NBA All-Star Game: Early Movement Makes ‘Over’ The Right Pick

Friday, February 15, 2019 7:37 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 7:37 PM UTC

The sharps have already put the ‘under’ in their NBA picks for Sunday’s All-Star Game, so now we’re getting a good price to take the ‘over’ – in theory.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Feb. 14: 12-10 ATS, 0-2 ML (minus-4.35 units), 16-7 Totals

2019 NBA All-Star GameSunday, 8:00 p.m. ET, CharlotteFree NBA Pick: OverBest Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Who’s going to win Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game? Will it be Team LeBron for the second straight year? Or will Team Giannis prevail where Team Stephen couldn’t? Danged if I know. There’s not too much separation between these teams – so we’re focused on the 310-point total that’s on the NBA odds board at press time.

If you were a smart shopper and snatched the ‘under’ when the total opened at 323 points, you get a gold star. That’s what two-thirds of early bettors did, according to the consensus numbers, and given that last year’s game ended 148-145 for Team LeBron (Under 334), that was almost certainly the right NBA pick. But now that the total has dropped this far, we’re going to take the other side. Even better, let’s wait a little while longer and see how low this bad boy will go before we pounce.

A Nik Bag ‘O Funk

There’s not much point in trying to pick a winner between Team LeBron (featuring LeBron James as captain) and Team Giannis (as in Giannis Antetokounmpo). Sure, many of the same gentlemen from last year’s All-Star Game will be teaming up once again in Charlotte – here are the common players involved:

Team LeBron: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal
Team Giannis: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Kyle Lowry

That’s some quality talent right there. But then you’ve got guys like James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Damian Lillard who have switched sides. And there are the newcomers to this “schoolyard draft” format: Kawhi Leonard, Blake Griffin, Nikola Jokic, Nikola Vucevic, Nikola Tesla... sorry, I’m being told that Tesla can’t make it to Charlotte. Point being, last year’s game, which Team LeBron won as 2.5-point favorites, won’t help us much when it comes to Sunday’s point spread or moneyline.

Your Mileage May Vary

We can take a flyer on the total, though. The ‘under’ would have been an easy contrarian pick at the open; people expect zero defense at these All-Star games, and that’s definitely what they got with the old East vs. West format; two years ago, the West won 192-182 (Over 352). Then they switched to the schoolyard draft, and the game was actually competitive to some extent.

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2019 NBA All-Star Draft: LeBron James proposes a trade: B. Simmons for R. Westbrook, Giannis accepts his trade offer pic.twitter.com/bJM9olE7nX

— Heart of NBA (@HeartofNBA) February 8, 2019
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It also featured a whole lot of missed 3-pointers. Harden shot 2-of-13 from downtown; Curry went 3-for-11, and Westbrook and Irving were a combined 2-for-11. These are high-variance shots coming from the hands of excellent shooters – okay, Westbrook is a little off this year – so with any luck, more of those threes will “regress to the mean” and fall for us on Sunday. May the sphere and the sweet, sweet sound of corn be with you.

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