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NBA All-Star Game Betting Preview

This weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities will culminate with Sunday night’s All-Star game as Team Durant takes on Team LeBron for the second straight year.

Last season, it was Team LeBron that came out victorious, 170-150. In the win, Giannis Antetokounmpo took home the All-Star game MVP award after scoring 35 points with seven rebounds and three assists.

Team LeBron is once again favored this season. His team is -210 to win, while Team Durant’s moneyline sits at +176. The spread features Team Durant +5.5 (-114), and the over/under for total points is 321.5.


Just as a refresher, the NBA All-Star game will again be utilizing the “Elam Ending.” In this scenario, there will be no game clock in the fourth quarter. Rather, a target score will be determined by adding 24 points to the score of whomever leads after the third quarter.

For instance, if Team LeBron is leading 100-90, the target score will be 124. Thus, whichever team reaches 124 first will win the game.

Starting Rosters

As expected, both of these teams are loaded, both in their starters and their bench. Let’s take a look at the starters for both sides.

Team Durant

  • Jayson Tatum (Boston) – 25.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists
  • Andrew Wiggins (Golden State) – 17.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists
  • Joel Embiid (Philadelphia) – 29.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists
  • Trae Young (Atlanta) – 27.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 9.3 assists
  • Ja Morant (Memphis) – 26.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.9 assists

Team Durant has an interesting construction to his roster. The focal point is obviously the current favorite to win the MVP (+145) in Joel Embiid. This season, Embiid has shown his dominance, but in a game that is traditionally uptempo, Embiid might be most important in the fourth quarter.

In terms of the uptempo nature of the game, Team Durant has the edge with guards Trae Young and Ja Morant. Their speed will create significant mismatches; however, they may also struggle to defend against Team LeBron’s size.

The one oddity is Andrew Wiggins. While he is having a nice season, he does stick out a bit in terms of being the oddity in an otherwise stellar lineup.

Team LeBron

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee) – 29.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 6 assists
  • LeBron James (L.A. Lakers) – 29.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.5 assists
  • Nikola Jokic (Denver) – 26 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists
  • DeMar DeRozan (Chicago) – 28.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists
  • Stephen Curry (Golden State) – 25.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists

While Team Durant has youth and speed, Team LeBron has experience and size. Joel Embiid is the favorite to win the MVP, but the next three favorites (Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Stephen Curry) are all on Team LeBron.

Furthermore, LeBron currently holds the record for most points in All-Star games at 389, while Antetokounmpo has the high scoring average at 28.8 points per All-Star game.

It speaks volumes about the depth of the starting rotation when Steph Curry has the lowest scoring average this season amongst these five starters.

Bench Highlights

For Team Durant, their interior presence is a strength. Even when Embiid comes out of the game, they can turn to Rudy Gobert (15.7 points, 14.8 rebounds) or Karl-Anthony Towns (24.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, four assists) in the middle.

There are also plenty of offensive options, including Devin Booker (25.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists), LaMelo Ball (20 points, 7.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists), Khris Middleton (19.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists), and Dejounte Murray (19.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.3 assists).

Team LeBron’s bench strength comes in the form of their veteran leadership and playmaking abilities. Luka Doncic is the biggest asset off the bench as he is averaging 27.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, and nine assists and is a starter in these games most seasons.

Aside from Doncic, players like Jimmy Butler (21.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, six assists), Donovan Mitchell (25.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists), and Chris Paul (14.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 10.7 assists) have all been here before.

Take Team LeBron To Win And Cover

While the “Elam Ending” has a tendency to discourage blowouts, last season proved that they still can happen.

In a format that is oftentimes fast-paced and high-scoring, Team Durant’s strategy of building around big men and youth may not pay off.

Take the experience in this one, which means taking the team built around future Hall-of-Famers in Lebron, Antetokounmpo, Curry, and Jokic.

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