1) The next episode of our 'DFS Dives' series will be Tuesday March 9th!
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2) The NBA is back in action March 10th with a 2 game slate. That means our daily newsletter, optimizers and datasheets will be back as well! We can't wait to get back to building winning lineups!
March 7th All Star Weekend Contents:
Planning on playing NBA DFS or betting on the other events this All-Star Break? Let me start off by saying that I think the all star game and its corresponding events are extremely unpredictable, far more unpredictable than even regular season games, which already can be challenging to model. With that said, there is information to be had and analysis to be done, so enjoy and good luck!
All Star Game
The All Star Game is a glorified pickup game where VERY LITTLE defense is played, and it’s quite tough to determine which players will be the ones that put in any effort. But, that doesn’t mean I won’t try to give you some value tonight. Although the stats found in the attached spreadsheet do give some indication in terms of what a player is expected to do, I do think the ASG is far more narrative based. The players who are the most likely to play well are the players that have an extra incentive to play HARD.
Zion Williamson (6,900 DK and 10,000)
The All Star Game often turns into an in game dunk contest with players paving the way for their opponents to show off their leaping skills. That’s why I think Zion could get some extra opportunities to score tonight. People will be trying to throw lobs to him. Fans want to see him dunk. For that matter, other players want to see him dunk. Zion dunking makes everyone happy, so I think we’ll see a lot of it tonight. As the 6th cheapest player on the slate, I think Zion has a really solid chance to be one of the best plays of the night.
Zach Lavine (9,600 DK and 9,500 FD)
Just like Zion, Lavine will probably get a bunch of dunks just because he’s a high flying athlete who people want to see leap. Zach also has the potential to get hot from deep. Also, he’s in his first NBA All Star Game so he’s probably super excited to play. All three of these things bode really well for Zach Lavine to potentially be a very high scoring player tonight.
Damian Lillard (11,700 DK and 11,000 FD)
I would have told you that Devin Booker was going to have a big game, since he was technically a “snub” and was only playing in the game because AD got injured. Now that Devin Booker is also injured (with Conley taking his place), I think Lillard feels like the most disrespected player in this game. He was very close to having that starting spot over Luka, and from Lillard’s perspective, this is just another example of the lack of attention he gets around the league. I think he could come out firing some logo threes early tonight, and if he hits them, it could be over from there…
3 Point Contest
It’s important to note that the 3 point contest almost never goes how you think it will; Curry has been in the contest 6 times and has only taken home the trophy once. Even though he’s the best shooter on this list, history would say it’s unlikely Curry wins.
Steph Curry +110
Donovan Mitchell +450
Zach LaVine +500
Mike Conley +500
Jayson Tatum +700
Jaylen Brown +700
My pick: Mike Conley
Conley’s three point shooting style seems to fit the most with the three point contest. A lot of his threes come from standstill, catch and shoot shots off of the playmaking of Donovan Mitchell and the ball movement of the Jazz in general. Most of the other guys on this list are the primary playmakers for their teams (with the exception of one of the Boston guys perhaps, but I would still consider them both primary playmakers), so the type of shot they get in a three point contest is one they rarely see.
Wide Open dunk contest this year. The odds are very similar and have changed about 5 times since I’ve looked yesterday. It’s completely up in the air in my opinion, and clearly in the opinions of the oddsmakers as well.
Cassius Stanley +120
Anfernee Simons +200
Obi Toppin +225
My pick: Obi Toppin
I’ve seen some dunks he’s thrown down on Youtube and they’re quite impressive. One of them is an off the wall, through-the-legs dunk which, if he were to replicate tonight, would almost certainly score a 50. Honestly, it could be the play to just pick whichever guy has the longest odds at the moment you place the bet, because I really believe this dunk contest is completely wide open.
The Skills Challenge is an embarrassment of an event and doesn’t even really deserve a write up, but I’ll give some brief thoughts about it anyway.
These guys make the all star game participants look like some of the hardest working guys out there. The effort level in the skills challenge is quite frankly pathetic, so the fact that there’s even odds for this event is exploitable. Luka is no more likely to win this than the NBA’s worst player (in my opinion, Vincent Porier). Okay, fine. Maybe Luka is slightly more likely to win it than Porier.
Luka Doncic +175
Chris Paul +175
Julius Randle +550
Domantas Sabonis +550
Nikola Vucevic +550
Robert Covington +700
My Pick: Robert Covington
Since this event is completely up in the air, I would go with the player who has the longest odds to win. Maybe he’ll try slightly harder than the other contestants, who knows?