The only NBA betting action on the board this weekend is centered on this Sunday's All-Star Game in Toronto as The Association goes on its annual break from Friday right through next Wednesday.
If you are looking to cash in on a few special player props leading up to Sunday's main event, Bovada has released its betting odds for the top two player competitions: the NBA Three-Point Contest and the Slam Dunk Contest.
2016 NBA Three-Point Contest
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This competition should be up close and personal between Golden State's Splash Brothers with Stephen Curry listed as a +175 favorite to win followed closely by teammate Klay Thompson at +375 betting odds. Third on the list is the Los Angeles Clippers' JJ Redick at +500, and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns is next at +550.
If you are looking to stretch the odds, home-town favorite Kyle Lowry of the Raptors is fifth on the list at +600, and Houston's James Harden's odds to win have been set at +900. Milwaukee's Khris Middleton is also listed at +900, and Miami's Chris Bosh rounds out the list as a +1500 long shot.
This competition went down to the wire in last season's NBA All-Star festivities with Curry outgunning Thompson and Cleveland's Kyrie Irving in the Finals by hitting 13 three-pointers in a row. Curry is the only player in this year's field that has won this event in the past to add a bit more value to his odds.
Redick has the best regular-season three-point percentage in the field at 47.8, followed by Curry at 45.3 percent. Thompson comes in tied for ninth in the NBA this season with a 42.2 percentage from three-point range, and next on the list at No. 14 is Booker with a 40.7 field goal percentage from beyond the arc. Middleton's three-point percentage this season is 40.6, and next would be Lowry at 39.7 percent. Both Harden (35.4 percent) and Bosh (36.5 percent) add some star power to the field, but that is about it.
It does not make all that much sense to bet against Curry in this year's competition as he just seems to rise to the occasion in events such as this. However, if you are looking to stretch the odds, go with Lowry lighting things up north of the border in front of his home-town fans.
2016 Slam Dunk Contest
The efforts to revitalize the premier event during this NBA All-Star Weekend once again fell short with no veteran marquee players entered in the Slam Dunk Contest. However, the four players that are entered in the field should still put on an entertaining show.
The name at the top of the list is Minnesota's Zach LaVine as a heavy -250 favorite to successfully defend last year's title. The second-favorite to win is Denver's Will Barton at +400, followed closely by Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic at +450. The longest odds in this competition at +800 belong to Detroit's Andre Drummond.
There is no doubt that LaVine has the built-in advantage given his winning performance in last season's competition, which included two perfect scores of 50 in his first two dunks. The main thing working against him in this year's competition is the heavy risk/reward in his odds. The only back-to-back winner of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest since 2004 was Nate Robinson in 2009 and 2010. This gives me the feeling that the current format of this competition is designed to feature a new up-and-coming superstar each year.
This should actually be a great competition between all four of these players, but I am going for the added value in the odds. Looking at the other three competitors, I would have to go with Gordon at +450 as my top pick. He is the most athletic of the three and at 6-foot-9 he has the ability to sky with the likes of Drummond at 6-foot-11.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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