2020 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest odds to win and betting picks: Third time’s a charm for Gordon

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The NBA slam dunk contest is one of the highlights of All-Star weekend and comes with plenty of betting intrigue. This year, the four competitors include a former winner and two players that finished runner-up in recent contests. We break down the odds to win the NBA slam dunk contest for each of the contestants and give you our betting pick for the final All-Star event on Saturday night.  


This is a two-round event with each player getting two turns to perform a dunk during the first round. Their dunks will be graded by five judges and the two players with the highest combined scores move on to the final round. In the finals the two remaining dunkers get two more turns with the highest combined score taking home the title.

Keep in mind that since this is a judged event, legal sportsbooks in the U.S. will not be taking wagers and overseas odds can vary greatly.


Aaron Gordon Orlando Magic +150
Derrick Jones Jr. Miami Heat +160
Pat Connaughton Milwaukee Bucks +450
Dwight Howard Los Angeles Lakers +600


This is Gordon’s third time in the contest and he seems hungry to win after a fantastic runner-up performance in 2016 where he got three straight perfect scores of 50. Gordon’s dunks in that contest were some of the best that have ever been seen, including my personal favorite where he jumped over Orlando’s bizarre mascot, grabbed the ball, passed it underneath his legs and slammed it down with authority.

Unfortunately for Gordon, Zach Lavine also had a jaw-dropping display in 2016 and won probably the best slam dunk duel in recent memory. Gordon has terrific jumping ability, length, coordination and creativity and is the betting fave for good reason.


Gordon was the runner-up in 2016 and Jones Jr. was the runner-up the following year, albeit in a far less entertaining contest. Jones is an incredible leaper who casually throws down 360-degree, between-the-legs dunks during warmups. The Heat small forward has terrific power and elevation and will put on a show.


After rookie sensation Ja Morant declined his invitation to this event, many fans on Twitter were pretty disappointed when the Bucks guard was named as the final competitor. Despite the obvious Woody Harrelson-inspired stereotype, Connaughton is actually a very impressive dunker who had the second-highest max vertical in NBA draft combine history at 44 inches. And as you can see from the above video, the Notre Dame product has been throwing down insane dunks since he was a teenager.

That said, this is Connaughton’s first time competing in this event and while his hang time is impressive he doesn’t have the explosiveness of Gordon or Jones. Judges and fans tend to go wild for the sorts of vicious throwdowns that the two favorites are capable of.


If Howard managed to claim this contest after winning in 2008, it would be a heartwarming comeback story for the big fella that once laid claim to the Superman title. The 34-year-old has made a comeback of sorts, becoming an integral role player for a Lakers team that has a strong shot at the NBA title.

But let’s be realistic, Dwight isn’t anywhere close to the athletic speciman he was a decade ago. Time takes its toll on every athlete and it has been especially brutal on Howard, who has been hit with numerous back injuries since 2012. Howard fans will be better off rooting for him to win his first NBA championship than another slam dunk title.


While it’s not always that profitable to back a favorite, all indications are that this will be a two-horse race and both Gordon and Jones Jr. offer plenty of value. Although Gordon competed as the betting favorite in 2017 and didn’t make it into the final round, he was coming off a foot injury at the time and didn’t seem to have his usual bounce.

Gordon also attempted extremely creative dunks in the first round of that event and couldn’t quite pull them off with his usual panache. When it comes to the creativity department, Gordon seems to be ahead of the field and now that he’s healthy, the sky is the limit. Put your money on the favorite and back Gordon on Saturday night. 

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1


Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.


Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.


The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)


Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)


Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook