LAS VEGAS – For the second straight season, the best players in the NBA will be there for what has become one of the most unique All-Star events in sports. No longer is the game East vs West that fans are used to. Rather, it is two unknown teams picked up by Captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo who go against each other. That is the second straight year James becomes captain of one of the teams after his team (-3) defeated Team Stephen Curry, 148-145, last year in Los Angeles.
The All-Star Game will be played in Charlotte, NC, for the first time since 1991. Assuming there are no hurting injuries, the team's votes begin to be available, making it necessary to watch TV. Of course, with every must-have sporting event, one must also think of the words "must bet".
By knowing a little about how these unknown players will work together on the course Sunday, betting is played regardless of whether it is risky. But knowing a story in the game and how the rusts lie out can certainly help.
For most bettors, this game ̵
The game has changed a lot in recent years – look no further than the scored points. Two years ago, West West, 192-182, defeated pianist Anthony Davis, who stole MVP honors away from back-to-back winner Russell Westbrook. The 374 points score was easily a league record, which was the total of 351¹ / ². In about 15 years, the NBA All Star game had seen a total increase of approx. 100 points. It's true basketball.
If you are a fan of good, solid defense, turn the channel. If you want to call it a "return to normality" in last year's game, the final was a message 148-145, which is very little in all 333. I personally attribute the significant point fall to All Star players being so unfamiliar with each other as whole. For this season, I expect a much lower total with the roster format, which is the same as 2018.
Davis, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant figure as boys to James team, and Antetokounmpo will turn to Curry, Joel Embiid and Westbrook as his best options.
Davis and Harden are league leaders in the Player Efficiency Rating (PER), according to the reputable Hollinger Stats at ESPN. Thus James looks the team better on the surface. Antetokounmpo is his team's best player and is supported by two-time All-Star MVP Westbrook. The James bench also stacks up well against Antetokounmpo. Maybe Allstar's veteran James Antetokounmpo spoke on draft overnight in Thursday.
So who wins this year's game? Who should we bet on? Often, these issues come down: Which roster is better? And which team will play with more cohesion? Although it is not possible for anyone to know enough about No. 2, except for pure speculation, it is possible to assess the first question. This can be done quantitatively as well as from perception.
I've used a formula in the latest NBA All-Star Games to determine which roster was more talented. The formula involves taking into account PER. I have calculated the minutes that starters and reserves will play based on the latest games and have reached a theoretical Total Team Efficiency Rating, which I used to justify a point-spread game for Sunday's game.
According to the results, assuming that the minute-played division is somewhat accurate (it has been very close before), James roster is significantly better in terms of cumulative PER. In fact, this is the widest (8.7 percent) my projections have ever been beating rosters two years ago when the West scored 5.2 percent better than the east.
Since the game does not project to be very close, I would be cautious about playing Team Giannis with anything but a major underdog line. For the record, however, Antetokounmpo eventually showed a very strong personal effort last year, even surprisingly with the defensive intensity he led to the game. Perhaps he will demand it from the team that exercises his name in 2019. It could change things dramatically.