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The NBA All-Star Game takes place on Sunday night and represents only a small part of the action we’ll see during the weekend. Several other contests, some new, some traditional, will also occur and present diverse betting angles. We take a look at all of it in this 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend betting preview.

Many sports fans feel like the NBA All-Star Game is the most exciting of all the all-star competitions held by the major sports. There might not be a ton of defense on display between the two teams. But you can be certain you’ll see some thrilling exploits performed by these superstars during the contest that you won’t soon forget.

Of course, the game is just the culmination of three days’ worth of action, which this year takes place at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. There’s also the Slam Dunk Contest, the 3-Point Contest, the skills challenge, and the Rising Stars competition. You can even watch the Celebrity All-Star Game if you really want to catch the whole show.

The NBA has been fearless in tinkering with the formats of these different events, including the game itself. That has kept the action fresh, exciting, and competitive, and fans can’t seem to get enough of it. As for bettors, more action on the court means more chances to win, and that’s the most important thing.

We’re going to take a look at all of it from a betting perspective. To do that, we’ll walk you through the different events, how they work, and who’s taking part. And we’ll give you our favorite picks for every one of those events so that you can make your wagers at the top gambling sites.

2022 NBA All-Star Weekend Schedule

In order to bet the events we’re going to discuss, you need to make sure you know when everything is going to take place. Let’s take a look at when everything will be taking place in Cleveland this weekend:

  • Friday: Rising Stars Tournament at 9 PM Eastern Time
  • Saturday: 8 PM Eastern Time start, events taking place (in this order) are Skills Challenge, 3-Point Challenge, and Slam Dunk Contest
  • Sunday: 2022 All-Star Game at 8 PM Eastern Time

Rising Stars Challenge

It all begins with the Rising Stars Challenge, where you can watch some of the hottest young guns in the NBA showcase their talents.

Note:

In the past, this was a single game with the league’s best rookies and sophomore players. This season, they’ve turned it into a tournament of sorts. Four teams (seven players each) were created out of a pool of 28 total players (12 rookies, 12 second-year players, and 4 players from the developmental G League.)

There will be two semifinals between the four teams, with the winning team in each game being the first one to 50 points. Then there will be a final between the two winning teams up to 25 points. The scores represent the 75th anniversary of the league (50 plus 25).

Each side is coached by an NBA Legend that adds some extra spice to the whole thing. Rick Barry, Isaiah Thomas, Gary Payton, and James Worthy are the guys who will lead the youngsters in this event.

Here are the rosters and the odds.

Team Isaiah (+200)

  • Precious Achiuwa, Toronto
  • Desmond Bane, Memphis
  • Saddiq Bey, Detroit
  • Anthony Edwards, Minnesota
  • Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana
  • Isaiah Stewart, Detroit
  • Jaden Hardy, G-League

Team Barry (+225)

  • Cade Cunningham, Detroit
  • Evan Mobley, Cleveland
  • Isaac Okoro, Cleveland
  • Alperen Sengun, Houston
  • Jae’Sean Tate, Houston
  • Franz Wagner, Orlando
  • Dyson Daniels, G-League

Team Worthy (+300)

  • Cole Anthony, Orlando
  • Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City
  • Jalen Green, Houston
  • Herbert Jones, New Orleans
  • Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia
  • Jalen Suggs, Orlando
  • MarJon Beauchamp, G-League

Team Payton (+325)

  • LaMelo Ball, Charlotte
  • Scottie Barnes, Toronto
  • Ayo Dosummu, Chicago
  • Bones Hyland, Denver
  • Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State
  • Jaden McDaniels, Minnesota
  • Scoot Henderson, G-League

Team Isaiah does seem to have the most talent in terms of guys doing damage right now in the league. Edwards, Haliburton, and Bane all had All-Star Game cases themselves, and the versatile Barnes has been a big surprise as a rookie for the iron men Raptors. Achiuwa and Stewart give them the inside presence to let the other guys go to work on the perimeter.

Barry’s team has the hometown edge with Okoro and Mobley.

Mobley, in particular, is the most imposing player in the game. Cunningham has been up and down as a rookie, and he might be a turnover machine if he’s asked to handle it too much here. Team Worthy is on the smallish side, but what a pack of guards they have in Anthony, Suggs, Giddey, and Maxey.

That leaves Team Payton, who have already been weakened by injuries to original picks Davion Mitchell and Chris Duarte. That would have given them a shooting edge, but that’s been nullified somewhat now (although Kuminga and Hyland, their replacements, have been hot.) The worry for that team is that Ball, their most dynamic talent, might not be pushed too hard with the All-Star Game waiting for him.

The Pick

We’re having a hard time seeing how any one of these teams gets by Team Isaiah. They’re well-rounded and filled with shooters. You’re getting the least value, obviously, with the favorite, but a 2 to 1 score is nothing to sneeze at when you feel pretty good about the reliability of the outcome.

Skills Challenge

This contest is undergoing the most drastic change as the league toys with ways to keep things from getting stale in any way. In the past, it was an individual competition, with the players going through an obstacle course of sorts in one-on-one elimination races until one guy was left standing. But this year, the league has switched it up to a team format, with each three-man squad connected in some way.

As for the format, it’s a bit of a wild hodgepodge.

There are shooting and passing competitions where the winning team gets 100 points, and then a relay race, with skills included, where the winning team gets 200 points. The last two teams standing then compete in a half-court shooting contest to determine the overall winner.

Team Rookies (-150)

  • Scottie Barnes, Toronto
  • Cade Cunningham, Detroit
  • Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City

Team Cavaliers (+225)

  • Jarrett Allen, Cleveland
  • Darius Garland, Cleveland
  • Evan Mobley, Cleveland

Team Antetokounmpo (+375)

  • Alex Antetokounmpo, G-League
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee

This competition seems like such a free-for-all that it’s tempting to go for the long shot and play for value. But even though team Antetokounmpo features probably the most dominant player on the planet, they would seem to be at a disadvantage in the shooting department. Even though Giannis has improved in that category, and he’ll be the one stepping up for his team, they’re most likely looking at a loss in that part and a tough mountain to climb.

Team Cleveland will certainly have the home fans on their side.

And they’ve got the three guys that have keyed their unlikely run into playoff contention. Allen and Garland are All-Stars, and Mobley right now is the favorite to win NBA Rookie of the Year honors, although the guys on the one team we haven’t mentioned might have something to say about it.

On the Rookie team, versatility is rampant with Giddey, Barnes, and Cunningham. The one concern here is that none of those three really counts shooting as their #1 attribute. That could hamstring them against Team Cleveland in a couple of those competitions, although a half-court shot is not exactly a repeatable skill (unless you’re Stephen Curry.)

The Pick

When in doubt, go with the home team. We’re thinking that the Cavalier trio will be inspired to show everyone who might not have watched a lot of Cleveland games what they can do. And that makes them a nice bet as the second choice on the wagering board.

3-Point Contest

This format will look pretty much like it always has, with a few notable exceptions. First of all, there is the fact that there will once again be two longer shots included, about 6 feet behind the arc on either side of the top of the key. These shots will be worth three points apiece, making them even more valuable than the two-point “money” balls (every other make counts as one point.)

The other change is more a return to the way it’s always been done.

Further Info:

Last year, because of COVID, the league didn’t invite any 3-point shooters other than the ones who were already involved in the game. This year the field once against includes sharpshooters who are known primarily, which means that it’s going to take some serious shooting to win.

Here’s how the sportsbooks view the chances of the different competitors.

  • Fred VanVleet, Toronto (+400)
  • Trae Young, Atlanta (+425)
  • Patty Mills, Brooklyn (+425)
  • Luke Kennard, Los Angeles Clippers (+550)
  • Desmond Bane, Memphis (+600)
  • Zach LaVine, Chicago (+750)
  • CJ McCollum, New Orleans (+1000)
  • Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota

This is an interesting group in that none of the eight competitors have ever won the event, and five of the eight have never even participated in it. That would seem to suggest that this is a 3-Point Contest where it’s hard to eliminate any of the contenders as a possible winning candidate. It’s a good thing for value, but it’s a bad thing if you’re trying to narrow it down.

Keep in mind that LaVine is a bit banged up entering the competition and that big guys like Towns aren’t usually in the mix here. Kennard and Mills are the specialists that really focus on the 3-Point shots, which has worked for guys in the past (think Craig Hodges, a three-time winner.) Bane is an interesting guy, only in his second year but already shooting with a confidence well beyond his years.

The top two choices are a pair of dynamic guards who can go way deep, which should help them with those 3-point bonus shots from far out. McCollum is a great plat If you want value, as he’s been an outstanding bomber for his entire career, getting a new lease on life in New Orleans. You could really make a case for any of these guys, and if you’re stuck, you should err on the side of value.

The Pick

Kennard is just the right type of guy to do damage in this competition, someone who can repeat his stroke over and over without much effort. Plus, he gives you the added bonus of being a historic winner, as he would be the first lefty to get it done. We’re guessing that he returns to LA a winner and with odds of a little bit better than 5 to 1.

Slam Dunk Contest

The NBA has been tinkering with the Dunk Contest to try to have it go to the fairest winner every year and still be entertaining. In truth, there’s no real way to get it just right. It’s always going to be subjective, and people will always have different opinions than the judges. The controversy is part of the lure of the Slam Dunk Contest anyway.

The format is a traditional one this year.

Each of the four contestants will compete in a preliminary round to try and wow the judges to get to the finals. All scores are wiped clean for the finals, with a high score of 50 from the 5 judges the ultimate goal.

Here are the guys that will give it a go.

  • Jalen Green, Houston (+130)
  • Obi Toppin, New York Knicks (+210)
  • Cole Anthony, Orlando (+350)
  • Juan Toscano-Anderson, Golden State (+600)

This is a young group, as you might expect, with only one of the four having experience in the event (Toppin finished second behind Anfernee Simons last season.) Speaking of young, Green is all of 19 and already a highlight generator. He’s shown his ability to soar from distances in games, and he has an innate flash about him that will help.

Toppin can bring the thunder from anywhere, a prolific dunker who gets most of his baskets in that manner. He’s also the tallest of the group, which is a double-edged sword in a lot of ways. It means he can get to higher plateaus than his foes here, but the judges will be looking for more from him because of that.

Note:

Anthony is an interesting choice for this contest, as he isn’t a guy particularly known for his game dunking. Maybe people have seen him in practice and have seen some hidden talents.

As for Toscano-Anderson, he brings a lot of in-your-face energy to his play and might be able to rev up the crowd in his favor.

The Pick

This seems like Toppin’s contest to lose, even though he’s the second choice. Maybe Green has the ability to rev it up with his athletic ability, and Toscano-Anderson isn’t a bad value as a guy who is the longest shot on the board. But Toppin, who played his college ball in Ohio, will have the home crowd rocking on his side.

2022 NBA All-Star Game

If you’ve tuned out for a few years from the NBA All-Star Game, you might not realize that there have been some interesting changes. The teams are still chosen in the same manner, via the East and West with starters and reserves. But that’s where it starts to diverge from tradition.

First of all, the teams are chosen by captains, with this year’s captains being LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets (who’s actually injured and won’t play.) That means you can have players from the same NBA teams facing off against each other. It’s enlivened the format, and it seems like the games have become more competitive because of it.

There is also the so-called Elam Ending, which was instituted in 2020.

Important:

Instead of a normal running clock in the fourth quarter, 24 points are added to the leading team’s score to provide the target for the winner. Whichever team hits that level first wins the game, no matter how long it takes.

Let’s take a look at the teams and the odds for each player to become the MVP of the game.

Team Durant

  • Jayson Tatum, Boston (Starter): +1900
  • Andrew Wiggins, Golden State (Starter): +6000
  • Joel Embiid, Philadelphia (Starter): +600
  • Trae Young, Atlanta (Starter): +2300
  • Ja Morant, Memphis (Starter): +850
  • LaMelo Ball, Charlotte (Reserve): +2300
  • Devin Booker, Phoenix (Reserve): +2300
  • Rudy Gobert, Utah (Reserve): +9500
  • Zach LaVine, Chicago (Reserve): +5500
  • Khris Middleton, Milwaukee (Reserve): +9500
  • Dejounte Murray, San Antonio (Reserve): +9500
  • Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota (Reserve): +9500

Team LeBron

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee (Starter): +380
  • LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (Starter): +650
  • Nikola Jokic, Denver (Starter): +1900
  • DeMar DeRozan, Chicago (Starter): +1400
  • Stephen Curry, Golden State (Starter): +750
  • Jarrett Allen, Cleveland (Reserve): +9500
  • Jimmy Butler, Miami (Reserve): +3300
  • Luke Doncic, Dallas (Reserve): +1400
  • Darius Garland, Cleveland (Reserve): +2900
  • Donovan Mitchell, Utah (Reserve): +3400
  • Chris Paul, Phoenix (Reserve): +3400
  • Fred VanVleet, Toronto (Reserve): +3400

And here are the odds available for the winner of the clash.

  • Team Durant: +185
  • Team LeBron: -215

Team LeBron is obviously expected to dominate, and the spread shows that 5.5 is the fair handicap.

  • Team Durant: +5 ½ (-110)
  • Team LeBron – 5 ½ (-110)

The bookies believe we will see a ton of points which is hardly a surprise. Here’s the line for the NBA All-Star Game totals.

  • Over 319 ½ (-125)
  • Under 319 ½ (+105)

LeBron James has been a captain all four years since the NBA changed the format for the All-Star Game away from the old East-versus-West battles. And his team has won all four games, to the point where it has to be a source of pride for him. He once again has drafted what seems to be the superior team, and it doesn’t hurt that Durant can’t suit up on the other side.

The starting five contains Giannis, unstoppable in All-Star Games, Jokic, coming off an MVP, and Curry, who can launch from anywhere, not to mention the King himself and DeRozan, having a career year. That’s not to say that Durant’s team is void of talent. They can counter with the speed of young guards Morant and Young, which can give the veterans of LeBron’s team a hard time trying to chase them down.

Team Durant might have an edge in terms of the second unit, with an experienced group and serious size in Towns and Gobert. LeBron’s team can counter with Doncic, but those points of the games where the reserves are in there could be where it evens out.

The Pick

In terms of the moneyline, we understand that it’s hard to imagine LeBron’s team losing, what with his history and the team that he put together here. You have to decide if you want to eat the overlay on the moneyline by taking his team. But we can’t see this James’ squad losing this game, even if it might be a close one.

The point spread is another story.

There is something about the nature of the Elam Ending that tends to invite a close finish, which would put Durant’s team in good shape. We can see this one being a nice middling type of bet for those with LeBron on the moneyline and Durant with the spread.

With the over/under, you have to remember that the Elam Ending will depress the score because a full 12-minute fourth quarter would be a lot more high-scoring. Still, the offensive talent on display here is breathtaking. That’s why we think you should go with the over, even if you’re not getting the best value to do it.

All-Star Game MVP Betting Outlook

It’s hard to believe, but there are only two players in this game who have won the MVP of the All-Star Game: James, of course, and Giannis, who did it just last year. That doesn’t count them out, and Giannis, in particular, is a guy who can’t be stopped in this kind of game. But it feels like a year when somebody else who has been hankering for this honor steps up.

If you believe in a Team Durant upset, you have to go with Embiid at 6 to 1. He seems like he’s on a mission to prove to everyone he is an MVP-caliber player, which means that an All-Star Game MVP would mean a lot. Beyond that, Young and Morant are the long shots to play, with their ability to affect the game scoring and playmaking.

Take your pick on LeBron’s squad, even if you do want to eliminate the King and Giannis from consideration. Any other starters would be good value plays, along with Doncic and Chris Paul off the bench. Paul is the one who would warrant consideration in terms of a career appreciation way, which means that a solid game will definitely put him in the mix.

This is definitely a bet where you should be looking at value as much as possible.

Jokic could easily pull off a triple-double and add an All-Star Game MVP to match the seasonal one he picked up last year. Go for him at what would be a big score of 19 to 1.

Conclusion

As you can tell, there are a lot of different ways to approach betting on the 2022 NBA All-Star Game. Try to remember to look for value for your bets at legitimate gambling sites whenever you’re stuck between two choices. And look at past All-Star Games to see if you can get any hints about what will happen in this latest classic matchup.