This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
- ALBA's Jaleen Smith will suit up for Round 17, but Christ Koumadje, Tim Schneider and Jonas Mattiseck will not.
- Red Star's Ognjen Dobric will not play Wednesday.
STATS AND INFO.
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- Injury Report
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Best Bets for Success: Wednesday's slate has been reduced from four games to three, but the first one on the schedule will still be played, and it will feature two teams fighting for the eighth spot in the standings. The defending champions have gotten back to .500, thanks largely to Shane Larkin, who is again looking like the player that almost certainly would have been named the 2020-21 MVP had the season not been cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over his last seven appearances, Larkin averaged 17.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.9 steals and 2.7 threes – good for a stellar 33.9 DraftKings points per night. Backcourt mate Vasilije Micic has not been as consistent, but he did reach the 40-point mark on DraftKings three times over the last eight Rounds. While both players can put up big numbers any time out, it will be tough for the two of them to come through Wednesday, as Red Star is allowing easily the fewest points and field goal attempts to opposing guards. It will be easier for Micic to return value Wednesday, as even at an even $10,000 on DraftKings he checks in $1,400 cheaper than his teammate. Nikola Kalinic is the clear top option for Red Star at this point, and he will not have any matchup concerns. In fact, he will have a matchup to target, as Efes ranks bottom-2 against players at the forward spots in all of points, rebounds and assists, which just so happen to be the three categories Kalinic thrives in.
DFS Darlings: The over/under on this game is not as high as it is in the next contest, but there are still quite a few value plays to consider thanks to matchups and injuries. Red Star will be down Davidovac and very likely Dobric, which will open up holes in both their frontcourt and backcourt. After Kalinic, Luka Mitrovic is the most likely forward to capitalize on Efes' issues with forwards. However, the best bargain among the group is Aaron White, who appeared to be full speed in his return to action over the weekend and costs a meager $4,900 on DraftKings. There will be several options to consider in the Serbian squad's backcourt, as their second-leading scorer, Nate Wolters, will cost you only $8,100. Both he and Nikola Ivanovic – who runs just $7,400 – are returning some of most average value on the board. You could also take a shot on Austin Hollins at $5,700. The Turkish team is not the only one in this matchup that has had trouble with forwards, as Red Star ranks bottom-3 against players at those positions in all of points, assists, steals, blocks and threes per game. That's great news for the prospects of Adrien Moerman and also bodes well for Chris Singleton and James Anderson. It could also benefit Krunoslav Simon and Elijah Bryant, who are listed as guards but frequently work at the three spot. The major concern for most of the players on this list will be the scoreboard, as Efes is a double-digit, and rotations could be knocked off kilter if the game gets out of hand.
Per an official announcement from the EuroLeague, "The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 17 game between Zalgiris Kaunas and AX Armani Exchange Milan, originally scheduled to be played on Wednesday, December 22, has been suspended. Milan requested the suspension due to local legislation imposing quarantine measures on the team after several team members tested positive for COVID-19, which leaves it without the minimum eight players on the Authorization List fit to play."
Best Bets for Success: There should be no shortage of points in this one, as the over/under is set at a pretty high number. There should be no shortage of fantasy points, either, particularly from Mike James and Luke Sikma. James averaged 14.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 11.5 assists over the last two Rounds, and the German team is not faring too well against opposing guards in any of those categories. Sikma missed the last three Rounds with a back injury, but he returned and played his regular role over the weekend, and at $9,000 he is easily returning the most average value on the board. His matchup is about as appealing as can be, as Monaco ranks bottom-2 against frontcourt players in points, rebounds and field goal percentage.
DFS Darlings: With a lot of scoring expected, there will be ample opportunities for value plays. Dwayne Bacon got all kinds of opportunities last week and that should continue. Also, with Monaco down one guard and possibly another, Danilo Andjusic and Yakuba Ouattara will be be worth a look. Monaco has been particularly friendly to opposing centers, which bodes well for Johannes Thiemann and gives Ben Lammers some sleeper potential.
Best Bets for Success: The last game of the day could be the most intriguing, as the upstart Russian squad will have a prime opportunity to announce their presence against the league's first-place time. A red-hot Mario Hezonja and Lorenzo Brown figure to lead the way for the visitors. Brown will match up with a Barcelona team ceding the fewest assists and threes to opposing guards The Spanish squad is also limiting backcourt players to the lowest field goal percentage, but they are allowing them to get up the most shots both from the field and the free throw line. Nikola Mirotic figures to carry the home team, but he will have a particularly tough matchup in this one, as UNICS ranks first against forwards in points, threes and field goal percentage and also rank top-5 in three other counting stats. The Russian team is allowing guards to get up a lot of shots both from the field and beyond the arc, so Nicolas Laprovittola lands here as well.
DFS Darlings: This game features the lowest over/under of the day, so there are not many appealing options among the lower-priced players. However, things shape up well for John Brown on the UNICS side. Due to injuries, Dante Exum and Rolands Smits will both have a shot return useful value in Round 17.