The NBA continues to tweak its format for the All-Star Game, and this is the third year in which two superstars drafted teams that will go head-to-head in a new-look exhibition format.
Today, we break down the sports betting lines and recommend where to place your bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. This advice is also relevant for daily fantasy contests on sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel and can be used when building lineups.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until tip-off since things can change quickly in the NBA. Please note any player dealing with injuries prior to the ASG may see limited action or decline to suit up.
NBA All-Star Game Betting Odds
Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis
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Team LeBron Roster
- LeBron James (+450 MVP odds at DK Sportsbook)
- Anthony Davis (+650)
- Kawhi Leonard (+2000)
- James Harden (+1400)
- Luka Doncic (+3000)
- Devin Booker (+3000)
- Ben Simmons (+3000)
- Nikola Jokic (+5000)
- Jayson Tatum (+5000)
- Chris Paul (+6600)
- Russell Westbrook (+1000)
- Domantas Sabonis (+10,000)
Team Giannis Roster
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (+400)
- Pascal Siakam (+2000)
- Joel Embiid (+1400)
- Kemba Walker (+1200)
- Trae Young (+2500)
- Khris Middleton (+2500)
- Bam Adebayo (+10,000)
- Rudy Gobert (+10,000)
- Jimmy Butler (+5000)
- Kyle Lowry (+2500)
- Brandon Ingram (Questionable, ankle)
- Donovan Mitchell (+2000)
NBA All-Star Game Breakdown
For the third straight year, the All-Star Game features two teams drafted by superstar players rather than the old East vs. West format. This time, the game format is different, with the scores reset after each quarter and the final quarter played without a game clock until the leading team scores 24 points or the trailing team makes up the deficit (from the first three quarters) plus 24 points.
This change aims to honor the legacy of Kobe Bryant and the victims of January’s tragic helicopter crash. It also aims to create a more competitive atmosphere where Team LeBron and Team Giannis are competing each quarter to earn $100,000 towards a charity of their choice. The score is reset after each quarter, but the cumulative score counts towards the starting point in the fourth quarter. For example, if Team Giannis leads 100-96 after three quarters, the first team to 124 points in the fourth will be crowned winner and earn an additional $200,000 towards their charity.
The first implication to consider due to this new format is the point total. In the past, all-star games have reached astronomical scores, resulting in a ridiculous totals of 369 and 374 in 2016 and 2017. Last year’s total was set at 310, and the final score (Team LeBron won 178-164) went well over the projection.
This year the total is only 303 points, indicating expectations that the new format will lead to a more competitive environment and some semblance of defensive effort.
All-Star Game MVP
Part of betting the All-Star Game is choosing a likely MVP candidate, a practice that remains the same regardless of format. It’s all about choosing the right narrative and picking a player that will go all out to win the award.
With the game in Chicago, hometown hero Anthony Davis (+650 at DraftKings Sportsbook) is a leading candidate to win his second ASG MVP. LeBron (+450 DK), Russell Westbrook (+1000 DK), and Chris Paul (+6600 DK) are the only other players that have won the award.
Giannis (+400) has never won the MVP, although he came close with 38 points and 11 rebounds last year. Kevin Durant, who obviously won’t be playing this year, won MVP as Team LeBron edged Team Giannis in 2019. Westbrook played just 19 minutes off the bench in that contest and veterans like CP3 are unlikely to log heavy minutes as reserves.
A player to watch in the MVP chase is Trae Young (+2500 DK), who derives motivation from absolutely every sleight and was just left off the initial 44-man roster for the 2020 Olympics. For context, freaking JaVale McGee was on that initial list. Young is a gunner capable of lighting it up from downtown and a gifted passer capable of throwing highlight alley-oops to Giannis and others.
Westbrook may see more minutes and have added ball-handling responsibilities with Damian Lillard (groin) unable to play this weekend. Devin Booker replaces Lillard on the roster and is a true longshot for any hardware in his first all-star appearance.
Davis is the only big man to win the award this decade, with Shaquille O’Neal last winning as a center before him. When betting on MVP this year, it makes sense to target guards who can make plays as a scorer and passer, or to play it safe with one of the captains (LeBron or Giannis) since they can impact the game on both ends and will definitely play big minutes as team leaders.
If you want to take a chance on a player with longer odds, Ben Simmons (+3000 DK) offers value with the potential to post triple double numbers and score plenty of easy transition hoops.
On the Team Giannis side, Pascal Siakam (+2500) fits that bill. But the odds are generally much longer for Team Giannis because his squad is unlikely to win.
All-Star Game Picks
Team LeBron opened as a 4.5-point favorite on most books and is now favored by 6 points. The new format makes a point spread relatively tricky, since the fourth quarter is set up to play out like a pick-up game in which the score is usually close or tied near the end as teams try to get to a set score. There could even be some gamesmanship from leaders on both sides to ensure that the game is close down the stretch so that feels don’t feel cheated out of a certain level of excitement.
Because of that factor, we’d absolutely recommend taking Team Giannis (+6) on the point spread. However, we’d consider taking Team LeBron (-200 at FanDuel Sportsbook) on the moneyline, or buying points to get a little more value on LeBron’s squad winning by 2 or 3 points.
This game is almost ceremonial, and there is very little chance that Team LeBron goes home a loser with the Lakers two superstars representing and honoring Kobe’s legacy.
If you want to target a more competitive option, we’d actually prefer taking the Under (302.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook) in this new format. Some All-Star Game quarters combine for up to 90 points and the average is around 80 points. With players bound to try harder for their charities, we’re looking at an accumulation of approximately 240 points through three quarters. Since the leading team can only score 24 more points in the fourth, the losing team would have to be down double digits AND erase that deficit to get you over the point total. Essentially, we’re looking at a cap of 60 combined points in the fourth, changing the nature of betting the point total in this exhibition.
The Pick: Team Giannis +6