NBA All-Star Weekend is here, despite a change from its original venue.
The action-packed weekend of events was originally going to take place in Indianapolis this year.
Unfortunately, the festivities ended up moving down to Atlanta because of the pandemic. Hoosiers will have to wait until 2024 for Indy’s time in the NBA limelight.
With the entire Big Ten and March Madness tournaments taking place in Indiana this year, basketball fans will still have plenty of games to get excited for this month.
Atlanta’s All-Star Weekend is mixing things up from the usual format this year thanks to COVID.
New NBA All-Star format
All of the NBA All-Star events take up an entire weekend in a typical year. This time around, everything’s happening on Sunday, March 7.
The usual Friday night events like the celebrity and rising stars games are not happening this year.
The skills challenge, three-point contest and dunk contest dominate All-Star Saturday Night during a normal season.
This year, you can catch the skills challenge and three-point contest right before the actual All-Star game starts.
The dunk contest will be taking place during halftime of the game.
Thankfully for basketball fans, Indiana online sportsbooks will be taking action on Sunday’s events.
DraftKings NBA All-Star Game odds
When it comes to the actual game itself, everything will work the same as last year.
Both teams will be playing to a target score, so the game will end on a basket or a free throw rather than with the clock running down to zero.
The target score will be however many points the leading team has at the start of the fourth quarter, plus 24, in honor of the late Kobe Bryant. So if Team LeBron is winning at the start of the fourth quarter with 120 points, then the target score will be 144.
Team LeBron is the slight favorite for the game right now over at DraftKings.
|Moneyline||Spread||Point Total Over/Under|
|DraftKings||Team LeBron -175, Team Durant +145||Team LeBron -4, Team Durant +4||O/U 309|
Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis is playing on Team LeBron this year, so there will certainly be plenty of Hoosiers rooting for the squad.
All-Star skills contest odds from FanDuel
Speaking of Sabonis, the Pacers star is also taking part in the skills challenge this year.
Sabonis took down Jayson Tatum and Khris Middleton in last year’s skill challenge before losing to Bam Adebayo in the championship round.
Bam Adebayo defeats Domantas Sabonis in the final to win the Taco Bell Skills Challenge! #NBAAllStar
— USA TODAY NBA (@usatodaynba) February 16, 2020
Despite almost winning the entire event last season, Sabonis isn’t one of the favorites this time around over at FanDuel.
- Luka Doncic: +250
- Chris Paul: +250
- Julius Randle: +500
- Domantas Sabonis: +500
- Nikola Vucevic: +500
- Robert Covington: +600
NBA three-point contest odds and props
The three point contest has all sorts of nuances that make it extra fun as a betting event.
First off, there’s the odds for actually winning the contest.
It’ll come as no surprise to hoops fans, but BetMGM has Steph Curry as the favorite for the event.
- Steph Curry: +200
- Zach LaVine: +400
- Devin Booker: +475
- Donovan Mitchell: +550
- Jaylen Brown: +650
- Jayson Tatum: +650
DraftKings has you covered when it comes to prop bets for the three-point contest.
For example, you can bet on what the highest score in any round of the contest will be. Right now, the over/under total for that market is set at 26.5.
You can also bet on whether a specific player will be able to drain one of his Mountain Dew Zone shots during the contest. Those shots are from six feet behind the regular three-point line, so they’ll be much more difficult to make.
Whether or not a specific player will make all five moneyball shots during the contest is also on the board. There are a ton of different options out there, so head over to DraftKings for the full list of options.
No NBA dunk contest betting
If you bet on the NBA All-Star events last season, you may remember not being able to bet on the dunk contest.
That’s the case once again this year, and it likely won’t be changing in the future either.
The dunk contest uses celebrity judges that aren’t bound by any kind of integrity code. That kind of subjective scoring system makes it a no-go when it comes to gambling.
It’s all about making sure that gamblers have an even playing field.
For example, an incident like Dwyane Wade’s controversial performance as a judge last year would be a nightmare for sportsbooks.
No betting on the dunk contest might come as a disappointment to Pacers fans hoping to bet on Cassius Stanley this year, but it’s just easier for everyone to avoid betting on the event altogether. That eliminates any chance of possible integrity issues.
NBA All-Star sportsbook promotions
Right now, none of Indiana’s online betting apps have promotions available for All-Star Weekend.
However, that will likely change before things actually get underway on Sunday.
Many of the state’s sportsbooks ended up releasing promotions and free-to-play daily fantasy games for All-Star Weekend last year. That might end up being the case again this time around.
Keep an eye on your favorite sportsbook over the weekend to catch any deals that might trickle in.