While I’m glad the field is more diverse and talented, it makes handicapping this contest that much harder. However with the NBA Odds from Bovada, I am here to run down all six dunkers, and give thumbs up or thumbs down when it comes to value.
Paul George (+175)
George is the NBA Odds favorite to win the dunk contest, and I am absolutely giving him my seal of approval. He is the perfect combination of size and leaping ability, which I think gives him an advantage over almost every other competitor. In a competition that’s been lacking star power over the last decade, George brings experience to the competition as well, competing in the contest two years ago. George is an excellent wager at +175.
Terrence Ross (+300)
You want a combination of size, strength, and leaping ability look no further than last year’s champion, Ross and his 40-inch vertical leap. Ross has been called the best athlete in the NBA by his coach Dwayne Casey, and he also beings experience from last year’s dunk contest. At +300, he is a solid wager to win this thing, but he will have to get really creative against this much-improved field compared to his dunk championship last season.
John Wall (+450)
Wall brings a lot of athleticism and hops to the competition as well, and we all love to see the smaller guards win the dunk contest. However I’m not a big fan of Wall here, even at his price. He does bring star power, which is nice, but in the end this is a competition has been won by a wing or big man three years in a row.
Ben McLemore (+550)
Even though McLemore’s athleticism may rank in the top three or four in this competition, he is not on my radar. If he was competing in last two year’s dunk contests, the young rookie might have given Ross or Jeremy Evans a run for their money. However against this field, I am looking for other underdogs. However he is a great athlete.
Harrison Barnes (+550)
Speaking of athleticism and underdogs, Barnes is my loan underdog favorite, and at +550, I think he could be in the finals against either George or Ross. Barnes is 6’8 and when he was in the rookie combine a few years ago, he registered a 38 inch vertical leap and a three-quarter court sprint time if just over 3.1 seconds. This guy can fly and could probably replicate a Michael Jordan dunk from the free throw line if he wanted to.
Damian Lillard (+600)
The all weekend warrior, Lillard is set to compete against the big boys in the dunk competition, and even though we love the little guys who can dunk, Lillard is going to be tired by the end of the night after doing the skills and three point shootout before the dunk contest. By the time we get to the dunk contest, he will have no legs, and for a little guy, that makes him a big no play here.
The Sharp Pick
For me the three best plays are by far Paul George, Terrence Ross and Harrison Barnes. If I had to choose one, I will go with George, but hedging with Ross and Barnes would be wise.