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The preseason means nothing to about 85 percent of the players and coaches in the NBA. For undrafted rookies, it is a big deal. For players getting accustomed to new teams, it is a big deal.

For everyone else, it is something to do because they are required to do it.

That said, there were some players who stood out in the preseason more than we would have expected. Some of them are available in prop bets, but some of them are not – even if they killed it in exhibition games like Jonathan Kuminga of the Golden State Warriors. He was unavailable in same-game parlay prop bets. Cue the opposite of smiley face emoji.

But then there is Malik Beasley, the new shooter on the Milwaukee Bucks not named Damian Lillard. And while you were not watching (very few preseason games were televised nationally), Beasley and Peyton Pritchard of the Boston Celtics knocked down 17 3-pointers apiece to lead the league. That is one more than Devin Vassell of the Spurs and three more than Desmond Bane of the Grizzlies.

As we all have learned over the past decade and a half, the 3-point shot is the NBA’s shot of choice. On any given night, we will see twice as many threes as dunks. Dominique Wilkins, Julius Erving, and Moses Malone no longer recognize the game.

But sports evolve, and when there is a 50 percent premium on making a basket from outside of 23 feet, nine inches, then there is a huge incentive to make as many of those as possible.

Beasley will be on national television on TNT on Thursday when the Bucks debut their new coach and their new lineup against the Philadelphia 76ers, so he won’t be able to help us on Wednesday. However, Bane is playing for Memphis at home against New Orleans, and Vassell will be on national television on ESPN as Victor Wembanyama makes his regular-season debut against Dallas in the second half of a doubleheader that begins with Boston (and Pritchard) against New York.

All eyes will be on the big French kid in the nightcap, and in the opener it will be our first look at new Boston point guard Jrue Holiday, who gets matched up against one of the best in the East in the Knicks’ Jalen Brunson.

There are 10 other games with players looking to come out of the gate strong, and our job is to figure out who should be able to do something better than expected. That is where the player-prop parlay game gets interesting, because 12 games means 24 teams are in action, and with most teams using eight-man rotations, that gives us 192 players from which to choose.

No worries, we are here to sift.

The player we like to break out strongest is Indiana point guard Tyrese Haliburton, who would have led the league in assists last season had he played enough games to qualify.

Our Most Improved Player pick is Alperen Sengun of Houston, who opens on the road against Orlando. We have also touted OG Anunoby of Toronto as a strong Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and Bane is a guy we have been using in player parlays for two years because of the volume of 3-pointers he takes and makes.

Best NBA Player Prop Bets Today: Wednesday, Oct. 25 2023

So here we go with a player-prop parlay that has nothing to do with point spreads or over/unders. It is all about guys we like showing us whether we were on the right track when we touted them for this or that.

Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers Player Prop BetsWith Indiana’s Haliburton, let’s go with over 15 assists (+750) and Jordan Poole over 3½ 3-pointers (+285) for Washington. That’s +2000, so $10 pays $210.

The Pick:Tyrese Haliburton Over 15 assists (+750) and Jordan Poole Over 3.5 3-pointers (+285)

Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic Player Prop Bets

With Houston’s Sengun, let’s go over 18 points (+220) and over 15 rebounds (+900). That’s +1900, so $10 makes $200.

The Pick: Alperen Sengun Over 18 points (+220) and Over 15 rebounds (+900)

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Toronto Raptors Player Prop BetsWith Toronto’s Anunoby, let’s go with two or more steals (+130) and with Dennis Schröder going over 15 points and over 10 assists for the Raptors. That’s +1500, so a $10 wager makes $160.

The Pick: OG Anunoby 2+ Steals (+130) and Dennis Schröder Over 15 points (+275)

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Player Prop BetsWith Boston’s Holiday, let’s go over 25 points (+800) and 2 or more steals (+260). That’s +1900, and on a $10 bet it would return $200.

The Pick: Jrue Holiday Over 25 points (+800) and 2+ stealss (+260)

Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs Player Prop BetsWith San Antonio’s Vassell, let’s go with 3-plus 3-pointers along with teammate Wembanyama having 2-plus steals and 3-plus blocks. That is +1400, so $10 brings $150.

The Pick: Devin Vassell Three pointers 3+(+130) and Victor Wembanyama 2+ Steals (+300)

Odds are subject to change*

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