Betting Big (Hint, Hint) At The All-Star Skills Challenge

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 1:31 AM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 1:31 AM UTC

Eight players will try to beat the NBA odds and win this year’s Skills Challenge in Charlotte. Who’s got the best chance of winning? Very good question.

<p style="text-align:right"><strong><em>Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record: 12-10 ATS, 0-1 ML (minus-1.15 units), 16-7 Totals</em></strong></p><h2 style="text-align:center">NBA All-Star Skills Challenge</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET, TNT</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NBA Pick: Nikola Vucevic (+900)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=BOVADA" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Sportsbook!">Bovada</a></h2><p>Dribble the ball around the pylons. Throw a pass. Dribble back up-court for a lay-in. Dribble the other way and hit a three. That’s how you win the NBA All-Star Skills Challenge. Think you’re up to the task?<br /><br />Eight actual NBA players will try to complete this obstacle course in the shortest amount of time when they meet Saturday in Charlotte, as part of the All-Star Weekend festivities. We need to put one of the following eight people in our <a href="" target="_blank" title="More NBA Picks">NBA picks</a>:</p><ul> <li>De’Aaron Fox (+250 at Bovada)</li> <li>Luka Doncic (+325)</li> <li>Trae Young (+375)</li> <li>Mike Conley (+550)</li> <li>Nikola Jokic (+600)</li> <li>Jayson Tatum (+600)</li> <li>Kyle Kuzma (+700)</li> <li>Nikola Vucevic (+900)</li></ul><p>As you can see, we’re going with Vuvevic, the All-Star center for the Orlando Magic. What’s our rationale? Simple: Vucevic has the longest <a href="" target="_blank" title="Live NBA Odds Board">NBA odds</a> of the bunch at press time. The Skills Challenge, in our view, is pretty much a crap-shoot. Might as well pick the one with the largest payout, right?</p><p> </p><h2><strong>They Make ‘Em Bigger Every Year</strong></h2><p>Don’t laugh just because we picked a big man, either. Kristaps Porzingis won this event last year. Two years ago, it was Karl-Anthony Towns. This isn’t the old “take four point guards and see who’s fastest” format they used to run; bigger and bigger players started filtering in, and Giannis Antetokounmpo broke the mold for good in 2014. They changed the format again in 2015 to its current state, and since then, we’ve seen everyone from DeMarcus Cousins to Joel Embiid dancing around those pylons.<br /><br />Yeah, about that format. The players go head-to-head these days, tournament-style, so the winner will end up running this obstacle course three times. That, plus the natural variance that comes with 3-point shooting, makes it pretty much useless to pick apart each player’s skill set and try to figure out who’s got value and who doesn’t.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"pt\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Don’t be surprised if Nikola Vucevic has a HUGE All-Star performance 👀&lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#magic&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Magic Nation (@ORLMagic_Nation) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;10 de fevereiro de 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><h2><strong>Vooch Café</strong></h2><p>But we might still get some value out of Vucevic. In theory, big men will be underappreciated in this contest; it wasn’t that long ago when anyone hovering around 7-foot was assumed to have all the mobility of a Douglas fir. Vucevic (plus-6.3 BPM) definitely has skills; he’s got solid footwork, a good handle, and he’s hitting 38.0 percent of his 3-pointers. Why not Vucevic?<br /><br />On top of that, Vucevic is virtually anonymous playing for the Magic, so we’re probably getting a very good price relative to the other players on this list. It’s just an exhibition, so let’s not dip into the college fund, but a small wager on Vooch should add a little more spice to your All-Star Weekend viewing plans. Enjoy the show, and may the sphere be with you.</p>
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