As the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekends tips off in Cleveland on Friday, we take a look at FanDuel’s favorites for the biggest events.
To many, NBA All-Star Weekend might be an afterthought. The best players in the world are coming together in Cleveland to relax, enjoy the nightlife and try not to exert so much energy after months of hard work; high-intensity basketball is not the priority. Instead, we see our favorite athletes let loose in various events before playing in a low-stakes exhibition game.
This is where betting comes in handy.
With more states legalizing mobile wagering since the last year’s NBA All-Star Weekend, betting on the festivities is sure to be a huge part of the conversation. Luckily, we’re here to break down exactly which events are expected to net fans some money —courtesy of our friends at FanDuel.
Slam Dunk Contest
Let’s start with the most exciting event: the Slam Dunk Contest.
Houston Rockets rookie No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green is the favorite this year at +170.
Obi Toppin has the second-best odds at +200. The second-year New York Knicks big man was last year’s favorite but came in second to Portland’s Anfernee Simons — much to the public’s dismay, though Toppin insisted he “didn’t feel like I got robbed at all.”
Behind Toppin is Orlando Magic point guard Cole Anthony at +250, and then Golden State’s Juan Toscano-Anderson slotted at +500.
It’s worth noting that Toppin is the only repeat entrant this year. Just four out of the 29 players who failed to win their first Dunk Contest and returned to compete again have avenged their defeats: Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Dwight Howard, and, most recently, Derrick Jones, Jr. in 2020.
Stephen Curry, the defending champion and seven-time contestant, will not compete in this year’s 3-Point Contest. It’s possible that he feels like he doesn’t have anything left to prove, considering he broke Ray Allen’s all-time record for career threes earlier this season.
Even without Chef Curry, this year’s 3-Point Contest will have plenty of star power — including three names we have seen in the proceedings twice before: the recently traded CJ McCollum, Chicago Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine, and Atlanta Hawks All-StarTrae Young. None of them have ever hoisted the trophy.
It seems experience isn’t everything, however.
FanDuel has Brooklyn Nets veteran guard Patty Mills and Toronto Raptors All-Star Fred VanVleet as co-favorites at +440.
Young checks in at +490, followed by Memphis’ Desmond Bane at +550 and LaVine and Luke Kennard down at +600. McCollum is considered a long shot at +950. Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns is the least likely winner with +1200, or an implied 7.69% chance.
Team LeBron is the favorite here, as was the case last year. In 2021, LeBron’s crew sat as a four-point favorite, and they’ve improved to a six-point favorite for this Sunday’s matchup with Team Durant. They’re -210 on the moneyline, giving them an implied 67.74% chance of winning.
As for individual awards, Milwaukee Bucks champion Giannis Antetokounmpo is the clear favorite to repeat the game’s MVP at +380, with Joel Embiid as the second-shortest favorite at +600. LeBron James is +650 to capture his fourth All-Star Game MVP in his record 18th-straight All-Star appearance. Curry is behind him at +750.
See the full rosters for the 71st NBA All-Star Game here.