2017 NBA All-Star Weekend: Odds and Props

LeBron looks for Kyrie Irving.
Keith Allison, via Flickr

We all need a break once in awhile, and this weekend marks a coveted period of rest for NBA stars. Whether they’re at the beach, or midcourt at the Smoothie King Center, players are not going to be breaking a sweat for three days. But hey, tune into the NBA All-Star Game anyways! It’s not like you have anything better to do on Sunday (Feb. 19, 8:00 PM Eastern).

Even if the game is its usual noncompetitive display (it will be), there are still things about All-Star weekend that are worthwhile. Of course, if this year’s dunk contest is a letdown, you are allowed to throw that statement back in my face on Monday. With Aaron Gordon back in the mix, though, odds are that it’ll be a good year for the dunk comp. Speaking of odds … here are a bunch for the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend.

2017 NBA All-Star Weekend Odds & Props

All-Star Game MVP

  • Russell Westbrook: 10/3
  • James Harden: 7/1
  • Steph Curry: 15/2
  • LeBron James: 8/1
  • Anthony Davis: 10/1
  • Kevin Durant: 12/1
  • Isaiah Thomas: 14/1
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: 16/1
  • Field: 6/1

When everyone in the All-Star Game is an elite NBA talent, what’s to separate one potential MVP from another? Effort. And no one in the entire league gives more of it than Westbrook. Playing at only one speed – best described as “all out, balls out” – the Thunder star has won back-to-back honors, and will want to prove himself again after missing out on the vote to be in the starting lineup.

Over/under height of All-Star Game MVP: 6’5″

Who will replace Kevin Love in the All-Star Game?

  • Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks: 3/1
  • Carmelo Anthony, Knicks: 7/2
  • Bradley Beal, Wizards: 4/1
  • Hassan Whiteside, Heat: 6/1
  • Andre Drummond, Pistons: 7/1
  • Field: 14/1

Obvious choice Joel Embiid is going to miss the weekend with an injury, so “Zinger” should get to go just as a reward for putting up with one the most ridiculous seasons any young franchise cornerstone has ever had to endure. Despite the Knicks being a total joke, he finished fifth in the player vote, sixth among the media, and seventh in fan voting. I may need Ernie Johnson to re-explain math to me, but I think that gives him a pretty good score.

Over/under length of longest shot made by Stephen Curry: 34 feet

Steph Curry driving vs the Wizards
Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/]

Odds all four Warriors are on the court at the same time: 1/2

Steve Kerr is coaching the West, so while it could be seen as a move of blatant favoritism, it would also be a lot of fun. Plus – I can’t stress this enough – nobody cares.

Odds of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook being on the court at the same time: 1/3

Things have gotten so icy between those two, Walt Disney’s head is uncomfortable. Playing them together would probably be equivalent of playing a man down on offense, there would be such little ball movement. But Kerr will probably do it once for the lulz.

Odds of Charles Barkley apologizing to LeBron James during NBA All-Star Weekend: 9/1

Chuck already doubled down on what he said about James not wanting to compete. (No, not that kind of double down … although probably that kind, as well, knowing Barkley.) If he’s reluctant to apologize to his former friend MJ, the chances of him apologizing to LeBron are awfully slim (slimmer than Barkley anyway).

Odds of at least one public anti-Trump protest by any NBA player during an All-Star Weekend competition: 4/1

Trump’s been pissing off immigrants, Native Americans, and environmentalists more than African Americans lately with his executive orders. President Syracuse (get it, ’cause he’s orange? Meh, that was weaker than Trump’s tiny hands) should get a reprieve from public shaming this weekend.

Odds to have the most dunks during the NBA All-Star Game

Giannis Antetokounmpo flying high vs Cleveland
Erik Drost [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks: 6/1
  • DeAndre Jordan, Clippers: 7/1
  • Russell Westbrook, Thunder: 19/2
  • Anthony Davis, Pelicans: 12/1
  • Kevin Durant, Warriors: 14/1
  • Field: 1/1

Remember that lack of effort I was talking about? That goes doubly at the defensive end, so we’re going to see a bunch of dunks, as usual. (Unlike you and me, dunking requires zero effort for these guys.) In addition to perennial try-hard Westbrook, look for first-time All-Stars Antetokounmpo and Jordan to be running the floor a little harder than their teammates, like eager puppies trying to impress older dogs at the park.

Over/under number of dunks in the All-Star game: 16.5

While the league continues to trend towards more threes, there’s sure to be plenty of dunks in this game, because, you know … no defense.

Over/Under number of dunks in the Rising Stars game: 15

Odds to win the 2017 Slam Dunk Contest

  • Aaron Gordon, Magic: 1/1
  • Derrick Jones Jr, Suns: 5/2
  • Glenn Robinson III, Pacers: 8/1
  • DeAndre Jordan, Clippers: 8/1

Last year, Gordon had three dunks that scored a perfect 50. Unfortunately, Zach Lavine had five. Gordon’s foil isn’t in the contest this year. Expect the unheard of Jones Jr. to give him a challenge, though.

Odds Glenn Robinson Jr. participates in a dunk: 5/1

Odds a player jumps over an object other than a person: 13/2

I’m going to assume that Stuff the Magic Dragon counts as a person – although he was on a hoverboard at one point … hmm. Either way, props have been on the decline in the contest since Jeremy Evans jumped over a painting of himself. Recent contestants have been more focused on the actual dunk rather than cheap ploys. Will this year’s crop follow suit?

Over/under number of dunks missed in the first round by the four participants combined: 6

Thankfully, the NBA did away with time limits in this event and gave each dunker just three attempts to get it right. Not a ton of room for error, and Gordon was good at getting his dunks down on the first try last year.

Odds to win the 2017 3-Point Shootout

  • Klay Thompson, Warriors: 2/1
  • Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers: 5/1
  • Kyle Lowry, Raptors: 8/1
  • CJ McCollum, Trailblazers: 8/1
  • Eric Gordon, Rockets: 9/1
  • Nick Young, Lakers: 13/1
  • Kemba Walker, Hornets: 13/1
  • Wesley Matthews, Mavericks: 13/1

Sadly, we won’t get to see another Splash Brothers final after Curry declined an invitation. That means Thompson will be the prohibitive favorite, with Irving the only other former champion in the field.

Odds of recording a perfect score on one rack in the 3-point shootout: 4/7

Both Curry and Thompson cleared out a rack in last year’s final round, but Klay’s came on the moneyball rack, giving him the win. With no Curry in this year’s contest, it’s less likely to happen, but still should.

Over/Under on most consecutive makes in the 3-point shootout: 9.5

Odds to win the 2017 Taco Bell Skills Challenge?

  • Guards: 20/27
  • Big Men: 27/20

I guess you could call what Karl-Anthony Towns did last year an upset? In today’s NBA, the best big men in the game all have above-average passing and perimeter shooting skills, so it’s not like Shawn Bradley beating Jason Kidd in a skills challenge. Still, Isaiah Thomas and the smalls will probably want revenge this year.

Odds of an event winner (or presenter) dropping their trophy during the presentation: 12/1

Odds to win Celebrity Game MVP:

  • Win Butler: 6/1
  • Master P: 7/1
  • Mark Cuban: 8/1
  • Marc Lasry: 10/1
  • Romeo Miller: 10/1
  • Tom Cavanagh: 12/1
  • Nick Cannon: 12/1
  • Andy Grammer: 12/1
  • Field: 3/1

Did you know Nick Cannon has already played in eight of these? Apparently he’s walking the perfect line between being famous enough to get an invite, but not so famous that he’s too busy to attend. Either way, he hasn’t won an MVP award and probably won’t this year. I’m mostly curious as to who will come out on top between a pair of billionaire NBA owners in Lasry and Cuban.

2017 NBA Trade Props

Odds on which team Carmelo Anthony will be on following the trade deadline (Feb. 24):

  • Knicks: 1/15
  • Cavaliers: 30/1
  • Clippers: 40/1
  • Field: 50/1

At this point, Melo seems destined to stay in New York out of spite. Maybe if Phil Jackson kisses Anthony’s ring (or absence of one), he’ll agree to waive his no-trade clause, but the Knicks didn’t get into the spot they’re in because of an abundance of small egos.

Odds the following players are traded on or before the deadline:

  • Jahlil Okafor, 76ers: 1/10
  • PJ Tucker, Suns: 3/7
  • Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves: 2/3
  • Shabazz Muhammad, Timberwolves: 1/1
  • Rajon Rondo, Bulls: 5/4
  • Andrew Bogut, Mavericks: 2/1
  • Jimmy Butler, Bulls: 6/1
  • Dwyane Wade, Bulls: 12/1
  • Kevin Love, Cavaliers: 25/1
  • Blake Griffin, Clippers: 30/1
  • DeMarcus Cousins, Kings: 35/1

The only big names on this list really in question are the core of the Bulls. Chicago fans would love to see this team do a tear-down, unimpressed with a group that is under .500 and barely in the playoffs in the sucky East. But given Gar Forman’s track record as a decision-maker, the Bulls are probably going to make the wrong choice.

It will probably be a pretty quiet deadline in terms of blockbuster deals, but with the amount of assets Boston has, there’s always that slight chance Danny Ainge says “F**k it!” and throws the Brooklyn pick at Blake Griffin.

Odds of the Cavaliers adding the following players by the trade deadline:

  • Jose Calderon, Lakers: 5/4
  • Jordan Farmar, Free Agent: 3/2
  • Andrew Bogut, Mavericks: 3/1
  • T.J. McConnell, 76ers: 5/1
  • Deron Williams, Mavericks: 7/1

Go get your old minute-eating vet already so LeBron will stop whining!