NBA All-Star Game Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 2/12/2010
All you men out there take note - I guarantee that there is absolutely nothing the special lady in your life would rather do on Valentine's Day than watch a meaningless basketball exhibition. Lucky for you there happens to be one of those on TV right there in prime time on Sunday night. She will love you forever!
When the NBA All-Star Game tips off on Sunday night the star of the game isn't going to be a player. It will be the building. Jerry Jones' shiny new stadium is playing host and it should be, by a wide margin, the largest crowd ever to see an NBA game - as many as 90,000 people could be in attendance. It's a good thing that the building will be a spectacle because it will distract viewers from noticing all of the players that aren't at the game. Injuries have hit the all-stars hard - especially at guard. Kobe Bryant is the biggest absence since he's the biggest name in the game. Brandon Roy's on the sideline as well, and so is Chris Paul. Monta Ellis was going to be tabbed as replacement for the inured players, but now he's injured himself. On the Eastern side Allen Iverson is out of action, though most people didn't think he really belonged there in the first place. Derrick Rose is heading to Dallas, but he's not yet sure if his bruised hip will keep him out of action.
All of the injuries have led to some interesting replacements. Jason Kidd, a guy who seemed like he was well past his all-star days, has been brought in to play in front of his home team fans. David Lee is replacing Iverson, and in the process becoming the first all-star for the pathetic Knicks since 2001. It's not a wonder they have struggled so badly for so long. The Clippers' Chris Kaman has been tabbed to replace Brandon Roy, thereby righting one of the biggest wrongs of the selection process.
The line has been moving a little since it came out, but not in an earth shattering way. It opened up with the West favored by two points, dipped to 1.5 when Bryant's absence came to light, and has since moved up to 2.5 in light of the West's general strength. The total is a sign of just how ridiculous this spectacle really is when you think about it. During the regular season it isn't very common to see a total above 210. For this game it sits at 260. I guess that's what happens when the best players in the world gather together and decide to play absolutely no defense. Six of the last 10 games have gone over 260.
There have been 10 all-star games since the lockout canceled the 1999 version. The West has won six of those 10 contests so any historical edge they have isn't particularly significant. Unlike the regular season, the conference with the home court doesn't get a particular edge - they are just 4-5 over the last 10 games (one game was played on a neutral court in Las Vegas). One thing that there is a decent chance of is that a former MVP isn't going to win it for the same conference again - only LeBron James and Tim Duncan will be playing for the same conference they won the award for. Bryant and Iverson - with five awards between them - are out, Shaq won his three awards for the West, so did Garnett for his one.
There's a decent chance that the MVP will have a hometown connection. That has happened four times since 2001 - Iverson won in Washington D.C. where he played college ball, Kobe won in his hometown of Philadelphia, and Shaq won in L.A. as a Laker and Phoenix when he was with the Suns. That's good news for Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki, as well as for Dallas native Chris Bosh.
Another big storyline for this game is all the new faces that will be taking the court. Though the biggest stars in the league have been around for a while there is a gradual changing of the guard going on in the league, and that's reflected by all of the young new talent coming up. If he's healthy enough, Derrick Rose will be making his debut, and he'll be joined fellow first-timers by Rajon Rondo, Gerald Wallace, Al Horford, and David Lee on the East. The West features four new faces. Kevin Durant makes his overdue debut along with Deron Williams, Zach Randolph, and Kaman.
So, who's going to win this game? I have no idea, and to be honest I don't really care. There will be some big moves and lots of points, but it really doesn't prove anything. If I had to pick a side I'd pick the East only because only one of the two best players in the world is playing and LeBron is with the East. That and the ‘over’ would give me two good, ridiculous bets to cheer on.
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