Gambling On Dumb Stuff: NBA All-Star Weekend Best Bets

The NBA All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah tips off Friday, February 17. It's certainly not the NBA All-Star weekend I grew up watching. The dunk contest is full of nobodies, the skills contest is lame and I hate the money-ball rack in the 3-point shootout.

I get that sports bettors might use this weekend for girlfriend/boyfriend time with March Madness next month. But, since I'm an NBA betting degenerate, I'm taking shots at the NBA All-Star weekend contests.

For the love of god, don't put life-changing money on any of these bets. And definitely don't get into my replies, whining about any of these picks losing. These are just funsies bets.

NBA AT&T Slam Dunk

All four AT&T Slam Dunk competitors are backups if their teams are healthy and one regularly plays in the G-League. The "load management" era is ruining the dunk contest too.

Slam Dunk bet: Kenyon Martin Jr (+350)

Martin is a freak athlete who's 6-foot-6 frame reminds me of Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. Obviously, Martin is 1/100th of the player as Kobe or MJ but the guy has mad hops.

Also, I could see Martin bringing out his father, Kenyon Sr., to help with a dunk, which would definitely win brownie points with the judges. Kenyon Sr. was a popular NBA player with both teammates and fans.

McClung is still clinging to internet fame when he was cramming it all over high school kids. Perhaps McClung can find creative ways to separate himself from the competition and gets a "little white guy" boost.

It's rare for a center to win this award so I'm ruling out Sims. The last, and really only, center to win the dunk contest was Dwight Howard back in 2008.

Murphy has the greatest 3-point shooting name ever: "Trey Murphy III (the third)". In fact, Murphy is a better at threes than dunking. Murphy has a higher 3-point percentage than five of the eight 3-point contest shooters.

Instead look for Kenyon Jr. to jump over Kenyon Sr. for the winning dunk of the NBA Slam Dunk contest.

NBA Starry 3-Point Contest

The Starry 3-Point Contest is now the marquee event of NBA All-Star weekend. Five of the eight 3-point shooters will play in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game. Makes sense considering the NBA revolves around the 3-point line nowadays.

The only former 3-point contest champion in this year's field is Hield who won the 2020 NBA 3-Point Contest in Chicago. Reigning 3-point champion Karl-Anthony Towns is out with an injury.

3-Point Contest Bet: Kevin Huerter (+650)

This is the easiest bet of the whole NBA All-Star weekend. Huerter and I went to the same high school in upstate New York so I'm rolling with a fellow Shenendehowa High School graduate.

Huerter is shooting a career-best 39.2% from behind the arc and hitting a career-best 2.6 three-pointers per game. He has the release speed and shot form to breeze through all five racks with time to spare.

The 3-Point contest is mostly won by guards so that crosses off Markkanen and Randle. Hield should be the favorite considering he is a former winner. But, there is no way I'm betting the favorite here.

Lillard is more of a volume scorer than a pure shooter. Obviously, we've seen Dame Time go nuclear from 3-point land but, at +400, no thanks.

Tatum jumps too high when he shoots and might be thrown off by the shot clock. The same logic for Tatum's shot motion applies to Herro.

Truth be told, Herro and Haliburton are the only other shooters I'd bet here but neither went to the same high school as me.

NBA Kia Skills Challenge

It's either "Team Rookies" or "pass". Banchero, Smith, and Ivey were three of the top-five 2022 NBA Draft selections. All three can hit 3-pointers and handle the ball and two of the three can pass the rock.

Two-thirds of "Team Antetokounmpo" doesn't play in NBA games and laying -120 in a meaningless contest isn't smart. Also, the team aspect of this competition doesn't matter.

I love Kessler's game but he is more of a rim-protecting and defensive big. Clarkson and Sexton are going to have to pick up the slack if Team Jazz is going to win.

Skills Contest Bet: Team Rookies (+140)

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Written by
Geoff Clark serves as OutKick’s sports betting guru. As a writer and host of OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark, he dives deep into the sports betting landscape and welcomes an array of sports betting personalities on his show to handicap America’s biggest sporting events. Previously, Clark was a writer/podcaster for USA TODAY's Sportsbook Wire website, handicapping all the major sports tentpoles with a major focus on the NFL, NBA and MLB. Clark graduated from St. John University.