The NBA’s All-Star weekend has finally arrived and should be chocked full of excitement. Team LeBron will square off against Team Giannis at the United Center in Chicago on Feb. 17. And even before the showdown, fans and bettors will have plenty to do leading up including the dunk contest, skills challenge, and three point competition. Following is a betting preview for all the events.
Some new rules will be implemented this season. Some to donate to various Chicago based charities, and others in honor of the fallen legend, Kobe Bryant. After the first and second quarter, the score will be reset to 0-0, with the winner of each of the first three quarters receiving $100,000 to donate to charity.
At the end of the third period, all three quarter scores will be combined just like a normal game. Then it gets really interesting. For the fourth quarter, 24 points (Kobe’s #) will be added to the leading team’s score, whichever team reached that sum first wins.
So if the leading teams total is 100 at the end of three quarters, the first team to 124 wins the game and an additional $200,000 donation. These new rules should not only make for a more competitive game, but one can’t think of a better way to honor Kobe than to donate to charity, as he often did himself.
The Odds Leading Up
This year’s Dunk Contest is set to be another for the ages, as Dwight Howard and Aaron Gordon will return after making splashes in the past. Vegas and fans seem to have Gordon pegged as the winner already this year. With the odds at +130, Gordon is the favorite. Howard is the underdog at +550. Derrick Jones Jr and Pat Connaughton will also be throwing down.
Damian Lillard was injured in Portland’s final game before the All-Star break, so he will replaced by Devin Booker in the three-point shootout. Duncan Robinson comes in as the favorite with odds of +375. Zach LaVine and DeVonte Graham are the underdogs at +1200.
The Skills Competition brings some of the games most broadly talented players to one place. Some of which are way undervalued. The favorite is Spencer Dinwiddie coming in at +290. Jayson Tatum and Pascal Siakam come in at +450, while the overall underdog is Bam Adebayo at +1200.
The Big Game
Team captains for the second year in a row, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo drafted their teams last Thursday night. Lebron’s team is highlighted by Lakers teammate Anthony Davis and second-year phenom Luka Doncic. Team Giannis’ standouts are another second season star in Trae Young and Sixers star Joel Embiid.
Which team has more firepower? Well, both of these teams are completely stacked, but don’t look for any heavy-hitting defense on either side. None of these players want to risk injury, even if for a charity or Kobe. However, I do expect a better game than most other seasons.
Team LeBron comes in favored by 4.5 points. I anticipate a ton of points and a lot of fun that you won’t want to miss.