2020 NBA All-Star Weekend Preview

The 69th edition of the NBA All-Star Game tips off this weekend at the United Center as Chicago plays host for the first time since 1988.

Two talented rosters will lineup under captains Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James, with our very own Aussie Ben Simmons making an appearance for the second season in a row.

Just like in years past, the skills events and the Slam Dunk Contest are grabbing all the headlines in the leadup to the weekend’s festivities.

Fortunately, you can bet on each and every event, and we’ve offered all of our top tips below.

2020 NBA All-Star Game

Eastern Conference All-Stars

Pos Player Team No. of selections
G Kemba Walker Boston Celtics 4
G Trae Young Atlanta Hawks 1
F Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks 4
F Pascal Siakam Toronto Raptors 1
C Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers 3
Reserves
G Kyle Lowry Toronto Raptors 6
G Ben Simmons Philadelphia 76ers 2
G Jimmy Butler Miami Heat 5
F Khris Middleton Milwaukee Bucks 2
F Bam Adebayo Miami Heat 1
F Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics 1
C Domantas Sabonis Indiana Pacers 1

Western Conference All-Stars

Pos Player Team No. of selections
G James Harden Houston Rockets 8
G Luka Dončić Dallas Mavericks 1
F LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers 16
F Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers 4
C Anthony Davis Los Angeles Lakers 7
Reserves
G Chris Paul Oklahoma City Thunder 10
G Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets 9
G Devin Booker Phoenix Suns 1
G Donovan Mitchell Utah Jazz 1
F Brandon Ingram New Orleans Pelicans 1
C Nikola Jokić Denver Nuggets 2
C Rudy Gobert Utah Jazz 1

This is one of the more one-sided All-Star Games both on paper and in the market.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s atrocious roster selections were the subject of scrutiny last week as the Greek Freak bizarrely opted for shooters like Kemba Walker and Trae Young over guys that can score from just about anywhere.

It’s a bold strategy that will likely see Team Giannis torn apart by a LeBron team made up of four of the NBA’s top five players. Really though, this game has been unwatchable for a long time due to its lack of defence (and importance), but if you really have to bet, you’re best off sticking with Team LeBron to win big.

Tip: Back Team LeBron to Cover the Line (-4.5 Points) @ $1.91

Slam Dunk Contest

Aaron Gordon

  • 2019/20: 68 Dunks (28th in the NBA)

Gordon will be making his third appearance at the Dunk Contest after (somehow) finishing second behind Zach LaVine in 2016’s tiebreaker. Not surprisingly, he’s the favourite in what is a very underwhelming field, but that also means there is plenty of pressure on the Magic forward to perform. If he pulls out another mascot dunk like the one above though, look out.  

Derrick Jones Jr

  • 2019/20: 56 Dunks (38th in the NBA)

The Miami Heat forward is back for another year after finishing second behind Glenn Robinson III back in 2017. Jones led the first round with a score of 95 but ran out of steam in the second round to fall seven points shy of Robinson’s total. Personally, I rated Jones’ between the legs dunk in the second round – even if he missed his first attempt. At 6-foot-6 he has the hops and athleticism to win this.

Dwight Howard

  • 2019/20: 98 Dunks (10th in the NBA)

Howard is averaging only 7.7 points off the bench for the Lakers this season, but he’s been an absolute revelation in the paint. Dwight won the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest with his famous ‘Superman Dunk’, so the excitement factor should be real this weekend. Now making his fourth appearance, I do question whether the 15-year veteran has any original ideas left – but as the tallest player in the field, he should at least make things interesting.

Pat Connaughton

  • 2019/20: 23 Dunks (95th in the NBA)

Connaughton is the only debutant in this years Dunk Contest, but don’t be surprised if he somehow winds up in the final. The Bucks guard is the shortest player competing, but don’t let his height (or his dunk stats) fool you. Connaughton can throw down with the best of them, just like Giannis found out against the Hawks this year.

Tip: Back Derrick Jones Jr @ $3.25

Three-Point Contest

Trae Young, Buddy Hield and Zach LaVine headline the 3-Point Shootout, meaning we should be in for a tight contest between four of the league’s top deadeye dicks from beyond the arc.

Young firmed into favouritism last week following the omission of Damian Lillard. The young Hawks point guard is averaging over three three’s a game on 37% shooting, but his ability to pull from just about anywhere makes him a serious threat.

Further down, defending champion Joe Harris also looks nice odds amid another strong season. He’s averaging 13.7 points-per-game – the exact same number as last year – and is also shooting 40% from downtown.

Perhaps the best bet of the weekend though is Zach LaVine. The Bulls guard will be playing in front of his hometown crowd and looks well over the odds at the current price. LaVine is in career-best form shooting 38% from three, while he’s also playing on the back of a 41-point game against the Wizards on Wednesday.

Tip: Back Zach LaVine @ $10.00

Skills Challenge

Again, this is a challenge that could wind up being more exciting than the actual All-Star Game.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Pascal Siakam, Jayson Tatum and Bam Adebayo are all future stars of the game and it’s very tough trying to separate all four in the market.

Spencer Dinwiddie, who won the Skills Challenge in 2018, has also been installed as the favourite. Now in his fourth season with Brooklyn, Dinwiddie ranks 11th in the NBA in assists – a stat that bodes well for a competition revolving around passing and ball handling.

This challenge is a complete coin flip and basically comes down to how a player handles the moment, the crowd, and his nerves. Therefore, you’re best off backing a player with experience in this event, so it’s worth sticking with the favourite.

Tip: Back Spencer Dinwiddie @ $4.50

Tips, recommendations and commentary are for entertainment only. We provide no warranty about accuracy or completeness. You should make your own assessment before placing a bet.