2021 NBA All-Star Game Preview

LeBron James
LeBron James during the last All-Star game. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

Team Durant vs. Team LeBron

Sunday, March 7, 2021 – 8:00 PM EST at State Farm Arena

What to Expect

I’m an analytic guy when it comes to sports betting. It’s hard to look at analytics for an All-Star game. There’s no reason to look into all of that.

The line is set at -3.5 in favor of Team LeBron, and the total is set at a whopping 314.5 points. It’s going to be a fun night.

The format will be similar to last year when the NBA reset their scoreboard to 0-0 at the start of the first three quarters. There will be no clock in the fourth quarter, and instead, we’ll have a “target score”, which will be determined by taking the score of the team with the most points through all three quarters and adding 24. The number 24 is to remember Kobe Bryant.

All-Star Teams

Team LeBron always seems to have the advantage on paper. He’s got himself to go along with a ridiculous starting five with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, and Nikola Jokic. This starting lineup can do it all. They’re balanced, being able to shoot the lights out with Curry or drive to the rim with ease with players like Giannis and LeBron or Doncic.

There’s a little bit less athleticism on Team Lebron, so we won’t be seeing a hefty amount of highlight real dunks from this team, but the bench does include more athleticism.

On Team LeBron’s bench, he’s got Jaylen Brown, Paul George, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Rudy Gobert, Domantas Sabonis, and Ben Simmons. There are a lot of bucket getters and fantastic passers on this team.

Team Durant has Kevin Durant, who is unable to play in this game. That strings if you’re looking to bet Team Durant. But he still drafted his team that includes Bradley Beal, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Jayson Tatum. That will be your starting five for Team Durant. It’s a bit funkier, and on paper, it’s obvious Team LeBron is better.

On the bench, Team Durant looks a bit better than Team LeBron, and it’s an area where Team Durant can get back into the game. The bench includes James Harden, Zion Williamson, Zach Lavine, Julius Randle, Nikola Vucevic, Donovan Mitchell, and Mike Conley, who is replacing Devin Booker due to injury.

It’s been a weird year in sports. We’re having an All-Star game without fans. Does that make both teams play little to no defense in this game? I would think so.

All-Star Pick

We’ve seen the total open up at 308 and now jump to 314.5, and that’s for good reason. There’s going to be limited defense-play in this game. Last year we saw 312 points in a 157-155 win for Team LeBron over Team Giannis. Before that game, we saw a 178-164 win for Team LeBron, which also would’ve won the over.

If I had to pick a team to win, I’d look at Team LeBron winning a close one. In two of the last three seasons, Team LeBron has won a one-possession game. These games always find ways to become extremely close before the final buzzer sounds.

I’d rather sit out from taking a side and just take the over in this game. Root for dunks, threes, and lots of hoops. That’s the only way to do it in an NBA All-Star game.

CBB Pick: Over 314.5 (-110) at Bet 365

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