Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett
- NBA Summer League action in Las Vegas continues Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
- Below are spreads, totals, betting notes and player news to watch for in all nine games today.
From yesterday’s Summer League piece…
That shows the importance of staying on Twitter up to game time to get valuable information.
It’s a tough balance to strike: Lines continue to move so much after opening, so you can either grab openers or wait until there’s definitive news on important players. I think I would take the latter approach, especially for the most impactful guys in Vegas.
That was so true for many of the games discussed:
- Nets: Jarrett Allen ended up not playing.
- Pelicans: Kenrich Williams, Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker all played, and New Orleans won by 37.
- Hornets: Miles Bridges, Dwayne Bacon and Devonte’ Graham ended up not playing, and Charlotte lost to China as a 20-plus point favorite.
Others I just missed on. I thought the Sixers would be better than the Thunder, but they fell way behind to start the game, and while they were able to storm back and force overtime, they ultimately fell 84-81. The Mavericks performed well on the offensive end as expected, but they allowed the Kings to put up 105 points.
The Celtics easily covered as a 3.5-point favorite, but that Warriors-Lakers game unfortunately went under the 172.5 total thanks to both teams shooting terribly from the field and especially from beyond the arc.
So on games the guys played we thought would, the piece yesterday went 1-3. Rough day. Overall, favorites continued to hit, as they went 6-4 against-the-spread (ATS). Perhaps that’s a new trend this year and the market has adjusted, but it’s nearly impossible to say that conclusively given the still-tiny sample size of Summer League data.
Let’s go through each game, and I’ll give the odds, along with any notes on players to watch for. In general, news is very tough to come by this year, as teams often aren’t announcing anything and we find out who is playing by who walks on the court.
Summer League betting is fun, right?
Croatia (0-2) vs. OKC Thunder (1-1): 3:30 p.m. ET
- Spread: Thunder -14
- Total: 169
- Players to watch for: The 2019 NBA Dunk Contest winner, Hamidou Diallo, played 26 minutes in yesterday’s upset win over the 76ers. Diallo is likely to be a firm part of the Thunder’s rotation this year, especially with Paul George now gone to Los Angeles. The Thunder might elect to keep playing him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s sent home after two games and doesn’t play in this one vs. the Croatian national team.
Miami Heat (2-0) vs. Orlando Magic (1-1): 4 p.m. ET
- Spread: Heat -5.5
- Total: 180
- Line movement watch: The Heat opened as 4.5-point favorites but currently sit at -5.5. The total opened at 173 but has been way up to 180. It’s historically been profitable to tail line movement on overs, but that’s a big swing.
- Players to watch for: Tyler Herro has been very solid for the Heat in Summer League, but note that they still haven’t signed him to a rookie contract. There are rumors they are holding off in case of a trade — for Russell Westbrook? — but that’s obviously something to keep in mind. Second-year center Mo Bamba didn’t play in Orlando’s second game; it’s unclear whether he’s done or will suit up for another game.
Indiana Pacers (0-2) vs. Atlanta Hawks (0-2): 5:30 p.m. ET
- Spread: Pacers -1
- Total: 176.5
- Players to watch for: Omari Spellman, the Hawks’ late first-round pick last year, was traded yesterday to the Golden State Warriors for Damian Jones. The Pacers’ first-round pick this year, Goga Bitadze, did not play last game, and it’s unclear when he’ll make it to the states (he’s reportedly still in his home country of Georgia completing his visa application). Their pick last year, Aaron Holiday, who should be an important part of the rotation this year, played 34 minutes yesterday and struggled, shooting 33.3% from the field and committing seven turnovers. Perhaps they let him play again to bounce back, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they rested him.
Portland Trail Blazers (1-1) vs. Utah Jazz (1-1): 6 p.m. ET
- Spread: Blazers -3.5
- Total: 169.5
- Players to watch for: The Blazers looked loaded again this year after winning last summer’s Vegas tournament. They lost their first game but rebounded with a 10-point win over the Rockets, largely thanks to 31 points from Gary Trent, Jr. It’s unclear how long some of their guys, including Trent and last year’s first round pick, Anfernee Simons, will play. The Jazz’s Tony Bradley, a first-round pick from 2017, did not suit up on Sunday for their second game. Willie Reed, now an NBA vet at 29, has continued to play, but they may elect to go with younger prospects moving forward.
Phoenix Suns (1-0) at Memphis Grizzlies (2-0): 7:30 p.m. ET
- Spread: Grizzlies -5
- Total: 175.5
- Players to watch for: The Grizzlies got their second straight win on Sunday vs. the Clippers despite sitting NBA guys like Bruno Caboclo, Ivan Rabb and Julian Washburn. The former two may be done in Vegas, while Washburn looks like he’ll suit up again after being traded to the Warriors in the Andre Iguodala deal and getting waived so he can return to Memphis.
Denver Nuggets (1-0) vs. Boston Celtics (2-0): 8 p.m. ET
- Spread: Celtics -4
- Total: 172.5
- Players to watch for: This is definitely a game to keep your eye on. The Celtics played yesterday, blitzing the Cavs by 17 points. They continued to roll out a loaded starting lineup of Aaron Harrison, Guerschon Yabusele, Robert Williams, Tremont Waters and Carsen Edwards. Given at least a couple of those guys should be a part of the Celtics’ rotation this year, it’s unclear if Boston will want to push them on a back-to-back.
New York Knicks (0-2) vs. Toronto Raptors (0-2): 9:30 p.m. ET
- Spread: Knicks -7
- Total: 176
- Players to watch for: The favorite to win Summer League before the games started, the Knicks now sit 0-2. Their lineup is loaded with NBA guys, including Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ignas Brazdeikis (who was awesome on Sunday), Kadeem Allen and Tyler Cavanaugh, all of whom played again against the Suns. It’s unclear how much the Knicks will continue to run out their main three prospects in Vegas. Also note this is the Raptors’ third game in as many days.
Sacramento Kings (2-0) vs. Houston Rockets (0-2): 10 p.m. ET
- Spread: Kings -2
- Total: 179.5
- Players to watch for: The Kings have a couple NBA names with guys like Hollis Thompson, Semaj Christon and Caleb Swanigan. It’s unclear whether they’ll continue to play. The Rockets also have NBA guys in Gary Clark and Isaiah Hartenstein, both of whom started in their loss Sunday. Rashad Vaughn, a former No. 17 pick from 2015, played but got just six minutes.
LA Clippers (1-1) vs. Washington Wizards (1-1): 11:30 p.m. ET
- Spread: Wizards -2.5
- Total: 177.5
- Players to watch for: The Wiz started their main prospects — Troy Brown, Rui Hachimura and Anzejs Pasecniks — yesterday in their three-point loss to the Brooklyn Nets. The Clippers started their recent draft picks in Mfiondu Kabengele, Terance Mann and Jerome Robinson. Brown and Robinson are the most likely to be a part of their teams’ rotations this year, so they’re the guys I’d look for news on the most.