The NBA All-Star weekend does their skills competitions the right way. They keep them fairly consistent year to year and bring in guys who actually want to compete rather than forcing players to perform one or two skills. This keeps the competitions entertaining and competitive, and allows you to compare results from year to year.
This year the All-Star Festivities will begin on Friday night with the Celebrity Game and Jordan Rising Stars Tournament (broadcast in Canada on SportsNet). The Skills Competitions will take place Saturday night (starting at 8pm on SN1) with the Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest taking center stage. The NBA All-Star Game will then take place Sunday night starting at 8pm EST (TSN 4 and 5).
I will give my pick for the winner of each skills competition event below using the odds found at SportsInteraction.com (odds from February 16th).
The skills challenge will feature 3 teams of 3 that will compete in three challenges that include Team Shooting, Team Passing and Team Relay. A Half-court Shot challenge is available as a tie-breaker.
I think anyone can win this event, so I’m looking at Team Antetokounmpos to use their chemistry and experience of participating in the event last year to get the win.
Play: Team Antetokounmps 5.75
As you can see from the odds this competition is up for grabs this year. Defending champion Karl-Anthony Towns is not in the field, and Buddy Hield is the only previous winner of the 8 players competing.
I like Tyler Herro at odds of 8.05. He seems like a guy who can rise to the occasion and because I think anyone can win this event, I’m drawn to a player with the longest odds on the board.
Play: Herro 8.05
Slam Dunk Contest
I’m going to stick with my theory that the players are basically on an even playing field in each of these skills comps. Kenyon Martin Jr. is the favourite here, but I will be going with Trey Murphy III because he’s likely the most established NBA player in the competition, which I think can play a factor if things get close.
Play: Trey Murphy III 4.00
You can find all of these NBA All-Star weekend odds and many others at SportsInteraction.com by opening the ‘Basketball’ drop down menu and selecting ‘NBA Props’.