The NBA All-Star weekend is upon us — this time in Salt Lake City of all places. It's loaded with NBA stars, and also betting opportunities. If you want free bets for the All-Star game itself and events (Slam Dunk and 3-Point contest), then keep reading cause we have expert picks right here!
Best Bets For 2023 All-Star Game Weekend
When it comes to our 2023 All-Star bets, we're sticking to the "big guns." Let's face it, very few people or bettors care about the Rising Stars tournament. No, no, most of the betting money is going on the "big three" All-Star events — the dunk contest, the three-point shooting event, and the actual game itself pitting Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis. Here's how you should be betting each:
Slam Dunk Contest Betting
"The slam dunk contest is dead" — that's a narrative that's been repeated for the better part of 10 years. Regardless, it remains the signature event of the weekend. Per usual, it's a four-player contest. Here are the Slam dunk odds for each player, per the top basketball betting sites:
|Kenyon Martin Jr.||+250||+250||+250|
|Trey Murphy III||+290||+290||+290|
The days of proven stars like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or Vince Carter competing in the dunk contest are long behind us, which adds to the dead narrative we mentioned. Most casual fans would struggle to recognize the four contestants, sans Martin Jr. — and that's mostly because his dad was a former hooper. However, here's a name bettors should get familiar with: McClung. He's not even in the NBA, but he's our pick to win the dunk contest.
McClung's basketball career likely peaks with the dunk contest — something you can't say about the other players with as much certainty. The 24-year-old McClung has logged all of 25 minutes in his NBA career (scoring eight points). He's spent most of his career actually in the G-League. At the moment, he's playing for the Deleware Blue Coats, which is the affiliate team of the 76ers.
McClung is the first G-Leager to appear in the dunk contest, which can mean one of two things. One, maybe the dunk contest is dead when they can't even fill it with NBA players. Or two, McClung can jump out of the gym, which makes him worthy of being the sole exception to the rule. There's some truth to both, but we're of the belief the latter is more accurate. McClung really is one of the best dunkers in the pros right now (no, we're not counting street ballers).
But the real reason we're picking McClung to win is, simply, because this contest likely means more to him. He can't fall back on million-dollar contracts like the other three players. No, he's breaking his back in the G-League just to get in position for that contract. Showcasing himself here and the rest of this weekend (he's also playing in the Rising Stars tourney) could vault him back to the NBA.
As the league has trended toward three-point shooting, this contest has grown in prestige. And unlike the dunk contest, star players aren't afraid to partake in it. Just look at the favored players this year, which is a who's-who of stars:
You could make the case for several players in this contest, but we're sticking with the favorite — Hield. It flies under the radar because he has spent his career in bad franchises like the Kings and Pacers, but Hield is truly one of the best three-point shooters in league history. Hield currently leads the league in the category and also won this event back in 2020. He's a safe bet to win it again.
In case you forgot, the NBA All-Star game is a draft now — no longer East vs. West. That's been the case since 2018, but there's a new wrinkle to it in 2023: the draft will take place the day of the game. So we're not privy to which players are on what team. The only available information is one team will be captained (and drafted) by LeBron James, while the other will be led by Giannis Antetokounmpo. But hey, that hasn't stopped bookies from releasing betting lines for which team wins:
If picking this game before teams are drafted like us, then you can really on wager on reputation alone. And does anyone have a worse reputation as a general manager than LeBron? Just look at the trainwreck that "The King" organized in Los Angeles. A cancerous Russ Westbrook was finally shipped off, but he caused irreparable damage after James vouched for his acquisition. James is blowing up the Lakers, just like he did the Cavs on his way out. We're fading him as a GM every day and twice on Sunday.
How To Bet On 2023 All-Star Game Weekend?
For a complete list of 2023 All-Star game bets, hit one of the sportsbooks listed below. You'll find a slew of other ASG-related bets, including a bevy of props that make the game extra fun. The bookies you see featured here rated high in our latest sportsbook reviews so you're money is in good hands no matter where you bet. There are also lucrative sportsbook bonuses to take advantage of. Through these bonuses, you could earn hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play!