NBA All-Star weekend is here, and All-Star Saturday Night rarely disappoints. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some predictions…
Three-point contest participants and odds:
Klay Thompson: +200
Eric Gordon: +450
Devin Booker: +575
Paul George: +650
Wayne Ellington: +750
Bradley Beal: +850
Kyle Lowry: +900
Tobias Harris: +1,100
Prediction: Klay Thompson +200
I’m going with Klay Thompson over Devin Booker in the finals. I will be sprinkling a little on Booker +575 as well. Los Angeles is Thompson’s hometown, so you know he is looking to put on a show. Thompson is a career 42.3 percent three-point shooter and is making a career-high 45.4 percent from beyond the arc in 2017-18. While the Three-Point Contest is as much of a toss-up bet as you’ll find, Thompson has the perfect form, stroke, and experience to win the contest again.
Slam Dunk Contest participants and odds:
Dennis Smith Jr.: +170
Donovan Mitchell: +220
Larry Nance Jr.: +260
Victor Oladipo: +400
Prediction: Larry Nance Jr. +260
Dennis Smith Jr.’s dunks remind me of how a young Derrick Rose attacked the rim. However, while I love what I have seen from Smith, I’m going with Larry Nance Jr. to take him down in the finals. Not only is Nance Jr. returning to L.A., but he has big-time hops. It’s in his DNA as his father won the first ever NBA dunk contest. If Nance wins, he and his dad would become the first father-son combo to claim the title. Just a guess, but I bet he brings his father out in the contest and tears the house down.
Skills Challenge participants and odds:
Lou Williams +350
Jamal Murray +400
Al Horford +500
Spencer Dinwiddie +550
Buddy Hield +600
Joel Embiid +600
Lauri Markkanen +700
Andre Drummond +900
While the three-point and dunk contests are the most popular events, don’t forget about the Skills Challenge. Kristaps Porzingis is the reigning champion but unfortunately won’t be able to defend his title because of injury. Karl-Anthony Towns won in 2016, so the bigs have dominated this challenge the past couple of years.
Prediction: Lauri Markkanen +700
You have to be a solid ball-handler, passer, and shooter if you want to win this contest, so that is what I looked for when picking a winner. I give the edge to Markkanen because of his shooting ability. I will sprinkle a little on Joel Embiid at +600 as well.
Getting together with my friends to watch the All-Star events has become an annual tradition, so I am looking forward to watching and hopefully winning some money this weekend.
*Odds, according to OddsShark