- The Miami Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. has closed the gap on Aaron Gordon in the odds for the Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday night
- Milwaukee’s Pat Connaughton and the Lakers Dwight Howard are the other two competitors in the field
- Who’s the best bet to win the competition in Chicago on Saturday?
The NBA dunk contest takes place as the final event of All-Star Saturday night at the United Center in Chicago.
Aaron Gordon, Derrick Jones Jr., Dwight Howard and Pat Connaughton will be competing, and all but Connaughton have participated in the event before.
Gordon opened as a heavy favorite, but with the event just two days away, Jones Jr. is right on his heels to hoist the trophy.
Odds to Win 2020 NBA Dunk Contest
|Derrick Jones Jr.||+150|
Odds taken Feb. 13th
Odds Moving in Favor of Jones
Just over a week ago, Jones Jr. was priced at +250 to hold the trophy. A shift in the odds have seen him drastically close the gap to Gordon, however, as the table above shows. Howard and Connaughton are still a long way off, and Gordon is still the favorite, but Jones has clearly had a lot of backing.
Connaughton has seen his price shorten pretty significantly too. The Bucks guard was at +650 a week ago – he’s now +400, putting him third in the odds, ahead of Dwight Howard.
The veteran Lakers center is 34 years old and there has been some skepticism about his participation. A previous champion, Howard still has good athleticism, but he’s unsurprisingly not as explosive as he was when he completed the famous Superman dunk over a decade ago.
Jones’ 2017 Effort
Jones can take off. He regularly humiliates wannabe shot blockers. Back in 2017, he made his way to the final before losing to the recently traded Glenn Robinson III.
The criticism of Jones’ dunks back then was inventiveness. While the hang time and take off is extraordinary, there wasn’t anything particularly special. As the video shows, Jones has the high-flying ability to give him time to produce something really special.
He’s a supreme athlete, and is agile enough to pull off some outrageous dunks. We will discover how much he learned from missing out in 2017. Jones needs to be ambitious, he’s certainly got the ability to execute something jaw-dropping.
Watch Out for Pat
Connaughton is the dark horse of this dunk contest field. After various other names were rumored, including Rookie of the Year favorite Ja Morant, some mocked the announcement that Connaughton was taking part. Those people risk looking very silly.
Connaughton’s draft combine back in 2015 saw him produce a 44-inch maximum vertical, and a 37.5-inch standing vertical. Not bad numbers, are they?
A quick YouTube search reveals plenty of devastating Connaughton dunks, including the one shown above. He’s got serious hops.
Don’t overlook the Bucks guard as you evaluate your betting options for this weekend’s Dunk Contest, Connaughton is certainly tempting at +400.
Good to Back Gordon?
Zach LaVine snatched the 2016 competition from Gordon. His entries since then have ended in serious disappointment, and his frame is a bit bigger than the usual dunk contest winners. None of that should detract from the show he put on in 2016, though, and the possibility of a repeat performance will excite the Chicago crowd.
Stuff The Magic Dragon was on hand to assist in 2016, and we can expect some high-difficulty dunks from Gordon again. His career perhaps hasn’t developed as he would have liked, but the Orlando Magic forward is still one of the best dunkers in the league.
The biggest disappointment, for neutrals at least, is that we won’t get a rematch with LaVine.
Gordon, at a longer price than he was a week ago, looks like the best player to back.
Pick: Aaron Gordon (+135)
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