Rising Stars Preview, MVP Prop Betting
Line: USA -4
Time: 9:05 PM ET
The rising stars challenge is set for Friday night at 9:05 PM ET. The question we’ll look at here is who may be MVP of the game. The favorite in NBA Daily Lines is a strong 49/20, but beyond Andrew Wiggins there are a number of attractive options to consider.
Andrew Wiggins (49/20)
Andrew Wiggins is indisputably the best talent in this game. Will he seek to take it over, though? Wiggins has been inconsistent, as all rookies are, but this is his chance to take the big stage. Wiggins doesn’t get the national TV attention playing in Minnesota, but could break out of his shell in a major way in this game.
Bettors will be wise to consider the favorite here, because it is both a safe and exciting play. There’s nothing about Wiggins that isn’t exciting, and the Scottie Pippen comparisons don’t appear to be far off given his stellar play thus far. He’ll be starring for the World team, hailing from Canada. Though the US team is favored by four, the Wiggins show could easily swing the favor to the World team. If the World wins, is there any doubt Wiggins wins MVP?
Victor Oladipo (5/1)
It could be said that Victor Oladipo lacks national exposure like Wiggins, but that really applies to every player in this game. Oladipo is a very good athlete, great dunker and works hard on both ends of the court. While this game won’t exactly feature high intensity defense, Oladipo can break ankles in showdowns too. He’s a tough little combo guard who is going to have a great career, but the jury is out as to whether he is a “perennial All-Star” type of talent.
This is his first chance to assert that as a reality, and he’s going to be gunning. NBA handicapping rightfully set the odds with Oladipo as the second most favored, given that he is the second best talent in the game. While a lot of the excitement around Oladipo’s potential is over his lock-down defense, make no mistake, he can put numbers up, too.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (6/1)
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the most athletic player in this game, and he can do things that are jaw dropping as though second nature. He’s playing in obscurity in Milwaukee, but has been a big driving force behind a rather strong Bucks team. His talents help render the Bucks one of the top defensive units in the Association, and he’s going to get a chance to get out on the break and get off in transition. With Anteokoumpo being the third best talent in this game, it’s easy to imagine the World sneaking away with this one. And if he cues a strong defensive effort in the final minutes when this tightens up, the award is his to lose.
Trey Burke (12/1), Nerlens Noel (14/1), Mason Plumlee (16/1), Elfrid Payton (16/1)
All four of these talents have outside shots at the award. Trey Burke knows how to step up and score, and he’s not afraid to ball hog it a little if necessary. Nerlens Noel could win the award in a Kenneth Faried-like fashion by dominating the glass and tomahawking a lot of looks around the goal. The same applies to Mason Plumlee.
Elfrid Payton is the closest thing in the league to Rajon Rondo and could ignite all of his teammates. That doesn’t go ignored either, as he could be the driving force behind a very high scoring offense. While all four of these outliers are unlikely, all are actually good value bets. It’s still hard not to favor Wiggins in all of this, but a handcuffed bet of one of the long shots makes reasonable sense given that these games are high scoring and wild affairs.