NBA Best Bets Today (Back Second-Year Players in Saturday Summer League Action)

Oklahoma City Thunder Chet Holmgren goes up for the easy slam as his strong NBA Summer League performance continues.
Oklahoma City Thunder Chet Holmgren goes up for the easy slam as his strong NBA Summer League performance continues. / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

The summer league is officially, underway after a seven-game slate in Vegas yesterday, and we are starting to get a feel for these summer league rosters.

Moses Moody was dominant for the Golden State Warriors last night, Bennedict Mathurin led the Indiana Pacers to a win, and the Phoenix Suns and L.A. Lakers battled with a bunch of second rounders and undrafted guys. 

It’s the summer and we’re a little thin on sports at the moment, so let's throw down some money on the summer league. 

Here are my best bets for Saturday's action.

NBA Best Bets Record to Date 

Find Josh’s betting record HERE

NBA Best Bets Today

  • Oklahoma City Thunder -3.5 vs. Houston Rockets (-115)
  • Detroit Pistons -6.5 vs. Washington Wizards (-104)
  • Orlando Magic vs. Sacramento Kings Under 172.5 (-110)

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets

Typically I lean towards second-year players in summer league, and with Josh Giddey getting minutes, the Thunder have the advantage there, but the bigger story is the No. 2 and No. 3 picks going head to head. 

Jabari Smith did not impress much in his summer league debut against Orlando with just 10 points. He did not seem to have an ability to create for himself and Houston doesn’t have guards on this summer league roster interested in getting Smith good shots. 

Meanwhile, Chet Holmgren was probably the story of the sports world following his incredible summer league debut against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. The other good news for the Thunder and Chet is the size of this Houston roster. Jabari Smith is the tallest player on their roster at 6’10” and there is nobody that will give Chet and his slight frame issues. 

Let’s ride with the Thunder, I think they win big in this one. 

Pick: Thunder -3.5 (-115)

Detroit Pistons vs. Washington Wizards 

Cade Cunningham is technically on the Pistons summer league roster, but it is unclear if he will see any playing time, but even without him the Pistons are littered with experienced second-year pros who got serious playing time in their rookie season. Isaiah Stewart, Isaiah Liver, Saben Lee, and even Killian Hayes are getting minutes for them this summer league which makes the Pistons the team I will ride all summer. 

Oh and Jaden Ivey might be my favorite rookie this year so we get to watch him and Jalen Duren surrounded by older vets. 

Pick: Pistons -6.5 (-104)

Orlando Magic vs. Sacramento Kings 

The Magic impressed in their debut against Houston which kicked off the Vegas Summer league. They put up 91 points and yet that game still didn’t reach the total set for this game of 172.5. 

Caleb Houston went five of nine from beyond the arc for 20 points. The Magic shot 42.4% from three in that game and it feels unlikely that the worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA last season has that much shooting on their summer league roster. 

The unders are much more valuable in the summer league and this is one of the highest totals of the day. That makes this a pretty safe bet even though these are two talented summer league rosters. 

Pick: Under 172.5 (-110)