Sportsbooks opened the West as a 6.5-point favorite over the East in Sunday night's All-Star Game in New Orleans.
The line was bet up to 7.5, but has since fallen to 6 at many books. Last year, the West destroyed the East 196-173 in the highest-scoring All-Star Game ever.
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EAST VS. WEST (-6), Sun., 8 p.m. ET
The West once again has the superior talent in this game. They are stacked across the board and have explosive, attacking players who are simply unstoppable one on one. Everyone in the backcourt can get hot from deep and end the game early.
The East is obviously good, but a lot of their players are a level below the best. Kemba Walker, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Isaiah Thomas, and DeMar Derozan are all deserving All-Stars, but they simply aren't the scorers Steph Curry and James Harden are.
I expect someone from the West to get extremely hot from deep and carry the team to a comfortable win.
Pick: West -6
Over the past 20 years, the All-Star Game has had an average of 275.5 points, which makes the 346 total in this one seem pretty insane. However, the scoring has improved at a rate of 4.5 points per year and took a huge jump last year to an incredible 369.
The reason for that is the shift in the NBA towards three-point shooting. During that same 20-year span, NBA teams have increased the average number of three pointers attempted per game from 16.8 to 26.9 at a rate of 0.54 threes per year.
As teams continue shooting threes at a great rate, and without any defense being played, shooters like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are ready for another field day. I expect this to be another high-scoring affair.
Pick: Over 346
ALL-STAR GAME MVP
Looking at BookMaker.eu's odds for MVP, I see tremendous value in the Field at +450.
|All-Star Game MVP Odds
| Russell Westbrook
| LeBron James
| James Harden
| Stephen Curry
| Kevin Durant
| Anthony Davis
| Kawhi Leonard
This MVP award has been dominated by players who like to score in bunches and put on a show.
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Russell Westbrook won the last two trophies, while Kyrie Irving made a name for himself in 2014 by taking down the crown.
The award usually goes to players who still feel they have something to prove: Players who have been doubted by media and fans, who don't have a title, or who don't get the leaguewide respect they deserve.
Several players fit that bill this year: Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Irving, Isaiah Thomas, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
All six can score with the best of them, and it will only take one of them getting hot to cash this bet.
Pick: Field +450