NBA Odds, Picks & Predictions: Best Bets for the All-Star 3-Point Contest (Sunday, March 7)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry.
- The premier event of All-Star Weekend features the best shooter of all-time and a couple players having fantastic years beyond the arc.
- Our NBA experts at The Action Network break down the competition and who they're backing to take home the title.
The NBA is a 3-point shooting league, which has made the 3-Point Contest the must-see event of All-Star festivities in recent years.
This year in Atlanta, there is a great field made up of past winners, one of whom is likely the best shooter of all time, as well as some players who have made incredible strides this season that resulted in their first All-Star Game nods.
Our experts here at The Action Network have broken down their best bets for the 3-Point Contest, using data from this season and what are the most important attributes in a shot to succeed in this contest.
Let’s dig in:
NBA 3-Point Contest Odds & Picks
Brandon Anderson – Stephen Curry (+150, BetMGM)
I don’t care if Stephen Curry is the favorite. Honestly, I don’t care if you make me take Steph vs. the field. If we’re having a shooting competition and the greatest shooter in human history is competing, I’m taking him.
Curry has won this thing before but only once, way back in 2015. It kinda feels like he needs at least one more as the greatest 3-point shooter in league history, and I think he will come out focused and motivated, eager to win this.
I don’t like any of the new participants. Mitchell is too streaky of a shooter, and both Celtics have slower releases and don’t seem like volume 3-point guys. I do like Zach LaVine and he would be my second choice here, but I just can’t get away from Steph.
Curry is hitting 41% of his 3-pointers this season. Other than last year’s few-game season, that makes this the worst shooting season of Curry’s career, which is absolutely absurd. It’s also telling that his worst shooting year ever is still better than any year any of these other five have ever had until LaVine so far this season, and we’ll see if he keeps that up.
I’m honestly not kidding. I’d take Curry straight up against the field. I don’t care if it’s boring. He’s going to try and if he tries, he has a great shot of winning.
Joe Dellera – Zach LaVine (+440, FanDuel)
LaVine is having a monster season and is actually shooting the 3-ball at a higher clip than any other participant of the 3-point contest.
Yes, this includes Curry.
LaVine is shooting a scorching 43.5% from 3-point range this season. The 3-point contest is not exactly like all in-game situations, but I think it most closely resembles catch-and-shoot 3-point opportunities and LaVine continues to lead this field at 48.3% on such opportunities, per NBA Advanced Stats.
It’s brutal trying to get away from Curry in any 3-point competition but at +440, odds that’s too good to pass up with LaVine.
Kenny Ducey – Zach LaVine (+440, FanDuel)
I think there’s value here in looking at recent form. Only seven players have hit more threes over the past 10 games than LaVine, who’s buried 35-of-76 for a rate of 46.1%. The favorite — Curry — checks in at 35.6% over that span, while Mitchell has hit 32.6%, Jaylen Brown’s just under 34% and Jayson Tatum is below 30%.
So, LaVine is unquestionably the hottest shooter of the bunch. There’s also the fact that he’s used to competing in — and winning — events at All-Star weekend, winning the Slam Dunk Contest in 2015 and 2016. He’ll obviously be putting the ball in the hoop from a much further distance this year, but the fact remains that he’s used to this type of environment, which has to be seen as a plus.
Curry is a deserving favorite but given his current form and the fact that he just sat in the Warriors’ final game before the break, I don’t see any value in taking him +150. LaVine is shooting it exceptionally well and we get a great price on him.
Raheem Palmer – Zach LaVine (+440, FanDuel)
With the decline of the dunk contest in recent years, the 3-Point Contest has become the main event during All Star Weekend.
I’ll be honest, though, I’m not that impressed with the field this season.
The NBA has become a 3-point shooting league, with everyone launching the majority of their shots from behind the arc.
What this contest is lacking, though, is specialists. You know, the role players who are in the league specifically to shoot catch-and-shoot and hand-off 3-balls. Buddy Hield, Joe Harris, Marco Belinelli, James Jones, Peja Stojakovic and Tim Legler — those are the guys who I tend to find value in when it comes to the 3-Point Contest.
True story: In my initial email to write for The Action Network I sent a picture of many of the bets I’ve placed throughout my life, which included an 8/1 ticket of a bet I won on Joe Harris to win the 2018-19 3-Point Contest.
What this contest contains is a ton of guys who are shooting threes off the dribble, which isn’t ideal for me. Steph Curry is clearly the best shooter in the field, however, he’s mispriced in a field this big. Devin Booker has already won the contest and was the second-best shooter in the field, as well as my initial pick to win the contest before it was announced that he’d sit out both the All-Star Game and 3-Point Contest due to injury.
Tatum and Mitchell fit the archetype of scorers more than pure 3-point shooters. I also want to stay away from guys who have longer releases or use their legs a ton, which may make it difficult for them to actually finish strongly.
Zach LaVine is scorching hot from 3-point range this season. He’s shooting 43.5% from behind the arc and in the midst of a breakout year with his first All-Star selection. It’s hard to bet against how well LaVine has performed and at this price, I’m not going to do it.
Austin Wang – Donovan Mitchell (+550, FanDuel)
It has been a strange season for Mitchell. Shaquille O’Neal criticized him in an on-air interview for not being able to take his game to an elite level. Just earlier this week, he was ejected in an intense matchup against the 76ers and ripped the officiating afterward for not getting respect and fair calls.
Finally, Mitchell gets picked second-to-last in the All-Star Draft while LeBron James takes a snarky jab at the Utah Jazz.
Yet, the Jazz still have a league-best 27-9 record, and Mitchell’s leadership and dominance have been huge reasons why. If anything, last week’s events put an even bigger chip on his shoulder to prove his critics wrong.
Mitchell has had plenty of practice in the Jazz’s 3-point-happy offense. He ranks second out of the participants in total 3-point attempts (296, of which only Curry has taken more) and is ranked seventh in the league. Also, he shoots 43.6% on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, which is the highest of all participants and, in my opinion, is the closest in-game indicator on how to predict performance in this contest.
At +550 and a 13.3% implied probability of winning, I think Mitchell is the best value bet of the group. He is a streaky shooter and I can see him going off on one of his hot streaks in Atlanta to once again prove that he should not be slept on.