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The Philadelphia 76ers are in a bit of a messy situation to begin the 2023-24 NBA season. The 76ers reportedly told James Harden, a 10-time All-Star, not to travel with the team on its opening two-game road trip, which begins on Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks. Harden requested a trade to the Clippers during the offseason and said he lost trust in the organization, yet he reportedly showed up ready to travel with the team to Milwaukee. One thing is for sure: Harden won’t play Thursday, robbing the NBA DFS player pool of one of its biggest names.

How should this affect forming an NBA DFS strategy on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings in a two-game slate on Thursday? Could forward Tobias Harris become a more valuable option for NBA DFS picks with more shots available? Or, could reserve guards Patrick Beverley or De’Anthony Melton outperform their price tags for NBA DFS lineups? Before making your NBA DFS picks for Thursday, be sure to check out the NBA DFS advice, player rankings, stacks and top daily Fantasy basketball picks from SportsLine’s Mike McClure.

McClure is a DFS professional with more than $2 million in career winnings. He’s also a predictive data engineer at SportsLine who uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every minute of every game 10,000 times, taking factors like matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account.

This allows him to find the best NBA DFS values and create optimal lineups that he shares only over at SportsLine. They’re a must-see for any NBA DFS player.

On Wednesday, McClure highlighted Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane as one of his top picks in his NBA DFS player pool on both sites. The result: Bane had 31 points with five rebounds and five assists, returning 52.25 points on DraftKings and 51.5 points on FanDuel. Anybody who included him in their lineups was well on the way to a profitable day.

McClure has turned his attention to the beginning of the 2023-24 NBA season on Thursday and locked in his top daily Fantasy basketball picks. You can only see them by heading to SportsLine.

Top NBA DFS picks for Thursday, October 26

For Thursday, one of McClure’s top NBA DFS picks is 76ers center Joel Embiid, who is listed at $10,300 on DraftKings and $11,200 on FanDuel. Embiid is coming off his coveted NBA MVP award last season after leading the league in scoring (33.1 points per game) while adding 10.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in a 54-win season.

Embiid is among the favorites to win MVP again this season. He is averaging 29.5 points and 11 rebounds over his last six games against the Bucks, scoring at least 28 points in each of the last three matchups. With James Harden out as he and the 76ers continue to deal with strains in their relationship, expect a huge usage out of Embiid, making him worthy of a hefty price tag is his first regular-season game since winning the NBA MVP.

Another part of McClure’s optimal NBA DFS strategy includes Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,200 on DraftKings and $12,000 on FanDuel). Antetokounmpo was fifth in the NBA in scoring average (31.1 PPG) last season while adding 11.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists. The seven-time All-Star and two-time MVP has been one of the most consistent scorers in the NBA over the last few seasons, averaging at least 28 points per game over the last four years.

Antetokounmpo has at least 33 points and 14 rebounds in his last two games against the 76ers. When Antetokounmpo and Embiid go against one another, they often bring the best out of each other. Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.9 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game over his last seven contests against the 76ers. He isn’t cheap, but daily Fantasy basketball players should expect big things from Antetokounmpo opening the season at home alongside Damian LillardSee McClure’s other NBA DFS picks right here.

How to set your NBA DFS lineups for Thursday, October 26

McClure is also targeting a player who could go off for massive numbers on Thursday because of a dream matchup. This pick could be the difference between winning your tournaments and cash games or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.

Who is DFS pro Mike McClure putting in his optimal NBA DFS lineups for Thursday? Visit SportsLine now to see optimal NBA DFS picks, rankings, advice, and stacks, all from a professional DFS player who has over $2 million in career winnings, and find out.

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