The first half of the NBA season has come to a close, and starting tonight, All-Star weekend festivities will commence. For fans looking to continue to bet on the NBA even during the break, they are in luck since most All-Star events have betting lines, and for the entirety of this article, we’ll break down some picks for the different events.
The only event we won’t be going over is the actual All-Star game since they have yet to actually draft the teams.
For each event, we’ll start by reviewing some notable names and odds before getting into our actual picks. The three-point contest field features eight contestants, and currently, Buddy Hield has the best odds to win at (+350), as he won in the event in 2020. Recent addition to the field, Julius Randle, has the worst odds to win at (+900).
Lauri Markkanen is also in the event, as he will be representing the event host in Utah. Interestingly enough, since the event was created in 1986, contestants from the team of the host city have yet to win the event. If bettors are looking for that streak to end, then they can grab Markkanen right now at (+700).
Damian Lillard (+400): The Trail Blazers superstar will be getting his third crack at the event this weekend and enters with the second-best odds to win it. On the season, he is shooting 37.2% from three, and I think he holds a slight advantage this weekend since he is only one of three players who has been in the event before and knows the rhythm of everything.
Tyler Herro (+750): If bettors are looking for long-shot plays, then I think Herro might be best in this field for that category. Only Julius Randle has worse odds of winning the event, and this will be the first time Herro is in it, but he is shooting 37.3% from three over his last ten games. In three of the previous six three-point contests, a first-time contestant has taken home the trophy, and Herro has the quick release and confidence to add to that list.
In order to pump some life back into the Slam Dunk Contest, the NBA had decided to call upon Mac McClung. The high-flying guard, who has spent most of the last two seasons in the G-League and just recently signed with the 76ers, is currently favored to win the event at (+150).
All four players in the event have not participated in the contest before, as all four are still young players that are relatively new to the league. Trey Murphy Jr. of the New Orleans Pelicans has the highest odds out of all the contestants at (+400).
Kenyon Martin Jr. (+350): With his pure athleticism, the Rockets forward is worth a look at this number. Martin Jr. has bounced back and forth between the G-League and the NBA, but he has proven that he will dunk on anyone who gets in his way. With all the pressure on McClung to win it, I think Martin Jr. can steal the show and provide a nice payout in an event that is hard to predict.
This event’s format changed in 2022 as it became a three-team competition featuring three players from the host cities team, three rookies, and the Antetokounmpo brothers. The Cavaliers team won the event last year in front of the home crowd and entering this year, the Utah Jazz team is (-120) to win.
Team Rookies (+140): If you’re going to be on All-Star weekend events, why take the favorite that warrants a smaller payout. The rookie team will feature Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey, and Jabari Smith Jr., and I think all of their skill sets suit this event and could help them steal it from the Jazz team in front of their fans.
The format of the Rising Stars challenge has changed quite a bit, as there will be four teams coached by former NBA All-Stars competing in a mini-tournament, with each game ending once a target score is reached. The event consists of some of the best rookies and sophomores in the NBA and a team filled with G-Leaguers.
Team Pau (+150): It’s difficult to bet against the team that is favored to win the event since they possess probable rookie of the year, Paolo Banchero, along with Bennedict Mathurin, Scottie Barnes, and Keegan Murray, amongst others. This team features a nice mix of shooters and scrappy players like Jose Alvarado, which can cause a stir on defense even when that isn’t the event's focus.
Team Joakim (+350): The only other team I can see challenging Team Pau is this one. Evan Mobley, Josh Giddey, and Quentin Grimes are solid sophomores to have on a team. I like the Rockets connection in Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason, as they provide some solid shooting alongside Grimes. Jalen Williams has also looked like the steal of the most recent draft and could quickly become the steal of this event based on his recent play.
Picking an All-Star MVP could be considered a difficult task since there are 24 players to choose from, and it’s hard to tell how much a player will play in the game. Over the past 10 to 15 years, the MVP has not typically gone to someone who is not a massive name; for example, LeBron won it three times, and Steph Curry won it last year.
Ja Morant (+1200): The Grizzlies guard will be starting in the game and has the 8th-best odds of winning the award. Morant has the perfect level of competitiveness and attitude, in general, to fire off more shots than most guys on the roster, along with likely trying to dunk on someone. I think he is a good candidate to root for that is above (+1000) odds.