Betting on the NBA All-Star Game can be daunting. Spreads, moneylines and over/unders vary, and it's impossible to predict how hard the league's stars will be playing. Still, if you know the stars, understand their history with the All-Star Game and figure out how the Western Conference's and Eastern Conference's rosters stack up against one another, you're well on your way to making bets that you can feel good about.
One thing to keep in mind on this front is player milestones. The 2016 All-Star tilt, for example, was Kobe Bryant's last, so you knew he was going to play extra hard. Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs made his first All-Star appearance that same year, so you knew he would play hard as well. That kind of information can help you craft your individual prop bets, such as whether Player X will score Y points or assist on Z baskets.
Another thing to consider is past performances. Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, for instance (West), historically go all out for these exhibitions, whereas guys like Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James (East) have been more prone to taking it easy. This information not only helps you bet on player peformances; it lets you know that, in this case, the Western Conference has an overall advantage.
Best NBA All Star Betting Lines
Be sure to stay up to date with any NBA All-Star betting lines, as well as any regular-season betting lines, since they'll help give you an idea of what to look for when the All-Star game actually tips off.
Who's in NBA All Star game
Knowing who's in the All-Star game is the most important step to effective betting. For those who aren't already schooled in the nuances of All-Star rosters, the below widget will help you keep track of personnel, essentially telling you who to research before placing any wagers.
NBA All Star Game Highlights 2016
Lack Of Defence
One of the most understatedly important aspects of All-Star betting is the game's notorious lack of defense. All-Star matchups are, first and foremost, playground exhibitions meant to entertain the fans.
Defense is seldom played in the name of putting on a good show, unless the contest gets close, in which case you'll see more and more players lock down on the less-glamorous end to help their team squeak out the rights to an entire year's worth of bragging rights.
For the most part, though, the game assumes a "defense is optional stance," and nowadays, players tend to exploit that flexibility over and over again. They don't want to risk unnecessary injury in a game that doesn't count toward the standings, and the era of Twitter and Vine has given them an incentive not to end up on the wrong side of a highlight.
Because of this, it's always a good idea to bet the over on All-Star games. Scoring records appear to be set every year during this generation of hoops, and as the defensive efforts in this meaningless dance continue to deterioate, that's not going to change anytime soon. This, in turn, is something to keep in mind whenever betting on an All-Star event.