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NBA All-Star betting: Dunk Contest, 3-point shootout, MVP, game total

Juan Ocampo / National Basketball Association / Getty

Welcome to All-Star Weekend. The NBA world gathers in Indianapolis for a weekend of celebrations and events, and we're handicapping the main attractions, including Saturday night's 3-Point Contest and Dunk Contest, and markets for Sunday night's All-Star Game.

Let's dive in.

3-Point Contest odds

Player Odds
Damian Lillard +370
Trae Young +500
Tyrese Haliburton +500
Malik Beasley +600
Karl-Anthony Towns +700
Jalen Brunson +750
Lauri Markkanen +750
Donovan Mitchell +900

Some guys participate in this competition as a fun aside during a celebratory weekend. Then there's Jalen Brunson, a born winner and the ultimate competitor. Brunson's certainly not in the 3-Point Contest to only have a good time. He's there to win it.

Brunson has the second-best catch-and-shoot 3-point percentage among contestants, as he's connecting on 44.4% of his 2.4 attempts per game.

Malik Beasley has the best catch-and-shoot percentage at 46.9% while averaging 4.8 attempts per game.

Beasley also has the best standard 3-point percentage, knocking down 44% of his looks. Karl-Anthony Towns is second at 43.7%, while Brunson is third at 41.1%.

Beasley gets more open looks than Brunson and the rest of the participants because he commands less defensive attention. Brunson's percentages would likely be higher if he wasn't the go-to option for the Knicks.

Regardless, Beasley's stellar percentages are why he has the fourth-best odds.

After all, the 3-Point Contest is essentially a catch-and-shoot competition. While players grab balls off a rack instead of receiving a pass, there are no dribbles in between shots.

Damian Lillard and Trae Young are the purest shooters among anyone not named Steph Curry, so they are naturally the favorites. Lillard is also the defending 3-Point Contest champion, so he rightfully deserves to be the favorite as he looks to defend his crown.

It's surprising to see Towns with such lengthy odds given he won the last time he played in 2022. Young made the final round that year but came up short.

Tyrese Haliburton might not have as pure of a form as other contestants, but he participated last year and made it to the final round. The first-time All-Star impressed with a record-tying opening-round score of 31 and will look to improve on that in front of his home crowd.

Lauri Markkanen also competed last year. He had some solid rounds but just missed out on the final.

Brunson and Beasley are the only two contestants who are debuting in the event.

Brunson has long odds partly because he's a new contestant. However, the Knicks star is as much of a sniper as the rest of the crew.

His magical season and rising stardom will grow on Saturday night as he becomes the first Knick to ever win the 3-point contest.

Pick: Jalen Brunson +750

Dunk Contest odds

Player Odds
Mac McClung -200
Jacob Toppin +400
Jaylen Brown +650
Jaime Jaquez Jr. +800

Saturday night's All-Star festivities always conclude with the highly anticipated Dunk Contest. Although the product has become watered down and includes fewer stars than in the past, it's still exciting to watch high-flyers put on a show.

Mac McClung made a name for himself at last year's contest as a G League star who got the call-up with the Sixers to represent Philadelphia in the event. He's still a G League player, but his profile is higher following his 2023 win, and he's back this year to defend his crown as the dunk champ.

McClung's leaping ability, creativity, and execution is likely better than any other dunker in the field. He displayed all the functions necessary to win the contest last year. However, there's no value in taking someone with odds as short as -200 in a contest like this one.

That leaves Jaylen Brown, who is the only All-Star in the competition, and Jacob Toppin, who has spent most of this season with the Knicks' G League affiliate. NBA fans are more familiar with his brother Obi Toppin's highlight-reel dunks, but Jacob has a similar leap to his brother and displayed such at Kentucky.

Side note: It says a lot about the state of the contest that the NBA has to pull two G League guys to join.

Toppin's bounce is incredibly impressive, and winning the Dunk Contest can be life-changing for a G League player, so Toppin will put a ton of thought and prep into his dunks. Toppin can dethrone his fellow G Leaguer and is worth a wager if you choose to bet on this event.

Pick: Jacob Toppin +400

All-Star Game odds

Spread: West -2.5/East +2.5

Over/under: 363.5

Time: Sunday, 8 p.m. ET

Last year's All-Star Game was a disaster. There was zero defense and it seemed like none of the players cared about the result. No one expects the stars of the league to give full effort in an exhibition game, but the product was unwatchable.

Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged that and seemingly addressed the situation, changing the format back to East All-Stars against West All-Stars. Last year, two captains drafted teams. Silver also publicly encouraged players to give more effort. After the criticism from the game last year, I expect players to turn up the intensity on both ends.

All-Star rosters

West East
LeBron James Giannis Antetokounmpo
Luka Doncic Tyrese Haliburton
Kevin Durant Damian Lillard
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Jayson Tatum 
Nikola Jokic Bam Adebayo 
Devin Booker Paolo Banchero
Steph Curry Scottie Barnes
Anthony Davis Jaylen Brown
Anthony Edwards Jalen Brunson
Paul George Tyrese Maxey
Kawhi Leonard Donovan Mitchell
Karl-Anthony Towns Trae Young

Picking a side in this game is a foolish task. The West is the deeper, more talented group, which is why they're favored, but that means little in a game with no meaning. This isn't exactly an exciting play, and it's hard to root against points in a game featuring the best scorers in the world, but the best bet is under 363.5 points.

Last year's game finished with 359 total points. With increased intensity and more defense, there should be fewer this time around.

Pick: Under 363.5

All-Star Game MVP odds

Player Odds
Giannis Antetokounmpo +600
LeBron James +600
Steph Curry +750
Anthony Edwards +1000
Kevin Durant +1000
Jayson Tatum +1100
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +1100
Damian Lillard +1200
Devin Booker +1300
Tyrese Haliburton +1300
Donovan Mitchell +1800
Luka Doncic +1800

*Doesn't include odds longer than 18-1

This is another market that's a crapshoot. Here are the previous winners:

  • 2023: Jayson Tatum

  • 2022: Steph Curry

  • 2021: Giannis Antetokounmpo

  • 2020: Kawhi Leonard

  • 2019: Kevin Durant

  • 2018: LeBron James

  • 2017: Anthony Davis

The winner will likely be a starter. Thirteen of the last 14 winners were starters. Starters presumably play the most minutes, so they should have the most opportunities to score.

The other qualifier is a player's level of interest in the game and the award. Jayson Tatum clearly cared about the award when he put on a show last year. Kobe Bryant - whom the award is named after - cared when he received the honor four times in his career. That eliminates Nikola Jokic, who doesn't care about an event like this and doesn't have the skill set to win it.

The winner will likely be an elite 3-point shooter. Giannis Antetokounmpo made three 3-pointers the year he won it. The postgame highlight sizzle will feature more threes than dunks - a sign of the times in the NBA. The winner must be capable of exploding from distance on any given night.

There hasn't been a repeat winner since Russell Westbrook in 2015 and 2016, which is why Tatum isn't at the top of the oddsboard.

There are two players to target with decent value: Damian Lillard and Devin Booker. Yes, Booker breaks the trend of backing a starter, but, if he's putting on a show, he'll stay in the game. Both of these guys are capable of scoring outbursts on limited touches and dribbles.

Lillard's career high is 71 and Booker's is 70. I'm not saying either guy will explode for 70, but one of these two guys could have a memorable night.

Pick: Damian Lillard +1200 and Devin Booker +1300

Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X @soshtry for more betting coverage.

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