2021 NBA All-Star Weekend: Best bets for dunk contest and skills challenge


NBA All-Star weekend is finally here! This year’s festivities are going to be a lot different than the year's past due to the pandemic, especially the dunk contest, but the show must go on.

And, if the events are going on with odds for them, you know we are going to try to win you some money.

The dunk contest is made up of three contestants. Here are the participants and their odds to win:

Obi Toppin +150
Anfernee Simons +175
Cassius Stanley +200

Vik’s Pick: Cassius Stanley +200

All three dunkers are nice, but do me a favor and Google Cassius Stanley dunks. The search results will produce many “oooohhhh” moments, especially since Stanley has been putting on a show since High School.

Fun fact, Stanley had a better vertical leap than Zion Williamson at Duke. He also measured a 44-inch vertical at the NBA Draft Combine.

The guy can literally fly and jump out of the gym, so I’m not overthinking it. I’m rolling with Stanley in this spot, especially at +200.

Reed's Pick: Cassius Stanley +200

There's one way to go in the Dunk Contest, and I'm glad Vik and I are on the same side. Stanley is the clear bet at +200 and I'm not sure why he's not the favorite.

Stanley has an insane vertical, as Vik noted, but also the situation calls for Stanley to go off.

He’s logged just 23 minutes in the league this season and is going to look to make a name for himself here.

Obi Toppin can dunk, but more of the windmill variety, and Anfernee Simons has 15 career dunks in his three seasons in the league.

Stanley has potential to pull off a crazy dunk and is an easy bet. Look at what he did at Duke last year.

There is also the Skills Challenge before the All-Star Game on Sunday! Here are the six contestants and their odds to win:

Chris Paul +235
Luka Doncic +250
Nikola Vucevic +475
Julius Randle +600
Domantas Sabonis +750
Robert Covington +750

Vik's Pick: Julius Randle +600

The competition tests participant's ability to pass, shoot and dribble. That immediately makes you think point guards should dominate, but big men and wings have held their own recently.

Karl-Anthony Towns won in 2016, Kristaps Porzingis in 2017, Jayson Tatum in 2019, and Bam Adebayo took it down last year.

I like the value in the two bigs and can see Randle or Domantas Sabonis winning. I'll go with Randle in this spot, because he comes into All-Star Weekend hot from three-point land. Randle is shooting 44.6 percent from three over his last ten games. He's also averaging a career-high 40.8 percent from deep this season.

Randle can also handle the ball, so I like his chances at 6-1.

Reed's Pick: Domantas Sabonis +750

Sabonis was the runner-up last year, so I’ll take that motivation into betting him this year.

It’s an interesting wrinkle that the NBA has put big men in the skills challenge the last few years, and I think they are consistently undervalued in the market.

Sabonis is the best passer of the bunch and has seen an uptick in his three-point shot, shooting 33 percent from beyond the arc on over two attempts per game.

He's my favorite bunch of the bigs, and this is a huge payout for a game that is determined by just a few seconds.

Odds courtesy of BetMGM