After an interminable three weeks with no NBA action, the round ball is finally being tossed up tomorrow again for some NBA games. Sort of. The NBA offers three main summer leagues this year, with the ‘big one’ being the NBA 2K24 Summer League in Las Vegas, which runs from July 7th to the 17th. But, before then, we have two other leagues kicking off tomorrow (Monday) – the California Classic Summer League (July 3rd and 5th) played in Sacramento, and the Salt Lake City Summer League (July 3rd, 5th, and 6th), happening in Salt Lake City, Utah. Here is your NBA summer league preview and betting guide for tomorrow’s games.
2023 NBA Summer League Preview & Betting Guide – July 3rd
Miami vs. Lakers – 6:00 PM ET (Sacramento) – ESPN2
Lakers -3 (-110)
The reigning Eastern Conference Champions, the Miami Heat, kick off summer league action in Sacramento against the Los Angeles Lakers. Don’t worry – Miami’s roster won’t be worn out from the grind of their playoff run – the only player on their summer league roster that saw NBA Finals minutes is Nikola Jovic, who played a total of three minutes. Jovic, along with this year’s #18 overall draft pick, Jaime Jaquez Jr, will lead this squad.
The Lakers are a bit more experienced, with Max Christie playing in 41 games last year for the team. They’ll also have #17 draft pick Jalen Hood-Schifino and a familiar name – Scotty Pippen Jr.
I’ll take the Lakers -3 due to the more experienced roster – way better value than the Lakers’ moneyline of -150.
Memphis vs. Philadelphia – 7:00 PM ET (Salt Lake City) – NBA TV
Memphis -3 (-110)
We jump to Salt Lake City, Utah, for Game #2 of the day. There’s also not much star power on either of these rosters. I’m leaning toward the favorite, Memphis since their roster is packed with draft picks and Kenneth Lofton Jr, who did kind of alright last season in the NBA. Philly’s roster is strictly for the hardcores.
San Antonio vs. Charlotte – 8:00 PM ET (Sacramento) – ESPN2
Spurs +6.5 (-110)
This should have been the premier game of the day, but sadly Victor Wembanyama is not suiting up in the California Classic Summer League. Sigh. But the Spurs still have a solid roster, with Malaki Branham, who had a solid rookie season last year, Julian Champagne, who played well for the team in 15 games, and Blake Wesley, who got decent playing time last season.
However, more eyes will be on Charlotte, as #2 overall pick Brandon Miller will be making his debut. Also, #27 pick Nick Smith Jr and former lottery pick James Bouknight will see action. Despite this, I’m taking the Spurs and the points. Experience is key.
Oklahoma City vs. Utah – 9:00 PM ET (Salt Lake City) – NBA TV
OKC -3 (-110)
Oklahoma City is another team fans will be zeroing in on, as last year’s #2 overall pick, Chet Holmgren, will be on the roster after missing all of last season due to injury. Jalen Williams (2022-23 All-Rookie Team member) and Jaylin Williams will also suit up, along with solid veterans Tre Mann and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.
The home team, Utah, counters with decent rookie Ochai Agbaji, as well as this year’s first-round draft picks Taylor Hendricks (#9), Keyonte George (#16), and Brice Sensabaugh (#28).
OKC -3 at -110 seems like a steal.
Golden State vs. Sacramento – 10:00 PM ET (Sacramento) – ESPN2
Golden State’s summer league team will rely almost solely on rookies, including first-round picks Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis. The host team, Sacramento, will be much more stacked, but that’s mostly only due to All-Rookie Team member Keegan Murray leading the way. I don’t like laying the five points, so Sacramento on the moneyline at -210 is my play.