Follow along on Twitter (@julianedlow) for plenty of Summer League coverage, lineup news and bets, including some insight from on-site in Las Vegas. DraftKings Sportsbook is offering some really cool markets to take advantage of. The goal of this article is to highlight exactly what you’re able to bet on in the Vegas Summer League, as well as some teams and players to watch.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Out of the legal stats that DraftKings Sportsbook operates in, NBA Summer League markets are not offered in NY, MI, IN and LA.
The Vegas Summer League tips off on July 7 and runs through the championship game on July 17. Things get started with a very intriguing matchup between the No. 1 overall pick in Paolo Banchero and the rumored No. 1 overall pick Jabari Smith (who wound up going No. 3). The Magic and Rockets are the first of many high profile matchups between young prospects we’ll be getting our first look at with their respective NBA teams.
This isn’t the usual “best bets” article I post for NBA — frankly, those are going to be difficult to publish during Summer League. First and foremost, you want to bet these games as close to tipoff as possible (sometimes even after tip). Lineup news can be very difficult to come by, and when we do get it, it’s often a couple minutes prior to the start of the game. But if you’re doing your homework, that can also be part of the edge. Accept that there may be some situations we sacrifice a couple of points in line movement to make sure we’re taking the right side.
Sometimes this means live betting these games, or jumping on at halftime. Generally speaking, though, getting an in-game wager early in the action could be the way to go. Take this OKC vs. MEM game from the Utah Summer League from July 6 for example — I played OKC -2.5 when the game was tied after the first quarter.
The Thunder opened slight dogs in this game and wound up closing -3.5. Sharp bettors piled on OKC because they weren’t going to be sitting any of the star prospects that played so well just a day earlier. However, we also leaned that Ziaire Williams and Xavier Tillman would sit for Memphis. The massive talent edge on OKC’s side will usually prevail over the course of one of these games, and in this case we were correct.
Following lineup news is going to be the key to betting Summer League game-by-game, so while I won’t be giving out any plays right now, be sure to stay tuned.
Outside of the daily grind of betting games, there are some other cool markets we’re offering that are worth highlighting.
Player Props on top prospects: Using the Magic vs. Rockets game as an example on July 7, we can bet on outcomes on Banchero and/or Smith to score 20+, 25+ and 30+ points. We’re also offering player prop parlays on both players to score 20+ or 25+. Keep an eye on this tab for some cool betting options as the league continues.
Vegas Summer League Champion: Pre-flop the Nets (+700) are the favorites with that talented Thunder (+750) team right behind them. Personally, the Nets seem to be a little overvalued, so if I’m not betting OKC, I’m looking deeper into the field.
The Pistons (+1100) should be a team to watch, headlined by top-five pick Jaden Ivey, and joined by fellow lottery pick Jalen Duren. If you think Banchero can lead his team to victory, the Magic (+3000) have pretty long odds. In that range, I’m eyeing the Warriors (+3000) to potentially add a Summer League title to their actual NBA championship just a month earlier. Again, we have no idea how much these guys will play, but three lottery picks from the last two drafts are on the roster — James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
Vegas Summer League MVP: As you’d imagine with all the OKC love comes Chet Holmgren (+1000) love. Holmgren has seen his number getting bet down, and as of the morning of July 7, he had over 60% of the handle. While Chet very well could win the award, all that handle just leaves value elsewhere. Here are some long shots that could be worth sprinkles:
Keegan Murray (+2500) — No. 4 overall pick is polished and looked fantastic in the California Classic, leading the Kings to a 3-0 record.
Tre Mann (+3000) — OKC is loaded with lottery picks that everyone wants to talk about. But Mann averaged double-digits in the NBA last season and could win up carrying this team.
Sharife Cooper (+5500) — Was a projected first-rounder that went late second-round in 2021. Lightning quick PG from Auburn that can score and is an elite distributor. He’ll help make his teammates in Vegas better.
David Duke Jr. (+6500) — Duke played at Providence and was once considered a much higher prospect than where he wound up. He has real NBA experience from last season. With the Nets favored to win it all, these are long odds on one of their most talented players.
Jonathan Kuminga (+7500)/James Wiseman (+10000) — The long odds on these two are because we really have no idea how much they play. But Golden State has made mention to them playing, so maybe we consider them. As top-10 picks with NBA experience, they should be dominant when on the floor.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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