All-Star Weekend is underway and tonight is where all the real fun starts. The NBA Three-Point contest will feature eight elite shooters as always to see who can make the most threes. It's time to continue our NBA odds series with a Three-Point contest prediction and pick.
This year's three-point contest will be no different than in the year's past. There won't be a Curry in the contest but the NBA will showcase some of the other top shooters in the game. Trae Young will be the main headline but he isn't the favorite to take home the hardware. Young has the fourth-best odds as Clippers guard/forward Luke Kennard is the favorite right now. Fred VanVleet and Patty Mills are also solid options to choose here as those two have been lights out from deep all season.
Desmond Bane, CJ McCollum, Zach Lavine, and Karl-Anthony Towns round out the remaining four contestants. Seven of those eight are some of the best shooters in the game. Towns, on the other hand, can shoot well but the three-ball isn't his specialty. He does shoot 40% from deep this season but that won't be good enough here. Towns shouldn't get embarrassed out there, but his chances to win are very slim.
Let's take a look at the NBA Three-Point Contest odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Three-Point Contest Odds:
Luke Kennard: +420
Patty Mills: +460
Fred VanVleet: +500
Trae Young: +550
Desmond Bane: +650
CJ McCollum: +700
Zach Lavine: +850
Karl-Anthony Towns: +1200
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Why Luke Kennard Can Win The Three-Point Contest
Kennard is the favorite so he gets his own section as to why he can win. The rest of the contestants will be considered the “field.” Kennard is the most efficient three-point shooter in the league, shooting at an amazing 43% on the season. He doesn't make very many threes per game, and in fact, is the 7th highest in this group right in front of Towns. Dating back to last season, Kennard has made a total of 44.2% of his threes which is behind only Brooklyn Nets Joe Harris (also a former Three-Point Contest winner). Kennard is from the state of Ohio and will be competing in his hometown of Cleveland. He's also a two-time Ohio Mr. Basketball back in 2014 and 2015). This has all the makings for him to win, and if he is hot early, he should carry that momentum all contest long.
Why The Field Can Win The Three-Point Contest
Everyone else has a legit shot besides Towns here. I mean, I just can not see Towns making more than anyone else. That's not to discredit his ability, I just think everyone else is far better. With that being said, the names you need to pay attention to are Patty Mills and Fred VanVleet. VanVleet is shooting the ball very well this season and is one of the top overall shooters in the game. The Raptors' guard puts up the second-most three-point attempts per game (10) and makes the second-most (4) as well. He's shooting 40.1% and should put on a show tonight. Mills is dealing with a lot of drama in Brooklyn. Despite that, his 3.2 makes per game is second to VanVleet and his 41.8% is behind Kennard for the highest in the group.
Why am I not mentioning Trae Young as a favorite here? Well, that is because he is actually having a miserable shooting season from beyond the arc. He's shooting only 37.5% which is not close to where he should be. This kid is one of the best young stars in the game and will be a star his entire career and the three-ball will always be his thing. Let's see if this contest can get him back on track.
Zach Lavine and former winner CJ McCollum are also interesting choices here. I'm shocked they are favorited a little higher but I think that is because of the shooters in this group. Those two rank among the top of the NBA at the guard position and drain threes at a high rate. McCollum is shooting 38.5% from beyond the arc and Lavine 39.9%. Both of these shooters can get hot and if one does, look out for them to pull off an upset here.
The last name I will talk about is Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane. He might be the best player you haven't ever heard of. This dude is balling this year and can do it all. Bane deserves a lot of credit for the Grizzlies' success this season with his 17.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.2 steals on the year. Bane is shooting an excellent 41.5% from three this season and attempts 2.8 per game. Look out for him to possibly shock everyone and win this contest. He currently has the 5th best odds at +650.
Final Three-Point Contest Prediction & Pick:
I'm taking Luke Kennard to win this contest in his hometown. I'm not picking him because he is the favorite, I'd probably pick him even if he was fifth or so. I believe Kennard has a lot to prove and he will be doing it on a big stage in his hometown. At +420, those are still amazing odds to consider.
Final Three-Point Contest Prediction & Pick: Luke Kennard +420