2023 NBA Summer League Preview & Betting Guide – July 15th

2023 NBA Summer League Preview & Betting Guide - July 11th
2023 NBA Summer League Preview & Betting Guide – July 15th

As the NBA Summer League winds down, we run into one of the least exciting days of games – the consolation games. The worst of the summer league grab their last looks at their prospects this Friday. While it may not be the best of the competition, there are still plenty of spots to cash bets.

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2023 NBA Summer League Preview & Betting Guide – July 15th

Charlotte Hornets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Start Time – 2:30 pm EST
Thomas & Mack Center
Broadcast – ESPN+

In our first game of futile teams, we have the Hornets, who are a squeaky clean 0-4 on summer, and the Timberwolves, who are 1-3 and on a 3-game losing streak. Neither of the team has particularly even been close in their losses. The Hornets have lost their games by an average of 9 points. The Timberwolves’ losses have come by an average of 10.3 points.

The big difference for me in this one is that I think the Hornets can shoot a little bit – especially from downtown. Bryce McGowens and James Bouknight both hit four deep balls last game. Nick Smith Jr had 4 for them the game before as well. As a team, the Hornets have shot 40% or higher in each of their last two games. Over that same span, the Timberwolves have not shot even 30% in either of them. That’s enough for me to like the Hornets at +3. 

Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors

Start Time – 3:00 pm EST
Cox Pavilion
Broadcast – ESPN

The Warriors and Raptors give us our first game between two teams with 0-4 records. While both have been really bad, they did both take 3-1 teams into overtime (the Mavericks and Nets, respectively). Their woes have mostly come on the defensive side of the court. Both teams appear to have no problem scoring. The Warriors shot an impressive 48.7% against the undefeated Rockets last time out – with nobody really standing out amongst the crowd. The Raptors are a little less good in terms of sharpshooting, but they do drive well and get themselves to the foul line. They wound up with 47 attempts last game.

Although I might lean toward the Warriors, as I think their spread out scoring is more sustainable, the play here is the over. The total is set at 177.5, which is comically low. The Warriors have been over that total in every game this summer, and the Raptors have in each of their last two.

Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls

Start Time – 5:00 pm EST
Cox Pavilion
Broadcast – ESPN

The Wizards and the Bulls are two of the better teams that we’ll see on Friday. Each of them went 2-2 and alternated wins and losses. For me, this game comes down to star power and trustworthy hands. The Bulls have been a much more stable team – getting production out of the same few guys. Javon Freeman-Liberty has led the team in scoring for each of the last three games (23.3 points per game).

They’ve also gotten consistent work on the boards from undrafted free agent Adama Sanogo from UConn. Not only is he getting tons of boards, but he’s been a menace on the offensive glass, creating second chances.

The Wizards have begun to really spread out the action on their team. When they realized they wouldn’t make the playoff bracket, they started getting more looks to guys on their team. Ten guys in the last game took at least three shots, and seven of the players shot at least five times. The consistency of the Bulls gives me more confidence, and I’ll take it on the moneyline at +100. 

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Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic

Start Time – 6:30 pm EST
Thomas & Mack Center
Broadcast – ESPN+

This game features a couple of teams that have been losing a lot but also have been losing in very different ways. The Celtics have been shooting well, going for 88+ in every game so far this summer. They shot over 40% in each game so far and shot 50% once (granted in a losing effort).

The problem is just that they seem to play next to no defense. The Magic have been playing well enough on defense but have not been scoring. Twice they have shot 18% or worse from three-point. However, in two of the games, they did put up respectable numbers.

I think the lack of defense for the Celtics will trump the bad shooting from the Magic. I’ll take both the Celtics at -3.5 and the over 180.5. 

Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks

Start Time – 8:30 pm EST
Thomas & Mack Center
Broadcast – ESPN+

These two teams will actually be playing back-to-backs for this one. Both teams are coming off wins – the Knicks with a win over the aforementioned poor defending Celtics. The Nuggets beat up the Heat with 112 points. The emergence of a couple of sharpshooters from the late first and early second rounds gives me a lot of confidence in the Nuggets.

Hunter Tyson from Clemson and Julian Strawther from Gonzaga (drafted 37th and 29th, respectively) have taken over Denver’s last few games. Both are clearly angling for an important spot on the bench, and I expect them to show out in their last chance to impress. Give me the Nuggets on the moneyline at +105.

If you’d like even more information on the 2023 NBA Summer League, be sure to check out the NBA Gambling Podcast. The guys are dropping weekly episodes to make you the smartest guy at the bar. 

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