Team LeBron vs. Team Durant Prediction: NBA All-Star Odds, Point Spread

Payton Matthews | Updated Mar 05, 2021

2021 NBA all star game

The only NBA game until next Wednesday is Sunday’s All-Star Game with teams captained by LeBron James and Kevin Durant (out injured) facing off. 

AT
March 07, 2021, 8:00 PM ET
State Farm Arena
Pointspread +4 -110

26%

Betting Action

74%

Pointspread -4 -110

26%

Betting Action

74%

The 2021 All-Star Game was originally to be held in Indianapolis, but with the entire 2021 NCAA Tournament being held in or in the vicinity of that city due to COVID, the NBA shifted the All-Star Game to Atlanta. More than a few stars have griped about playing in the game for virus reasons, having to leave their families in the middle of a condensed season, etc., but no stars have pulled out for non-injury reasons as of this writing.

NBA All-Star Game: Point Spread and Betting Analysis

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers from the Western Conference and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets from the Eastern Conference were the leading vote-getters in their conference and thus are team captains – although Durant is hurt and won’t play. They picked their teams Thursday, first from the starters’ pool as chosen by fan votes and then from the reserves pool.

The All-Star coaches are the Philadelphia 76ers’ Doc Rivers for Team Durant and the Utah Jazz’s Quin Snyder for Team LeBron – the coaches are chosen by which team has the best overall record in each conference by a certain deadline. It’s the third time Rivers will coach in the game as he did in 2008 & 2011 while with the Boston Celtics. It’s Snyder’s first time.

There are no Raptors in the All-Star Game, ending a seven-season streak of at least one Toronto player in it. Two Raptors went each of the past five years. Team LeBron opened as a 2.5-point favourite with a massive total of 308.5 points on the NBA odds.

All-Star Game Format

The All-Star Game has been in a player-captain format instead of East vs. West since 2018 and Team LeBron is 3-0. It’s the 11th start in an All-Star Game for James, who was very vocal about his desire not to have the game this year, and 17th overall All-Star appearance. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19) and Kobe Bryant (18) have more All-Star selections than James.

Speaking of the late Kobe, the NBA tried something called the “Elam Ending” in the 2020 All-Star Game to honour Bryant after he was killed in a Los Angeles helicopter accident in February of last year. Teams play the first three quarters as usual – there are winning quarters for charity, but it doesn’t affect the overall game.

After three quarters, 24 points (24 was Kobe’s final jersey number as a Laker) is added to the leading team’s point total and the first team to that total in the untimed fourth quarter is the winner.

Last year, Team Giannis Antetokounmpo led Team LeBron 133-124 through three quarters. Thus, the final winning score was set at 157 in the fourth quarter. The first team to get there wins. Obviously, Team Giannis needed only 24 points to win and Team LeBron 33 – but Team LeBron got to 157 first, outscoring Team Giannis 33-22 in the fourth.

It truly makes for a much more exciting finish and the players loved it last year; for example, there are no fouls clogging up the final two minutes as in many regular-season games where trailing teams purposefully send opponents to the free-throw line to stop the clock.

Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis has replaced Durant in the game, but Boston’s Jayson Tatum replaced Durant in the starters’ pool. The Lakers’ Anthony Davis will also miss it due to injury, and he was replaced by the Suns’ Devin Booker.

As the leading overall vote-getter, LeBron got to pick first in Thursday’s draft and took Giannis, while Durant took Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving with his top pick. Team LeBron also has Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic and Damian Lillard. That’s crazy strong. Team Durant has Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, NBA scoring leader Bradley Beal, triple-double machine James Harden and rising superstar Zion Williamson.

NBA All-Star: Who Will Win Team LeBron vs. Team Durant?

SportsInteraction