Sun, Feb 18, 9:37am by Staff Writer
Arguably the biggest All-Star weekend in sport is here and this season we are in Los Angeles for the 2017/18 season’s NBA All-Star game.
With the contest attracting plenty of criticism in recent years for the lack of intensity, Western Conference dominance, and the feeling of the game being more of a training session than competitive basketball, the NBA has decided to make a few adjustments to appeal more to the fans.
Rather than it being a game between the Eastern and Western conferences as per tradition, the teams will be named after the two team captains who are from the respective conferences: LeBron James from the East and Stephen Curry from the West. The captains were decided as the players who received the highest votes from the public as starting players in each conference.
From the appointment of the captains, all the starters who were selected from fan voting and the reserves are then combined in a player pool and the captain of each side can pick whichever player they like irrespective of conference.
So rather than it being team East vs team West, the 67th edition of the NBA All-Star game will be Team LeBron v Team Stephen given there will be a mix of players from each conference in both sides.
For Team LeBron, players from the West include LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors). Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors) and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) are some of the East players to feature for Team Stephen.
Team LeBron enters Sunday’s game a $1.70 favourite with Team Stephen available at $2.21.
The All-Star game has a heap of novelty markets with Sportsbet releasing a series of BYO Markets for the contest where you can get betting options of up to $501.
Some of the bets available are Steph Curry to make a dunk @ $3.00, either team to score 200+ points @$31 and for those looking for a long shot value you can get a James Harden triple double, Kyrie Irving to score 30+ points, over 359.5 total team points and Team Stephen to win by 11+ points at $201.
With the All-Star game trending towards higher and higher team scores each season, it is unlikely this is to change this year. That being said, with the new changes to team structure, we might be in for a game that features more defense than usual.
That being said, if we get a game like similar seasons, the option of any eight players to score 20+ points @ $9.00 is well worth a look. For reference, last season’s game attracted eight 20+ point scorers and one 19 point scorer.
Suggested Bet: Any 8 players to score 20+ points @ $9.00 (BYOAllStar $6 – $20)
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