NBA All-Star Weekend Betting Preview
The NBA enters the all-star break this weekend, but basketball bettors don’t need to take the weekend off as there are odds for the slam dunk contest and the three-point shootout.
This year’s slam dunk contest features three former contestants, one of them with a dunk contest title. There won’t be a back-to-back winner this year, as reigning champion Hamidou Diallo isn’t back to defend his title.
Gordon the +130 favorite to win dunk contest
Despite the presence of a former champion in the field, he isn’t the favorite. In fact, he’s the underdog. We’ll get to him in a second. At Bovada Sportsbook, the dunk contest favorite is the Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon at +130. He has taken part in the dunk contest twice before. In 2016 he lost to Zach LaVine in the final and in 2017 he bowed out in the first round.
Following Gordon on the odds are Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat at +140 and Pat Connaughton of the Milwaukee Bucks at +400. Jones appeared in the 2017 dunk contest and lost to Glenn Robinson III in the final. This will be Connaughton’s first dunk contest.
Former champ Howard has longest odds
Rounding out the four-man field is Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers at +550. Howard is a former dunk contest champion but that was more than a decade ago in 2008. He also took part in 2007 and 2009, when he came away empty-handed. Howard has at least 10 years on two of his opponents and it will be interesting to see if he has any magic left to pull off an upset.
In the three-point shootout, the reigning champion is back this year to defend his title. That would be the Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Harris, who is listed at +400 on the odds at Bovada. That doesn’t make him the favorite, though.
The front-runner, at +375, is the Miami Heat’s Duncan Robinson at +375. It will be his first appearance in the shootout, and he enters with the best three-point shooting percentage this season among the participants.
Harris +400 to repeat in shootout
Also getting +400 odds alongside Harris is the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young and the Washington Wizards’ Davis Bertans. Both are in the contest for the first time. At press time Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard was also listed at +400, but after suffering a groin injury Wednesday night he’s expected to miss the shootout and should be taken off the board.
With Lillard out, the only competitor with prior shootout experience other than Harris is Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings at +600. He took part in the shootout last year for the first time.
Rounding out the field are Charlotte Hornets’ Devonte’ Graham (+1000) and Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine (+1000).