2022 NBA All-Star Weekend Picks | Five Best Bets For Skills Challenge & All-Star Game

Written By Nate Weitzer on February 19, 2022 - Last Updated on February 20, 2022

We’ve reached the unofficial halfway point of the 2021-22 National Basketball Association season with All-Star festivities set for February 18-20 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. But despite the fact that there aren’t any regular-season games until next Thursday, that doesn’t mean the basketball betting opportunities have completely dried up.

There are ample opportunities to wager throughout NBA All-Star Weekend at online sportsbooks, beginning on Friday. In this article, we highlight our five best bets for NBA All-Star weekend using odds from DraftKings and FanDuel, so keep reading before placing any bets.

2022 NBA All-Star Weekend Schedule

Friday 2/18: The schedule tips off with the Celebrity Game (7 p.m. ET on ESPN) followed by the Rising Stars tournament (9 p.m. ET on TNT) featuring the best rookies and second-year players, including Cavs Rookie of the Year frontrunner Evan Mobley.

Saturday 2/19: There are three popular contests on Saturday night that will be broadcast on TNT. The Skills Challenge kicks things off around 8 p.m. The 3-Point Contest follows and the Dunk Contest will wrap up the evening’s festivities.

Sunday 2/20: 71st NBA All-Star Game (8 p.m. ET on TNT)

NBA Skills Competition Betting Picks | Predictions For Dunk Contest, Three-Point Shootout On Saturday Night

Picks Ranked in Order of Confidence. Odds Subject to Change. 

Jalen Green To Win Dunk Contest (+200 at DraftKings)

The No. 2 overall pick has had a disappointing year thus far with a hamstring injury costing him significant time in December. But he’s fully healthy now and averaging 15.8 PPG on 44/40/79% shooting splits in February.

Green is a born entertainer, who elected to play in the G League last season instead of starting for any number of Blue Chip college programs that recruited him. At 6-foot-4, he’s an explosive leaper with the ability to pull off incredible maneuvers in mid-air. His chief competition is 6-foot-9 forward Obi Toppin, and judges tend to lean towards the smaller dunker when it comes to handing out perfect scores on dunks.

Desmond Bane To Win 3-Point Contest (+600 at DraftKings)

If you’re a fan of the Memphis Grizzlies, take their other young gun to win the 3-point contest on Saturday night. Both Bane and Morant should showcase their talents this weekend in front of a larger audience.

Bane is tailor-made for the 3-point contest because of his upper-body strength, which allows him to flick three-pointers effortlessly and avoid fatigue. The second-year SG out of TCU is shooting 50% from the floor and 49.2% from downtown while hitting 3.6 triples per game on the road this season, so he won’t shy away from the bright lights in Cleveland.

Bane is getting value with the third-longest odds to win the contest at DraftKings, yet he’s been one of the most consistent 3-point shooters in the league all season.

2022 NBA All-Star Game Betting Picks | Go Over Enormous Total For ASG In Cleveland On Sunday

Full Game Spread: Team Durant +6 (up to -115)

LeBron James absolutely crushed Kevin Durant in the live draft show on TNT last week. Durant, who is injured and will not suit up this Sunday, got stuck with the last two picks in the first round (Andrew Wiggins and Trae Young) and seemed distracted the entire second round as he tried to avoid picking scorned former teammate James Harden.

Yet even with an inferior roster, Team Durant is still fully capable of playing Team LeBron down to the wire and giving the fans an entertaining finish. After all, that is the intent of the Elam Ending.

A blowout win isn’t impossible when playing to a target score, but it is far, far less likely than a blowout in a traditional basketball game. Whichever team is trailing down the stretch of the untimed fourth quarter will hold, shove, and maul the opposition, and the refs will mostly let it happen in the name of a competitive finish.

We fully expect Team LeBron to win this game, but not by 6-plus points. LeBron’s squad did win, 170-150, in a laugher last season, but with ultra-competitive starters such as Embiid, Morant, and Young leading Team Durant, we should see something closer to the first year of the Elam Ending, which Team LeBron won, 157-155, in a thrilling finish.

Full Game Total: Over 320 Points (up to -110)

While there should be plenty of highlights and little defense played over the first three quarters of the All-Star Game, the fourth quarter has a literal ceiling on the points total, as the winning team can only score 24 points in the final frame.

Still, we expect each team to total between 40 and 50 points over the first three quarters, which should lead to a combined total of somewhere between 280 and 300 points heading into the fourth. If the trailing team makes a comeback, we should be guaranteed 50-plus points in the final frame, leading to a total of 330 points or greater.

The best way to use this game theory for extra profit would be to parlay Team Durant (+6) with the Over and hope that the underdogs outscore Team LeBron in the fourth quarter to help extend the game and get it Over the total. That parlay generates +234 odds at FanDuel.

Ja Morant To Win All-Star MVP (+900 at DraftKings)

There is so much star power on Team LeBron that it might be difficult to pick the correct MVP candidate on that side. Last year, Giannis shot a perfect 16-for-16 from the floor to score 35 points and pick up MVP, while LeBron played just 13 minutes and serve as more of a coach.

Team Durant contains more hungry young stars, such as Morant, who has no “off switch” just like Giannis. We can expect Morant to go hard for 30-plus minutes in this contest and hand out several electric alley-oops while throwing down a few of his own.

The third-year PG is having an incredible season and doesn’t get much attention in Memphis, so he will want to show the world what he can do on this big stage. He’s getting such long odds because Team Durant is a sizable underdog, but anything can happen down the stretch in this creative new format.

2022 All-Star Game Format

League officials have been tweaking the format for the All-Star Game and some of its associated contests over the past few years, leading to a couple of exciting finishes. The changes make it much more appealing to bet on the All-Star Game since both teams can be expected to give full effort down the stretch.

This will be the third straight year that the NBA is featuring the “Elam Ending” for the All-Star Game, and the first year the Elam Ending will be included in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night.

With the Elam Ending, the All-Star teams will play three 12-minute quarters, with the score reset to 0-0 for each frame. The cumulative score is added up after three quarters, when the game clock is turned off and the teams play to hit a target score that is 24 points higher than the leading team. The first team to reach that number wins.

For example, in the 2020 All-Star Game, Team Giannis held a 133-124 lead heading into the untimed fourth quarter, so the target score was 157 (24 points higher than the leading score). But Team LeBron outscored them, 33-22, in the fourth quarter to reach 157 first and win.

One undebatably awesome thing about this game is that the winner of each quarter earns bonus donations to a charity of their choice. Hopefully, you aren’t making donations to the sportsbook and instead, they wind up paying you!

2022 All-Star Game Rosters

  • Team LeBron Starters: LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, Nikola Jokic, DeMar DeRozan.
  • Team LeBron Reserves: Luka Doncic, Jimmy Butler, Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul, Fred VanVleet, Jarrett Allen
  • Team Durant Starters: Joel Embiid, Ja Morant, Jayson Tatum, Trae Young, Andrew Wiggins
  • Team Durant Reserves: Devin Booker, Zach LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns, Dejounte Murray, Khris Middleton, LaMelo Ball, Rudy Gobert

Best Sportsbooks For 2022 NBA All-Star Betting

Nate Weitzer Avatar
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Nate Weitzer

Nate Weitzer is a successful DFS player at DraftKings and FanDuel with numerous tournament wins in NBA and NFL contests. He's been writing about DFS for several years, specializing in NBA picks and advice while continuing to build his bankroll across the daily fantasy industry. When he's not playing DFS, Weitzer is often covering high school sports in the greater Boston area for outlets such as The Boston Globe, or playing basketball himself. Follow Nate on Twitter @Nweitzer7.

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