2020 NBA 3-Point Contest Predictions with Betting Odds and Picks
With celebrities and NBA all-stars set to converge on Chicago this coming weekend, I'm going to try my hardest not to get caught up in all the glitz and glamour of All-Star Weekend. Instead, I'm going to try and turn a profit, much like I've done throughout the first half of the NBA season. The first event I have my eye on is this year's 3-point contest.
A field of eight sharpshooters enters this year's contest, including the reigning and defending champion Joe Harris. In last year's event, Harris went off for 26 points in the finals to beat the likes of Steph Curry (24) and Buddy Hield (19). Harris, one of the best 3-point shooters in the game, will be eager to defend his title and become just the first player to win in back-to-back years since Jason Kapono did it in 2007-08 for Miami and Toronto, respectively.
In my honest opinion, this year's competition may very well be the best event on the All-Star Weekend schedule. You have an underrated defending champion, you have three flashy guys and All-Stars in their own right in Devin Booker, Zach LaVine and Trae Young, and you have some unknown commodities looking to make a splash in Duncan Robinson from Miami, Devonte' Graham from Charlotte and Davis Bertans from Washington.
The field for this event is comprised of Joe Harris (+400), Buddy Hield (+650), Zach LaVine (+1200), Trae Young (+375), Devonte' Graham (+1000), Devin Booker (+375), Duncan Robinson (+400), Davis Bertans (+450).
Before we get to breaking down the field, it's important to understand the changes that you'll see implemented in this year's version of the 3-point contest. For starters, the three players with the highest score after round one will contest the finals. From there, the player with the highest score out of the three finalists will be declared the winner.
Each shooter will now get 70 seconds (1:10) as opposed to the traditional 60 seconds (one minute). This is because there are now two new spots called the "Mountain Dew Zone," which is two extra shots worth three points each. The total number of shots each player will take is 27, with the maximum score being 40.
Joe Harris (+400) and Devin Booker (+375)
As for Joe Harris, he doesn't quite fit the model of an NBA player as he has no real fan base considering he plays for the Brooklyn Nets. However, Harris is quietly stroking the ball well this season, shooting 40.8 percent from beyond the arc, which is good enough for 24th in the entire NBA. However, if we just look based on 3-point contestants, Harris ranks as the third best. If there is any indication that Harris can defend his title, it's the fact that he's a 40 percent 3-point shooter over his six-year career, so you know he can consistently knock down the shot.
I had written a whole paragraph about Damian Lillard being one of the favorites of this contest, but he's since pulled out with a groin injury. Taking his place will be Devin Booker from Phoenix, and I instantly believe he will be among the favorites to capture his second 3-point contest title. Booker has had a tremendous season to date, leading the Suns in most offensive categories, despite the team owning a 22-33 record. Booker is shooting a career-best 49.6 percent from the floor and one would have to believe that he can continue that run on open, uncontested shots. Booker holds the record for most points in any round and in the finals with 28 - a mark he set when he won the contest back in 2018.
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Buddy Hield (+650)
Buddy Hield was highly touted out of Oklahoma but never really got a good start to his NBA career. The prolific college scorer has found his groove with the Kings this season and is averaging a solid 3.8 triples per game on 38.6 percent shooting. I'm not saying he's going to turn into the second coming of Ray Allen or Reggie Miller, but what I am saying is that Hield knows how to score the basket and if he can get into a rhythm early on, the Sooner product could be a solid +650 winner.
Devonte' Graham (+1000)
Devonte' Graham has only been in the league for about three minutes, but he's quietly making a name for himself while helping the Charlotte Hornets hover around the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Graham, a product of the Kansas Jayhawks, is averaging around 18 points per contest this year while knocking down 37.7 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. His biggest achievement to date and likely why he's in this contest is because he knocked down 10 triples in a win against the Golden State Warriors. It's unlikely that he wins this contest, but with long odds, he's the kind of shooter than can get hot and put on a show for the fans.
Pick: Joe Harris +400
I know this is going to sound extremely anti-climactic and boring, but I'm taking the defending champion in this contest. Harris just simply knows how to knock down the three-point shot, and he won't be intimidated by the stage or the competition as he won last year despite being in the finals with arguably the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history, Steph Curry.
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