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NY Post
New York Post
17 Feb 2024

NextImg:NBA All-Star Weekend picks, best bets: 3-Point Contest, Skills Challenge, Dunk Contest odds

We head into Saturday for NBA All-Star Weekend, as we have multiple contests to sort through.

The festivities begin with the KIA Skills Challenge at 8 p.m. ET on TNT followed by the Starry 3-Point Contest.

(8 p.m. Eastern, TNT)

This competition features three teams (Pacers, Top Picks and All-Stars) competing in a three-round format.

Pacers participants: Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin and Myles Turner 

Top Picks participants: Paolo Banchero (Magic), Anthony Edwards (Timberwolves) and Victor Wembanyama

All-Star participants: Scottie Barnes (Raptors), Tyrese Maxey (76ers) and Trae Young (Hawks)

The first round involves a team relay race where you have to make a pass, dribble down the court, make a short jump shot, a 3-pointer and finish with a layup. 

Round 2 is a passing competition where the players must pass the basketball into buckets worth different points.

Lastly, the third round is a shooting competition where the team uses one ball to shoot from different spots on the floor.

100 Challenge Points will go to the winners of the first and second rounds, while 200 will be awarded to the third-round winner.

The All-Star team features three guards, while the other two teams have some frontcourt players who could struggle with the speed and pace of the competition. 

I want the better shooting team for the third round, which will be worth more points. 

If the competition comes down to which team can hit a 3-pointer to win, the All-Stars have the better overall perimeter shooters, and with their odds at +180, they’re well worth a look.

Pick: Team All-Stars (+180, BetRivers)

Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles in the first half of their NBA game against the Toronto Raptors.
Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton dribbles up court during a game against the Raptors. Getty Images

(8 p.m. ET, TNT)

Although I’m still undecided on an outright winner for the 3-point contest, I’m ready to fire away on Markkanen to go over his projection, which is set at 19.5. 

Markkanen will compete in this event for a second straight year after missing out on the 2023 finals, finishing tied for fourth with 20 3-pointers.

This competition can always be a bit intimidating for first-time entrants, but Markkanen should benefit from his experience. 

Frontcourt players have had success in this event, with Karl-Anthony Towns recently winning in 2022.

Markkanen is having his best shooting year from the perimeter with a 40.3% mark. 

Donovan Mitchell is the only other player with a projection lower than 20.5 3-pointers, and he’s shooting 36.1% from beyond the arc. 

Thus, this prop feels mispriced, so I like Markkanen’s chances to go over his prop.

Pick: Lauri Markkanen over 19.5 3-pointers (-122, Caesars)

Max McClung (-225)Jacob Toppin. (+500)Jaylen Brown (+525)Jaime Jaquez Jr. (+800)
Odds provided by BetMGM

Dunk Contest odds have been pulled from many sportsbooks moving up down and sideways at opening as bettors came in hard on last year’s champion Max McClung.

One of the earlier opening numbers for the dunk contest had McClung as the favorite at +150, but that number ballooned to as high as -225.