Free NBA Picks: All-Star Game Odds and Predictions
by Chad Matthews - 2/13/2014
On Sunday, New Orleans will host the 63rd NBA All-Star Game. This one looks to be another classic with many new stars making their all-star debut and old stars proving their continued worth to their respective franchises.
The talent in the game is exceptional this year, and it is even better than years before. The two teams feature perennial all-stars like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Durant. New faces come in the form of Western Conference starter Stephen Curry, who is the first Warrior starter since Latrell Sprewell in 1995, west reserves Anthony Davis, and the Blazers’ Damian Lillard, who will be appearing in five different events (the game itself, the Slam Dunk Contest, the Rising Stars Challenge, the Skill Challenge and the Three-Pointer Contest), a record for any NBA player.
Of course, players like Durant and James will put up big numbers in the game, and their performances against each other could push the MVP race strongly in either player’s favor. This year’s NBA All-Star Game looks to be a wild event. With two fantastic rosters, this game may be the best in years.
Eastern Conference betting story lines:
Led by the player with the most votes overall, James, the eastern all-stars hope to avoid the longest losing streak in their conference’s history by finally getting a victory this year.
Due to the revised voting rules for the starters, joining James to form a very small starting frontcourt are forwards Anthony and Paul George with Heat teammate Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving at guard.
It’s unlikely that Vogel will play the center-less starting lineup for very long, so reserve bigs Roy Hibbert and Joakim Noah should see more time on the floor. Wade will also most likely play limited minutes due to his nagging knee issues, which should open up some time for first-timers DeMar DeRozan and John Wall.
Two-time all-star MVP James is averaging 25-6-6 in nine career All-Star Games, by far the highest scoring average on the team. Fellow starters George and Irving will also likely put up points; the two scored 17 and 15 points, respectively, in their debuts last season.
Western Conference betting story lines:
NBA scoring leader Durant led the West in votes, and he’ll lead the conference’s all-stars in search of a series-best four-game winning streak.
Durant will be joined in the West starting lineup by forwards Griffin and Kevin Love as well as guards Curry and Kobe Bryant. However, in the event that Bryant, who is still sidelined due to injury, doesn’t play, new commissioner Adam Silver will name a replacement, and head coach Scott Brooks will choose a new starter.
The absence of Bryant, who has averaged 20 points per All-Star Game, as well as expected reduced roles for veterans Dirk Nowitzki and Tony Parker should give others a chance to shine, notably Curry and Love.
Durant has scored over 30 points in each of his three All-Star Games since becoming a starter. Griffin is averaging over 20 PPG on 70 percent shooting as a starter, thanks to a heavy dose of dunks and alley-oops.
NBA All-Star Game betting odds:
BetOnline currently has the Western Conference as 5.5-point favorites with the total set at 263. The West has won four of the past five All-Star Games played, with most of the wins being within single-digits.
Free NBA Picks: All-Star Game Predictions
The Western Conference all-star team is stacked this year, and I expect the West to continue their dominance in this series. It should be a high-flying, high-scoring affair, but in the end if I had to take a side I would lay a small amount on the West to cover the spread.
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