- LeBron James is looking to become just the third four-time All-Star Game MVP
- Russell Westbrook is seeking his third All-Star MVP crown in five years
- We’ve found the best MVP value bet for the league’s showcase game in Charlotte
With a new draft format breathing life into the NBA All-Star Game, and an emphasis on players to shake the rep of the mid-season showcase of a boring dud by asking them to compete (what a novel concept), it was likely no surprise that LeBron James proved he was again, the star of stars.
Now the question is: can he do it again?
The folks at BetOnline certainly believe in the King, but is it the right bet to be making for the big game in Charlotte?
2019 NBA All-Star Game MVP Odds
|Player||Team||Odds to Win 2019 NBA All-Star Game MVP at BetOnline (02/11/19)|
There Are No Surprises
Unlike the Rising Stars Game, only elite players win this award. Since the 1985-86 season, only two retired players that have taken home the honor are not in or shoo-ins for the Hall of Fame: Glen Rice 1997 and Tom Chambers in 1987.
1987 All-Star Flashback: ''This is something dreams are made of. I can't believe it happened to me.'' — Tom Chambers pic.twitter.com/zufm0lPqxj
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) February 15, 2017
Of the active ASG MVP’s, only one (Kyrie Irving) doesn’t have at least a first-team all-NBA nod in his career. And even then, he’s a six-time All-Star, and boasts one of the most clutch shots in NBA Finals history.
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) June 20, 2016
In this case, talent really does rise to the top. Keep that in mind as we pare down this list.
With an MVP win, LeBron would join Bob Petit and Kobe Bryant as the only four-time winners. And this might be his last best chance. We’ve seen James battle his first game-sapping significant injury and Father Time may finally begin sizing up basketball’s athletic titan.
This LeBron James layup in the All-Star Game last season is underrated, Steph agrees. pic.twitter.com/CS0kBxEg9m
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) September 11, 2018
James did win it last year, breaking a decade-long drought between MVPs. A win this year and he would join Petit and Russell Westbrook as the only players to win consecutive awards.
Russell Westbrook drops 27 points to set a first half record in the all-star game. (2015) pic.twitter.com/mB8Rep9Ucb
— ThrowbackHoops (@ThrowbackHoops) January 30, 2019
Speaking of Russ, perhaps no one takes slights worse, so expect added motivation after he was traded by James to team Giannis. One of the few guys who plays hard wherever the ball gets rolled out, Westbrook would be just the fifth three-time winner of the award.
Beware the Home Team Player Bet
Since the game was played in 1951 there have been 14 hometown winners in the 60 games played. But in the 2000’s, there have only been four guys to turn the trick. Shaquille O’Neal did it twice (2004 and 2009).
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 26, 2016
Lakers legend Kobe Bryant did it in 2011 at Staples and two years ago, Anthony Davis poured in 52 and raised the award in front of the New Orleans faithful. That seems like ages ago now.
While Kemba Walker has been having a nice year, he doesn’t seem to fall into that upper echelon of players, so it would be surprising to pull of a Chambers-level feat in this one.
What’s the Best Bet Here?
I think Giannis Antetokounmpo (+500) is extra-motivated to show out, as social media thought he was out-GM’d by LeBron after taking Stephen Curry with the first pick.
Golden State teammates Kevin Durant (+600) and Steph Curry (+700) should also be in the running. It’s stunning that Curry hasn’t yet won the award yet.
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) February 16, 2018
After those guys, there’s a pack of value dudes that you need to consider. Paul George (+800) is currently the best two-way player in the league. Kawhi Leonard (+1000) and Westbrook (+1200) will go about their business, regardless of score.
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) January 25, 2019
And if you’re seeking a long shot worthy of a shot, Klay Thompson (+4000) has rebounded from a slow start and could easily catch fire.
While LeBron is the safe bet, I’d go with Curry and George as favorites in this one.
Our 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend Props Coverage: