NBA Summer League is technically underway, with some action in Salt Lake City and Sacramento in early July to wet the collective appetite. The main event begins on Friday in Las Vegas, though, with the league’s 30 teams (plus entrants from China and Croatia) taking part with nationwide attention.
While Summer League has come a long way in terms of buzz, some might need a little bit of extra motivation to take things seriously in the desert and, with that in mind, the good folks at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released betting odds on which team will take home the title on July 15.
As you can see, the New York Knicks are the betting favorites, even with the caveat that a 32-team rumble means that the “favorite” is sitting with 10-1 odds. The Knicks combine big-market appeal with an intriguing summer league roster that features Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox and No. 3 overall pick R.J. Barrett. It should be noted that Knox and Robinson could have “shut down” potential if New York wants to play things safe but, on paper, you can see why the Knicks might be seen as a big-time threat.
New York is followed closely by the Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers and perennial contenders in the San Antonio Spurs, with the New Orleans Pelicans sitting in a group at 16-1. The Pelicans, headlined by Zion Williamson, will be perhaps the singular team to watch throughout the process, though there is plenty of talent on hand in Vegas despite some high-profile absences.
More than anything, it should be stressed that betting real money on Summer League probably isn’t a great idea, particularly when trying to project which teams will be incentivized to try the entire time. Still, it could be fun to sweat things a little bit and, if you enjoy that sort of thing, there are outlets offering the opportunity to invest.