Season ticket sales are up, fans are trying on the “MotorCade” nickname for size, and a mural of Cunningham and NBA commissioner Adam Silver was already painted on a wall next to a Detroit parking lot.
The Cade Cunningham Era, well, unofficially got started Sunday as the Pistons opened NBA Summer League action in Las Vegas. Michigan sports betting volume likely perked up a tad, given the interest in the Oklahoma State rookie.
Although August is traditionally the slowest calendar month for basketball fans, this year is a bit of an exception because of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (contested in 2021) and a pushed-back summer league schedule.
And yes, in Michigan, you will likely be able to bet on it. UPDATE: Not so fast.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board is not expecting approval for any new markets this week, an MGCB spokesperson said.
DraftKings Sportsbook had a Summer League game up for wagering last week, jumping the gun before approval. That was likely a minor violation, as Summer League wagering was not yet OK’d in Michigan.
DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook had markets back up on Sunday morning as the Pistons prepared for Summer League play. The MGCB had still not yet posted its approval on the sports wagering catalog at that time.
Detroit Pistons second in BetMGM NBA Summer League futures
With high draft picks and a young NBA roster come Summer League expectations for the Detroit Pistons, as much as that can be a thing.
Cunningham is joined on the NBA Summer League roster by Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes and Sekou Doumbouya. Isaiah Stewart is not playing after suffering an ankle injury earlier this offseason with Team USA Select.
In a news release, BetMGM Sportsbook announced it has the Pistons at +1200 to win the exhibition event, tied for second with the New York Knicks and trailing only Portland (+1000). The Blazers feature a few NBA veterans in Michael Beasley, Kenneth Faried and Emmanuel Mudiay.
BetMGM reported the Los Angeles Lakers, Knicks and Memphis are the book’s biggest liabilities.
As of last week, however, BetMGM had not posted any NBA Summer League markets for wagers in Michigan.
The Pistons lost the first two games in NBA Summer League against Oklahoma City and Houston. They continue action against the Knicks on Friday (8 p.m., NBATV); and then against the Lakers on Saturday (10 p.m., ESPN2).
A fifth game will be determined later. The two best teams will play for the NBA Summer League title Aug. 17 on ESPN.
Team USA favored in gold medal meeting with France
After a shaky start during pre-Olympics preparations and a loss to France to open the Games, the Team USA men have rebounded across the globe.
The basketball powerhouse was rolling on all cylinders early Thursday morning, dispatching a hungry Australian team 97-78 in the semifinals after falling in an early 15-point deficit.
That win sets up a rematch Friday with the French, who pulled a mild 90-89 upset of Luka Doncic and Slovenia on Thursday, handing the Dallas Mavericks star his first international loss.
France features Utah center Rudy Gobert, and forwards Evan Fournier of the Knicks and Nicolas Batum of the Los Angeles Clippers, among a few other NBA bit players.
Fournier scored 28 points as France beat the USA 83-76 on July 25.
However, the Americans opened as 11.5-point favorites on Thursday morning at DraftKings, with the line quickly moving to 12.5.
The Americans are seeking their fourth straight Olympics gold medal and their seventh in eight tries. The game tips off at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time Friday on NBC.
American women favored in Olympics basketball semifinal
The US women have been even more dominant on the Olympics stage, winning six straight gold medals since taking the 1992 bronze in Barcelona.
Although the Americans also had a shaky start in pre-Olympics exhibitions, they’re finding their gear in Tokyo. After losing to Australia last month, Breanna Stewart had 23 points in 23 minutes on Wednesday as USA topped the Aussies 79-55 in the quarterfinals return game.
Team USA is undefeated in Tokyo heading into Friday morning’s semifinal against Serbia.
According to Caesars Sportsbook, the American women are 17.5-point favorites in that one, which is also on NBC at 12:40 a.m.
France is a 3-point favorite against Japan in the other semifinal, according to Caesars.
Team USA is a strong -900 favorite to win gold in Saturday’s 10:30 p.m. final on NBC.