NBA Skills Challenge Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Will Jayson Tatum Go Back-to-Back?
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics
- Who does our staff like to win this year's skills competition? See what our experts think below.
- Should you favor last year's champ Jayson Tatum or a longshot like Patrick Beverley?
The annual NBA Skills Challenge typically doesn’t get as much hype as the rest of Saturday night’s events, but the amount of all-around talent involved in this competition far exceeds the others.
This year’s field features three former winners: Patrick Beverly in 2015, Spencer Dinwiddie in 2018 and Jayson Tatum in 2019. The latter of those three had the best game of his career in a double-overtime win on Thursday and plans to retire from the competition as a back-to-back winner.
Our NBA crew details who they’re betting to win on Saturday night.
Odds as of Friday morning 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: Khris Middleton +300
My favorite thing about the skills challenge is that only one skill matters in regards to winning: the three-pointer at the end.
Dribbling through the cone gauntlet, passing the ball through the net obstacle, hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have to stop and play Rajon Rondo in Connect Four this year. It doesn’t matter.
Take a look at the past winners: Kristaps Porzingis, Beverley, Tatum, Karl-Anthony Towns, Dinwiddie. Dribbling and passing ability means nothing. All speed does is get you the first attempt at taking the 3-pointer, thus, I’m rolling with the best outside shooter in the competition.
Matt Moore: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +450
SGA will go hard on this, it’s his one opportunity to really show out and grab some attention. The other selections on this list are good, but at +450 for a first-time participant, I think this matters.
Reigning champion Jayson Tatum is coming off an overtime game Thursday and will play Sunday in the All-Star Game. This isn’t why he’s in Chicago.
Patrick Beverley isn’t as good of a shooter off the dribble. The bigs have only won twice. So I’ll go with SGA who has a real chance to step onto the stage with a win here.
Matt LaMarca: Jayson Tatum +550
Why can’t Jayson Tatum go back-to-back? We all know he can stroke it from deep — he’s a career 39.2% 3-point shooter — and I love the strategy we saw from him last year.
This event has been in existence for nearly two decades, but Tatum was one of the first people to realize that you can basically take your 3-pointer from half court risk-free.
If you miss it, so what? You just get to pick up a new ball when you get to the arc. If you make it? You can turn a loss into a win, just like he did during the finals last year.
Spencer Dinwiddie also called him out after his win last year, so I think Tatum should be more motivated that most. I like his odds at +550.
Brandon Anderson: Patrick Beverly +650
The most important skill in the Skills Challenge most years is often the one in shortest supply on All Star Weekend: effort. It’s amazing how many players loaf through this contest every year.
Hey, you know who literally never loafs through anything in his life? Patrick Beverley.
Pat Bev has won this contest before, and the Skills Challenge always favors point guards. He has the longest odds among guards at +650. I’ll take my chances.