- BetOnline has Team LeBron as a 5-point favorite over Team Giannis
- James has won three career NBA All-Star Game MVPs and has defeated Antetokounmpo’s teams in each of the past two years
- The over/under is set at 301.5 even though five of the past six games would have gone OVER on that total
The 69th NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, February 16 at the United Center in Chicago.
While most sports fans have ignored basketball to this point of the season (with ratings down 15 percent nationally), this year’s event should attract eyeballs with a new fourth-quarter format that will honor the late Kobe Bryant, who earned 18 All-Star selections and a record-tying four ASG MVP awards.
Let’s look at the odds at BetOnline and go over everything you need to know to make an informed wager.
2020 NBA ALL-STAR GAME ODDS
|All-Star LeBron||-5.0||-111||Ov 301.5 (-105)|
|All-Star Giannis||+5.0||-109||Un 301.5 (-115)|
Odds as of Friday, Feb. 14.
TEAM LEBRON VS. TEAM GIANNIS
Team LeBron opened as 5-point favorites against Team Giannis, which seems appropriate considering James is 2-0 as a captain against Antetokounmpo since the NBA changed the All-Star Game format in 2018.
The Lakers and Bucks stars once again drafted their teams pick-up style with LeBron selecting Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic and James Harden as his starters.
Giannis is hoping fatherhood improves his shot ? pic.twitter.com/1lApKCNoem
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 11, 2020
His bench includes Ben Simmons, Nikola Jokic, Jayson Tatum, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Domantas Sabonis and Devin Booker, who was named as a replacement for Damian Lillard after the Blazers guard sprained his groin.
Giannis countered with Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker, Trae Young, Khris Middleton, Bam Adebayo, Rudy Gobert, Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Brandon Ingram and Donovan Mitchell.
Coached by Raptors bench boss Nick Nurse, Antetokounmpo’s squad has a combined 30 career All-Star appearances, which is less than half of the 62 combined ASG selections for Team LeBron and coach Frank Vogel.
So, depending on your outlook, Team Giannis is either much younger or much worse.
NEW FORMAT HONORS KOBE
This year, the teams will compete to win each of the first three 12-minute quarters, all of which will start with a 0-0 score. At the beginning of the fourth frame, the game clock will be turned off and a Final Target Score will be set.
The Final Target Score will be determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points – the 24 representing Bryant’s jersey number for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career.
LeBron on honoring Kobe in the fourth quarter of the All-Star Game: "I think it's gonna be really cool." (via @NBA) pic.twitter.com/pzol5Zbjn3
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) February 7, 2020
The teams will then play an untimed fourth quarter and the first club to reach the Final Target Score will win the NBA All-Star Game. For instance, if the cumulative score of the first three quarters is 100-95, the Final Target Score would be set at 124 points and the team with 100 would need to score 24 in the fourth before the team with 95 points scores 29 points. Got it?
This is a cute idea to honor Kobe and raise money for charity, but for betting purposes, it’s mostly irrelevant.
ANALYZING THE OVER / UNDER
The ASG’s over/under is set at 301.5 total points. That figure was easily exceeded in last year’s 178-164 Team LeBron victory, but the two teams only combined for 293 points in Team LeBron’s 148-145 win over Team Steph in 2018.
However, considering the OVER on 301.5 would have hit in four straight games between 2014 and 2017, it’s safe to say that oddsmakers believe the new format will negatively impact point totals.
Giannis and LeBron went at it in last year’s #NBAAllStar game!
Who ya got in Chicago? #TeamLeBron or #TeamGiannis? ? pic.twitter.com/pKquEg4lB6
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 12, 2020
With scoring reset in each of the first three quarters, it’s possible a team starts coasting if they get out to a big early lead in one of the quarters, but as mentioned earlier, the new format is really just a gimmick. Winning the game will still require posting the highest cumulative point total.
In a weekend that will serve as one giant Kobe tribute, expect a motivated LeBron to lead his team to victory while covering the 5-point spread and blowing past the 301.5 point total.