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Team US Favored Over Team World in 2019 NBA All-Star Rising Stars Challenge

Sacramento Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox
De'Aaron Fox has had plenty of reasons to smile this season. (Photo by Hector Amezcua/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
  • Team World is seeking a fourth win in five games at the Rising Stars Challenge
  • Team US has surrendered over 150 points a game in the last three match-ups
  • Who will win the 2019 Rising Stars Challenge?

If there’s one thing we can’t call the Americans at the Rising Stars Challenge, it’s world beaters.

Since the undercard to the big game at NBA All-Star Weekend was reformatted in 2015 to pit Team US vs Team World, the Americans are just 1-3.

In the fifth meeting between the best first and second year pros in the NBA, who you got?

2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge Odds

Who Will Win the 2019 Rising Stars Challenge? Odds at BetOnline (02/12/19)
Team US -125
Team World +105

US Team Returns Solid Group of Second Year Pros

There are five returning players from the team that got crushed last year to the tune of 155-124, and each of them return a little more polished and experienced this time around:

Jayson Tatum: Came within one game of NBA Finals. Now averaging 16 points and six rebounds per on a deep Celtics team.

Donovan Mitchell: Emerged as the top offensive option for the playoff-bound Utah Jazz. The leading scorer in this game at 22.4 points, while also averaging four assists. Also, not a fan of Ben Simmons (some spice!).

Kyle Kuzma: Unheralded last year, now one of the key pieces to the Lakers and averaging better than 19 points and 5.6 rebounds a game as one of the youngsters able to currently handle playing alongside LeBron James.

De’Aaron Fox: One of the great young point guards in the NBA, helping the Kings battle for a playoff spot.

John Collins: Budding cornerstone for the rebuilding Hawks.

That’s a group that has real star power. Throw in some more shooting with Trae Young, and some interior heft with Jaren Jackson Jr., Jarrett Allen, and Marvin Bagley III and this is a well-rounded roster.

World Team Top-Heavy Talents Could Carry Them

While Tatum is on the cusp of greatness and Mitchell will eventually become an All-Star, the World Team has the best two players on either team in this one.

Luka Doncic is already the man in Dallas after just 50+ games, and has a team that hasn’t smelled the postseason in two years thinking big things – as early as this season.

He’s joined by an All-NBA teammate in waiting. Yes, Ben Simmons doesn’t possess a jump shot, but his all-around play at his age makes him a longer, lefty young Jason Kidd. And still, he’s putting up 16.7 points, 9.2 rebounds and eight assists while shooting nearly 57% from the field – good enough earn him a spot in the actual All-Star Game.

Add to that the reigning MVP from the last game, Bogdan Bogdanovic – who scored 26 points and nailed seven triples last year – and they’re hoping to raise the rest of the lesser known roster. After first overall pick Deandre Ayton, it’s safe to say you’d best recognize the rest of the players if they were on your hometown team.

Who’s the Best Bet?

Let’s be honest: this is not Game 3 of the NBA Finals we’ll be watching. But toss in the Simmons-Mitchell anti-love fest, and perhaps Trae Young wanting to prove the Hawks weren’t crazy trading Doncic for him, and we may actually see a competitive tilt that doesn’t look like an AAU game.

In the end, top talent always rises, so the World remains your winning ticket. And an upset at that.

Our 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend Props Coverage:

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