Staff Best Bets: NBA All-Star Weekend – Expert Player Props and Picks (2/16/23)

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Our ScoresAndOdds experts deliver their favorite player props and picks for this weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities.

It’s hard to believe we’re already at the NBA All-Star break. Hate it or love it, there is still plenty of action to wager on over the weekend.

Let’s take a look at the odds of these events, while our experts have some fun and give their favorite betting picks.

Make sure to check back right here frequently to see our expert picks as they roll in!

NBA All-Star Weekend Competitions

NBA Rising Stars Tournament FanDuel Odds – Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET

*Odds as of Thursday evening

NBA 3-Point Contest FanDuel Odds – Saturday, 9:30 p.m. ET

*Odds as of Thursday evening

NBA Slam Dunk Contest FanDuel Odds – Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET

*Odds as of Thursday evening

NBA All-Star Game FanDuel Odds – Sunday, 8 p.m. ET

*Odds as of Thursday evening

NBA All-Star MVP FanDuel Odds

*Odds as of Thursday evening

Free NBA Expert Picks: 2023 All-Star Weekend

Lauri Markkanen 3-Point Contest Winner

It’s always fun to back a long shot. However, I think there is some merit to believing that Markkanen can win this competition. Don’t forget they’re playing in Utah this weekend. Lauri’s three-point shooting percentage is almost seven full points higher this season at home compared to on the road. Another statistic I like is that Markkanen ranks second in the NBA (only behind Klay Thompson) in catch-and-shoot three-pointers made per game. Many have different theories when digging for numbers that actually make sense in these high-variance competitions – maybe there is some validity behind them, maybe not. But at 7-1, I’m in for the home-town narrative. – Justin Carlucci (TheLuuch)

LeBron James All-Star Game MVP

There are a thousand narratives you could tie to betting LBJ on Sunday. I do believe James will play hard with some extra pep in his step after the Lakers re-organized their roster at the deadline to become contenders again. Of course, your team has to win to become the MVP. Team LeBron is roughly a -154 moneyline favorite at the moment. Giannis, arguably the best player on the other side, hurt his wrist against Chicago during Milwaukee’s last game before the break on Wednesday. If it’s at all serious, perhaps he’s discretely limited over the weekend. Let’s be real, the NBA wants LBJ to win this thing, and with Giannis banged up, I’m giving the Bron Squad a slight leg up in this one, with him hoisting some hardware at the end of the evening. – Justin Carlucci (TheLuuch)

Luka Doncic All-Star Game MVP

Luka has actually been fairly disappointing in his three All-Star Game appearances, but it was still surprising to see him at just the fifth or sixth highest MVP odds (depending on where you are shopping.) He has never scored more than 8 points in an ASG and he shockingly has never attempted more than 7 shots. Luka isn’t going to throw down any flashy dunks, but we certainly know he can score from anywhere on the floor. Two of the players ahead of him in MVP odds (Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid) both have injury concerns. Giannis left Thursday’s game after spraining his wrist and did not return. Embiid has been battling a foot injury for weeks and made public comments about his availability for the game.

Luka should be one of the first players off the board in the draft and I expect him to be among the leaders in minutes played. He is second in the league in usage rate and I am hoping that translates to him being more aggressive than he has been in past All-Star games. He can put himself in the MVP conversation as the leading scorer, or perhaps with the game winning shot.

With the injury concerns for Giannis and Embiid, I would personally have Luka as the second most likely MVP behind LeBron, putting his odds closer to +650 and giving us some nice value on this bet. LeBron, Giannis and Kyrie Irving already have ASG MVPs on their resumes, so here’s to hoping Luka steps up and decides this is the year he adds the trophy to his list of accomplishments. – Keith Eyster (eys819)

Buddy Hield, Damian Lillard 3-Point Contest Winner

I am being a chalk donkey and putting the same unit down on each of the co-favorites. I feel strongly that one of these guys will take home the crown on Saturday night. In general, I like taking streaky shooters that have minimal effort/lift in their long-range shots.  Regarding the latter, Lillard shoots the ball on the way up, while Buddy hardly leaves the ground – so I think both of these guys fit the mold here. Hield leads all contestants in 3P% by a wide margin this season, as he ranks eighth in the league at 42.7%. 

As for Dame, the fact that he is even entering this contest in his 11th season makes me think he REALLY wants to add this trophy to his resume.  If you don’t want to be lame like me by lowering your potential winnings by backing two guys, I’ll side with Dame as my ride-or-die.  I think the third time will be the charm for him. – Andy Means (meansy53)

Damian Lillard 3-Point Contest Winner

Even though Lillard is the favorite, this line seems a little low to me. Lillard is one of the more underrated shooters from deep, and even though this contest is made for catch-and-shoot guys, Dame is still the best shooter from this group by a wide margin, in my opinion. – Grant Neiffer (gneiffer07)

Mac McClung Under 92.5 Round 1 Score

McClung’s Round 1 over/under is the highest on the board on PrizePicks, but I’m taking the under here. McClung announced he has two never-before-seen dunks up his sleeve, which may be an advantage for the 6’2” guard. Where McClung is at a disadvantage, is the fact he’s the first G-League participant in the NBA Dunk Contest, so it almost makes me wonder if he’ll have to overcome that bias among the judges. The judges include former NBA players Jamal Crawford, Karl Malone, Harold Miner, Dominique Wilkins and former WNBA star Lisa Leslie.

We know the NBA is a tight-knit community and it would be interesting to see whether a G-Leaguer could come in here and dominate a competition that has traditionally been among NBA players. There’s no doubt the crowd will be on McClung’s side as his inclusion into the dunk contest has been one of the most buzz-worthy additions in recent years. But will he do enough to win over the panel of judges and outshine Jericho Sims, KJ Martin and Trey Murphy in Round 1? I say no but time will tell. – Allan Lem (fathalpert)

All-Star Game Total Over 324.5 Points

Since the new clockless fourth quarter rule has been implemented, the All-Star Game total has yet to eclipse this market number, finishing with 323 points, 320 points, and 312 points in each of the last three years. However, that trend could change this year.

The new format for this season, in which each team will be drafted a little more than an hour before tip-off, is likely to make defense even less present than usual. The All-Star Game is a forum for the league to showcase the league’s impressive athleticism and shooting ability, with defense being an afterthought. Expect points to be easy to come by on Sunday, take the over. – Nick (The Commish)