A Profitable All-Star Game Strategy NBA Bettors Should Know

A Profitable All-Star Game Strategy NBA Bettors Should Know article feature image

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game takes place on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Captains Stephen Curry and LeBron James have drafted their teams for the ultimate pick-up game with oddsmakers listing Team LeBron as 3-point favorites.

Thinking about wagering on the All-Star Game? Of course, that’s why you clicked the link! Since I’m like most of you, not a degenerate but rather a sharp bettor who looks for value regardless of the situation, I went back through previous All-Star Games in order to identify the smartest way to approach this event. Here is a profitable All-Star Game strategy NBA bettors should know.

The problem with analyzing the All-Star Game is that there are just a handful of games in the Bet Labs database. Any trends we unearth would be discounted because of the sample size.

Because of this, I looked at all basketball exhibition games, which includes the All-Star Game, USA vs. World All-Stars, Sophomore vs. Rookies and Summer League games. What do these contests have in common? They are showcases for the players and league that rarely feature defense. With all things being equal, in a game where motivation is questionable, the team getting points should be undervalued. This has proven true in other sports’ exhibition games like the Pro Bowl and it works in the NBA All-Star Game as well.

Underdogs in NBA exhibition games have gone 148-94-7 (61.2%) ATS since 2005. Not only does the data point to taking Team Steph +3, but injuries have crippled Team LeBron. DeMarcus Cousins, Kristaps Porzingis, John Wall and Kevin Love have endured season-ending or significant injuries. The Spurs LaMarcus Aldridge has been ruled out of San Antonio’s final two games before the break and is questionable to play on Sunday. Plus, in a game that is expected to be a shootout, Curry has four of the league’s top six scorers on his team.

More Trends

Moneyline underdogs in exhibition games are 110-133 (45.3%) straight-up. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $3,755 by fading the chalk.

With defense an afterthought, offense is king. The over in NBA exhibition games has gone 141-102-6 (58.0%) since 2005, which includes an 8-4 mark in All-Star Games. The total for Sunday opened 346, the highest opening total in our database. Last year’s game opened 344.5 and closed at 352 – the highest closing total in our system. Can this year’s over/under set a new record?

Photo via David Richard-USA TODAY Sports