The NBA All-Star Weekend is here and a record number of bets are expected to be placed on the All-Star game and the many events leading up to it. One of the marquee events is the Starry 3-Point Contest on Saturday night at 8pm ET (TNT) and it’s sure to be one of the top betting attractions of the weekend. Before we go over the odds and best bets, let’s break down the eight snipers selected to take part in the competition.
It’s the era of the deep ball, so of course the NBA has no shortage of players to invite to the premier long-distance competition. MVP nominees Jayson Tatum and Damian Lillard and Most Improved hopes Tyrese Haliburton and Lauri Markkanen highlight the field. Julius Randle, an All-Star alongside the aforementioned four, replaces injured Blazers guard Anfernee Simons for eighth and final.
For those looking to add some excitement to Saturday night’s 3-point competition, we’ve highlighted a few players that we think could win the event for our best bets. First, let’s take a look at the odds.
NBA 3 Point Tournament Odds 2023
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
|Pal Hield, Pacer||+425|
|Jayson Tatum, Celtics||+500|
|Kevin Hurter, Kings||+550|
|Tyler Herro, Heat||+550|
|Tyrese Haliburton, pacemaker||+600|
|Julius Randle, Knicks||+650|
|Lauri Markkanen, Jazz||+700|
The odds for the 3-point contest always seem to be pretty tight, but this year feels closer than ever. 2020 3-point champion Hield leads the NBA with 230 three-pointers this season, 34 more than Simons in 2nd place. Lillard, who has been red-hot since the calendar turned, finishes with 191 overall Triples and Sits scored fourth, second only to Klay Thompson at 4.15 treys per game. Hield and Lillard are +425 favorites.
Buddy Hield is your 2020 three-point contest winner! ???????? pic.twitter.com/y1tzx1kd38
— ClutchPoints NBA (@ClutchPointsNBA) February 16, 2020
Third place in the odds is MVP candidate Tatum (+500), who is sixth in threes per game (3.33) and total threes (183). Tatum is shooting 35.7 percent from deep in the season, but he’s sparked in February so far. His long-distance quota through seven games in the month of love is 40.6 percent. As Celtics fans will recall, JT finished third in the competition two years ago.
Here’s Jayson Tatum at the 2021 NBA 3-Point Contest pic.twitter.com/eGpubMgJPr
— Cameron Tabatabaie (@CTabatabaie) February 14, 2023
Tatum comes just ahead of Huerter, who has maintained a 39.2 percent clip from beyond the arc this season. The red-haired flamethrower has the same +550 odds as Herro, a 38.1 percent career shooter from afar. Haliburton, a first-time All-Star, joins the fight with his unique but effective Pack Shot at +600. Randle (+650) acts as a last-second replacement for Simons, joining Markkanen (+700) as the big men of the competition.
Tyrese Haliburton flips CLUTCH 3 to give that @pacemaker a 6 point lead late in OT!
1 minute left on NBA League Pass: https://t.co/oz9UCQxdQa pic.twitter.com/SmH6Etuict
– NBA (@NBA) March 3, 2022
Before we get to our best bets, let’s talk about our biggest fades. To identify a potential winner, we often first have to go through the players we least expect to come out on top – a process of elimination, if you will.
We can take Markkanen and Randle off the list right now. While Markkanen will have home field advantage in Utah, he’s more of a catch-and-shoot type, with 2.8 of his 3.0 triples per game coming from assists or long rebounds. Randle just stinks this year, with just a 33.8 percent mark from Deep, making him the Antoine Walker of this competition. Haliburton has a set-and-release way too long, plus he’s only 22 and kids don’t usually win this marquee event. Finally, we don’t like Hurter as he’s only shooting 28.6 percent from range this month and the moment at center may be too big for him.
That leaves us with four competitors to sort through, so let’s break it down. Before we get to our best bets, make sure you look around at the various legal sportsbooks in your state to find the best possible odds on the runners you want to bet on. Compared to betting on a regular season game, 3-point match odds are known to vary from book to book, making it all the more important to get the highest possible return on your stake.
2023 NBA 3 Point Competition Best Bets
Damian Lillard (+425)
It’s hard to choose anyone over Hield, the field’s only previous 3-point champion, but we’re giving Big Game Checkers a slight edge for a few reasons:
- It’s hotter than fish fat (as Mark Jones would say). Since December, Lillard has converted 154 of 402 three-pointers (38.3%). His points per game this month: 36.1.
- He’s less of a catch-and-shoot type than Hield. While 93.3 percent of Buddy’s triples this season were of the catch-and-shoot variety, only 33.3 percent of Dame’s triples were. Digging deeper, 87.8 percent was supported by Hield’s triple, compared to just 52.9 percent by Lillard’s.
- Like Hield, Lillard has been there before. He finished third in the 2014 3-point contest and came out on top in the 2019 pre-COVID juggernaut Joe Harris vs. Steph Curry. This appears to be a great opportunity for Dame Dolla to add to its prize list, which includes two player picks of the week this calendar year.
- He has the best reach of any contestant, which will come in handy with the white “Starry” basketballs set up in the 27-30 foot wing areas. If Steph Curry had never existed, we would call it “Lillard Territory”.
- He is clutch. They don’t call it “ladies time” for nothing. Most often, this competition is won by star veterans who have the clutch gene. Lillard checks all of these boxes.
Pal Hield (+450)
We’d be remiss if we didn’t at least include Hield in the best bets section, although we might not be betting on him this time.
Hield has all kinds of three-point honours, having had the most three-point field goals in the last five years and being the second-fastest player to hit 1,500 treys earlier this season (Steph Curry, as you might know, was have suspected, the first ). He also broke the record for fastest three-pointer bucket in a game when he knocked down a three-pointer just three seconds behind the game clock in late December.
There seems to be nothing the Bahamian can’t do as a shooter, including winning the 3-point contest. He chose not to defend his 2020 championship a year later due to COVID concerns and mask guidelines, but he’s back and ready to make some noise again this weekend.
Jayson Tatum (+500)
Many pundits — including the Boston media — have called Tatum a “terribly bad bet” to win the 3-point contest. He had the worst current three-point percentage of any 2023 candidate before Randle came into the field, and his lift arguably ranks second-best of the bunch. Still, Tatum seems to have gotten hot at just the right time, shooting 40.6 percent from deep in February and knocking down 26 triples in just seven games.
JT put on a show at his last competition of 2021 and finished third after going hot in the second round, but the winner this year was none other than shooting GOAT Steph Curry, who defeated runner-up Mike Conley by one shot ousted to defeat him his second career trophy for the 3-point contest. Tatum won’t be a popular bet, but that’s exactly why I might bet a little on him if I can find him at +550 or +600. If he wins, the Celtics would break the record for most three-point competitive champions with five.
Tyler Herro (+550)
If you prefer better payouts and can’t find Tatum better than +500, consider Herro at +550. Reigning sixth man of the year Herro has the clutch gene, quick releases and pure punch to win this competition at the tender age of 23. He’s shooting 36.9 percent from deep so far this season, and he’s remarkably shooting even better on the road (37.5%) than at home (36.1%). That’s cold-blooded, a trait needed to win a contest with Utah’s Markkanen in front of a raucous Salt Lake City fan base. At this point, nothing surprises us about what this flamethrower does to a basketball, so don’t be shocked when he brings Miami their record-breaking fifth trophy in 3-point competition.
OUR CHOICE: Damian Lillard (+425)