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NBA All Star Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends

NBA All Star Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #519425

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Saturday 2/15/20
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NBA All Star Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #519426

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2020 NBA All-Star Skills Challenge odds to win and betting picks: Don't fade the big men
Rohit Ponnaiya

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam is a +550 underdog to win the NBA All-Star Skills Challenge this weekend but if recent history is any indication don't bet against the big man.

The NBA skills challenge might not be the flashiest event at the All-Star Game, but it has proved to be very profitable for bettors who like to wager on underdogs. We take a look at the odds to win the NBA skills challenge for this year's field and break down our betting picks for the 2020 event.


The skills challenge features eight NBA players going through an obstacle course which tests their dribbling skills, passing ability, agility and shooting.

Two players face off next to each other on identical courses on the court. For the first leg, they run down the court while dribbling between five obstacles, before throwing a pass through a target. Then they turn around and dribble back the full length of the court for a lay up. Then they head back up the court before hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the key. The first player to sink his shot from beyond the arc wins.

It's a single elimination format with three rounds and the brackets won't be chosen until Saturday.


Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets +350
Khris Middleton Milwaukee Bucks +410
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Oklahoma City Thunder +460
Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics +550
Pascal Siakam Toronto Raptors +550
Domantis Sabonis Indiana Pacers +850
Patrick Beverley Los Angeles Clippers +900
Bam Adebayo Miami Heat +1,200


This year's event features three former winners: Patrick Beverley (2015), Spencer Dinwiddie (2018) and Jayson Tatum (2019). While Dinwiddie has the best odds to win at +350, if recent history is any indication this is one contest where underdogs have a good chance of coming out on top.

Since the event started including big men in 2016, two players have won with the worst odds (Dinwiddie and Karl-Anthony Towns) while another took home the title with the second-worst odds (Kristaps Porzingis in 2016). Last year, Tatum won with the fifth-best odds at +600.

That said, we're not taking the player with the worst odds this year. Adebayo is having a terrific season but he's only connected on one 3-point shot all year (on 11 attempts), so the final step in this event could prove to be a challenge.

We like the +550 payout for Tatum to repeat, but our money is on the player tied with Tatum in the odds department: Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. Siakam is quicker and has better handles than many give him credit for, and he's really improved his shot from beyond the arc this season (connecting on more than two 3-point shots per game at a clip of 36 percent).

Siakam also seems to play at his best when the pressure is on, so expect him to thrive under the spotlight in Chicago this weekend. We're betting on the Raptors' big man.
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NBA All Star Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #519427

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2020 NBA All-Star 3-point contest odds to win and betting picks: New rules will help these shooters
Andrew Caley

Brooklyn Nets shooter Joe Harris is the co-favorite to defend his 3-point contest title at +350 but no one has repeated as champion since Jason Kapono back in 2007 and 2008.

The surge in long-range shooting across the NBA has helped move the league's 3-point contest to main event status during the annual NBA All-Star Saturday Night showcase, but the 3-point shootout has always held a special place in NBA betting. It's far more entertaining than the slam dunk contest and the odds to win the NBA 3-point contest hold much more betting value with past winners cashing in at lofty payouts.

Given the massive uptick in production from beyond the arc, the NBA decided to give the 3-point contest a little tweak in 2020. We look at how those rule changes could impact your NBA bets, preview this year’s crop of sharp shooters and their odds, and give our picks to win the NBA All-Star 3-point contest.


The eight-player field will take turns shooting balls from five racks set up around the 3-point arc. Four of the racks will hold four regular balls worth one point each and one multi-colored “money ball” that are worth two points apiece. One rack will be a special “all money ball” rack. The new rule twist is the addition of two extra green balls set six feet behind the 3-point line. That makes for a maximum score of 40 points in a round. Contestants will also get an extra 10 seconds to take their shots, bringing the total up to 70 seconds.

This is a two-round event, with each player shooting in the first round. The three players with the highest score move on to the championship round. They then shoot again with the lowest score going first. The player with the highest total in the championship round is the winner.


Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets) 40.8 +350
Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks) 36.9 +390
Dāvis Bertāns (Washington Wizards) 42.4 +460
Duncan Robinson (Miami Heat) 43.8 +460
Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns) 35.8 +500
Buddy Hield (Sacramento Kings) 38.5 +700
Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls) 38.5 +1200
DeVonte Graham (Charlotte Hornets) 37.4 +1200

The 2020 field is very impressive considering it's the first 3-point contest that won’t feature a Splash Brother (Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson) since 2012. Hield, Graham, Young, LaVine and Robinson rank third to seventh respectively in terms of 3-pointers taken this season. While Bertāns and defending champion/favorite, Joe Harris, rank third and fifth respectively when it comes to 3-point percentage among players who have attempted at least 300 shots from deep. Devin Booker has stepped in to replace Damian Lillard and while he has the lowest 3-point percent of any shooter in the compeition, he won the contest in Los Angeles two years ago.


Harris is the favorite to defend his title at +300, but no one has repeated as champion of the 3-point contest since Jason Kapono back in 2007 and 2008. The other sexy pick will be Trae Young at +390, but the Hawks’ star is the most inconsistent shooter of the bunch.

LaVine is an interesting long shot at +1200 odds to win the contest. The Bulls guard is hoping to become the first player to win both the slam dunk and 3-point contest in his career. Unfortunately, he's a streaky shooter and he's a bit of a jumper with his shot, which means it’s harder to find a rhythm in this type of competition. Graham at +1,200 is tempting, but we’ve got to go with Buddy.

Hield has shot more 3-pointers than anyone not named James Harden and Lillard this season, all while hitting at a rate of nearly 39 percent and he can get as hot as anybody in this competition. But what makes me really like Hield is his form. He squares his body to the net very well and his release is one of the quickest and smoothest in the NBA. It’s perfect for the 3-point contest and at these odds, what’s not to like.

PICK: Buddy Hield +750
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NBA All Star Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #519428

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2020 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest odds to win and betting picks: Third time's a charm for Gordon
Rohit Ponnaiya

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon is the betting favorite for the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest this Saturday, set at +150 after finishing runner-up in 2016.

The NBA slam dunk contest is one of the highlights of All-Star weekend and comes with plenty of betting intrigue. This year, the four competitors include a former winner and two players that finished runner-up in recent contests. We break down the odds to win the NBA slam dunk contest for each of the contestants and give you our betting pick for the final All-Star event on Saturday night.


This is a two-round event with each player getting two turns to perform a dunk during the first round. Their dunks will be graded by five judges and the two players with the highest combined scores move on to the final round. In the finals the two remaining dunkers get two more turns with the highest combined score taking home the title.

Keep in mind that since this is a judged event, legal sportsbooks in the U.S. will not be taking wagers and overseas odds can vary greatly.
2020 NBA All-Star Skills Challenge odds to win and betting picks: Don't fade the big men


Aaron Gordon Orlando Magic +150
Derrick Jones Jr. Miami Heat +160
Pat Connaughton Milwaukee Bucks +450
Dwight Howard Los Angeles Lakers +600


This is Gordon's third time in the contest and he seems hungry to win after a fantastic runner-up performance in 2016 where he got three straight perfect scores of 50. Gordon's dunks in that contest were some of the best that have ever been seen, including my personal favorite where he jumped over Orlando's bizarre mascot, grabbed the ball, passed it underneath his legs and slammed it down with authority.

Unfortunately for Gordon, Zach Lavine also had a jaw-dropping display in 2016 and won probably the best slam dunk duel in recent memory. Gordon has terrific jumping ability, length, coordination and creativity and is the betting fave for good reason.


Gordon was the runner-up in 2016 and Jones Jr. was the runner-up the following year, albeit in a far less entertaining contest. Jones is an incredible leaper who casually throws down 360-degree, between-the-legs dunks during warmups. The Heat small forward has terrific power and elevation and will put on a show.


After rookie sensation Ja Morant declined his invitation to this event, many fans on Twitter were pretty disappointed when the Bucks guard was named as the final competitor. Despite the obvious Woody Harrelson-inspired stereotype, Connaughton is actually a very impressive dunker who had the second-highest max vertical in NBA draft combine history at 44 inches. And as you can see from the above video, the Notre Dame product has been throwing down insane dunks since he was a teenager.

That said, this is Connaughton's first time competing in this event and while his hang time is impressive he doesn't have the explosiveness of Gordon or Jones. Judges and fans tend to go wild for the sorts of vicious throwdowns that the two favorites are capable of.


If Howard managed to claim this contest after winning in 2008, it would be a heartwarming comeback story for the big fella that once laid claim to the Superman title. The 34-year-old has made a comeback of sorts, becoming an integral role player for a Lakers team that has a strong shot at the NBA title.

But let's be realistic, Dwight isn't anywhere close to the athletic speciman he was a decade ago. Time takes its toll on every athlete and it has been especially brutal on Howard, who has been hit with numerous back injuries since 2012. Howard fans will be better off rooting for him to win his first NBA championship than another slam dunk title.


While it's not always that profitable to back a favorite, all indications are that this will be a two-horse race and both Gordon and Jones Jr. offer plenty of value. Although Gordon competed as the betting favorite in 2017 and didn't make it into the final round, he was coming off a foot injury at the time and didn't seem to have his usual bounce.

Gordon also attempted extremely creative dunks in the first round of that event and couldn't quite pull them off with his usual panache. When it comes to the creativity department, Gordon seems to be ahead of the field and now that he's healthy, the sky is the limit. Put your money on the favorite and back Gordon on Saturday night.
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NBA All Star Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #519429

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New format makes 2020 NBA All-Star Game betting odds a test for bookmakers
Patrick Everson

Milwaukee Bucks standout Giannis Antetokounmpo will captain Team Giannis against Team LeBron in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game. A new format has made setting the odds a little more difficult.

Setting NBA All-Star Game betting odds is always a tricky proposition, since as a general rule, neither team is much interested in playing defense, leading to ridiculously high scoring. Five of the last six All-Star tilts have seen both teams eclipse 150 points, including last year, when Team LeBron topped Team Giannis 178-164, as the Over hit on a whopping total of 315.5.

For the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, it gets trickier still for oddsmakers, as Sunday night’s matchup in Chicago rolls out a new format: the score will reset to 0-0 after the first and second quarters; after the third quarter, the cumulative score for both teams comes into play, as it normally would. However, there will be no game clock; rather, a final target score will be set, and the first team to reach that score wins the game.

That target, in a nod honoring the memory of Kobe Bryant, will come by taking the leading team’s cumulative score and adding 24 points to that number. For example, if Team Lebron leads Team Giannis – yes, the captains are the same as last year – 100-95 after three quarters, the final target score is 124.

It’s enough to make one Las Vegas operator, The SuperBook at Westgate, take a wait-and-see approach on posting the odds.

“We have a good idea of how we are going to approach it, but it’s not official yet,” SuperBook executive director John Murray told Covers on Thursday, noting the game isn’t yet on the odds board. “It definitely won’t be today. It’s possible it could be Friday, but more likely Saturday.”

Back east in New Jersey, PointsBet USA’s trading team agreed the format is a little wonky, but for the moment is doing what it can to treat the matchup like a typical game. PointsBet head of content Matt Chaprales intimated that there might even be advantages to this remodel.

“From a linemaking perspective, we don’t believe the side should be too affected by the new format. In fact, it may lend to a truer full-game sample, given that the players have incentive to go hard in the first three quarters, due to the stakes,” Chaprales said. “Typically, the first halves in particular see a lot more variance in All-Star Games, as they’re more of a dunk showcase with no real game flow. That doesn’t figure to be the case this year.

“We went up with Team LeBron -4.5 for the full-game spread, and that’s simply a reflection of the clear talent edge they have over Team Giannis.”

Team LeBron was still at -4.5 on Thursday night, and reflecting Chaprales’ point about players taking the contest more seriously – along with the fourth-quarter format – the total was 285.5, 30 points below last year’s closing total.

“The total is a more difficult proposition. In recent years, the market has shaped it pretty drastically down from the opener, so we have to keep that in mind,” Chaprales said. “Then you have the fact that 1) the first three quarters figure to feature more defense than we’re accustomed to seeing in the All-Star Game, given the incentive to win each quarter; and 2) the new format means it’s unlikely we’ll see more than 50 points in the fourth, give or take.

“We’re currently up with player point totals for the starters, which will help guide our linemaking process on the game total, as they’re derivative markets.”

PointsBet USA will also offer first-half side/moneyline as normal, and in the first half, there will be in-game options, as well. However, the only in-game market in the second half will be the moneyline, going up near the end of the third quarter. In addition, as Chaprales alluded to, there are proposition bets, potentially including alternate sides and totals.

The SuperBook is renowned for its array of offerings, so don’t be surprised to see plenty of options there, as well, once those post on Friday or Saturday. But Murray isn’t convinced bettors will take to these changes.

“I definitely think the format is going to negatively impact handle on the game,” Murray said. “People won’t understand it and will be less likely to bet the game because of it. I do think we will see a decrease in handle, due to confusion over the format.”

All that said, with a 285.5-point total, bettors and fans alike can still expect a boatload of scoring.
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NBA All Star Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #519466

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All-Star Weekend Betting Odds

The NBA All-Star Weekend heats up Saturday at the United Center from Chicago, Illinois with contests that feature the skills of the players.

The Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest are two of the popular events and DraftKings is offering betting opportunities.

NBA Expert Tony Mejia provides his "Best Bets" on Saturday's events.

Boston Celtics young gun Jayson Tatum is the defending champion of the Skills Challenge and he’s listed at 5/1 odds to repeat (Bet $100 to win $500). The co-favorites are Spencer Dinwiddie of the Nets and Khris Middleton of the Bucks. Dinwiddie took home the contest in 2018 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

NBA All Star Skills Challenge Betting Odds

Spencer Dinwiddie +450 (Bet $100 to win $450)
Khris Middleton +450
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +500
Jayson Tatum +500
Patrick Beverley +600
Pascal Siakam +600
Bam Adebayo +1000
Domantas Sabonis +1000

Tony Mejia's pick: Jayson Tatum

All-Star Saturday night should see Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie duel for the Skills Challenge title after winning the last two competitions. Tatum won last year’s and will be motivated to hang on to the title in tribute to Bryant. I like him to join Damian Lillard, Steve Nash and Dwyane Wade as repeat Skills Challenge winners.

NBA All Star 3-Point Contest Betting Odds

While this year's 3-Point Contest lacks some luster due to the absence of the “Splash Brothers” from Golden State – Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson – the league still has plenty of sharpshooters on display in Chicago come Saturday. Brooklyn shooting guard Joe Harris is the defending champion and he is currently the betting favorite.

Joe Harris +450 (Bet $100 to win $450)
Duncan Robinson +500
Trae Young +500
Devin Booker +500
Davis Bertans +550
Buddy Hield +700
Zach LaVine +1000
Devonte' Graham +1200

Tony Mejia's pick: Duncan Robinson

Miami Heat forward Duncan Robinson will beat LaVine in the Three-Point Contest and should be a great value pick since he’s the biggest unknown in the field. Young, Booker, defending champ Harris, Sacramento’s Hield and Chicago’s own LaVine will all be more popular choices who won’t be able to hang with the undrafted 25-year-old, second-year wing.

Slam Dunk Odds

Unfortunately for bettors in the United States, sportsbooks regulated will not be taking action on the event since the judges are celebrities and the scoring is subjective.

The 2020 field includes:

Aaron Gordon
Derrick Jones Jr.
Pat Connaughton
Dwight Howard

Tony Mejia's pick: Derrick Jones Jr.

There's a rumor that LaVine may treat Chicago fans to a 360 dunk from the free-throw line, but he's not expected to partake in this event. Miami's Jones, Jr. is therefore my choice to keep former runner-up Aaron Gordon of the Magic from earning his first dunk title in his third attempt.
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NBA All Star Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #519467

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All-Star Best Bets
Tony Mejia

While NBA All-Star weekend will provide an extended tribute Kobe Bryant, the league will mourn by celebrating.

There were issues getting to Chicago due to inclement weather affecting travel throughout the country but those who experienced turmoil will be able to zap it out and perform. That goes for players, coaches and reporters who know that overcoming adversity is part of the gig.

Bettors shouldn’t feel bad about letting it ride in this All-Star Game either. Some who refuse to let their money ride on exhibitions wouldn’t have touched this game outside of blindly betting the ‘over’ and now have no angle due to the league’s decision to honor Bryant by changing the format.

Scores will reset after every quarter and will therefore be more attractive to bet since each 12 minutes will produce a $100,000 winner for charity. The combined score of the first three quarters will be added to open the fourth and we’ll get a target score that will need to be reached to close out the contest. In tribute to Bryant, the team that has the lead will then need 24 points to win the game. If Team LeBron is up on Team Giannis 121-115 through the first three quarters, the game would end when either team arrives at 145 points.

My hope is that the players selected to star in this game honor their fallen brother by playing with some tenacity. For that reason, I fully expect that we’ll see the lowest-scoring All-Star Game in over a decade.

Tony Mejia's pick: Under 304

Back in 2009, the Western Conference, led by Bryant’s 27 points, defeated the LeBron-led East 146-119. He shared MVP with former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, leading his group on a game-clinching 19-0 run. Bryant won top honors once more two years later since he had to represent at Staples and went for 37 points and 14 boards, The 291 points produced in that showcase are part of a run now spanning 10-plus years where at least 280 points have been scored.

Last year’s total closed at 316 and was surpassed easily as Team LeBron routed Team Giannis 178-164. The year prior to that featured James’ squad edging Stephen Curry’s group 148-145 as he won MVP at Staples Center in his final season with the Cavs. Scoring has skyrocketed over the past 15 years. In 2006, there were 242 points scored on the heels of 240 the previous season. In 2016, the West beat the East 196-173. They won 192-182 in ‘17.

This All-Star Game’s rule changes mean we won’t be able to accurately rely on past behavior to try and forecast this exhibition game. The total moving 10-15 points to the north has been a trend that bettors have been able to count upon over the past few years, although the ’18 game did manage to cash for ‘under’ bettors. Typically, you bet the ‘over’ as soon as numbers are released and rejoice at getting in early as the closing figure skyrockets as tip-off approaches. That’s unlikely to be a sound strategy this time around, although this figure opened at ‘under’ 300 and climbed as high as 305 at some shops on Saturday.

If the NBA sticks to using this “Elam Ending” where they post a final score to reach in order to end the game, we’ll at least have this year’s game as an indicator of what to expect. Resetting the scores at the beginning of the second and third quarters to set up three mini games is also something you should probably get used to since Commissioner Adam Silver is very interested in “fixing” the competitive balance of the All-Star game and views the teams playing for prize money for charity as something that should yield results.

The number ‘24’ is being used for the fourth quarter to honor Bryant, so it will be interesting to monitor whether that figure ends up closer to 35 points down the road. Even with the team trailing likely to lock in on the defensive end in pursuit of a comeback, notching 24 points doesn’t sound too challenging for a team of All-Stars, which may result in a fairly brief fourth quarter.

James’ team was always going to be favored and the chemistry he shares with Chicago native Anthony Davis should serve as a driving force for Team LeBron. If you’re laying the points and backing James to improve to 3-0 since drafting your own teams became the norm, find a way to ride Davis to win All-Star MVP if you can find it. A top point scorer prop is available at FanDuel Sportsbook and pays out +400. His individual number is set at 21.5, which is my top player prop for this game.

Team Giannis has the ability to clamp down if they really take playing defense to heart. Although they would only be able to close with one of their starting guards, Trae Young or Kemba Walker, the group has Jimmy Butler, Antetokounmpo, Bam Adebayo and Rudy Gobert capable of closing out a game on the defensive end. I’m a big fan of the Team Giannis/under parlay as a result. His points total at FanDuel is 25.5, which looks a little too steep given the atmosphere. I’d ride the ‘under’ there at -135. Take a shot at teammates Young (16.5) and Butler (9.5) going ‘over’ their projections. Young winning MVP and leading the entire contest in points carries a solid return at +750

Tony Mejia's Player Prop Picks: Over – Anthony Davis Points (21.5), Trae Young (16.5), Jimmy Butler (9.5). Under - Giannis Antetokounmpo (25.5)
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NBA All Star Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #519468

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The first three quarters will begin with the score of 0-0 and runs the standard NBA 12 minutes with each team playing for a Chicago-based charity. The winner of each quarter will receive $100,000 to donate to their respective charity.

The clock will be turned off for the fourth quarter with the teams playing to a final target score. The final target score will be set by taking the leading team’s cumulative score through the first three quarters and adding 24 points. So, for example, if Team LeBron is leading Team Giannis 100-95 after three quarters the target score would be 124. Meaning Team LeBron would need to score 24 points before Team Giannis scores 29 points (and vice versa) to win.

The 24 points target score is a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant.

All of this will make wagering on this game very difficult for bettors and oddsmakers alike. (Checkout the article below from our Patrick Everson on how sportbooks plan on handling the situation), but we’re giving it our best shot and give our best picks and predictions for the NBA All-Star Game.


Team Giannis will roll out a starting lineup of himself, Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker and Trae Young. While LeBron will open the game alongside teammate Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic, and James Harden. (Put it this way, LeBron has three more all-star appearances than all of the Team Giannis starters). Now, that may seem like a mismatch on paper, but that is just the way Giannis likes it.

Giannis may have drafted the “all-fun” team, not to mention an all-time “smiles” team. But they are also full of young competitors. And that’s why we like them early in this game. They have two guys in Siakam and Young, making their first All-Star Game appearance, who will be motivated to show they belong.

Team Giannis also features three starters from last year’s squad which got out to a 53-37 lead after one quarter in last year’s game. There’s just too much value with Team Giannis to take the first mini-game.

Pick: Team Giannis 1st Quarter Moneyline (+125)


Oddsmakers agreed that the new format would make for a more competitive NBA All-Star game, opening the total at 285. That’s lowest it’s been in the last five years. That said it was quickly bet up to 300.5 and currently sits at 303.5. And even at the current number only one of the last five All-Star games would have fallen Under that number.

Obviously, the final quarter being untimed has an affect on this number, because hypothetically, as few as 24 points could be scored in the fourth quarter. But that is traditionally the quarter where players turn up the intensity anyways. The average combined score over the last five All-Star games has been 339.8. Even with the new rules we’re betting this goes Over.

Pick: Over 303.5


The best part about the final target score is that no matter what, we get a game winning shot. So, that’s kind of cool. But who will cover?

As mentioned before, Team Giannis got off to a good start last year, taking a 95-82 lead into halftime before Team LeBron stormed back in the second half on their way to a 178-164 victory. James improved to 2-0 SU/ATS and we can see more of the same happening this time around. Just like last year, it appears LeBron’s fantasy draft skills are better than Giannis’.

Giannis once again filled his roster with first-time All Stars in the hope that they will “play harder.” It also seems like he has too many centers. And while LeBron has some first year all-stars as well, his seem more dynamic like Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum. He also seems to have all the player-makers. Doncic, Kawhi, Paul, Jokic, himself. It could be a lot of fun watching Team LeBron move the ball around. And in the end their depth will be the difference.

Pick: Team LeBron -6
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