Last Updated Feb 15, 2023, 10:08 AM

2021 NBA All-Star Game Predictions, Odds

Mar. 7, 2021
by Michael Crosson
NBA Expert

The 2021 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday Mar. 7 from State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia..

Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. ET and TNT will providing national television coverage.

This year's matchup will pit Team LeBron against Team Durant.

Even though Kevin Durant won't play in this year's action due to a lingering injury, he was able to draft a squad this past Thursday.

Listed below are the starters and reserves the two squads competing in the 2021 All-Star Game.

2021 NBA All-Star Rosters

2021 NBA All-Star Game Rosters
Team Durant - Starters Team LeBron - Starters
Kyrie Irving (Nets) LeBron James (Lakers)
Joel Embiid (76ers) Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
Kawhi Leonard (Clippers) Stephen Curry (Warriors)
Bradley Beal (Wizards) Luka Doncic (Mavericks)
Jayson Tatum (Celtics) Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)
Team Durant - Reserves Team LeBron - Reservers
James Harden (Nets) Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
Zion Williamson (Pelicans) Ben Simmons (76ers)
Zach LaVine (Bulls) Chris Paul (Suns)
Julius Randle (Knicks) Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
Nikola Vucevic (Magic) Paul George (Clippers)
Donovan Mitchell (Jazz) Domantas Sabonis (Pacers)
Mike Conley Jr. (Jazz) Rudy Gobert (Jazz)
Team Durant - Coach Team LeBron - Coach
Coach - Doc Rivers (76ers) Coach - Quin Snyder (Jazz)

Handicapping the 2021 NBA All-Star Game

The cumulative score between Team Giannis and Team Lebron was 133-124 heading into the fourth quarter of last year’s All-Star game, which led to the “target score” for the final stanza of the contest to be set at 157 points.

Team LeBron trailed Team Giannis by nine heading into the period of exhibition basketball played annually that is now officially dedicated to Kobe Bryant, but King James was able to rally his team from behind and win the fourth quarter by 11 to secure a two-point victory.

Diving deep into the analytics of a game that doesn’t count and consists of two teams with virtually no chemistry feels rather pointless. What we did learn from last year’s All-Star Game though is that the players appear willing to take a portion of what has been the league’s biggest joke seriously now – with the fourth quarter being shortened and the final minutes being renamed in honor of Kobe.

After failing to cover a six-point spread against Team Giannis last season, Team LeBron heads into Sunday’s matchup as just a four-point favorite against Team Durant in this year’s All-Star Game.

I think taking the points with KD’s team is the best play here, after seeing how tightly contested last year’s matchup became when the best in the world ramp up the intensity for a quarter.

Damian Lillard will be playing in his sixth All-Star Game on Sunday, representing Portland and Team LeBron. (AP)

NBA All-Star Game Odds

  • Spread: Team LeBron -4.5
  • Money-Line: Team LeBron -185 Team Durant +150
  • Over-Under (Total): 312.5

Odds per BetMGM - Subject to Change

2021 All-Star Game Predictions

Score Prediction: Team LeBron 154 Team Durant 153
Best Bet: Team Durant +4

2021 All-Star Game Player Props

Best Bet: Kawhi Leonard – Over 15.5 Points

Kawhi Leonard racked up 30 points, seven rebounds, and four assists on his way to his first All-Star Game MVP award during Team LeBron’s 157-155 victory over Team Giannis during last year’s annual mid-season event.

While I don’t necessarily expect Kawhi to receive most valuable honors in back-to-back years, 15 points seems like a low bar for the reigning-ASG MVP. I’ll back the Claw’s to leave a noticeable impact on this game.

NBA All-Star Game MVP Best Bet

  • Damian Lillard (+1400)
  • Nikola Jokic (+2500)

LeBron James (+450), Joel Embiid (+600), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (+650) head into Sunday’s All-Star Game as the top three current betting favorites to bring home the MVP award for this year’s mid-season exhibition, and rightfully so.

I would advise to browse the list for this year’s event a little bit before locking in MVP wagers though. While the guys I previously mentioned are the most popular picks to be the star of the show on Sunday night, there are plenty of guys capable of catching fire and taking over down the stretch of this matchup.

Damian Lillard and Nikola Jokic both strike me as guys that could step up and potentially be the difference-maker for their team in a hard-fought fourth quarter. I’ll sprinkle some change on both of them to be this year’s All-Star Game MVP.

2021 NBA All-Star Event Predictions & Odds

Skills Challenge

Event set for 6:30 p.m. ET

Betting Odds:
Chris Paul (Suns) +230
Luka Doncic (Mavericks) +250
Nikola Vucevic (Magic) +475
Julius Randle (Knicks) +600
Domantas Sabonis (Pacers) +750
Robert Covington (Trail Blazers) +750

Odds per BetMGM - Subject to Change

Best Bet: Domantas Sabonis (+750)

Domantas Sabonis knocked off Jayson Tatum and Khris Middleton in the first two rounds of last year’s All-Star skills competition, before finally falling to Miami’s Bam Adebayo in the finals of the event.

The participants that competed in last year’s contest didn’t quite have the pedigree of guys like Luka Doncic and Chris Paul, who will be participating in this Sunday’s event.

Sabonis is one of the few guys in the field for Sunday’s contest that has prior experience in the skills challenge and has already proven that he has the potential to win it. I’ll back Sabonis at 6 to 1 odds here.

Three Point Contest

Event set for 7:00 p.m. ET

Betting Odds:
Stephen Curry (Warriors) +150
Donovan Mitchell (Jazz) +450
Zach LaVine (Bulls) +500
Mike Conley Jr. (Jazz) +500
Jaylen Brown (Celtics) +700
Jayson Tatum (Celtics) +700

Odds per BetMGM - Subject to Change

Best Bet: Zach Lavine (+500)

Stephen Curry heads into Sunday’s three-point contest as the overwhelming favorite to take home his second victory in the league’s annual long-ball competition at +130 odds, and rightfully so, considering the former MVP has averaged nearly 12 successful three-point attempts per game at a 41.1% clip from beyond the arc so far this season.

I don’t see a ton of value in betting Steph to win this year’s event though, considering Sunday will be his seventh three-point contest and his only victory in the contest came back in 2015.

While the field for this year’s contest doesn’t necessarily feature shooters with pedigrees up to par with previous winners, like Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving, to oppose Curry.

There will still be some phenomenal talent out there in this Sunday’s event – including two sharpshooters accumulating averages over 40% on the year in Zach Lavine and Mike Conley, along with 2018 three-point contest winner, Devin Booker.

My “best bet” goes to Lavine in this event though.

The former dunk-contest winner averaged less than two successful three-point attempts per game during four of five seasons to begin his NBA career. His shooting turned a corner in the 2019-20 season though – averaging 3.1 longballs per game on 38% from deep last year, while following that up with 3.5 three-pointers per game on 43.5% from downtown so far this season. I’ll roll the dice on Lavine here.

Slam Dunk Contest

Event expectet to begin at halftime of All-Star Game

Anfernee Simons (Trail Blazers) +450
Cassius Stanley (Pacers) -125
Obi Toppin (Knicks) +170

Odds per BetMGM - Subject to Change

Best Bet: Anfernee Simons (+450)

Typically standing in as the shortest participant in the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest serves as a disadvantage, but one could argue the shortest player in this year’s event, Anfernee Simons (6’3”), has been given a slight advantage ahead of Sunday’s contest – considering two of the shortest players to ever win the Dunk Contest will be sitting at the judges panel in Spud Webb and Dee Brown.

The Slam Dunk Contest is an extremely unique event to handicap because the winner is mainly determined by the creativity of the participants and the subjectivity of the judges, rather than a traditional style of scoring.

If you are looking for a value-play in the Dunk Contest though, my advice would be to roll the dice with the underdog here at +450 odds and hope that you receive some generosity from a couple empathetic judges.

2021 NBA All-Star Game History

In 2018, the NBA scrapped the East vs. West format for the All-Star Game.

The new format had two captains draft teams from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves, making selections without regard for conference affiliation.

The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference.

  • 2020 - Team LeBron 157, Team Giannis (+6.5) 155, Underdog Over (305.5)
  • 2019 - Team LeBron (-4.5) 178, Team Giannis 164, Favorite, Over (315.5)
  • 2018 - Team LeBron (-2.5) 148, Team Stephen 145, Favorite, Under (334)

LeBron James has been a captain in all three of the previous All-Star games under this format and his team has gone 3-0 straight up and 2-1 against the spread.

NBA All-Star Game MVP Winners (2018-2020)

2020 - Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
2019 - Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
2018 - LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

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