This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
- Barcelona's Rokas Jokubaitis will suit up Thursday, and Nicolas Laprovittola and Kyle Kuric will be held out due to a coach's decision.
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Best Bets for Success: Thursday's slate consists of only two games, and the first one will be a glorified practice for a Barcelona team that has had the top seed locked up for a while. The oddsmakers are still expecting them to wind up on the winning side, but don't expect any of their key players to play heavy minutes in their final regular season game of the season. Nikola Mirotic and Nick Calathes don't need much time on the court to make a fantasy impact, but both could have a tough time returning meaningful value Thursday. No fewer than six Maccabi players averaged more than 20.0 DraftKings points per game over their last four EuroLeague games, and just about all of them delivered when they blew out Barcelona back in Round 7. Maccabi has locked up a playoff berth and can remain in contention for the fifth seed with a win, but they also cannot finish lower than sixth, so it's unclear exactly how they will approach Thursday's contest. The best guess is they will play to win but look to limit minutes to some degree. In that scenario, Scottie Wilbekin, James Nunnally and Ante Zizic would remain the players most likely to produce, but it would also be a challenge for them to return 3x value on DraftKings against a sound Barcelona defense.
DFS Darlings: This game is expected to be the higher-scoring of the two, which is good news for the three Maccabi players -- Keenan Evans, Derrick Williams and Jalen Reynolds -- not mentioned above. Among that group, Reynolds looks like the best option on DraftKings, partly because he is returning the most average value and partly because he is the cheapest of the bunch. If you're looking for bargains who could see some extra time, Yiftach Ziv and Angelo Caloiaro look like the best gambles with neither of them checking in above $4,600. No Barcelona played more than 19 minutes in Round 33 and only two reserves did the Round before, which certainly does not bode well for finding value plays. A few options to consider below the $6,000 mark are Alex Abrines, Rolands Smits and Michael Caicedo. Abrines can get pretty close to 3x value with only a few threes, Smits averaged 18 minutes over the last four contests, and Caicedo will run you only $4,100.
Best Bets for Success: Milan wound up winning by only a single point when these team met in Round 5, and the oddsmakers are expecting another tight contest, as both teams are slight favorites on various website. The Italian team has won more than twice as many games as their counterpart, but as evidenced by the list above, they will be particularly shorthanded in their final regular season game of the season. Milan can still move up the standings and push off a potential matchup with top-seeded Barcelona until the Final, so despite the absences they figure to go for the win. Nicolo Melli missed a couple contests recently, but that -- as well as the 29.5 DraftKings points he averaged over his last seven appearances -- does not prevent him from occupying this spot for the visitors. Melli put up 25.0 DraftKings points when these teams last saw each other, and ASVEL ranks bottom-5 against forwards in the points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentage categories. ASVEL does not have much to play for besides pride, and with a pretty heavy schedule coming up they could rotate players in and out of the rotation and cap minutes like they have been doing of late. Chris Jones and Elie Okobo remain the best bets to both play 30 minutes and hit the 30-point mark on DraftKings, but Milan has been pretty stingy against guards. It will be no easy task for Jones to return 3x value if he does not spend more than 25 minutes on the court. Okobo at least checks in nearly $1,000 cheaper and put 25 points on the board in the last matchup.
DFS Darlings: Friday's game will be the last we see of uber-prospect Victor Wembanyama this season, and if recent results are any indication he will stuff the stat sheet one more time. Milan will not make things easy for him, but if he gets anywhere close to 30 minutes that should be enough for him to deliver on DraftKings. ASVEL is expected to have everyone available Friday, which means they will likely deactivate a player or two who could be listed in this section. If Morgan plays, he is going to be tough to pass up at a minuscule $3,600. William Howard will be a name to consider at $6,400, and Youssoupha Fall brings good upside to the table at $5,400. Milan has a key domestic game coming up Sunday, so while they will likely go for the win they probably won't overextend themselves trying to do so. Devon Hall seems likely to fill his regular role either way, and he could be asked to do more scoring than he usually does. Malcolm Delaney figures to pick up some of the slack as well, and like Hall, he won't run you all that much on DraftKings. Ben Bentil and Gianpaolo Ricci will be the only forwards Milan has available besides Melli, and they will get the same matchup he does. Kaleb Tarczewski is also in the mix given the likelihood of him playing at least 15 minutes.