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NBA All-Star Weekend: Previews & Picks For Skills Competition, Slam Dunk Contest & 3-Point Contest

NBA All Star Weekend 2019

NBA All-Star Weekend is great opportunity for degenerate gamblers like ourselves to hit some big odds. Let’s jump into some of the events and see which participants might have some value in the betting markets.

All odds can be found at Mybookie

Taco Bell Skills Challenge

DE’AARON FOX (SAC) +250
LUKA DONCIC (DAL) +350
TRAE YOUNG (ATL) +370
MIKE CONLEY (MEM) +500
NIKOLA JOKIC (DEN) +500
JAYSON TATUM (BOS) +600
KYLE KUZMA (LAL) +700
NIKOLA VUCEVIC (ORL) +800

In the gas-with-class contest, Taco Bell brings us the skills competition. Since changing the rules starting in the 2014-2015 edition, two big men have won the crown(Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porziņģis) so don’t rule out the big guys because of lack of speed. International players have had success in this contest, and I always look for young players who will be focused on leaving an imprint on the weekend.

My Pick

Luka Doncic seems to fit all my criteria. Give me the top Rookie of the Year candidate in what will be his first appearance of many in this weekends events.

Slam Dunk Contest 

DENNIS SMITH JR (NY) +160
MILES BRIDGES (CHA) +220
JOHN COLLINS (ATL) +230
HAMIDOU DIALLO (OKC) +300

This year’s competition brings us an exciting group with plenty of uncertainty. Up top, you get the Maverick-turned-Knick high flyer, Dennis Smith, who makes his second appearance after finishing third last year. His 39-point first dunk left him chasing, although he did get a perfect 50 on the second. Look for him to get revenge this year in a competition that he really wants under his belt.

Miles Bridges will have the task of representing the home town team. Don’t expect him to back down as he’s stated that he’s been dunking since seventh grade.

“I feel like there will be a little bit of nerves, but once I throw the first dunk down I feel like I’ll be good after that,” Bridges said. “I definitely feel like I have an advantage. There will be a lot of fans there – a lot of support. I’m used to the rim too so that’ll be good.”

The 20-year-old Hamidou Diallo brings youth to the contest but promises to keep an old school mentality when it comes to his delivery on Saturday.

Hamidou will rely on his crazy athletic ability, which has led many to deem him the Dunk King of New York.

The tallest of this year’s contestants, the 6’10” Josh Collins will try to bring one home for the big boys. Expect Collins to use teammate and former Champion Vince Carter somewhere in his routine to hype up the crowd. The last Big to win the contest was 6’11” Dwight Howard back in 2008. The tallest player to ever participate in the dunk contest was Ralph Sampson standing at 7’4″.

My Pick

I have to go with the favorite here Dennis Smith Jr to bring the house down

3-Point Contest

STEPHEN CURRY (GS) +130
BUDDY HIELD (SAC) +400
DEVIN BOOKER (PHO) +470
SETH CURRY (POR) +500
DAMIAN LILLARD (POR) +800
JOE HARRIS (BKN) +850
KEMBA WALKER (CHA) +900
DANNY GREEN (TOR) +1100
DIRK NOWITZKI (DAL) +1500
KHRIS MIDDLETON (MIL) +1200

The favorite is arguably the best pure shooter of all time. Steph Curry leads the field by a wide margin, making it tough to find value in Golden State’s sharpshooter. You better believe the public will be all over him, especially since he’ll be in his hometown Charlotte. Curry hasn’t participated in 2 years, but he had to come back for this hometown party.

The field features many long-range specialists including Sacramento’s Buddy Hield (second favorite), who is averaging 3.2 shots from behind the arc per game and shooting 45%. The competition promises to have plenty of drama with the hometown player Kemba Walker promising to put on a show. His  competitive spirit makes +800 very enticing.

Speaking of drama, old school Dirk Nowitzki (+1500) will be participating in his last All-Star Weekend. This is the event he won way back in 2006 and made him the only 7-footer to ever to win the contest.

Defending champ Devin Booker will try to defend his title. His 28 point performance  in last year’s final round broke the record for most points in a single round since the league opted into the 34 point format.

 

Value can also be found in the middle of the pack, with the younger Curry making his debut. Seth Curry will be shooting with a chip on his shoulder and focusing hard on beating his older brother.

I personally like to back players that take these contests seriously, which makes Damian Lillard a solid bet with +800 odds. He’s already promised to beat the brother tandem and his experience from the 2014 shootout might give him the edge over some of the newcomers.

My Pick

Damian Lillard +800

 

Bonus plays

2/14 555 CST

Hofstra at College of Charleston Over 144 2U

UPDATE 655 CST

Citadel 2nd half over 86  2u

 

UPDATE 2/15 645 CST

Yale 2nd half -3 2U

UPDATE 657 CST

Buffalo/Toledo 2nd half over 83 2U

 

Sports Writer for The Sports Gambling podcast| Host of Moneyline on ESPN 97.5 Houston/Houston SportsMap. An enthusiast of all things gambling. A sports degenerate: Man of the people: a DREAMER... "Follow me, I'll show you the way."

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