- Patty Mills is the early betting favorite to win the 2022 NBA three-point contest
- Some of the league’s best long-range shooters are taking part, including Trae Young and Desmond Bane
- Read below for analysis of the 2022 three-point contest and our best bets
The 2022 NBA three-point contest has a well-balanced field. Six of the eight contestants are priced between +440 and +650 to win at FanDuel, with Patty Mills leading the way. Despite his Hawks team slipping in NBA playoff odds throughout the season, Trae Young has put up another great year and he’s priced at +490 to win the competition at the second time of asking.
First-time duo Luke Kennard and Fred VanVleet are tied at +500, just ahead of Most Improved Player candidate Desmond Bane. Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine is priced at +650, a figure that might have been impacted by a knee injury that has troubled him of late.
2022 NBA Three-Point Contest Odds
Odds as of Feb 18 at FanDuel Sportsbook
CJ McCollum, entering for a third time in his career, comes in at +950. The lone frontcourt player in this year’s competition is Karl-Anthony Towns, arguably the greatest shooting big man of all-time, but that’s not enough to make him anything more than an outsider with the books.
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Players With Experience
Trae Young loves the big stage and he’s one of the most talented shooters in the NBA. He was a popular pick when he competed in the 2019-20 three-point contest, but the Hawks guard disappointed. Eliminated in the first round with a score of only 15, it’s hard to know what to make of Young in this weekend’s long-range shooting challenge.
Zach LaVine is involved for the third straight year. He’s dropped out in the first round on both occasions, despite posting a score of 23 in 2019-20. LaVine is hitting over 43% of his threes in February, though bettors should be wary of his knee. There’s no structural damage, but LaVine has been dealing with pain and swelling over the last few weeks, which could slow him down in this high-speed format.
Of the eight-man field, CJ McCollum is the only other player with previous three-point contest experience. McCollum fell in the first round on both occasions, recording underwhelming scores in the process. He’s put up some good numbers since joining the Pels, but he’s understandably an underdog here.
First Time Contestants
Karl-Anthony Towns, Desmond Bane, Luke Kennard, Patty Mills and Fred VanVleet are embarking on their first three-point contest. Mills has picked the brains of Joe Harris and Kyrie Irving – two previous winners – while Kennard comes into the competition with the second-best three-point percentage in the Association.
Steve Nash on Patty Mills and the 3-Point Contest: “My money is on Patty.”
— Chris Milholen (@CMilholenSB) February 18, 2022
VanVleet is shooting 10 threes per game, a mark only bettered by Steph Curry, and making 40% of them. Bane’s performances have been a major factor in the Grizzlies’ shortened price in NBA Championship odds, and he’s got the joint-best three-point percentage of any player taking at least 6.2 threes per game. Fittingly, Bane is tied with Mills at 41.9% from deep this season.
Towns is looking to become the first big to win the contest since Dirk Nowitzki in 2005-06. Given the frequent comparisons between Towns’ shooting and Nowitzki’s, it would be appropriate for Towns to follow in the Hall of Famer’s footsteps here. While he’s shooting over 40% from deep this season, time pressure is a concern for big men. Towns has a quick release on his shot for his size, but can he fire shots off with consistency and accuracy quite like his smaller opponents?
NBA Three-Point Contest Picks
It’s easy to see why Mills is the favorite. He’s having a great season with the Nets, he’s a quick-fire shooter from outsider, and does much of his best work in catch-and-shoot situations. There’s no doubt he’ll find some rhythm. Still, for an event that has an element of randomness, his price is a bit too short.
Bane, for instance, looks a much better bet. There will be no nerves from the Memphis guard, who has thrived in clutch moments this season and been fearless against the league’s biggest names. He’s shown the ability to knock down shots from all over the floor, including well beyond the arc.
There’s value in a small wager on Towns at those odds, too. It’s such a long price for a shooter of his ability.
- Pick: Desmond Bane (+550)