Aaron Gordon Opens as -140 Odds-On Favorite to Win Dunk Contest; Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. +250

Dunk contest
Opening odds in the NBA Slam Dunk contest favor Aaron Gordon to win the contest in his third attempt. Photo from Wiki Commons.
  • Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon is the odds-on favorite at -140
  • Will Pat Connaughton or Dwight Howard be able to pull the upset as heavy underdogs?
  • Check out our predictions below on who the best bet is for the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest

The 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest at the United Center in Chicago has an exciting cast, with a few surprises. The participants include Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, Miami’s Derrick Jones Jr., Milwaukee’s Pat Connaughton and Dwight Howard of the Lakers.

Connaughton is the only newcomer to this event, as Howard, Jones, and Gordon have all participated before.

This will be Dwight Howard’s fourth time in the Dunk Contest.  At 34 years young, can Howard pull off an upset and win as a +400 underdog?

Odds to Win 2020 NBA Dunk Contest

Winner Odds
Aaron Gordon -140
Derrick Jones Jr. +250
Dwight Howard +400
Pat Connaughton +650

Odds taken February 5th

Third Time’s the Charm

This will be Aaron Gordon’s third time participating in the event. If his performance is anything like his 2016 performance, then NBA fans are in for a treat.

Gordon has become a solid player for the Magic, averaging 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season. However, Gordon will always be remembered for his duel with Zach Lavine in the 2016 Slam Dunk Contest in Toronto.

Gordon left his mark as one of the elite dunkers in the NBA after this competition. However, in the 2017 contest, Gordon finished last behind DeAndre Jordan, Derrick Jones Jr., and the winner Glenn Robinson III.

For a forward listed at 6’8″ 220 pounds, Gordon can absolutely fly. He will have to go up against Derrick Jones Jr. again after losing to him in 2017, but Gordon has taken two years off and will be ready with some new flashy dunks to impress the judges.

The Human Pogo Stick

The high-flying Derrick Jones Jr. is back for his second appearance in the Slam Dunk Contest. Jones had a formidable outing in 2017, as he lost in the final round to Glenn Robinson III.

No one in the NBA has the bounce that Derrick Jones Jr. does, and it is evident in this highlight pack. The key for Jones in the competition will be packaging his high-flying ability with creativity. His dunks in the 2017 Slam Dunk Contest lacked creativity and execution, which was his downfall against Robinson III.

At 6’6″, 210 pounds, Jones has the ideal build to win this contest. Four out of the last five winners have been between 6’5″-6’6″ and none of those champions have the bounce that Jones does.

Superman’s Back

Before the rest of the participants were named, Howard was listed at +250 to win the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest. His odds have jumped up to +400, but is it a realistic risk to take against his tough competition?

Howard is obviously known for his Superman dunk back in 2008 that gave him his lone Slam Dunk Contest trophy. In his 16th NBA season, Howard is back for another shot at the title.

Howard will become the oldest competitor in history at the age of 34. At 6’10” 265 pounds, Howard does not really fit the mould of the most recent winners.

Howard’s chances of winning are very slim, but I’m sure one of his dunks will be a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, which will be a wholesome moment for the NBA and everybody watching.

White Boy Can Jump

After speculation that Ja Morant or even Zach Lavine were supposed to be inserted into the final lineup, Milwaukee Bucks’ Pat Connaughton was the last participant named.

In his fifth NBA season, the Notre Dame product has sneaky athleticism that will certainly surprise the attendees.

Pat Connaughton, or “Vanilla Thunder”, has the appropriate build to give himself a chance. At 6’5″ 210 pounds, Connaughton has already shown the rest of the NBA how monstrous his dunks can be.

The last white player to win the Slam Dunk Contest was Brent Barry in 1996. Given Connaughton’s competition I don’t think he will be able to break that streak, but throwing a couple of bucks on him at +650 would not be the worst idea.

Best Bet

Only five out of the 14 players that have participated in the Dunk Contest at least three times have never won. I believe in Gordon’s third attempt at the title he will finally emerge victorious.

Gordon’s been dreaming about this competition since July! Even though Derrick Jones Jr. can absolutely fly, I still believe it is Gordon’s time to shine. He has the edge in experience over Jones and has shown that he can come out with some really creative dunks.

He does not have the best value at -140, but I think it is the surest bet out of all the competitors. This means you can confidently put some extra money on it to cover the juice.

Best Bet: Aaron Gordon -140

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