NBA Picks: Luka Doncic favorite to be first pick in NBA All-Star Game
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NBA Picks: Luka Doncic favorite to be first pick in NBA All-Star Game

It's that time of the year once again when the best players in the NBA all get together and compete in the NBA All-Star Game at the midway point of the season.

After a vote from the fans, the players and the journalists covering the sport the 24 best available players in the league this season will head to Salt Lake City, with the captains LeBron James and Giannis Antentokounmpo selecting their team just prior to tip-off in playground style.

We'll take a look ahead to the game and share our thoughts on who is most likely to be the first pick in the "draft" with our best free NBA picks, to see if we can earn you some extra cash before you sit down to enjoy one heck of a spectacle.

NBA All-Star Game DraftBetOnlineBovada
Luke Doncic+275+275
Joel Embiid+350+350
Kyrie Irving+450+450
Jayson Tatum+450+450
Nikola Jokic+450+450
Ja Morant+800+800
Donovan Mitchell+1000+1000
Lauri Markkanen+4000+4000
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander+4000+4000
Anthony Edwards+4000+4000

Learn more about how to bet on the NBA All-Star game here.

NBA All-Star Game information

  • Sunday, February 19th, 2023
  • Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Team LeBron vs Team Giannis
  • Draft at 19:30 ET
  • Live on TNT/TBS

NBA All-Star Game format

The biggest difference from a “normal” NBA game is the introduction of a “target score” to determine the winner, which is in honor of the late, great Kobe Bryant.

Each All-Star team will compete to win each of the first three quarter, which will all be 12 minutes long and start with a clean slate at 0-0. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, 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 Kobe Bryant’s jersey number.

The teams will then play an untimed fourth quarter and the first team to reach the final target score will win the NBA All-Star Game.

For example, if the cumulative score of the first three quarters is 110-100, the Final Target Score would be set at 134 points. To win the game, it would be the first team to reach 134 points that is successful. There is no timer, so the game can only end with a game winning field goal or free throw.

NBA All-Star Game Draft favorites

Below is a list of the favorites to be drafted first in the NBA All-Star game for the game between Team Lebron and Team Giannis.

Luka Doncic - Dallas Mavericks - (+275)

Luka Doncic sits as the overall favorite and with good reason too, as the man who many are tipping to eventually take LeBron James' crown as the best player in the league.

Picking him would ensure smooth piloting for James, securing him the best offensive weapon available to either team but also giving him a chance to play with the Slovenian.

So far this season the 23-year-old is averaging 33.2 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game and 8.1 assists per game and has been the shining light for the Mavericks in their excellent season.

He's only played in four of the last nine Mavericks games, but he's racked up 144 points in those games combined and will be looking to put on a show here.

Luka Doncic 1st pick for All-Star game

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Joel Embiid - Philadelphia 76ers - (+350)

In last year's All-Star game, Embiid was picked first out of all the players who can be picked this year (Giannis was picked first overall).

As usual he is competing with the big center Nikola Jokic to be the best big man around, and is favored in a spot where LeBron could elect to go big with the first pick to match up with Giannis, especially since Kevin Durant and Steph Curry are out injured and won't play in the game.

This season he has averaged 33.2 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game and 4.0 assists per game, as well as 1.1 steals and 1.5 blocks per game, and would work very well with LeBron so could be a different pick if he fancies his chances of going against Doncic instead.

Joel Embiid 1st pick for All-Star game

Kyrie Irving - Dallas Mavericks - (+450)

While Kyrie Irving‘s no doubt a headache in actual locker rooms, he’s still revered as a scorer by his peers, and LeBron was noticeably annoyed with the Lakers’ recent failure to acquire him from the Nets.

It seems almost unfathomable that they won't end up on the same team here, but the chances of James making Kyrie his first pick are slim to none in reality.

So far he's averaging 27.1 points per game, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game and usually loves the spotlight so would be a great pick for either team in the end.

Kyrie Irving 1st pick for All-Star game

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Jayson Tatum - Boston Celtics - (+450)

Jayson Tatum‘s been putting in one of the league’s most complete seasons for its best team, and has very much earned inclusion in the discussion of the NBA’s very best players.

The Celtics sit top of the standings with the best record in the NBA this season, and it's in large part down to Tatum's fantastic return of 30.5 points per game,8.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game on average.

He's not quite the main man yet, but he's among them and more than deserves his spot as a starter. But if he gets picked first it would be a huge shock regardless of the odds.

Jayson Tatum 1st pick for All-Star game

Nikola Jokic - Denver Nuggets - (+450)

The consensus MVP of the NBA for a third-consecutive season right now, Jokic is simply phenomenal. He's not the flashiest player in the league, but he is without doubt one of the most effective.

He's averaging 24.9 points per game, 11.4 rebounds and 10.1 assists, making him the only man to average a triple double across the entire league this season.

If he goes as the number one pick nobody would be shocked because it's more than deserved, but Jokic will likely go after Embiid because of the scoring nature of the game and that means he won't be first.

Nikola Jokic 1st pick for All-Star game