NBA Celebrity Game Odds: When The Stars Change Stripes
Playing The Part For Real
Actors make a living pretending to be something they aren't. but in Friday's NBA Celebrity Game, they won't be able to fake it. We will find out for sure whether Jame Foxx can pull up and shoot a jumper, or if Anthony Anderson has any power in the paint. First contested in 2002-03, the NBA Celebrity Game opens a window into whether actors and singers have any game, as well as which sports stars are able to translate skills from their chosen sport to the hardwood.
Past MVPs have included comedian Kevin Hart and NFLer Terrell Owens, and BetOnline is offering odds on who will win this award. A monkey wrench was thrown into those odds on Thursday, when 2011 MVP Justin Bieber was a late addition to the game. The Grammy Award winner scored just eight points in that game, but his selection was driven by internet voting by his rabid fanbase of Beliebers. Unfortunately, his last-minute arrival means there is no line on Bieber on the board.
There are plenty of other options, though, so let's take a look at some of the contenders. Something to keep in mind - no current of former NBA or WNBA player has ever been named MVP of this game.
Brandon Armstrong (+550) - The 2017 Celebrity Game MVP is back to defend his title after scoring 16 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in last year's contest. Armstrong has gained fame on social media outlets for his impersonations of NBA players, but he's not so bad himself. He played four years of NCAA basketball at Lincoln Memorial University, as well as professionally in the NBA D-League and in Spain.
Win Butler (+800) - Former NBA MVP Steve Nash must be proud of his country's dominance in this game. Bieber was already an MVP and fellow Canadian Butler, lead singer of Arcade Fire, won the award in 2016, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 boards. He's played in the past three NBA Celebrity Games, avergaing 15 points and 12 rebounds. Last year, he scored a game-high 22 points. Butler's teams are 3-0.
Andre DeGrasse (+1400) - Well, look at that, would you - another Canadian contender. The 2016 Olympic bronze medal winner in the 100 metres, DeGrasse has the speed to get to the hoop, and the skills to do something once he gets there. His first sporting love was basketball. DeGrasse, who hosts a charity basketball classic, took to the hardwood at the age of five and played AAU ball. But when his high school team folded in 12th grade due to a lack of players, he turned to track.
Jerry Ferrara (+1400) - Celebrities lined up by the dozens to make an appearance during the impressive run of Entourage on HBO, but can Turtle run the floor? He plays rec ball and is an avid Air Jordan collector. Ferrara is even working as a scout for the New York Knicks - well, for their eSports team, that is. He says he's played NBA video games since the 1990s, but will working a joystick on NBA 2K translate to doing it in real time?
Bubba Watson (+1600) - Watson has pulled off some tremendous trick shots while twice winning the Masters, and he lobbied hard to get his name on the roster for this game. Watson's wife Angie was a WNBA player, so you know he'll be well-coached. Watson played high school basketball before choosing golf, but it's unlikely they'll let him bring his wedge on the court.
Drew Scott (+2000) - Wait, not another Canadian hoopster? Yep, and Scott can flat-out ball, too. In just 8:31 of floor time in the 2017 game, the Property Brothers co-star put in five points, pulled down six rebounds, dished out two assists and forced two turnovers. A 6-4 small forward, Scott claims he can dunk and insists he had a 43-inch vertical in his high school basketball days.
BABB Pick: Win Butler (+800)
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