NBA All-Star Competition OddsBy Lucas M.
The NBA’s All-Star weekend is one of the great spectacles in all of sports. The flashy competitions, superstars challenging each other to top their moves, and random, ridiculous celebrity sightings (hey, it’s Chris Tucker!) make it one of the coolest and goofiest annual traditions in basketball. You may not know this, but there were odds on each of the specialty competitions that were held on Saturday night. These bets, though seemingly silly, are not often looked at, which meant that you could find good value in a few of the bets before the festivities began.
2013 All-Star Dunk Contest Odds
- James White (New York Knicks, Eastern Conference): 5/4
- Terrence Ross (Toronto Raptors, Eastern Conference): 7/2 – Champion
- Gerald Green (Indiana Pacers, Eastern Conference): 4/1
- Eric Bledsoe (Los Angeles Clippers, Western Conference): 5/1
- Jeremy Evans (Utah Jazz, Western Conference): 8/1
- Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets, Western Conference): 8/1
Terrance Ross sealed his dunk contest victory with a massive leap and windmill dunk over ball boy Michael Costolo, the son of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.
“I told him the day before that I was going to jump over him, but I never told him I was going to go through the legs,” Ross said. “He was kind of nervous. When I first grabbed him, he said, ‘You’re not going to hit me, right?’ I said, ‘No, I’m not going to hit you.’ ”
He was the second most-favored dunker in the contest, so it’s no surprise that the athletic lottery pick won the contest. These things can be tough to predict, but 7/2 odds on Ross was a nice value pick.
2013 All-Star Skills Competition Odds
- Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers, Eastern Conference): 3/1
- Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs, Western Conference): 7/2
- Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers, Western Conference): 7/2 – Champion
- Jeremy Lin (Houston Rockets, Western Conference): 4/1
- Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons, Eastern Conference): 11/2
- Jeff Teague (Atlanta Hawks, Eastern Conference): 11/2
An exercise in chest passes, bounce passes and dribbling, the skills competition isn’t exactly pulse pounding entertainment. However, just like the dunk contest, savvy bettors could have likely deduced the winner from the competitor’s ages. Lillard, a rookie phenom, is the youngest and most explosive of the bunch, so it stands to reason that he ripped through the obstacle course with such ease. “I think the biggest thing for me was to try not to be too cool and speed through it,” Lillard said, “but take my time with the passes and shots.”
2013 All-Star Three Point Competition Odds
- Stephen Curry (Western Conference, Golden State Warriors) 19/10
- Steve Novak (Eastern Conference, New York Knicks) 13/4
- Ryan Anderson (Western Conference, New Orleans Hornets) 15/4
- Kyrie Irving (Eastern Conference, Cleveland Cavaliers) 9/2 – Champion
- Matt Bonner (Western Conference, San Antonio Spurs) 5/1
- Paul George (Eastern Conference, Indiana Pacers) 8/1
In one of the biggest surprises of the night, Kyrie Irving toppled heavy favorites Steve Novak and Ryan Anderson to win the three point shooting competition. The 9/2 odds weren’t great, but it was a good bet nonetheless.
“Yeah, this weekend was just basically about earning everybody’s respect, and getting a chance for people to see me that don’t usually see me,” Irving said. “We’re not nationally televised. This weekend is to show my face to the fans and get everybody acclimated to my face in the league.”