2016 NBA All-Star Game Betting Preview

NBA All-Star Weekend takes place beginning on Friday night with a variety of competition and exhibitions, and concludes on Sunday with the NBA All-Star Game. This year’s festivities will be held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

The starting rosters for the All-Star game are decided by fan voting, while head coaches from across the league are responsible for selecting the bench players. Cavaliers forward LeBron James (1,089,206) received the most votes for the Eastern Conference squad while Kobe Bryant (1,891,614) received the most votes for the Western Conference.

The selection of Bryant came as a surprise to many NBA fans who believed that Golden State’s Draymond Green was more deserving of a starting role. This season, Bryant is shooting a career-low 35.4% from the floor and the Lakers have the second worst record in basketball. On the flip side, Green has been a triple-double machine and is averaging 14.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 7.4 assists for the first place Warriors.

The screenshot below displays the full rosters for both All-Star teams along with the number of votes received by each starter.

NBA All Star Voting

Since Kobe Bryant has already announced that he will retire at the end of this season, his selection is clearly a sentimental choice by fans who want to see one of the all-time greats on the public stage for one last time. Despite Bryant’s questionable inclusion in the starting lineup, oddsmakers are very optimistic about the Western Conference roster this year.

Last season the Western Conference, who closed as a 4-point favorite, defeated the Eastern Conference by the final score of 163-158. The last two points game on meaningless free throws, giving bettors the unlikely backdoor cover.

Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook finished the game with 41 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals and was named MVP of the All-Star game. Despite coming off the bench, Westbrook was listed at just +1600 to win that prestigious award.

This year there are just eight players with shorter odds than +1600 including the clear-cut favorite, Stephen Curry (+350). The 27-year old guard is averaging 29.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists while threatening to join the exclusive 50-40-30 club. Curry’s performance this season is so impressive that he’s listed at -1200 to repeat as the league’s MVP with the field listed at +600.

When this article was first posted on Monday, Paddy Power was the only sportsbook offering odds for All-Star weekend. On Wednesday morning, Bovada and Sports Interaction (SIA) also posted their odds.

All-Star Game MVP

Player Team Paddy Power (2/8)
Stephen Curry GS +350
Kevin Durant OKC +500
Russell Westbrook OKC +550
LeBron James CLE +550
James Harden HOU +1000
Kobe Bryant LAL +1000
Paul George IND +1200
Klay Thompson GS +1200
Carmelo Anthony NYK +2000
Anthony Davis NO +2200
Kyle Lowry TOR +2200
Kawhi Leonard SA +2200
DeMarcus Cousins SAC +2200
Jimmy Butler CHI +2500
John Wall WAS +3000
Draymond Green GS +3000
Isaiah Thomas BOS +6000
Dwyane Wade MIA +6000
Andre Drummond DET +6000
DeMar DeRozan TOR +6000
Chris Paul LAC +6000
LaMarcus Aldridge SA +7500
Paul Millsap ATL +9000
Chris Bosh MIA +9000

Sunday’s All-Star game should be thrilling, but many fans are more interested in Saturday night’s festivities which includes the Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest and the Slam Dunk Competition.

While the league has done away with the Shooting Stars competition, this year’s competitions will include a few new wrinkles including the addition of four big men to the Skills Challenge. This event consists of a timed obstacle course that includes dribbling, passing, and shooting stations.

Houston’s Patrick Beverly (+650) was last year’s winner after being named as a last-minute replacement for John Wall. In an ironic twist, Beverly has dropped out of this year’s Skills Challenge although his replacement has yet to be named.

The table below displays the current odds at Bovada, Paddy Power and SIA.

Skills Challenge Odds

Player Team Bovada (2/11) SIA (2/10) Bovada (2/10) Paddy Power (2/8)
Isaiah Thomas BOS +240 +330 +333 +300
CJ McCollum POR +350 +500 +450 +450
Draymond Green GS +400 +500 +500 +550
Patrick Beverly HOU +650 +450 +500 +400
Jordan Clarkson LAL +650 +500 +500 +450
DeMarcus Cousins SAC +1000 +850 +850 +850
Anthony Davis NO +1200 +800 +800 +850
Karl-Anthony Towns MIN +1200 +1000 +1000 +900

In most years the slam dunk contest is regarded as the night’s most exciting event, but that tide may be changing. Last year Stephen Curry (who closed as the favorite at +325) set the all-time record with 27-points in the final round, including a streak 13 consecutive made shots. This year he will attempt to retain his crown against a talented field that includes teammate Klay Thompson and three other players who are shooting better than 40% from downtown on the season.

Curry will attempt to win the competition in back-back years for the first time since Jason Kapono in 2007 and 2008. Right now he’s listed as the favorite, and it will be interesting to see whether any book offers odds for Curry and/or Thompson vs. The Field. Based on an informal twitter poll, bettors would gladly take the Splash Brothers at even money.

The table below displays the current odds at Bovada, Paddy Power and SIA.

Three-Point Contest Odds

Player Team Bovada (2/11) SIA (2/10) Bovada (2/10) Paddy Power (2/8)
Stephen Curry GS +100 +225 +125 +170
Klay Thompson GS +400 +350 +375 +400
JJ Redick LAC +500 +500 +500 +350
Devin Booker PHX +750 +550 +700 +750
Kyle Lowry TOR +1000 +550 +700 +650
James Harden HOU +1200 +800 +1000 +1000
Khris Middleton MIL +2000 +800 +1000 +1000
Chris Bosh MIA +3000 +1200 +1500 +1100

In the evening’s climactic activity, four of the league’s most athletic players will face off in the Slam Dunk Contest. Although the event has begun to lose some of its luster, it’s still must-see television for any basketball fan.

Last season Minnesota’s Zach LaVine, who closed as a -110 favorite, amazed the crowd with two spectacular dunks before coasting to the title. In doing so, he became the second youngest player to win the dunk contest (trailing only Kobe Bryant in 1997). For those who missed this astounding performance, we’ve embedded the video below:

After this impressive performance LaVine opened as a massive favorite (-400) to repeat as champion, but this might be another classic example of overreaction and recency bias. LaVine is an excellent athlete, but we have already seen his repertoire of between the legs dunks? Will he be able to be creative and bring something new to the table this year?

Although he’s not nearly the same caliber of athlete, I’m intrigued by Denver’s Will Barton. He consistently dunks with authority, and that power should help energize the crowd — perhaps the most important aspect of winning the dunk contest.

Unfortunately for Aaron Gordon and Andre Drummond, dunks often lose their luster when they’re coming from big men. Barton’s vertical and hang time make him an intriguing value pick at +550.

The table below displays the current odds at Bovada, Paddy Power and SIA.

Slam Dunk Contest Odds

Player Team Bovada (2/11) SIA (2/10) Bovada (2/10) Paddy Power (2/8)
Zach LaVine MIN -300 -251 -250 -400
Aaron Gordon ORL +400 +491 +450 +500
Will Barton DEN +550 +355 +400 +400
Andre Drummond DET +850 +900 +800 +1100

The All-Star game will take place on Sunday evening at 8:30 PM eastern time and bettors can keep up with the latest odds on our free NBA odds page.

Who do you like this weekend? Are any long shots providing value? Please leave your thoughts and comments in the section below.

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David Solar

David Solar has been the Content Manager at Sports Insights for over four years. He specializes in sports betting analytics and has created several popular data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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