NBA Rising Stars Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for World vs. USA
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: A close up view of Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies
The NBA Rising Stars game is billed as a showcase for the future of the league and this year’s field may be the best in recent memory.
Rookies Ja Morant and Zion Williamson have had sensational performances in their respective seasons. Trae Young is an All-Star Game starter and the third-leading scorer in the NBA. Devonte’ Graham is a strong candidate for Most Improved Player and Luka Doncic is a top five player in the game when he’s healthy.
So how will all this manifest itself on the court? Our NBA experts give detail their favorite bets for the game below.
Odds as of Thursday and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Wob: Team USA Moneyline
Let’s just use process of elimination. Luka Doncic is banged up and if he’s going to actually play and/or try in anything it’s going to be Sunday night’s game, not Rising Stars.
Rui Hachimura just returned from having … surgery. RJ Barrett is recently back in the lineup after an ankle sprain. That’s not good news for anyone backing the world, you are relying on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to not only care, but carry the team.
Maybe Nickeil Alexander-Walker goes Summer League bonkers on this game to remind everybody he’s legit and should not be buried in Alvin Gentry’s doghouse. But that’s way too many ifs to ever consider taking them.
This US roster is honestly the best i’ve ever seen at this event since they started doing USA vs. World. Not only do you have the Ja Morant/Jaren Jackson wrecking ball, but they are flanked by a stone-cold killer in Devonte Graham who has already expressed to us exclusively how excited he is for this game.
The biggest problem team USA has is that they may honestly be TOO good and everyone will be trying to get theirs. Haven’t even mentioned yet that Trae Young and Miles Bridges are out here too.
On paper, this should be an absolute massacre. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s ‘when’ and ‘how’ they decide to do it.
Brandon Anderson: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to win MVP (+600)
If I have one rule in life, it’s to definitely always make sure to bet a lot of money on the Friday night Rising Stars game (only because there are limits to the amount you can place on the Celebrity game). This looks like a massive mismatch on paper, and Team USA is set up to dominate with Young, Morant, and Zion Williamson leading the way.
I agree with Wob that Team USA should roll, but you never know how the motivation will play out in a setting like this, or how much guys like Morant and Williamson will play amidst serious playoff pushes.
If USA does win, any of those three could be easy MVP picks. But if you look at the World roster, there aren’t many options there, especially now that Deandre Ayton is out.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leaps off the page.
He’s been a stud for Oklahoma City this season and is in position to play a huge role with a lot of minutes. I could see him pushing for a triple-double in such a high-scoring affair, which could make him an MVP candidate even in a loss. SGA for MVP is my best bet on the board.
Matt LaMarca: Ja Morant to win MVP (+500)
Give me Morant at +500 or better to win the MVP.
This is more of an exhibition than an actual basketball game, so I’m looking for guys who can generate highlights and fill it up from deep. Morant checks both of those boxes.
He is quite possibly the most fearless dunker in the entire NBA, and he’s already tried to put multiple dudes on posters this year. He’s going to throw down at least one hammer in this game. His shooting prowess is also well documented from his days at Murray State.
Young can’t attack the basket like Morant and Zion is a below-average 3-point shooter, so I think Morant is the most well-rounded option.
Matt Moore: Bet It Live
Who wants to live bet the Rising Stars Challenge?! Not everyone at once! Calm down, form a line, single-file!
Here’s a stat for you: In the 25 years of this event, the team winning at half time has won 20 times, including the last 10 times straight.
So take the moneyline on whoever’s up at half, and if the live spread is short, grab that.