Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox
Let’s get this out of the way first: Betting on the NBA Summer League does not make you a degenerate — especially if you use data to back up your plays.
These exhibition games in Vegas showcase the league’s newest stars and rarely feature defense, similar to the NBA All-Star Game. In the last 10 years at All-Star weekend, the over is 7-3 despite the average total being 270 points. This trend holds for Summer League, as well.
Since 2016, when we began tracking Summer League results, overs in the desert are 128-100-4 (56.1%). For comparison, the over is 1,799-1,845-46 (49.4%) during the regular season in the same time. Clearly, motivation to try (at least on defense) is lacking during the summer months.
Making overs even more appealing this July is a shot clock rule change. After an offensive rebound, instead of the shot clock resetting to 24 seconds, it has been shortened to 14 seconds, which should help speed up the game even more.
Overs have been profitable in Summer League, but wagering on every game isn’t optimal. To improve our results, I’ve found two winning strategies using Bet Labs with matches for Tuesday’s slate.