It’s the contest featuring the biggest and baddest names in basketball. Defence is a dirty word and where bragging rights count for everything.
Sunday night’s NBA All Star Game in Houston is certain to be an extravaganza of dunks and dynamic plays, as the 24 best players in the league show off their skills and athleticism to the max.
This year, it’s the Western Conference’s superstars who go in as favourites to come out on top, with a backcourt comprising Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant ready to fuel their assault on their rivals from the East.
In fact, the West have won three of the last four encounters and they go in at 1.65 for the victory with their foes at 2.27.
But the East have the trump card of three starters from the Miami Heat, with LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade joining their coach Erik Spoelstra in what could be a South Beach showcase.
The West are favoured by -3.5 on the handicap but of late, these have been close encounters with the last three years decided by 5 points or less and with only two true blowouts in the past decade.
James has been in sensational form but he’s only ever been the MVP of the game twice. He’s second favourite here for the award at 4.00. Kevin Durant, winner last year, is 3.50 but there’s real value in Bryant – a four-time MVP - who comes with a point to prove and who is at 8.00.
It is always an offensive scramble with the points piling up. In 2012 in Orlando, the West fought off a late rally to win 152-149. The points line here is 292.0 but bear in mind that’s only been surpassed twice in the past 25 years.
Bet of the Day: Take the East to win the All Star Game at 2.27
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