- Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young & Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard are listed as favorites in the 3-Point Contest
- Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris won the event last year and is defending his title
- Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson and Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans have the best shooting percentages of any players in the field
There are some big names participating in the NBA 3-Point Contest and two in particular have the attention of oddsmakers – Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers.
NBA All-Star Weekend 3-Point Contest Odds
Odds taken Feb. 5th
The big names may provide the most flash and dash but they definitely don’t provide the most value. Here’s the case against betting on Young or Lillard, and my pick to click in one of the premier events during NBA All-Star weekend.
— NBA (@NBA) February 4, 2020
Young & Lillard Will Come Up Empty Again
Young is participating in the 3-Point contest for the 2nd time in his career and had little success in his debut last season. This year he’s making 3.7 three pointers per game which ranks 7th in the league but is making only 36.7% of his shots from deep.
If he makes 36.7% of his shots in this competition he won’t even sniff the second round.
Three-point contestants no-dribble 3P%:
46.6 — Trae Young
44.2 — Davis Bertans
43.7 — Duncan Robinson
42.9 — Devonte' Graham
42.2 — Joe Harris
41.8 — Zach LaVine
38.7 — Damian Lillard
38.0 — Buddy Hield pic.twitter.com/tIvjG4K0qZ
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 4, 2020
Lillard may not appear in the 2020 NBA MVP odds but he’s undeniably valuable to the Blazers. He’s been better than Young this season, ranking 2nd with 3.9 makes per game while knocking them down at a 39.4% clip.
Will Lillard’s 3rd try in the event be better than his first two attempts? It’s surely possible, but there’s little other than name value to suggest that there’s value in him at +333. I’d fade both favorites and look elsewhere.
Will Joe Harris Repeat as Champion?
Joe Harris was a surprise winner in last year’s event and he’s still being offered up at a +600 underdog this year. Believe it or not, he makes threes at a higher clip than both Young and Lillard knocking them down at 40.5% this year and 42.3% for his career.
— Nets Nation (@NetsNationCP) February 4, 2020
He went head-to-head with Steph Curry last year and more than held his own. Curry had more points in the opening round but Harris still qualified for the final after racking up 25 points.
When Harris put up 26 in the final he walked away with the trophy and an unlikely David vs Goliath story to tell his grandkids. The reality is Harris may not be as flashy but he’s every bit as good as a long distance shooter as the current favorites, and he’s proven capable of winning the event in the past.
New Format Will Add Interesting Wrinkle
This year shooters will have an extra ten seconds to get their shots off and they’ll be given two extra three point balls located 6 feet beyond the arc. The new max score rises from 34 to 40 and could make things really exciting for fans of the event – but which shooters does it benefit?
The ones with the highest percentage of makes of course. The only two players in the event with a better 3-Point Percentage than Harris? Duncan Robinson and Davis Bertans who both have the longest odds at +800. All of this is to say if you’re going to gamble on this event, lean towards the underdogs.
PICK: Joe Harris (+600)
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