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NBA All-Star weekend preview

IT’S a fun couple days in Cleveland as the All-Star festivities continue.

Let’s take a look at the upcoming events and try to find some value for punters.

Skills Challenge

The Skills Challenge takes on a fresh new look as three team will now compete against each other in an array of new events.

The top two teams will then engage in a half court shootout, making it more or less a coin flip situation.  The Rookies (Giddey, Cunningham, Barnes), The Antetounmpo’s (Giannis, Thanasis, Alex) and The Cavs (Garland, Allen, Mobely) will fight it out for the top honours in the games where perhaps the only edge is care factor?

The Rookies definitely have an edge in the passing categories and should fair fine with the rest of the competition earning a spot in the Final. The Value in this event is on the Antetokounm-bro’s. If they can make their way through the elimination round we are essentially sitting on a $4.50 ticket in a game of heads or tails.

Big men have historically done well in this event, let’s see if this trend can continue.

Our best bet: The Antetokounmpos $4.50 at PlayUp

3-Point contest

This is the only event we can apply mathematical equations to, so let’s do exactly that.

I’ve set up a Monte Carlo simulation for this event to identify value against the prices current hung. There are two standouts who represent great value and score the three ball with high efficiency and low variance; Desmond Bane and Luke Kennard.

At implied odds of $2.33 and $2.53 respectively, their prices to win this event have been inflated because of some bigger name players competing in this event. I’d recommend a split stake on the two first time contestants.

Our best bet:  Luke Kennard $5.00 at PlayUp & Desmond Bane $6.50 at PlayUp

Slam Dunk contest

Easily the biggest spectacle of the three events, the dunk contest is an all-out dunking showcase where players look to outscore their opponents through raw athleticism and innovative props.

Only Obi Toppin has previously taken place in this event when he was arguably the best dunker in last years competition. He will line up against Jalen Green, Cole Anthony and Juan Toscano Anderson.

Jalen Green is the most athletic player in this competition and is rightfully favorite to win the comp. His in game dunks this season have been unreal and one of the only reasons for tuning into Houston Rockets games.

I don’t usually like playing favourites in these niche events, but I think this is lined correctly and Green should come away with the silverware.

Our best bet: Jalen Green $2.50 at PlayUp

All Star Game: Team Lebron v Team KD

Once again GM LeBron has put together a formidable side and will take on Team KD with their namesake missing through injury. This could actually set up to be a decent game, with a host of first time All Stars and players that might actually care about performance.

Team LeBron, however, is completely stacked with top-level talent and definitely has a far superior side (and they don’t have Andrew Wiggins). Even with LeBron likely to play a limited role the likes of Steph, Giannis, DeRozen and Jokic have more than enough to carry this side to victory.

Since its inception, Team LeBron has not lost and I expect history to repeat itself again this year. Last year, Giannis Antetokounmpo (MVP) went nuclear in a 20-point win and I fully expect him to put up big numbers once again.

Lay the -5.5 with the favourites and enjoy a couple of days rest before we take on the rest of the season into playoffs basketball.

Our best bet: Team Lebron -5.5 $1.90 at PlayUp


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