Things are looking up for the Chicago Bulls, and not only because star point guard Derrick Rose is back from another knee injury and ready to roll next season.
Rose is not in Las Vegas this week, but he’s got some talented young teammates here. The Bulls are putting the most impressive team on the floor in the NBA Summer League, and it’s no secret to basketball bettors.
Chicago, the top seed in the tournament, is 4-0 straight up and against the spread with an average victory margin of 22 points.
For those who might not know, summer league games are on the board at most sports books.
“It’s our third year booking the games, and it’s picking up steam each year,” LVH oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said. “We’re seeing limit bets on the side and total. The action is brisk.”
The LVH’s betting limits are low — $1,000 on sides and $500 on totals — and there has been no objection from the NBA.
“The summer league is here to stay, the betting aspect is here to stay, and it’s a good thing for Vegas,” Sherman said.
The Bulls have been the best bet on the board, running to double-digit wins in all four games.
Cameron Bairstow, a rookie second-round draft pick from New Mexico, had 18 points and eight rebounds as Chicago, a 5-point favorite, defeated Philadelphia 79-68 on Thursday night at the Thomas & Mack Center. A physical forward, Bairstow is playing his way onto the roster.
Tony Snell and Doug McDermott are the Bulls’ top scorers. Snell, another former Lobos standout, was a first-round pick in 2013. McDermott, a rookie first-round pick from Creighton, produced a 31-point game this week.
The Bulls play Sacramento (3-1) at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Thomas & Mack. The New York Knicks and Washington Wizards are also 4-0. The tournament semifinals are Sunday, and the championship is 6 p.m. Monday.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports betting columnist Matt Youmans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2907. He co-hosts “The Las Vegas Sportsline” weekdays at 2 p.m. on ESPN Radio (1100 AM). Follow him on Twitter: @mattyoumans247.