The Western Conference will look to extend its recent dominance in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday when it faces the Eastern Conference as a five-point betting favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The West has emerged victorious in each of the past two All-Star games and is 5-1 over the past six editions of the contest going into Sunday night’s matchup at Smoothie King Center.
Fans in attendance will be focused on New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis, who has been named an All-Star starter for the second time in his young career after tallying 27.7 points per game in the first half of the season.
Davis has averaged 17 points per game in two previous All-Star appearances and sits near the top of the odds to win the All-Star Game MVP award at +650.
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook leads the way as a +350 favorite to become the first player to win three straight NBA All-Star Game MVP awards. Westbrook dominated with 31 points, eight rebounds and five assists at the 2016 All-Star Game and is on pace to have a career year at 31.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game.
Reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry closely trails Westbrook at +600 on the MVP odds for Sunday’s game, with the Houston Rockets’ James Harden and the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant, Westbrook’s former Oklahoma City teammate, both at +700.
While the West dominates the trends and the All-Star Game MVP odds, it faces an Eastern Conference squad featuring three of the NBA’s top seven scorers, including the Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas and Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James.
Thomas enters the weekend trailing only Westbrook at 29.9 points per game and is a +1,500 wager on the All-Star MVP odds, while James has averaged over 27 points and 10 rebounds over his past three outings and leads all players from the East as a +700 All-Star MVP bet.
Not surprisingly, the Western Conference is pegged as betting chalk for a fourth straight time since the last time this event took place in New Orleans in 2014.
The East tallied a 163-155 win as a 4 1/2-point underdog in 2014 but failed to cover as a two-point underdog in a 163-158 loss in New York the following year and came up short as a 5 1/2-point underdog in 196-173 blowout loss in Toronto last year in the highest-scoring All-Star Game in NBA history.
The point total is set at a lofty 348.5 for this year’s game, a number that has been eclipsed just once in NBA All-Star Game history.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images