NBA All-Star Odds: Betting Preview For AS Game, Dunk Contest, 3-Point And More

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on February 18, 2022 - Last Updated on February 20, 2022
NBA All Star odds game dunk contest 3 point skills

With about two-thirds of the NBA season in the books, it’s time for a break – of the All-Star variety. That doesn’t mean a total absence of action for players and bettors alike, however. Plenty of NBA All-Star odds markets are available as the league prepares to descend on Cleveland for the weekend.

We’ll take a look at the markets for the NBA All-Star game and the various fun contests that will take place. FanDuel Sportsbook was the first place to open up markets so the majority of the lines below come from there. More may be added as they become widely available at other online sportsbooks.

NBA All-Star Game Odds: Team LeBron Favored Over Team Durant

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For the second straight year, the market much prefers the team drafted by LeBron James over that of fellow captain Kevin Durant. Team LeBron ran away with it, 170-150, last season. Can they do so again?

Take a look at the rosters below before you make a decision on a wager. Starters are denoted with a * and the number in parentheses is each player’s number of All-Star appearances counting this one.

Team LeBronTeam Durant
LeBron James* (18)Joel Embiid* (5)
Giannis Antetokounmpo* (6)Ja Morant* (1)
Stephen Curry* (8)Jayson Tatum* (3)
DeMar DeRozan* (5)Andrew Wiggins* (1)
Nikola Jokic* (4)Trae Young* (2)
Jarrett Allen (1)LaMelo Ball (1)
Jimmy Butler (6)Devin Booker (3)
Luka Doncic (3)Rudy Gobert (3)
Darius Garland (1)Zach LaVine (2)
Donovan Mitchell (3)Khris Middleton (3)
Chris Paul (12)Dejounte Murray (1)
Fred VanVleet (1)Karl-Anthony Towns (3)

Looking at the teams each captain selected, it’s no shock the market has anointed LeBron’s team the favorites. He managed to grab three of the top four players in the NBA MVP race in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic.

Meanwhile, Durant wound up with puzzling All-Star starter Andrew Wiggins.

Additionally, LeBron himself will start for his team, while Durant sits out with an injury.

However, Durant’s team might have an edge in motivation. His team skews notably younger than Team LeBron. Sometimes younger players and players who have not played in many All-Star games approach the event with a bit more gusto than some of the veterans.

NBA All-Star Game MVP Odds

As of Thursday afternoon, FanDuel had not yet released All-Star game MVP markets. When markets do hit and you’re browsing through to look for potential MVP bets, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

  • Only one non-start has won MVP in the past 10 years — noted lunatic Russell Westbrook, who is probably incapable of dialing it back, in 2015. Make sure you are getting long odds if you select a reserve.
  • The MVP will almost certainly come from the winning side. A player from the losing team hasn’t won it since 1990 (Magic Johnson).
  • Perimeter ball handlers have won the award all but two times in the past 10 years.

Don’t Forget The Elam Ending

This year’s total — 319.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook — reflects the lower-scoring contests of the past few years as a modicum of competitiveness re-entered the All-Star game.

It also reflects the reality of a lower-scoring fourth quarter. Two years ago, the NBA opted to try the Elam Ending, which proved to be a hit. Rather than using a clock in the fourth quarter, the Elam Ending calls for a target score to end the game, which has been 24 points more than the leading team’s number.

Thanks to the Elam Ending, the past two fourth quarters have averaged 52 points. The other six quarters have averaged 88 points. That’s quite a difference and it’s something you must keep in mind when projecting the rest of the game’s scoring for a live bet in particular.

All-Star Dunk Contest Odds Slightly Favor Jalen Green

(Eastern Time)
Jalen Green
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Obi Toppin
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Cole Anthony
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Juan Toscano-Anderson
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The dunk contest this year features four competitors once again after a shorter field of three competed last year.

Rookie Jalen Green tops the dunk contest odds board. He was drafted second overall based heavily on his explosive athleticism. His rookie season hasn’t been as successful as the markets expected. After opening a co-favorite for Rookie of the Year, he’s now a 100-to-1 underdog. But, he has showcased some flashy dunks on a few breakaways.

Second-year Knicks man Obi Toppin isn’t far behind. He has experience after competing last year, though he failed to topple Anfernee Simons. He has attempted (and completed) some audacious in-game dunks this season. However, the dunk contest has been infamously harsh on big guys and he’s several inches taller than the next-biggest contestant.

Cole Anthony is next. He has some notable YouTube highlight reels from dunk contests in his days as an elite high school prospect. As the shortest player in the contest, he may have an edge in ability to impress judges, all else being equal.

Finally, a true wild card in Juan Toscano-Anderson rounds out the field. The undrafted Golden State wing looks a little out of place among his blue-chip opposition. He’s known more for his solid role-playing ability than feats of extreme athleticism. He did posterize big-time shot-blocker JaVale McGee earlier this year, though.

Balanced Field In 3-Point Contest

Stephen Curry has often participated in the 3-point contest. Due to his extremely high accuracy and quick release, he’s been a prohibitive favorite. He’s made good on that with two wins in the past seven years.

However, he has chosen to sit out the 2022 contest, and that has opened things up on the odds board. The lowest odds belong to Patty Mills and Fred VanVleet and only reflect about an 18% implied probability of winning.

(Eastern Time)
Patty Mills
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Fred VanVleet
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Trae Young
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Desmond Bane
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Zach LaVine
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Luke Kennard
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CJ McCollum
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Karl-Anthony Towns
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Here is how these players have shot 3s this season and for their careers, with shot location data from Cleaning The Glass (also excludes heaves):

PlayerCareer 3-point%2021-22 3-Point%2021-22 Above The Break 3-Point%2021-22 Corner 3-Point%
Patty Mills39.1%41.4%43%38%
Fred VanVleet38.8%40.1%39%47%
Trae Young35.2%38.3%39%46%
Desmond Bane42.1%41.9%43%40%
Zach LaVine38.7%39.9%37%56%
Luke Kennard41.9%43.4%43%44%
CJ McCollum39.6%37.9%38%36%
Karl-Anthony Towns39.6%40.9%42%29%

Remember that a majority of the attempts come from above the break.

Additionally, remember that the league added a wrinkle a couple of years back with the special “Mtn Dew Zone” — players take two shots from a few feet back of the line. That puts a little more value on players like Trae Young who frequently take long 3s, assuming that returns for this year.

Rookies Favored In New All-Star Skills Challenge

The skills challenge has a new format that pits three teams of three against one another. The teams go through three rounds of challenges — shooting, passing and “relay.” The lowest scoring team drops out, leaving the remaining two in the finals: a half-court shooting contest.

Here’s how each round works.

  • Shooting: one player per team shoots at a time with his two teammates rebounding. Each shooter takes turns trying to make as many shots as possible from five different spots on the court.
  • Passing: all three players try to complete passes to moving targets.
  • Relay: relay race through five obstacles, with each player completing the full course that includes an outlet pass to a moving target, dribbling through moving pylons, making a shot from the lane, making a corner 3, and dribbling the length of the court for a final bucket. Worth double the points of the previous rounds.
  • Final: timed race to make a half court shot.

And the teams with their odds:

(Eastern Time)
Team Rookies
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Team Cavs
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Team Antetokounmpos
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Cade Cunningham, Scottie Barnes and Josh Giddey comprise Team Rookies. Team Cavs is made up of budding Cleveland stars Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Finally, Team Antetokounmpos is exactly what it sounds like: Milwaukee’s Giannis and Thanasis – along with their brother Alex, who is currently playing in the G League.

Shooting being heavily involved in multiple stages of the challenge, that skill looks to be at a premium, explaining the long odds on the long-range challenged Antetokounmpo boys.

Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
Written by
Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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