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NBA Summer League Bets & Picks: Fade the Spurs Today (July 3)

As free agency rolls on, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture in the NBA. That includes the Summer League, which will get underway tonight. Some sportsbooks, including FanDuel and BetMGM, are taking action on tonight’s games, so I’m here to identify my top NBA Summer League bets and picks. Tonight, we’re focusing on the matchup between the Charlotte Hornets and San Antonio Spurs.

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NBA Summer League Bets & Picks: Fade the Spurs Today

San Antonio SpursCharlotte Hornets NBA Summer League Odds
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Spurs: +130 | Hornets: -160
Spurs +3.5 -118 | Hornets -3.5 -104
Over 166.5: -108 | Under 166.5: -112

The Charlotte Hornets have an exciting and deep Summer League roster. The San Antonio Spurs have Victor Wembanyama and not much else. Importantly, they won’t have Wembanyama tonight — the French superstar is projected to make his debut on Friday, not tonight.

I give the edge to Charlotte here. They’ll have wing Brandon Miller, the second overall pick, and guard Nick Smith Jr., a late first-round pick who likely would’ve gone in the lottery if not for injury issues last season. Both players will be fun to watch tonight, even though we won’t get to see them take on Wembanyama.

But rookies don’t matter nearly as much as experienced players do in the Summer League, and the Hornets have several returning players. Guard James Bouknight and power forward Kai Jones are on Charlotte’s Summer League roster again. Bouknight missed Summer League last year but led the team in scoring in 2021 with 16.8 points per game. Jones led the squad in rebounding with 9.4 per game that year. He averaged 6.4 last year, likely because he played alongside centers Nick Richards and Mark Williams.

 

The Spurs have a few players returning from last year’s Summer League roster, most notably guards Blake Wesley and Malaki Branham. The duo combined to average an impressive 32.4 points per game and could prove even more lethal this year. Wing Julian Champagnie saw plenty of NBA action during last year’s regular season after playing minimally for the Philadelphia 76ers during Summer League. However, these guys don’t move the needle much for me.

The Spurs have a size problem without Wemby. Their best players are all wings and guards. They’ll likely lean on power forwards Josh Carlton and Dominick Barlow, who combined to average 13.3 rebounds in 35.9 minutes per game in last year’s Summer League, to clean the glass. However, both players are smaller than Jones, so the Hornets should get an advantage in the paint courtesy of Jones and traditional center James Nnaji.

The Spurs have been picking up action on this market, but I’m seriously unimpressed by their roster and want exposure to Charlotte. If you can buy the Hornets as favorites of 3.5 points at -110 or better, do so. They’re currently trading as 2.5-point favorites for -110 (52.4%) at BetMGM but are only 3.5-point favorites at Pinnacle, a sharp book, and FanDuel.

Best NBA Summer League Bet: Hornets -2.5 -110 at BetMGM

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