- Team USA is a small favorite over Team World in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday (Feb. 14, 9 pm ET)
- Team World has won three of the past five matchups, with two of the games exceeding 300 points
- What are the best spread and total bets?
NBA All-Star Weekend is officially upon us. But before a slam dunk champion is crowned and the main event tips-off, Team USA will square off with Team World in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night (Feb. 14, 9 pm ET).
Team World vs Team USA Odds
|World All Stars||+3.0 (-110)||+120||Over 299.5 (-110)|
|USA All Stars||-3.0 (-110)||-140||Under 299.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Feb. 13th.
The American side opened as a 3-point favorite and the game features a lofty 299.5 point total. At first glance, that may seem like an outrageous amount of points, but if the last five years are any indicator the over in this contest could easily be threatened.
History of Offense
In the last five years, the two sides have combined to average 283.8 points per matchup but that number is significantly skewed by the 2015 result which produced only 233 points. Three of the past four Rising Stars games have exceeded 290 points, including 311 points in 2016 and 305 points in 2019.
Last Five Rising Stars Games
|2019||Team USA 161, Team World 144||Kyle Kuzma|
|2018||Team World 155, Team USA 124||Bogdan Bogdanovic|
|2017||Team World 150, Team USA 141||Jamal Murray|
|2016||Team USA 157, Team World 154||Zach LaVine|
|2015||Team World 121, Team USA 112||Andrew Wiggins|
Team USA won convincingly last year, but has actually dropped three of the past five games overall. This year, the talent level is significantly higher on the American team, and that was further emphasized Thursday when Team World learned they’d be without Deandre Ayton.
NBA Rising Stars roster update: New Orleans‘ Nicolo Melli is replacing Suns No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton on the World team.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 13, 2020
How the Two Teams Stack Up
An interesting wrinkle is that both Luka Doncic and Trae Young will be playing in this game, as well as the All-Star game on Sunday. Doncic is unanimously considered the best player on either side, but after him the majority of the elite talent belongs to the Americans.
Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson and Trae Young headline NBA Rising Stars Game at All-Star Weekend in Chicago. Rosters here: pic.twitter.com/9kUBC3lFqG
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 31, 2020
Young is on pace to be just the fifth player in NBA history to average 29 points and 9 assists per game, and sports a gaudy 59.9 true shooting percentage. Zion Williamson is averaging 21 points as a 19-year-old and Ja Morant is a heavy favorite in the 2020 NBA ROY odds.
Still not sold?
Jaren Jackson is threatening to become just the second player ever to average 2.5 threes and 1.5 blocks per game for an entire season.
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) January 31, 2020
That’s not to say the World All Stars are devoid of talent. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander averages nearly 20 points a game and is the Thunder’s feature scorer, while Brandon Clarke is a plus defender, who oozes athleticism and can finish at the rim.
Along with RJ Barrett and Rui Hachimura, Team World will have no problem getting buckets, they’ll just struggle to keep pace with Team USA.
Roll With the Americans
The biggest reason to like the Americans in this contest is the questions marks surrounding the World’s best player.
Doncic just recently returned to action after missing seven games with an ankle injury, and it’s safe to wonder how much he’ll actually play given he’s set to start on Sunday as well.
Reduced minutes for Doncic will drastically affect not only Team World’s outlook but the total as well. If he plays fewer minutes than expected, there isn’t enough firepower on the World side to keep this game close and help get this contest over the total.
Also working against Team World is the loss of Ayton, who on paper was their second best player, and was expected to shoulder a large portion of the offensive load.
Picks: Team USA -3 (-110), Under 299.5 (-110)
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