NBA All-Star weekend is finally here and between the slam dunk contest, three-point competition and the actual game itself, there’s plenty of excitement to look forward to over the next couple days.
An annual tradition since 1951, NBA All-Star weekend brings together 24 of the most talented basketball players in the world for a weekend mixed with incredible skill and plenty of memories. Assuming their roles as team captains for another year, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers will take on Giannis Antetokounmpo to see which conference has bragging rights for the rest of the season.
The excitement kicks off with the Celebrity All-Star competition presented by Ruffles chips. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST from Wintrust Arena. Captained by rappers Common and Chance the Rapper, notable celebrities include rapper Quavo, Chef José Andrés and Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry.
As for the actual All-Star Game, here the details for that contest:
Date: Sunday, Feb. 16
Time: 8 p.m. EST
Location: United Center
If you’ve always been interested in the arena of sports betting but never really knew where to start, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available to explain betting lines and how soon to take your chances.
As it stands, the current betting odds for the game are as follows:
Moneyline: GIAN: (+170) | LEB: (-200)
Spread: GIAN: +4.5 (-110) | LEB: -4.5 (-110)
Odds provided by FanDuel.
This year’s game will also undergo a new scoring format, with the team captain winning a $200,000 donation for a non-profit based in Chicago.
This new format is exciting for both players and fans as well as the prospect for in-game betting. Rather than betting on the outcome of one game, bettors now have a chance to bet on games within the game.
Live in-game betting is a popular method for bettors, however, the game will offer a way to refresh and start with a clean slate after each quarter including a variety of player prop bets as the competition continues.
That may seem daunting. Chris Altruda, a sports betting analyst at Pennbets.com, reassured novice wagerers that you won’t be the only loser of the weekend if you remember a few tips.
Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Wager
First, Altruda recommends sticking to a budget. No matter how attractive the moneyline is, have an amount in mind that you’re comfortable parting with.
Second, understand what you are betting on. From the chances of James becoming MVP to James Harden sinking the most triples, the possibilities are endless. However, prior knowldege of the player’s past performances can serve you well on Sunday.
While those probabilities aren’t quite as readily available, odds for the Saturday competitions are worth considering. When it comes to who might become the winner of the three-point contest, FanDuel listed the following:
- Joe Harris (+300)
- Trae Young (+350)
- Davis Bertans (+460)
- Duncan Robinson (+460)
- Devin Booker (+550)
- Buddy Hield (+750)
- Zach LaVine (+950)
- Devonte Graham (+1200)
For the skills challenge, FanDuel listed these moneyline odds:
- Spencer Dinwiddie (+350)
- Khris Middleton (+410)
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+460)
- Jayson Tatum (+550)
- Pascal Siakam (+550)
- Domantas Sabonis (+850)
- Patrick Beverly (+900)
- Bam Adebayo (+1200)
Finally, Altruda advises to pay attention to any trends that might hint at a certain player earning top honors. In the past, James has earned MVP honors before. That could very well be the case again. In 2019, Kevin Durant was the leading scorer on Team LeBron with 31 points while Antetokounmpo recorded 38 for his side.
No matter how you much or little you wager, All-Star Weekend is a great initiation into NBA betting and with an exciting second half of the season ahead of us, could help even the novice bettor have an improved understanding of the game.