The last chance to wager on live NBA action before the preseason in late September is Monday night's Las Vegas Summer League championship game, and easily the two best teams in Sin City are facing off in the unbeaten Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland is a 2.5-point favorites at Caesars Sportsbook. The total is 191.5 points -- Summer League games are 40 minutes long instead of the typical 48.
Both clubs are 5-0 with matching Summer League-best average point differentials of plus-11.4. Houston leads the Vegas Summer League in scoring at 110.2 points per game despite the fact that rookie Amen Thompson, the No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft, played just one game in Vegas and second-year forwards Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason played two each – all three have been shut down. Thompson is hurt.
Cam Whitmore, the No. 20 overall pick out of Villanova, has impressed for the Rockets. He had 25 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks in Sunday's 115-101 semifinal win over Utah. Whitmore is averaging 20.4 PPG and is -176 at FanDuel for at least 20 on Monday. Journeyman Nate Hinton, who went undrafted in 2020, also is having a nice tournament and +106 to score at least 20.
Cleveland hasn't been as offensively dynamic as Houston but is allowing just 86.4 PPG this summer. The Cavs beat Brooklyn 102-99 in overtime on Sunday to advance. The NBA is using the "Elam Ending" -- teams play to a target final score -- in overtime during Summer League.
Isaiah Mobley, a 2022 second-round pick who barely played as a rookie for Cleveland, had the game-winning shot vs. the Nets and finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists. He has been arguably offensive option No. 1 for Cleveland. The revelation of the Cavs' Summer League team, though, has been second-round rookie Emoni Bates, who had 20 points and seven rebounds in the semifinals and is averaging 16.8 PPG. He's +106 to score at least 20 points tonight.
Neither franchise has won the Las Vegas Summer League. Houston lost in the 2014 final to Sacramento. This is the first time the Cavs have ever played in a Summer League title game.
SportsLine's Larry Hartstein had a pick for the game on this morning's edition of The Early Edge.
Get more out of your SportsLine subscription!
- Picks: NFL | NBA | CFB | CBB
- DFS: Lineup Optimizer | Picks
- Early Edge: YouTube | Apple Podcasts
- Newsletters: SportsLine Daily | Fantasy
Qualifying SportsLine members receive a 30-day free trial of Paramount+ premium. Sync your account right here.
Share This Story