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NBA All-Star Weekend Kicks Off Tonight With The Celebrity All-Star Game and NBA Rising Stars Game

Celebrity All-Star Game @ 7p.m. Rising Stars Game @ 9p.m. February 14, 2020

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NBA All-Star Weekend 2020 is finally here and it is shaping up to be a thrilling three days in Chicago. The action begins on Friday night with both the Celebrity Game and Rising Stars Challenge taking place, two fan-favorite events that kick off an exciting stretch of NBA All-Star festivities that also includes the Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest and Dunk Contest on Saturday, as well as the main event All-Star Game on Sunday. As always, bettors can get a piece of all the action and there is plenty of it in Chicago this weekend. Whether you are looking to bet on the point spread or totals for these exhibition matchups or want to wager on some exciting player props for the winners of the contests, there are a myriad of available options up on the board at most sportsbooks.

NBA All-Star Weekend 2020 Schedule

Friday, Feb. 14

  • NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN/WatchESPN
  • NBA Rising Stars, 9 p.m. ET, TNT/WatchTNT

Saturday, Feb. 15

  • State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, 8 p.m. ET, TNT/WatchTNT
  • Skills Challenge (First Event)
  • Three-Point Contest (Second Event)
  • Slam Dunk Contest (Third Event)

Sunday, Feb. 16

  • NBA All-Star Game (69th Edition), 8 p.m. ET, TNT/WatchTNT

You can find a full list of these odds, plus a complete viewing guide for the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend, in this article. Those looking for the schedule, tip-off start times, TV channels and live stream sites can find that information below, as well as expert predictions from Vegas pro Jon Price of SportsInformationTraders.com. Price has provided his top Celebrity Game and Rising Star Challenge plays today and will be back tomorrow to provide readers with more winning picks for Saturday’s events. With that in mind, here’s a look at everything you need to know to watch and bet on the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend.

Celebrity Game

The Celebrity Game is always one of the more unique events during All-Star Weekend, due to its unpredictable on-court product and big personalities involved . The game will be televised and live streamed by ESPN, who will be sending two of its personalities—Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon—to coach the teams. They’ll be joined by Guy Fieri and Jesse Williams, respectively, as assistants that will help oversee each side’s 11-man roster. The teams are made up of an eclectic mix of comedians, former professional basketball talents and other entertainers and public figures.

Oddsmakers are giving a slight, three-point edge to Wilbon’s squad, which boasts some notable stars such as rapper Common, the Celebrity Game veteran who is serving as the team captain and MVP favorite, and former NBA star Quentin Richardson. The team has another MVP candidate in Famous Los, who finds himself just behind Common (+250) at 3-1 odds to capture the award. Famous Los took home the hardware during his Celebrity Game debut last year, chipping in 22 points, three assists and two rebounds to help his squad edge out a close, 82-80 victory. He narrowly edged out Quavo for the honors, the Migos singer who will be back for his third Celebrity Game appearance in 2020. Quavo, the MVP of this contest in 2018, had one of the better Celebrity Game showings ever in a losing endeavor after he piled up 27 points and nine boards last year. If Stephen A.’s team is going to pull an upset, expect the rapper—who is a 2-1 favorite to win MVP—to be a major part of the effort.

This game is extremely tough to handicap, but Wilbon’s team has more talent from top to bottom and should be able to notch the “W” on Friday night. Stephen A.’s side just won’t have the firepower, especially if captain Chance the Rapper remains ice cold from the field. The recording artist has missed each of his last 11 shots during the Celebrity Game and has shown a propensity to shoot his team out of the game in previous appearances. Lay the three and go Team Wilbon to win the first event of NBA All-Star Weekend 2020, and take the squad’s most experienced scorer—Common, who will be participating in his eighth Celebrity Game tonight, trailing only Nick Cannon for most appearances—to win MVP.

2020 Celebrity Game Picks: Team Wilbon (-3), Common MVP (+250)

The Rising Stars Challenge is always one of the more intriguing events NBA All-Star Weekend, as it showcases the future of the league in an exciting format. As has been tradition since the game began in 1999, the rosters will be comprised entirely of first- and second-year players that have been making an impact early in their careers. The 2020 edition of the Rising Stars Challenge will continue the USA vs. the World theme that has been in place for five years running, and although there are plenty of talented international up-and-comers in the league right now, the Americans are favored to win by a solid margin. Sportsbooks have installed Team U.S. as five-point chalk for the matchup, a line that has shifted down a bit after going up on the board with the American side favored by 7.5 points.

Two American rookies are at the top of the list of favorites to win the Rising Stars coveted MVP award tonight: Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans (+250) and Ja Morant (+300) of the Memphis Grizzlies. These first-year standouts seem well on their way to superstardom after going No. 1 and 2 in the draft, respectively, and can claim their first piece of NBA hardware with a dazzling performance tonight. Williamson has only participated in a handful of games during his professional career thus far, but is averaging an impressive 22.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists across the 10 contests he has played since returning from injury. Zion was able to get into the game as an injury replacement for Chicago Bulls forward Wendell Carter Jr. and it would be a shock if he doesn’t show he belongs with a monster performance against his contemporaries.

Morant has been steadily producing since the 2019-20 NBA season began, leading a surprisingly competitive Grizzlies squad to a 28-26 record at the All-Star break by putting up 17.6 points, 7.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. The point guard is the odds-on favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award and could put his stamp on All-Star Weekend with a great showing in the Rising Stars Challenge.

Daniel Dudley thinks Zion could catch Morant in the Rookie of the Year race after an unprecedented start to his first NBA season: 

Williamson and Morant will be challenged for the MVP award by a pair of standout sophomores, with Team World’s Luka Doncic of Dallas Mavericks and Team U.S.’ Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks just behind the two top draft picks of 2019 at +500 odds. Doncic was the international side’s leading set-up man in last year’s Rising Stars matchup, dishing nine dimes in 24 minutes of play while also contributing 13 points, five rebounds and a pair of steals. The Slovenian has improved his game significantly since then—averaging 28.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.7 assists in 2019-20 compared to 21.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 6.0 APG last year—and is likely to be the focal point for Team World’s offense in this contest when he is on the floor.

Young could also easily earn the MVP nod if he catches fire from beyond the arc, a common occurrence for the point guard this season. The Hawks star has quickly become one of the top shooters in a league rife with them, averaging 29.7 points per game—over 10 PPG better than his rookie year—so far in 2019-20 while hoisting up 9.4 three-point attempts per contest and canning 3.5 of them, a respectable 36.9% conversion rate despite being constantly contested. Young drained six of his 11 three-point attempts in last year’s Rising Stars Game and was in the MVP discussion after compiling a stat line of 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, but ultimately lost out to American teammate Kyle Kuzma, who led all scorers with 35 points in the matchup. With another season of experience under his belt and deadeye shooting skills, Young is a real threat to dominate tonight’s Rising Stars Challenge.

Young claimed he’s young enough to handle playing in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, the Three-Point Contest on Saturday and the All-Star Game on Sunday while he’s in Chicago (via AJC.com):

I’m 21. That’s the only thing that gets me going. I’m still enjoying it. I’m in the process of going through all this once, twice, and I think adrenaline still gets me going. I think that’s why I’m able to play so many minutes, I’m able to enjoy everything I have going on, because I’m still young. This is still pretty new to me.

The United States players will be trying to build on their massive victory in last year’s contest, where they dismantled their international counterparts in a 161-144 drubbing. The World team has a strong history in the Rising Stars Challenge, however, winning three of the first four contests since the format change before last year’s defeat. This one will likely come down to how much Doncic participates for the international side, as the Mavs superstar will also be making his first ever All-Star Game appearance as a starter for the Western Conference. Doncic is unquestionably capable of taking over the matchup and can will the World team to covering the five-point spread, if not outright winning, but he may not see enough minutes to accomplish this due to his other obligations in Chicago this weekend.

Eddie Sefko found that Doncic plans to participate in both the Rising Stars and All-Star Game this weekend:

For that reason, it’s hard to pick against the USA to not only notch another victory tonight, but also cover the spread. The domestic roster is absolutely loaded with stars, including a number of precision three-point shooters, elite defenders and creative distributors, giving them the edge over a World team that just does not have the talent to hang if Doncic isn’t playing big minutes. Lay the points here and consider Zion Williamson for your MVP pick, as he’s proven borderline unguardable during his first 10 games. That shouldn’t change in the Rising Stars Challenge against an international foe that doesn’t employ many elite, experienced defenders. Don’t be surprised to see Williamson impose his will on the game and lead all scorers on the way to a big USA win.

Rising Stars Picks: Team U.S. (-5), Zion Williamson MVP (+250)

 

 

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    NBA All-Star Weekend 2020 Odds

    Celebrity Game Odds

    • Team Stephen A.: +3
    • Team Wilbon: -3

    Celebrity Game MVP

    • Quavo: +200
    • Common: +250
    • Famous Los: +300
    • LaRoyce Hawkins: +400
    • Chance The Rapper: +500

    Rising Stars Odds

    • Team U.S.: -5
    • Team World: +5

    Rising Stars MVP

    • Zion Williamson: +250
    • Ja Morant: +300
    • Luka Doncic: +500
    • Trae Young: +500
    • RJ Barrett: +900
    • Kendrick Nunn: +900

    Skills Challenge Winner

    • Spencer Dinwiddie: +300
    • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: +400
    • Jayson Tatum: +500
    • Pascal Siakam: +500
    • Khris Middleton: +600
    • Patrick Beverley: +600
    • Domantas Sabonis: +800
    • Bam Adebayo: +1200

    3-Point Contest Winner

    • Duncan Robinson: +300
    • Davis Bertans: +450
    • Joe Harris: +450
    • Trae Young: +450
    • Devin Booker: +500
    • Buddy Hield: +750
    • Devonte' Graham: +1000
    • Zach LaVine: +1000

    Slam Dunk Contest Winner

    • Aaron Gordon: +140       
    • Derrick Jones Jr: +175    
    • Pat Connaughton: +400
    • Dwight Howard: +500

    2020 NBA All-Star Game Odds

    • Team LeBron: -5
    • Team Giannis: +5

    2020 NBA All-Star Game MVP

    • Anthony Davis: +400
    • LeBron James: +450
    • Giannis Antetokounmpo: +500
    • James Harden: +600
    • Luka Doncic: +900
    • Trae Young: +1000
    • Kawhi Leonard: +1400
    • Joel Embiid: +1800

    2020 NBA All-Star Weekend – Friday Picks

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