GAMBLING GUIDE

All Star Weekend 2018: under the NBA Stars

It is Team Steph vs. Team Lebron on Sunday. SBNation.com

NBA all-star weekend; a display of the league’s most exceptional talent presented through various contesst. The stars of the hardwood are put in front of the world to show off the best of their abilities, and it's a weekend to relax and make some recreational bets. A time to sit back with friends and.....

Wait a minute, who are we kidding? Every year when events like this come around, gamblers print tickets at a frantic pace in the hope of guessing who are going to be this year's champions. The odds on some of the contestants are very attractive, and the fact that this is an all stat competition leads us to believe it truly is anyone's game to win. Let's get into some of the numbers and see where we can get the best value.

3-point contest

Klay Thompson +220
Eric Gordon (+425)
Wayne Ellington (+600)
Devin Booker (+600)
Paul George (+625)
Bradley Beal (+770)
Kyle Lowry (+1000)
Tobias Harris (+1100)

The 2016 Champion Klay Thompson headlines this year's contest. He leads the field as the favorite and pays +220 ($100 pays $220). The defending champion and Houston favorite Eric Gordon is the second favorite (+425), followed by Ellington, Booker, George and Beal in the middle tier. Rounding out the group and paying the most are Lowry and Harris. A $100 wager on former Houston guard Kyle Lowry would pay you $1000!!!

Most points in a round:  Klay Thompson is tied for the record (Stephen Curry) scoring 27 out of 34 total points in his 2016 final round.

Throwback: In 1986, the NBA added the 3-point contest and former NBA all-star game MVP Larry Bird was the favorite.

The Boston legend walked into the locker room before the shootout and asked. "Which one of you guys is going to finish second?"  He would go on to raise the first 3-point trophy beating out Craig Hodges. That year Hodges scored 25 points in the first round, a record that wouldn't be broken until 2016.

Players with multiple wins:
Craig Hodges 1st-3 times 2nd- 2 times
Larry Bird  1st- 3 times
Peja Stojakovic 1st- 2 times 2nd- 2 times
Jeff Hornacek   1st- 2 times
Mark Price 1st- 2 times
Jason Kapono 1st- 2 times

Dunk contest

Dennis Smith Jr.   +165
Donovan Mitchell  +225       
Larry Nance, Jr.   +275
Victor Oladipo   +460

In a chance to defy physics, the high flyers of the league take the main stage to cap the night off. This year’s event features two rookies in Dennis Smith Jr. and Donovan Mitchell. The favorite, Smith, is a 6'2 point guard out of North Carolina State that jumps out of the arena everytime he leaves his feet. The other rookie Mitchell is filling in for the injured Aaron Gordon. Utah's newcomer is said to be leading the rookie of the year race so look for the 21-year-old to make noise on Saturday with his Thunderous dunks. The son of a former champion in this competition, Larry Nance Jr., attempts to enact what his father did in 1984. That year his father embraced the role of the underdog beating out basketball legends Julius Erving and Dominique Wilkins. This year's largest payout lies with underdog Victor Oladipo. A $100 wager on Indiana's All-star will pay you $460. There might be value in that number considering this isn't his first appearance in the contest. In 2015, Oladipo lost to Zach LaVine in the championship round.

Throwback: Nate Robinson is the only 3-time winner of this event, but not without controversy. In his first title, many fans feel he has gifted the trophy. He edged out Andre Iguodala by one point but needed 14 attempts to complete one of his dunks. That year featured the first-ever tiebreaker as both scored 94 points in the final round. Needless to say, the rule was changed in 2007 allowing contestants only 2 minutes to complete their dunks and solely two chances outside of that time frame.  His 14 attempts on a dunk with no penalty left 76'er fans with a foul taste for the contest.

2018 NBA All-Star game

Team LeBron -3.5 -120
Team Steph +3.5 -120

OVER 346 -120
UNDER 346 -120

The last two years games have seen totals of 374 and 369. Before that, no game had ever crossed this year’s 346 total. Even in 2003 when the game went into double overtime, the final score was 155-145.

There might be value in going with the under for the game as the new draft format might give players extra motivation on defense. I don't advise betting under on an All-Star game and watching; could take years off your life.

Any questions or comments reach me at @JerryboKnowz on twitter.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans out-Patriot the Patriots

Texans take down the Pats. Photo by Getty Images.

Every dog has its day. A broken clock is right two times a day. All the clichés about it being better to be lucky than good can apply here with the Texans 27-20 win over the Patriots. In a matchup that broke a record for the oldest combined age for opposing head coaches, 141 years old, Romeo Crennel beat his former boss Bill Belichick. There were other narratives at work here, as well as a few things (good and awful) that the coaching staff did.

First thing I saw that I liked was the spread and no-huddle on offense. If you've been following this series of articles, you know I've been on this train quite a while now. This allows Deshaun Watson to find the matchup he likes, exposes the defense because they can't sub, takes advantage of Texans' speed at receiver, and creates a tempo most defenses can't keep up with. Not to mention the spread is the offense Watson operated in at Clemson. 28/37 for 344 yards and two touchdowns of production from Watson was enough for me to say they need to have this as their M.O. moving forward.

Tim Kelly called a great game. He used the short, quick pass game in lieu of the run game. This also helped since Laremy Tunsil was out and Roderick Johnson had to play at left tackle. This offensive line is not very good at run blocking. Hence, why Watson was again the team's leading rusher with only 36 yards. Almost all of those were on scrambles. By going spread and no-huddle, Watson can take advantage of man and zone coverages to extend plays or scramble because most teams won't spy him. Even when they do, he makes them look silly.

Not everything was on the up and up. The defense continued to look like booty juice. Cam Newton threw for 365 yards and Damiere FREAKIN Byrd torched them for 132 of those yards! When I heard the quote from Crennel that defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver is getting the most out of his guys, I found it laughable. To double down on that, Weaver was quoted as saying, "This narrative that's being painted like my guys aren't disciplined and running around blocks, quite frankly and to put it bluntly, is bull---t!" Sorry guys, but you're both wrong. This defense can't fight its way out of a wet paper bag if you gave them knives. The worst part about it is that the offense's best chance at success sets the defense up for failure. Their hurry up scheme leaves little time for this porous defense to catch its wind. If they could get some turnovers or just off the damn field and get stops, it would help the offense.

With six games left, their three games outside the AFC South (Bengals, Lions, Bears) are all winnable. The two matchups against the Colts and the season finale against the Titans will prove to be their biggest tests. However, this is the same team that has four one possession losses. 3-7 could look a lot different if the offense stepped up against the Browns, or the defense made stops against the Steelers, Vikings, or Titans. Let's hope they can build off this win and salvage whatever they can of this season.

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