There’s plenty to love (and bet on) during NBA All-Star weekend. The three-point contest always brings intrigue, as does the dunk contest. The skills competition is new and revamped, which makes it fun to try to forecast. However, the part that everybody is here for is the game itself. The NBA All-Star game has gone through ups and downs, then given a face-lift, but it still stands out as the best All-Star weekend in sports. In addition to enjoying the festivities, I’m here to help you take home some money on the big game. If you think you know who’s going to win it all check out the latest NBA Championship odds.
NBA All-Star Content
Sunday Night Primetime Action Game Information:
Location: Cleveland, Ohio – Rocket Mortgage Field House
Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time (5:00 p.m. Pacific Time)
Money Line: LeBron (-255) | Durant (+210)
Spread: LeBron (-5.5)
The All Star Game: Team LeBron vs Team Durant
Starting with the inception of the NBA All-Star Game in 1951, the game had always pitted the two conferences against one another. This is the way things went for over fifty years, with the exception of the strike year in 1999. This run ended in 2018 with a new format, which seemed to be largely promoted thanks to the one-sided nature of the game. The Western Conference had taken three straight and six out of the last seven games. The Eastern Conference seemed to have no answer so the league swapped the format.
The new format involved the top vote-getters drafting teammates to play in the game alongside them. It added a schoolyard feel to the game that many fans immediately lauded. It did have a problem to it though – it didn’t create the parity that it had planned on. In the four games under its current iteration, one thing has been consistent. Team LeBron has been the victor.
Whether that’s because he has a better drafting strategy or because he has always gotten first pick (due to being the top vote-getter), the trend continues for 2022. LeBron got the top pick, and he seems to have drafted better. Not only does he have last year’s All-Star Game MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo, but Team Durant lost their namesake. Durant dropped out of the game, which then led to a shuffle allowing the team to get LeBron’s second pick, Stephen Curry. While that’s a nice steal, at the end of the day, they still lost their number one guy. Between that and LeBron having guys like Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic on his roster, I think he wins again. It’s hard to pick against 4-0.
All-Star Game Best Bet: Team LeBron (-5.5)
When looking at the totals, it’s tough to really gauge what to think. On one hand, the All-Star Game has gone over the currently posted 318.5 points in five out of the last seven years. That trend seems like a gimme, but there’s more to the number than that. In 2020, the All-Star Game adopted The Basketball Tournament’s (TBT) Elam Ending rule. With that rule, the fourth quarter starts with a target score that is 24 points higher than the leading team. The first team to reach this wins the game, which is designed to prevent overtimes. Since this rule came into play, they’ve gone over the 318.5 one out of the two games. It’s a smaller sample size and a more worrisome percentage. However, given the lack of defense and the fact that the teams are more familiar with this format now, I am still likely the over here.
All-Star Game Best Bet: Over 318.5
The All Star Game: MVP Odds
LeBron James (+600)
Joel Embiid (+750)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (+750)
Stephen Curry (+900)
Nikola Jokic (+900)
Ja Morant (+900)
Trae Young (+1100)
Luka Doncic (+1400)
Jayson Tatum (+1400)
I mentioned the trend that every single All-Star Game has been won by Team LeBron. That alone should narrow down who you’re planning on picking. However, before you head down to the exciting numbers like Luka Doncic at +1400, let me hit you with another trend. Since they started drafting teams, the MVP has been either LeBron’s first or second pick in three out of the four games. The only exception was when LeBron won it himself. LeBron’s first two picks this year were Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry. Curry was then flopped to the other team to make up for the loss of Kevin Durant, leaving us with just Giannis to continue the trend. All things considered, he’s got a pretty nice number next to his name.
All-Star Game Best Bet: Giannis Antetokounmpo
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