Overdoing it in the Slam Dunk Contest last year has given Dennis Smith Jr.’s odds a little more vertical, so to speak, entering NBA All-Star weekend.
Smith is the +200 favorite on the Slam Dunk Contest odds for Saturday in Charlotte at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The New York Knicks point guard was the favorite in the 2018 edition but a miss in the first round brought him back to earth, helping the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell – who’s not competing this time around – win the title.
The aesthetics of the dunk contest tend to favor players around the size of the six-foot-three Smith, who may have learned some lessons about the procedure of the event.
Miles Bridges (+225) of the host Charlotte Hornets is an explosive leaper who has the hometown advantage. The Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins (+225), as the tallest player competing, might be at a judging disadvantage.
The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (+175) is the favorite on the Three-Point Contest odds, followed by defending champion Devin Booker (+450), Buddy Hield (+450), Seth Curry (+550), Kemba Walker (+900), Joe Harris (+900) and Damian Lillard (+900).
The fact that 10 players have won in the last 10 years highlights the randomness of the event. Beyond Stephen Curry, Booker offers excellent value in an event that is overdue for someone to win back-to-back, and Walker will be competing on his home floor, although no host-team player has won in the event’s 32-year history.
De’Aaron Fox (+250) has top odds in the Skills Challenge at betting sites, followed by Luka Doncic (+325), Trae Young (+375), Mike Conley (+550), Nikola Jokic (+600), Jayson Tatum (+600) and Kyle Kuzma (+700). International players comprise four of the last nine winners and Doncic might offer more upside than the favored Fox. The last three winners of this timed event have all been six-six or taller, so a skilled big such as the six-nine Kuzma poses a darkhorse threat.
As for the game on Sunday, Team LeBron is a 6-point betting favorite against Team Giannis. The higher value resides in the game MVP props, where superlative scorer Kevin Durant (+600) is co-favorite to win MVP with Giannis Antetokounmpo. Team LeBron is loaded with three-point threats such as Durant, James himself (+650), James Harden (+1000), Klay Thompson (+4000), Damian Lillard (+4000) and Bradley Beal (+4000). Harden’s historic streak of 30-point games makes him an intriguing pick.
On the Team Giannis side, the Greek Freak himself would seem to pose the best chance; the game MVP always comes from the winning side and he would stand to play a major role in the betting-line underdog winning on these NBA odds.
For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.