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NBA All-Star Saturday Night: Skills, 3-Point, Slam Dunk Contest Predictions and Picks

NBA All-Stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lebron James

NBA All-Star Saturday Night: Skills, 3-Point, Slam Dunk Contest Betting Preview

WagerTalk content contributor Kyle Kargel offers his NBA All-Star Saturday Night Skills, 3-Point and Slam Dunk Contest predictions and picks on Saturday, February 19. Odds courtesy of Draft Kings and they may fluctuate before event start times.

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Saturday, February 19 NBA Betting Notes
Point Spread: NBA All-Star Saturday Night
Events: Skills Content, 3-Point Contest, Slam Dunk Contest
Game Time: 8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT
Arena: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH

NBA Skills Contest Prediction and Picks


Team Rooks +160

Team Cavs +170

Team Antetokounmpo +200

If you’re unfamiliar with the Skills Challenge here’s how it works: The three teams above will compete in three rounds each. One round will feature shooting, one passing and one relay. At the end of those three rounds, the top two teams will advance to the final round which is just a race to make the first half-court shot.

Judging by the participants and the different challenges, the Rooks seem to have the best overall three-man group to get the job done as Cunningham, Giddey and Barnes feature the best group all around game.

Although they’re the hometown favorites, Allen and Mobley don’t really include shooting and precise passing into their game plan and I don’t trust the Antetokounmpo brothers outside of Giannis to have crisp passing and shooting either.

The Rooks provide a team of players whose respective teams don’t receive the national spotlight and may feel they have something to prove here

Prediction: Team Rooks +160

NBA Skills 3-Point Contest Prediction and Picks


Luke Kennard +450

Fred VanVleet +500

Patty Mills +500

Zach Lavine +550

Trae Young +550

Desmond Bane +600

C.J. McCollum +750

Karl Anthony-Towns +1100

There is such rich history in this contest whether you go back to Larry Bird winning the first three from 1986-1988 or you go more recently to 2018 where Devin Booker had a final round to remember scoring 28 out of a possible 34 points.

The 28 points in one round hasn’t been scored since. With Patty Mills as the current odds on favorite for this year’s contest let’s see if another player can give him a run for his money.

Six out of the eight participants overall have shot the ball at 40% or better from three point range on the season. The only two not to are Young (37.5%) and McCollum (38.5%). An oddity of this contest is that Lavine is the only player to have ever performed in a dunk contest in past years.

As far as predicting a winner I’m looking at VanVleet who puts up 10 three point shots a game which is second in the NBA. Fatigue can start to play a factor as these players advance in rounds and that looks like it won’t be impacting VanVleet as much as it might other players in this contest.

Prediction: Fred VanVleet +500

NBA Slam Dunk Contest Prediction and Picks


Jalen Green +200

Obi Toppin +205

Cole Anthony +300

Juan Toscano-Anderson +340

We’ve seen our fair share of high flyers in the past from Dominique Wilikins to Vince Carter and more recently Aaron Gordon. Toppin is the only participant of the four to have participated in a Slam Dunk Contest in the past so will that give him an advantage in this season’s go-around?

Generally nowadays, it takes a participant’s creativity as well as their athleticism to take home the trophy which is hard to judge while watching these guys play on a game-to-game basis.

So what insights can we gather from statistics so far this year that might give us an edge in betting? The number of dunks each player has this season!

Anthony has the least with 10, Toscano-Anderson has 20, Green 26 and last year’s runner-up Toppin has 66. Green is the name recreational betters may run to as the league’s second overall pick from this past season and known for his high-flying abilities.

They also might think he becomes the most creative in trying to win the contest. I’m looking at Cole Anthony though as an under-the-radar participant to win. He plays on the smallest market team of any player getting the least amount of spotlight so far this season.

Believe it or not Anthony does have dunk contest experience as he once participated in one back in high school. Anthony’s lack of height will give him an advantage as these players often look the best when successfully completing creative dunks (i.e. Spud Webb).

Prediction: Cole Anthony +300

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