Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Zach Collins
- The NBA Summer League continues Sunday with four games.
- This is the fifth day of the playoffs, and it's down to the final eight teams.
- The 76ers look like a good betting value against the Grizzlies, who have shown much less promise in Vegas.
As mentioned in our inaugural Summer League piece last Friday, it’s been highly profitable the past two seasons to bet underdogs and overs.
- Favorites: 66-117-5 ATS, -30.0% ROI, -$5,636 lost for a $100/unit bettor
- Dogs: 117-66-5 ATS, +22.5% ROI, +$4,227 won for a $100/unit bettor
- Over: 107-77-4, +12.0% ROI, +$2,252 won for a $100/unit bettor
- Under: 77-107-4, -19.4% ROI, -$3,638 lost for a $100/unit bettor
Once you cash all of your tickets from the World Cup and Wimbledon finals early in the morning, what are you going to do? Just sit and be satisfied? Let’s get real. Thankfully, Summer League continues.
The tournament is down to the final eight teams, some of them quite good and some not. As always, it will be important to keep track of news on Twitter; if any of the main guys — especially the Lakers’ Josh Hart — is out, it will make a big difference. On that note, let’s dive in.
Detroit Pistons vs. LA Lakers (-4.5) | O/U: 164
4 p.m. ET
- The Pistons are 3-2 in Vegas with a subpar -2.2 point differential. The Lakers, meanwhile, have been excellent this summer, going 4-0 with a stellar +14.0 point differential. Only the Blazers have outscored their opponents by more.
- The Pistons played yesterday, defeating the Bulls by six points. The Lakers haven’t played since Thursday, when they ran through a Clippers squad minus Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Given the layoff, I’m less worried about LA resting Josh Hart, who is likely the Summer League MVP at this point. He’s been incredible in just about every game, and he’s earned a legit role in the Lakers offense come October.
- The Pistons won yesterday with their defense, holding the Bulls to just 66 points. Rookie standout Wendell Carter Jr. really struggled, going just 1-of-8 from the field. He had a nice 16 rebounds and two blocks, but they needed more than his six total points to get the W. The Pistons are now sixth this summer in defense, allowing 77.0 points per game. They’ll have their hands full against a Lakers squad scoring a whopping 89.0 points per game.
Lean: Lakers -4.5 assuming Hart continues to play
Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (-2.5) | O/U: 173.5
6 p.m. ET
- The Raptors are 2-3 in Vegas with a -4.6 point differential. The Cavs are 4-1 with a +6.0 point differential.
- Yeah … I’m still not convinced this Raptors squad is really that good. They did beat the Hornets yesterday, although that Charlotte awesome starting five to begin Summer League was down three guys — and perhaps their two most important ones in Malik Monk and Willy Hernangomez, both of whom project to play important rotational roles come October. OG Anunoby didn’t suit up yesterday, so if he doesn’t go again, I’m definitely fine with fading Toronto.
- It looks like Cleveland’s Ante Zizic and Cedi Osman are done for the summer — they haven’t played in a couple games now — but Collin Sexton still suited up yesterday in the Cavs’ win versus the Rockets. He didn’t have the greatest day, going 5-of-17 from the field, but having a high-upside shot creator is critical for Summer League, and Sexton is definitely better than what the Raptors are likely rolling out.
Lean: Cavs -2.5
Boston Celtics vs. Portland Trail Blazers (-2) | O/U: 170
8 p.m. ET
- The Celtics are 4-1 in Vegas with a +4.4 point differential. The Blazers have been the best team this summer, going a perfect 4-0 with a SL-best +16.0 point differential. This is definitely the best game of the day.
- Like the Lakers, Portland hasn’t had to play since Thursday, so it’s going to be quite rested for this affair. I’ve said that the Blazers are my pick to win the tournament, and that’s not going to change unless they wholesale rest their players. Their roster includes guys like Jake Layman, Zach Collins, Wade Baldwin, Caleb Swanigan, K.J. McDaniels, Anfernee Simons, Gary Trent Jr. and Georgios Papagiannis. That is an absolute juggernaut of a Summer League roster, and all of those guys have a potential shot to be a rotation player (or better) in the NBA.
- The Celtics have their share of NBA rotation players with guys like Semi Ojeleye, Guerschon Yabusele and Jabari Bird. And they’ve been excellent this summer, especially on defense. They’re one of just eight squads to allow fewer than 80 points per game, and they held stud Kevin Knox to 5-of-20 shooting in the first round. All that said, three rotation guys versus entire roster full of them for Portland may be too much to overcome.
Lean: Blazers -2 assuming no rest
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Memphis Grizzlies (-1.5) | O/U: 174.5
10 p.m. ET
- The 76ers are 2-3 in Vegas with a poor -6.2 point differential. The Grizzlies have been nearly as bad, going 3-2 with a -5.6 point differential.
- My favorite team to bet on in the playoffs so far has been the 76ers; I don’t believe their record or point differential has been indicative of the talent on this squad. They’ve played better the past two games, and yet they’re dogs again today against an uninspiring Grizzlies squad. I’m going to keep it rolling with the intriguing Philly guys.
- The Grizzlies had to play the late game last night — a six-point win over the Jazz — and they ran a tight, nine-man rotation. Every player got at least 15 minutes, and it’s possible they could have some tired legs today. Further, outside of Jaren Jackson Jr., who is an absolute stud, this Memphis roster isn’t too exciting. The 76ers are much better, and they played 11 guys yesterday.
Lean: 76ers +1.5