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I’ve bet every other night in the NBA so I might as well keep it rolling for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The team draft is 7:30 p.m. ET, minutes before the tip-off, by team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. They’ll be playing the same format since 2020 with a “target score” for the final result.
Score is kept through the 1st three 12-minute quarters and the winning team gets a cash prize to donate to charity. The “target score” is 24 points PLUS the winning team’s score through three quarters.
NBA All-Star Game Betting Board (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Team Giannis (+125), TEAM LEBRON (-145)
- Against the spread: Team Giannis +3 (-110), Team LeBron -3 (-110)
- Total — 326 — Over: -110, Under: -110
Team LeBron is a perfect 5-0 since the NBA All-Star Game went to a team-captain format. It makes sense that LeBron would be a good team captain because of all the practice he’s gotten.
Everyone knows the front office of LeBron’s teams does his bidding. He pretty much traded Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett for Kevin Love when James returned to Cleveland.
Anthony Davis signed with LeBron’s player management agency and forced his way out of New Orleans to Los Angeles in 2019. Point blank, James has a history of building championship rosters.
More importantly, LeBron is the most influential active player in the NBA. If he takes the NBA All-Star Game seriously then so will his team. From the eye-test, LeBron clearly takes these games more seriously than the other captain.
James also likes to brag about random accomplishments to further heighten his greatness. LeBron may cling to this perfect 5-0 NBA All-Star Game record. His teams are 2-0 vs. Team Giannis with a 14-point win in 2019.
As ridiculous as it sounds to spend -145 on a team in an All-Star game, it’s more ridiculous betting the spread. Two of the three NBA All-Star Games with a “target score” ended with 3- and 2-point margins.
NBA ASG Best Bet #1: Team LeBron moneyline (-145) for a half-unit
NBA All-Star Game MVP (DraftKings)
- LeBron James (+550)
- Damian Lillard (+650)
- Joel Embiid (+700)
- Luka Doncic (+800)
- Kyrie Irving (+800)
- Jayson Tatum (+800)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (+1000)
- Donovan Mitchell (+1000)
- Ja Morant (+1200)
- Nikola Jokic (+1800)
I’m going to split a half-unit on a few different bets in this market with my three looks being LeBron (+550), Embiid (+700), and Mitchell (+1000).
The LeBron-bet is simple. He’s a team captain so LeBron will be in the game for the 4th quarter. Also, James’ teammates could defer to him since there is the narrative of “How many more All-Star games will LeBron play?”
I’m taking a flyer on Embiid because he’ll most likely be one of the two bigs in at the end of the game (Jokic and Embiid). Embiid can put the ball on the floor, shoot 3s and create his own shot.
Also, Embiid could be starved for recognition having never won this award and being past up for the NBA regular-season MVP in the past two seasons for Jokic.
Embiid scored a Team Durant-high 36 points in last year’s NBA All-Star Game. But, Steph Curry scored a game-high 50 en route to an NBA All-Star Game MVP for Team LeBron.
It’s a revenge game for Mitchell and he’s obviously familiar with this gym. Mitchell started his career in Utah before being traded to Cleveland this offseason.
Donovan can rain 3s, do Slam-Dunk-caliber dunks in-game and this is the 1st All-Star game Mitchell will start. In today’s basketball, the 3-point shot rules all so I want someone who can go nuclear from deep.
NBA ASG Best Bet(s) #2: ‘Sprinkles’ on LeBron (+550), Embiid (+700), and Mitchell (+1000) to win NBA ASG MVP
Which starter will be selected 1st for the NBA All-Star game draft? (DraftKings)
- Luka Doncic (+145)
- Kyrie Irving (+260)
- Jayson Tatum (+260)
- Ja Morant (+750)
- Nikola Jokic (+800)
- Joel Embiid (+800)
- Donovan Mitchell (+1400)
- Lauri Markkanen (+4000)
Who wouldn’t want to play with the reigning 2-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic? I doubt LeBron will have any qualms about picking Jokic 1st even though they play in the same conference.
Giannis is low-key super competitive and I don’t see him picking someone from the East. That rules out Jayson Tatum, Mitchell and Embiid.
If I could “short” this market, I would definitely bet the “No, Kyrie Irving won’t be the 1st player drafted in the NBA All-Star game”. Aside from Kevin Durant, does anyone in the NBA want to publicly pick Kyrie to be on their team?
Jokic looks like the funnest guy to play with and complements both LeBron and Giannis. He is one of the few players yet to demand a trade so we won’t force his way to LA and sure as hell not Milwaukee.
Giannis has been the No. 1 pick in the last two NBA All-Star Games. It makes sense for him to select the only other MVP over the past four season (Jokic).
NBA ASG Best Bet #3: Nikola Jokic is 1st player drafted (+800) for a quarter-unit
Player Specials (DraftKings)
Knicks F Julius Randle to score 15 or more points (+310) is my favorite look in this “Player Specials” category.
This is Randle’s 2nd All-Star Game appearance so he is more familiar with the routine and less likely to be frozen out by the other All-Stars. Randle scored just 4 points in his 1st appearance in 2021.
Julius is versatile with an ability to shoot off-the-dribble and attack the rim. Randle competed in the 3-Point Contest Saturday and has the ability to cover this number on 3s alone.
My other bet in this market is Heat PF Bam Adebayo to score 10 or more points (+250). Adebayo can catch five lobs for dunk and perhaps he plays the 4th quarter for defensive purposes.
Bam is a hustler by nature so I wouldn’t be surprised if Adebayo hits 10 points with a putback or off a looseball.
NBA ASG Best Bet(s) #4: Randle to score 15+ points (+310) & Adebayo to score 10+ points (+250) for a quarter-unit each
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