The Milwaukee Bucks begin the Damian Lillard era on Thursday, Oct. 28 against the Philadelphia 76ers, as these two squads are the final two teams to open their 2023-24 regular season.
Philly is down a key player in this game as James Harden (personal) has been ruled out by the team after missing several days of practice.
That’s a bad sign for Philly, and it’s moved the odds into this game to heavily favor the Bucks in their home opener.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and company were money at home last season, but can they keep that going against the reigning MVP in Philly’s Joel Embiid?
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Sixers vs. Bucks odds, spread and total
Sixers vs. Bucks how to watch
- Date: Thursday, Oct. 26
- Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
- Venue: Fiserv Forum
- How to Watch (TV): TNT
- Philadelphia 76ers Record: 0-0
- Milwaukee Bucks Record: 0-0
Sixers vs. Bucks injury reports
Philadelphia 76ers injury report
- James Harden (out, personal)
Milwaukee Bucks injury report
- No injuries to report
Sixers vs. Bucks key players to watch
Tyrese Maxey: With Harden ruled out, a lot is going to fall on the shoulders of Maxey, who is one of the best young guards in the NBA. He should be the primary ball-handler for the Sixers tonight, and he could put up some huge numbers.
Joel Embiid: The reigning league MVP may see a few more double teams than normal with Harden out, but Embiid is still going to be a handful for the Bucks to deal with. He’s won back-to-back scoring titles in Philly.
Damian Lillard: The long-awaited debut of Damian Lillard is finally here. The Bucks are hoping he can mesh with the roster quickly and become the missing piece for the team as it looks to win another title.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Giannis is here for the long haul, signing an extension with the franchise this week, and he’s looking to put up MVP-caliber numbers once again in the 2023-24 season.
Sixers vs. Bucks prediction and pick
The Bucks were solid in this spot last season, going 24-17-2 against the spread as home favorites, winning those games by an average margin of 6.6 points per game.
With Harden out, Philly is going to rely heavily on Tobias Harris, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Maxey to help carry the load on offense.
Embiid is likely going to get him, but the Sixers don’t have the deepest bench in the world.
Neither does Milwaukee, but the team actually comes into this season healthy – something that it didn’t have much in the 2022-23 campaign.
The Lillard fit may take time for the team to reach its full potential, but it’s worth noting that the Bucks were 25-8 in the 33 games that Khris Middleton played last season. His health is so key to the team’s success, and I think it gives Milwaukee the depth to take this game as a home favorite.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.