Expert NBA Best Bets and Player Props Today – Thursday, October 26


Expert NBA Best Bets and Player Props Today – Thursday, October 26th

The 2023-24 NBA season is finally here and we’re excited over here at VSiN. As always, Jonathan Von Tobel will be providing you with his exceptional coverage of the greatest league in the world. Just click here for all of his content. However, all of my picks will be featured in this daily column, which will combine my best bets and player props. I’ll be doing this every single day of the week — although it’ll be a little shorter on the weekends. So, keep reading to find out how I’m playing the NBA slate on Thursday, October 26. Also, check out our NBA Odds page for the most recent prices and spreads. 


MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for everything our experts have on October 26

2023 Record: 7-2 (+4.80 units)

NBA Best Bets Today – October 26

Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks – 7:30 pm ET

The James Harden situation has probably been a little distracting for this Philadelphia team, but the reality is that the Sixers have been preparing to play without him for weeks now. That means that the group of players that will be out there in tonight’s meeting with the Bucks has been learning Nick Nurse’s system for weeks. And the head coach, who won a title with the Toronto Raptors, has been picturing what his rotation will look like amongst this collection of talent. So, nobody in the Sixers organization will be shell shocked by Harden’s absence this evening. 

Philadelphia also happened to go 15-9 in the 24 games that Harden missed last year, so it’s not like the team can’t win without him. Realistically, as long as the Sixers have Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey out there, they’re a competitive basketball team. In fact, that two-man unit had a net rating of +10.6 in 1,201 minutes together last season. That’s a big part of the reason the Sixers seem so okay with moving on from Harden. They feel they’re ready for life without him. 

I just don’t think it’s crazy to expect a good basketball game out of these two teams tonight. With Harden out, the Sixers will have De’Anthony Melton in the starting lineup. Melton is a pesky point-of-attack defender, so he’ll likely handle the Damian Lillard assignment. And while I don’t think he’ll completely shut down the new Bucks star, he will at least make him work hard for everything. That’s more than Harden or Maxey would be able to do, and it’s likely that the latter would have had to guard Lillard if the Sixers were at full strength. It’s also just big having a guy like Embiid in there to clog the lane against Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak is going to have more room than ever playing with Lillard this season, but this is one of the few teams that I think can give the Bucks offense some trouble. 

This is also the first real game that this new Bucks team is playing together, so I don’t think it’s fair to expect them to easily beat one of the better teams in the conference. That said, I’m taking the points.

Bet: Sixers +6.5 (-110 – Play to +5.5) 

NBA Player Props Today – October 26

Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers – 10:00 pm ET

With Devin Booker and Bradley Beal doubtful for this game, the quick thought might be that Kevin Durant is due for a big scoring performance. But Durant is no spring chicken. And since returning from his Achilles injury, the four-time NBA scoring champion hasn’t exactly been the same player when it comes to creating for himself off the bounce. Of course, at 6-foot-11 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan, Durant can still shoot over the top of anyone. And he’s just as deadly of a spot-up shooter as he’s ever been. But I think he benefits from being out there with teammates that can score the basketball, as the best way for him to get good looks is by playing off others and getting to his spots within the flow of the offense. On Opening Night, we saw him try to go out and hunt his own looks against the Golden State Warriors, and that often led to him picking up his dribble early or turning the ball over. With that in mind, I think he might struggle a bit as the focal point of the offense in tonight’s game. Los Angeles can pay closer attention to him than usual, as the team won’t be too afraid of being beaten by the Phoenix supporting cast. 

I should mention that I do think Durant will still have his fair share of games with at least 32 points, and I’m by no means calling him completely washed. But I do think he’s transitioning into a different player at this point in his career, and I don’t think you want to lean completely on him at this point. So, I’m taking the Under on his point total. And it doesn’t hurt that this game might be played at a slow pace.

Bet: Durant Under 31.5 Points (-125) 

DraftKings Sportsbook Boosts & Offers 

DraftKings Sportsbook is offering a 50% profit boost on any NBA bet today. That means you can get a great price on any of the picks I listed above. Just head over there and claim it while you still can. 

DraftKings also happens to be offering a $10 bonus bet for NBA bettors to start the season. So, you should pounce on that. Perhaps use it to parlay these picks together. 

Did you know that you can parlay these picks together? Try out our VSiN Parlay Calculator HERE!

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