far the fewest shots from the field, but James isn't relying solely on his scoring this year, averaging 3.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.1 steals per contest. James' former sidekick, Darrun Hilliard, is actually scoring quite a bit more than James this season, and he too faces a tough matchup, as Monaco ranks top-4 when it comes to limiting opposing guards in the points, threes, FG% and 3P% categories. Hilliard is contributing elsewhere, too, but not at the same level as James, so Vladimir Lucic could be a better option than his teammate. Lucic is still Bayern's best player whenever he takes the court, and Monaco is allowing opposing forwards to get very involved. Plus he's back down to a relatively-cheap $9,000 on DraftKings.
DFS Darlings: Not only is the French team struggling against players at the forward spots, they are also allowing opposing frontcourt players to put up a lot more points than any other team and are also allowing them to grab the most rebounds. So, this will be another scenario where you can consider several players at the same spot on the same team but at different price points on DraftKings. $8,600 Othello Hunter averaged 25.2 points on that website over the last three Rounds, $7,600 Augustine Rubit put up 31.3 DraftKings points his last time out, and $7,300 Deshaun Thomas found himself in the 'Best Bets' section earlier this season. Monaco has a couple forwards to consider, too, in Will Thomas and Alpha Diallo. Thomas is averaging the most value on the board among players beneath the $10,000 mark, and Diallo – even at his current $7,000 price point – returned a stellar 3.5x value over the last three Rounds .
Best Bets for Success: The final game on Thursday's schedule was the blowout it was expected to be, and if the oddsmakers are right again, we will see the same scenario play out Friday, as the home team is favored by 16.5 points pretty much wherever you look. As will almost always be the case, Edy Tavares lands a spot here, but he will be joined this week by Guerschon Yabusele, who has been about as steady as they come through eight Rounds. Yabusele has scored fewer than 11 points just twice all season, and he has put up fewer than 20.3 DraftKings points only once. Tavares claims pretty much the same track record, but what stands out on his line are the four games with at least 32.5 DraftKings points. Playing time will be a concern for both players if the score gets out of hand, but less so for Yabusele, who played at least 27 minutes in all of Madrid's comfortable wins to date. Josh Nebo has slowed some for Zalgiris, and he will have his work cut out for him against the home team's frontcourt, but by default he remains the top option for his squad, as he is leading his team in all of points, rebounds, blocks, minutes and DraftKings points since joining the starting lineup in Round 3.
DFS Darlings: The playing time on both sides has been pretty spread out to begin with, so there shouldn't be much fluctuation in minutes even if Madrid runs away on the scoreboard. Alberto Abalde and Vincent Poirier are two players who could see a bit of a boost, though, and they're both capable of returning 3x value if they receive at least 20 minutes. There aren't many appealing fantasy options on the Zalgiris roster, particularly with a couple new guards working in and Madrid containing opposing forwards as well as anyone. However, you could consider Lukas Lekavicius and Tyler Cavanaugh, who have both been quietly producing steadily in both EuroLeague and domestic contests in recent weeks. Neither checks in at more than $7,400 on DraftKings.