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NBA ALL-STAR WEEKEND:  Yes, There is Money To Be Made

 

Des Boodram

 

Due to the size of the event, the NBA All-Star game has always had a larger than life appeal relative to all-star games in other professional sports.  Yes, the games are high scoring, but this is not a surprise as every single player selected is chosen because of their offensive prowess, and hence every minute played by every player yields an all-out offensive effort, which cannot be said for other sports.  It’s a true exhibition, and because there’s seldom anything to play for the fan gets the least buttoned up product available, which is pretty entertaining.  Whenever you roll out a Russell Westbrook or Anthony Davis to impose their will, it’s a good thing.

 

Here’s some things you should know, if you’re going to bet this game, which I think is not a bad idea.  For the first time this century the format will NOT be EAST vs WEST, instead both Lebron James and Steph Curry drafted their own teams playground/fantasy style.  It was a highly entertaining format which would’ve been better if it were on television, but that’s a conversation for another time.  What’s interesting is that because each Captain could choose whoever they wanted, you will have All-Star teammates you wouldn’t otherwise have, AND real life teammates will also be playing against each other with Kevin Durant being the odd-man out with Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all on the same team.

 

The current line is Team Lebron (-3.5) which I think given the initial draft is right on point and scares me just enough to stay away.  I do think however that because each captain has their own drafting skills invested in this game, that it is going to be more tightly played, and thus be a more competitive and ultimately more entertaining game.  What swings the pendulum for me is that FOUR of Lebron’s choices are injured which I believe is too much to overcome.  John Wall, Kevin Love, Demarcus Cousins, and Kristaps Porzingis are all out, and though their replacements are more than serviceable James’ master plan is comprised.  Studs are still replacing studs, so I expect the difference will be negligible, but enough to make Team Steph the play for me with more and better shooters as well as better defenders.

 

The over under is set at 346 which is about right, but I’m taking the under in this one, in what should be a hotly contested matchup with a cauldron of pride brewing.  In 2014 both teams scored more than they had ever scored before in the history of the All-Star Game combining for 318 points.  In 2015 they broke their record combined score record by three points with 321.  In 2016 is when the offensive goodness hit the fan when both teams poured in 369 points and last year they poured in 376 points.  Four years, and four straight scoring records, but two of those years were still under 325 points.  I think this games hovers right around the 330-340 mark, lower than the last two years, but higher than the previous two years before that.  I’m taking the under with a great deal of confidence, as I’m expecting a highly competitive affair.

 

Good Luck gamers.

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