The best basketball talent on the planet will gather at the Staples Center in Los Angeles this weekend for the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend. SBR will have a preview of Sunday's game elsewhere, but here's a look at the odds for Saturday's Skills Competition, Three-Point Contest and Slam Dunk competition.
The 2018 All-Star Game will be played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday (TNT, 8:20 pm ET). As a warmup, All-Star Saturday (TNT, 8 p.m. ET/5 pm PT) includes the G League All-Star Game, the Slam Dunk Contest, Three-Point Contest and Skills Challenge. Spencer Dinwiddie (+550 to win Skills Competition, Bovada), Joel Embiid (+600), Al Horford (+500), Lauri Markkanen (+700), Jamal Murray (+400), and favorite Lou Williams (+350) will all compete in the Skills Competition, which pits two players against each other on identical courses where they must dribble through obstacles, make a pass into a net, dribble full court, make a layup and then dribble back down the court and make a 3-point shot from the top of the key.
Defending Skills Competition champion Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks suffered an ACL injury dunking against the Milwaukee Bucks recently and will miss that event (and the season), while electric Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell was chosen to participate but instead will compete in the Dunk Contest after Aaron Gordon (Strained Hip Flexor) of the Orlando Magic was forced to pull out with an injury. SBR's top-rated sportsbooks have odds up for each of the contests Saturday.Three-Point Contest Odds
Klay Thompson +175
Eric Gordon +500
Devin Booker +600
Paul George +600
Bradley Beal +800
Wayne Ellington +800
Kyle Lowry +1000
Tobias Harris +1200Slam Dunk Contest Odds
Dennis Smith Jr. +140
Donovan Mitchell +180
Larry Nance +300
Victor Oladipo +600Favorites Seldom Roll Field
There have been 25 Slam Dunk Contests over the history of NBA All-Star Weekend, with Glenn Robinson III of the Indiana Pacers winning last year, beating Derrick Jones Jr., formerly of the Phoenix Suns, 94-87, in the Finals on his two dunks. The Slam Dunk Contest was once the centerpiece of NBA All-Star weekend when iconic players like two-time winner Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Kenny “Sky” Walker performed like master chefs, but now, the field has been trimmed to four players with league superstars like LeBron James (Cavaliers) and Kevin Durant (Warriors) opting to pass on the annual event and just play in the All-Star Game itself.
Larry Nance of the Phoenix Suns won the first NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1984 and his son, Larry Nance Jr. of the Cavaliers, has a chance to make father/son history in the event. Even with some steam on Slam Dunk favorite Smith Jr., the easy hops of Mitchell and Nance’s pedigree, taking a shot on the smaller (6-4) long shot Oladipo seems worth the while with the former Indiana University guard looking a little more athletic and artistic with his dunks although the longer-armed Nance (6-10).
In the Three-Point Shootout, defending champion Gordon of the upstart Rockets is back, as is 2016 winner and Warriors All-Star Thompson, who went out early last year and who is tied (with teammate Stephen Curry, 2015) for scoring the Most Points in a Round (34) as well as the Most Points in a Final Round (34) in his winning round in 2016. Thompson has a current Three-Point Percentage of .454 (best in NBA) and will be looking to find a groove in the somewhat familiar Staples Center and show everyone he may be the sharpest shooter on a world championship team that also includes long-range dead-eyes Curry (.436 career 3-Point %) and Durant (.421 3-Point % in 2017-18).Skills Competition Pick: Markkanen +700Three-Point Contest Pick: Thompson +175Slam Dunk Contest Pick: Oladipo +600Bet On The NBA At SBR's Top-Rated Sportsbooks