The NBA All-Star weekend kicks off on Friday night in New Orleans with the All-Star Celebrity game and the Rising Stars Challenge (formerly the Rookie/Sophomore game). However, most fans won’t start tuning in until the following day when All-Star Saturday night kicks off with the three-point contest, skills challenge and the slam dunk competition.
Adding intrigue to this year’s event is the fact that Portland Trailblazers guard — and reigning NBA Rookie of the Year — Damian Lillard will become the first player in league history to participate in all three events. With +600 odds to win the 3-point competition, +300 odds to win the skills challenge and +450 odds to win the dunk competition, parlaying Lillard to sweep the evening’s events would pay out $15,300 on a $100 bet.
So how does the rest of the competition compare? The tables below compare the current odds for each player to win their respective event at three prominent offshore sportsbooks (Sportsbook.com, Bovada and BetOnline), and will be updated throughout the week as more oddsmakers post their lines.
Perhaps the most notable omission from this list is Kyle Korver who holds the record for most consecutive games with a three-pointer made (118 as of February 8th). Still, this is a strong list of shooters led by Stephen Curry who currently leads the league in both three-pointers made and attempted. Kyrie Irving, the defending champ, has seen his three-point percentage drop this season from 39.1% to 36.2%.
Lillard, who won the skills challenge at last year’s All-Star game, is the favorite once again to take home the trophy. While many people could believe that Lillard will be affected by fatigue, it should be noted that the skills challenge will be the first of his three events. Folks should also keep their eyes peeled for Giannis “The Greek Freek” Antetokounmpo, who at 6’10” will be one of the largest competitors in the event’s 11-year history.
Slam Dunk Competition
Typically a fan favorite, the slam dunk competition will undergo a format change this year. The opening round will be a freestyle format where dunkers are given 90 seconds to throw down as many dunks as possible. Rather than handing out individual scores, the judges will instead pick a winning conference.
The victorious conference will then choose whether to go first or second in the next round — now known as the “Battle Round.” This will feature a series of one-on-one dunk-offs with one competitor from each conference. The first conference to win three matchups will be considered the champions. Lastly, fans will vote for a “Dunker of the Night” based on their entire body of work.
Terrence Ross, who won the competition last year with these vicious slams, is the favorite to repeat at Sportsbook.com but it’s a different story at Bovada and BetOnline where Paul George is expected to improve upon his 2012 dunk competition performance.