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Team USA favored over Team World in Rising Stars Challenge

We take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook for Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge.

 New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson handles the basketball during practice for the NBA All Star-Rising Stars Game at Wintrust Arena.  Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA’s All-Star Weekend festivities are set to begin Friday with the Rising Stars Challenge. The game will tip off at 9:00 p.m. ET. DraftKings Sportsbook will have several bets available on the game, and we’re here to take a look at the odds and lines.

This will be the sixth ever Rising Stars Challenge, and Team World is up 3-2. However, Team USA is favored to secure its second straight win this time. Team USA (-200) is favored by five points and the over/under is set at 306. The game has only eclipsed 300 points once, and that was last year when both sides combined for 305 points. Team World (+165) has scored at least 150 points three times while Team USA has done so twice.

There is an abundance of talent on both rosters. Team Word’s roster is headlined by a legitimate MVP candidate in Dallas Mavericks Star Luka Doncic. Doncic is nearly averaging a triple-double and will also be an All-Star starter for Team LeBron. His supporting cast isn’t quite as accomplished, but Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai-Gilgeous Alexander is having a breakout year. Other notable names include Brandon Clarke, Rui Hachimura, and RJ Barrett.

Team USA has an All-Star starter of its own in Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young. His prowess as an outside shooter and excellent playmaking could make him a game changer — especially with two top Rookie of the Year candidates playing alongside him. New Orleans Pelicans sensation Zion Williamson is favored (+275) to win MVP honors. His teammate — Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant — has the second best odds (+450). He’s been the frontrunner for ROY all year long, but the Williamson’s shadow has begun to loom in the distance following his return to New Orleans from a knee injury. Young’s MVP odds (+450) are even with Morant’s, and Team USA has other dangerous offensive weapons as well. Devonte’ Graham will likely be among the finalists for Most Improved Player, and Jaren Jackson and Collin Sexton are no slouches.

As far as betting advice goes, I think it’s safe to bet on Team USA to win and cover the spread. Defense shouldn’t be too much of a factor, and the American side has too much offensive firepower. The total points over/under seems like a reach though, and I don’t think Team World can be depended on to put enough on the board.

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