The best bets for the NBA All-Star Game 3-point contest
One of the most fun events of any All-Star break in sports is the NBA’s 3-point contest, which pits eight of the sharpest shooters in the league against one another in a battle of accuracy and attrition. This year, it will be Fred VanVleet, Desmond Bane, Luke Kennard, CJ McCollum, Patty Mills, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, and Trae Young duking it out in Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
NBA All-Star 3-point Contest 2022
Sun, February 20 2022, 1:00 AM
Each player will have 70 seconds to shoot 27 balls, which are laid out in five separate locations on the court. “Money Balls” are placed at the end of each rack, and are worth two points instead of one. One of the racks will contain all Money Balls. There will also be two “Mountain Dew Zones” placed further beyond the arc, with a successful shot from there counting for three points. The three players with the highest score from the opening round will advance to the final round.
Let’s dive into the available markets for the 2022 3-point contest and make our selections.
Kennard has been established as the +400 favorite, likely because he is the most accurate shooter of the group this season, sinking 44.8% of his shots from 3-point land. Though being accurate is clearly an advantage, it’s worth noting that Kennard doesn’t shoot 3s in volume quite like some of his main rivals here.
Patty Mills – who will be our top selection in this competition – averages 1.6 more shots from beyond the arc than Kennard does (7.7 to 6.1). Though Mills is only shooting 41.6% from downtown this year, that figure jumps to 46% on the road. This combination of talent should suit the Brooklyn Nets point guard well in this contest, and the odds are fair.
Like Mills, Bane has been a better marksman on the road than at home this season. He’s hitting 41.9% of his 3-point shots overall, but is shooting at 49.2% as a visiting player.
Bane also takes 6.9 3-point shots per game, so he’s a capable volume shooter as well. We wouldn’t fault those who want to back Bane to win it all at +600, but this is the safer bet on the Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard.
We don’t want to disparage Trae Young, who’s fifth in the NBA in points per game (27.8) and fourth in assists per game (9.3), but his being favored at -130 to make the 3-point contest finals seems like an underlay. There’s value in backing Young to be sent packing early on Saturday night.
Young takes and makes his fair share of 3s (3.0 3-pointers per game from 7.8 long-distance shots per game), but his accuracy of 38.3% is among the lowest in the field. It would not be shocking if the Atlanta Hawks point guard puts forth an ugly performance in this spot.