NBA Las Vegas Summer League is on its final legs this weekend. With that said, it is time to continue our NBA odds series with a Spurs-Pistons prediction and pick.
The San Antonio Spurs are 4-1 in Summer League action, including the California Classic that happened in Sacramento last week. Of course, a lot of the buzz in Vegas for the Spurs was around prized rookie Victor Wembanyama, who suited up for two Summer League outings. San Antonio has shut down the French Phenom since he dropped 27 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers last Sunday. Nonetheless, the Spurs move on without their No. 1 overall pick.
Meanwhile, the Pistons have gone 2-1 in Las Vegas, with their lone loss being against the undefeated Houston Rockets. Detroit has showcased no. 5 overall pick Ausar Thompson throughout Summer League and the rookie is showing exactly why the Pistons took him. Thompson has appeared in all three games so far with averages of 12.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.7 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game.
Here are the Vegas Summer League NBA Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Summer League Odds: Spurs-Pistons Odds:
San Antonio Spurs: +4.5 (-110)
Detroit Pistons: -4.5 (-110)
Over: 181.5 (-110)
Under: 181.5 (-110)
How to Watch Spurs vs. Pistons
Stream: Watch ESPN
Time: 9:00 PM ET/ 6:00 PM PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why the Spurs could cover the spread
The Spurs have shut down Victor Wembanyama after his NBA soft launch last week. Wembanyama had a rather underwhelming Summer League debut, finishing with just nine points on 2-of-13 shooting in his showdown versus no. 2 pick Brandon Miller of the Charlotte Hornets last week. But he showed a snippet of what is in store for the rest of the league in that 27-point performance in under 27 minutes.
In addition, San Antonio has also seen enough of Malaki Branham, the 20th overall pick in last year’s draft, and has ruled him out for the rest of NBA Summer League. Before his shut down, Branham made sure to put on the show in his final Summer League game. The 20-year-old scored 29 points on 12-of-20 shooting with five three-pointers in their 96-85 win over the Washington Wizards.
Without their two stars in Vegas, it’s easy to see why San Antonio enters Friday’s contest as 4.5-point underdogs. With Wemby and Branham done in Vegas, the Spurs will look to Julian Champagnie to lead the way. Champagnie has appeared in all five games for San Antonio throughout Summer League, including the California Classic that happened early last week. In those five games, the 22-year-old has averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists while shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from three-point range.
Blake Wesley has also played well in Summer League. The 6-foot-4 guard has averaged 13.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists through five games so far. Dominick Barlow has also been a Vegas standout for San Antonio with averages of 15.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game on 60 percent shooting from the field.
Even without Wembanyama and Branham, the Spurs have enough firepower to win and possibly book a ticket to the Summer League playoffs.
Why the Pistons could cover the spread
The Pistons enter this game as 4.5-point favorites as they have been one of the better teams in Summer League. They also feature one of the more intriguing lottery standouts so far in Vegas and that is No. 5 overall pick Ausar Thompson. Thompson has been all over the floor — on both ends as well — throughout Summer League as seen with his numbers. He has looked more comfortable with each passing game and is looking like he will be an exciting rookie to watch out when the regular season comes along. Detroit does not look like it will shut the 6-foot-7 wing down anytime soon, which could help their chances of going all the way to the championship.
James Wiseman, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Duran have all suited up for the Pistons in Summer League. But all three did not play in Detroit’s previous game against the Toronto Raptors. Nonetheless, the Pistons have some other guys who can step up and fill in their shoes.
Apart from Thompson, Marcus Sasser has also been one of the Pistons’ standouts in Summer League. Sasser, picked 25th overall in this year’s draft, had 15 points including the clutch steal and layup to win the game for Detroit against the Toronto Raptors. Jared Rhoden also impressed with the increased opportunity against Toronto, where he had 18 points and eight rebounds.
Final Spurs-Pistons prediction and pick
Take the Pistons with this one. Ausar Thompson is just scratching the surface in terms of what he can do on the floor and his impact on several facets of the game should swing this towards Detroit’s favor. They also have enough guys like Sasser and Rhoden who can step up when given the chance to play significant roles.
Final Kings-Clippers Prediction & Pick: Pistons -4.5 (-110)
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