2020 NBA All-Star Game Picks with Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
The NBA All-Star festivities get underway tonight in Chicago, Illinois with the ever-polarizing NBA Celebrity All-Star game followed up by the Rising Stars Challenge. Both games are garnering a bit more attention this year compared to prior years, but as we all know this is just an appetizer for the main course that is the real All-Star game. This year, we get to see Team Giannis taking on LeBron James and his Tune Squad.
As a basketball fan, this year's All-Star game has multiple storylines worth following, but none more prevalent than the possible tribute to the late, great, Kobe Bryant. Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter incident, and the NBA thought it would be fitting to change up the format of the All-Star game to honor Bryant.
The new format is as follows: the teams will play three 12-minute quarters with each quarter being its own mini-game. The winner of each quarter will receive $100,000 to donate to Chicago-based organizations chosen by the captains before the game. For the fourth quarter, the winning team will need to reach a specific number based on the total sum of the first three quarters + 24 points (Bryant's honored number). For example, if the score is 100-95 after three quarters, the leading team would need to reach 124 points before the trailing team - I.e. they would need to score 24 points before the trailing team scores 29.
This year marks the 69th edition of the All-Star Game, and this will mark Chicago's third time hosting the event and the first since 1988 when Michael Jordon won MVP honors and led the East to a 138-133 victory.
Overall, the Eastern Conference holds a 38-29 record against its Western Conference foes dating back to the first-ever All-Star Game played in 1951 at Boston Garden. However, with the new change in format to the team captains and Fantasy draft, Team LeBron is 2-0 against his fellow captains in the two years of the new format. This year, Team LeBron has been tabbed as a 4.5-point favorite with a -215 Moneyline price tag.
Team LeBron Starting Lineups
Guard - James Harden (HOU)
Guard - Luka Doncic (DAL)
Forward - LeBron James (LAL)
Forward - Kawhi Leonard (LAC)
Forward - Anthony Davis (LAL)
Team Giannis Starting Lineups
Guard - Trae Young - (ATL)
Guard - Kemba Walker (BOS)
Forward - Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)
Forward - Pascal Siakam (TOR)
Forward - Joel Embiid (PHI)
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All-Star Game Analysis and Predictions
I have the utmost respect for Antetokounmpo as a player and everything he's accomplished so far in his young career. However, I hope Giannis doesn't want a role in management or player recruiting because good lord he can't pick a team to save his life. I mean let's be real, both captains could have picked any of the All-Stars they wanted, and this is the team Giannis chose? It's like LeBron got to pick the first 10 players and Giannis got the scraps.
I mean, who on team Giannis is going to stop the scoring power of Harden, Doncic, James or Davis? Not to mention they have the likes of Booker, Simmons, Tatum, Jokic, and Westbrook coming off the bench to fill the scoresheet.
As for team Giannis, they have a nice mix of young and old, but outside of Jimmy Butler, who is coming off the bench, they don't have a true scorer to help Giannis. If the All-Star game awarded points for shutting down the opposition and forcing missed shots, they may have a better chance with the likes of Middleton, Gobert, and Adebayo.
Pick: Team LeBron -4.5, -145
The MVP is typically given out to a player on the winning team. With that said, since I like the Team LeBron this year, there are two guys I will be banking on to earn MVP honors. We know how much Kobe Bryant meant to several players throughout the league, but LeBron James has been devasted the most by the sudden loss of the Laker icon. I expect him to come to the forefront in this All-Star game while wearing Gianni Bryant's No. 2 jersey and put on a show for Laker Nation and to honor Kobe Bryant. You can get LeBron at +500 to capture his fourth NBA All-Star Game MVP. The second guy that I have my eye on to win the MVP is Devin Booker. Call me crazy, but the fact that Booker was snubbed, to begin with was a slap in the face to him and the Suns organization. He is the heart and soul of that team and is having a career year. I believe a young guy, making his first All-Star appearance, will want to put on a good performance and prove to the world why he belongs in this game. We know when Booker gets in a rhythm, he's hard to stop, so he could be a value pick at +3000.
Pick: LeBron James +500 and Devin Booker +3000.
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