The All-Star Game takes place on Sunday when Team LeBron squares off against Team Giannis, but the highlight of the weekend occurs the day prior. All-Star Saturday might not have the same flair it once did but it’s still the most hyped up part of the weekend. Especially for NBA betting.
We’re looking at our favorite bets for the Slam Dunk Contest, the Three-Point Shootout and the Skills Challenge.
Everyone loves to see the little guy get up. Ever since Nate Robinson burst on to the scene in 2006, and won it again in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010, guards have dominated the Slam Dunk Contest. And in 2019, the smallest guy in the pack is Dennis Smith Jr.
Recently traded from Dallas to New York, he’s got the inside track at +125 on 888Sport.com, and for good reason. He reportedly recorded an NBA record 48-inch vertical during a pre-draft workout, and this came after he suffered a torn ACL.
More importantly than those ups, he’s got flair. Smith is one of the NBA’s best in-game dunkers, doing serious damage on highlight reel dunks in transition but also getting to the hole with a quick first step. The fact that he’s such an acrobatic in-game dunker means he’s going to put on a show on Saturday.
Plus he’s got a little incentive having just been traded to the Knicks; he’d of course like to show Dallas what they’re missing and give off a good first impression to Knicks faithful. Maybe he’ll use former teammate Luka Doncic, which would only add to his scores. He’s the favorite for a reason.
But let’s not sleep on Miles Bridges. If we’re talking in-game dunks, there probably hasn’t been a better one than Bridges. The rookie from Michigan State is an absolute high flyer who is ferocious on his dunks.
There isn’t a ton of finesse, but sometimes power is all you need. His 42-inch vertical and 225-pound frame is an incredible combination. He’s a smart play at +200.
Steph Curry would be the favorite in a Three Point Contest on the moon. So it’s understandable that he’s also the favorite in Charlotte, his hometown. Curry decided to participate in this year’s contest for the specific reason that it’s in the city where he grew up as his father, Dell, played as a member of the Charlotte Hornets.
Let’s not analyze this one too hard: Curry is the greatest shooter in NBA history, he has a lightning-quick release (which is an underratedly important factor) and the bright lights won’t scare him off, as he’s won this contest before (2015).
But Steph isn’t the only Curry playing in this one. His brother, Seth, who has found a home in Portland will also be shooting. He leads the entire NBA in 3-point field goal percentage (47.8 percent) and will also have some incentive playing in his hometown – and trying to knock off his older brother.
Looking for a real wild card? It’s not his hometown but Kemba Walker will be representing the city he plays for this weekend. Oh, and he’s a pretty good 3-point shooter, too. He’s averaging a career-best 3.3 triples per game and no one knows the Charlotte rims better than he does.
No player has ever won the contest in his team’s arena, so maybe Walker will make some history here. He’s got excellent odds at +800 on 888Sport.com.
Speed kills in the Skill Challenge, an obstacle course set up across the entire court that players are timed on completing. So count us in as fans of Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox in this one.
He’s arguably the fastest player in the NBA and has a tight handle and excellent passing skills that should have him completing the course in a breeze. He’s also an ultra-competitive player and we don’t expect that to change on Saturday. He’s also really improved his jump shooting this season which will come in handy on the last part of the obstacle course. He’s our best bet here at +500 on 888Sport.com .
Then again, betting against rookie sensation Luka Doncic doesn’t seem like a smart proposition. The do-it-all point guard is the definition of skill and he should also cruise through this course.
He certainly isn’t the fastest player but he’s methodical and won’t have any missteps that cost him valuable time. He’s the favorite at +450 and is a smart play.
Point guards are the play here, though Nikola Jokic’s odds at +600 are intriguing. Big men have won two of the last three seasons (Karl-Anthony Towns in 2016; Kristaps Porzingis in 2017) but it’s wise to go with the quick guys here.
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