The 67th NBA All Star Game will break from the traditional conference format of East vs. West for the first time in its history. This year it will be Team LeBron vs. Team Stephen. The teams were picked based on a combination of votes from fans, media and NBA players. The hope is that it will freshen up what has become a stale format in which the players loafed to an embarrassing degree. The playground style draft format has generated a new level of interest in the game. The teams are named after the NBA’s two biggest stars. LeBron James will captain team LeBron. Stephen Curry is the captain of team Stephen.
It is fitting that the 2018 NBA All Star Game betting odds revolve around LeBron James and Stephen Curry. James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have faced Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the past two NBA Finals. James led the Cavs to a stunning rally from 3-1 games down to win the 2016 title. Curry and the Warriors got revenge in dominant fashion in 2017. Curry and James are the two most recognizable names in the Association. In fact their name brand recognition and success has made their respective teams consistent overlays on the board.
Team Stephen has obvious offensive firepower. Big time sportsbook assets such as James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Curry highlight the starters. Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni always emphasizes the attack. Reserves such as Jimmy Butler add to the scoring depth. Joel Embiid from Philadelphia is an impressive pivot man.
Team LeBron includes Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis. Durant would normally be Curry’s Western Conference All Star teammate. But the change in format has the two Warriors up against each other. DeMarcus Cousins was supposed to be a starter but is out with injury. Paul George was named as his replacement. James’ big name Cleveland teammate Kevin Love is also out with injury. Love replaced on the roster by Goran Dragic. Perhaps the key reserve for Team LeBron is Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is the All Everything All Star from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dwane Casey of Toronto is the Team LeBron coach.
2018 NBA All Star Game Betting Odds
Team LeBron -2½ (-110) 335 (-110)
Team Stephen +2½ (-110) 335 (-110)
Date and Time: Sunday, February 18, 2018, 8:20 pm Eastern
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Team Stephen vs. Team LeBron TV Coverage: TNT
Matchup to Watch
This matchup is going to have an extra element of pop culture and star power since it is in Los Angeles. There is already a lot of hype about the new format with the 2018 NBA All Star Game betting odds. The All Star Game has quite the reputation for being all offense and no defense. The oddsmakers are aware of this and will set the price accordingly. The NBA was embarrassed by the last couple of All Star Games that lacked defense. They changed the format to improve play quality. A contrarian play on under the total makes sense.
2018 NBA All Star Game Betting Odds Picks
The total will be set extra high based on public perception and past results. There may be value with taking under the total.
NBA Betting Online Pick: NBA All Star Game Under the Total.