- The 2020 NBA Skills Challenge kicks off the festivities on All-Star Saturday night in Chicago
- Spencer Dinwiddie is the current favorite to win the competition after being crowned the champion back in 2018
- Get the odds, best bets, and betting preview for Saturday’s Skills Challenge below
NBA All-Star weekend returns in the coming days, with the 2020 NBA Skills Challenge slated for Saturday evening.
Second-year OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will replace an injured Derrick Rose in the competition, while last year’s champion Jayson Tatum returns, joined by 2015 champ Patrick Beverley.
Bam Adebayo, Pascal Siakam, Khris Middleton, Domantas Sabonis, and the current favorite, Spencer Dinwiddie complete the rest of the field.
On February 5th, Derrick Rose was the favorite to win this year’s Skills Challenge with +300 odds. but now that he’s dropped out, Spencer Dinwiddie has emerged as the favorite, jumping from +600 odds last week to +300 as of today.
Rose’s replacement, Gilgeous-Alexander, is right on Dinwiddie’s heels at +400, while Tatum isn’t far behind him as he looks to repeat his showing from last year with +500 odds.
2020 NBA Skills Challenge Odds
Odds taken Feb 13th
How Does the Competition Work?
The Skills Challenge has changed numerous times in its history, but the current format has been in place since 2015. A frontcourt player (big) takes on a backcourt player (guards) in each round, then in the final, a big will meet a backcourt player.
But in this competition, there isn’t really any notable big, with Sabonis, Siakam, and Adebayo all relatively athletic players.
— #NBAAllStar 2021 (@NBAAllStar) February 9, 2020
They’ll go through an obstacle course that consists of dribbling, passing, hitting a three, and putting up a simple layup. Last year, Tatum went head-to-head with Trae Young in the final, hitting a deep three to win it.
It’s very unpredictable because a player can be way behind their opponent, but when it comes to the last obstacle where you have to dribble up the court and hit a pull-up three, a lot of players struggle to hit it. There have been many times in the history of the event where a participant hits a three on their first try, meanwhile, the player who was way ahead is on his third or fourth attempt of sinking a shot from downtown.
20 years and 351 days old Jayson Tatum with the greatest moment in the history of the NBA skills competition pic.twitter.com/L8uuSi5P6i
— Troll Sports (@TroIISports) February 17, 2019
Since this event was added to All-Star weekend in 2003, Dwayne Wade is the only player to ever win it two years in a row. Steve Nash also won it twice during his career, but it wasn’t in back-to-back years. With this in mind, the odds don’t favor Tatum very much.
Who Will Win?
Dinwiddie is enjoying a fantastic year, averaging a career-best 21 points and 6.6 assists. Back in 2018, he beat Lauri Markannen to take home the Skills Challenge trophy, and all signs point to Dinwiddie coming through and winning it again, especially with the best odds.
Gilgeous-Alexander is a nifty guard with great handles and passing abilities and the ability to hit the three. Siakam has emerged as one of the NBA’s brightest stars, showcasing all the skills necessary to win this competition even though he’s considered a big.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) February 6, 2020
Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 19.1 points per game, emerging as a key piece in OKC. He’s shooting 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from downtown as well.
Although he was added late as a replacement for Rose, I believe that the youngster is going to come through in this competition and add to his already impressive season with an NBA Skills Challenge trophy under his belt.
Pick: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +400
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