NBA Three-Point Competition 2023: Lillard, Tatum Headline Event
Markkanen Hoping for Home Comfort
Three-Point Contest Again the Main Event
The NBA Three-Point Competition 2023 is once again set to be the headline act of All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City. Eight contestants take part in the challenge, with the top-3 scorers advancing to the championship round.
Let’s take a look at the three point contest odds and see how the competitions stacks up.
Buddy Hield (Indiana Pacers)
Indiana’s Buddy Hield enters as tournament favorite, currently sitting at +375 in the marketplace.
Hield is currently shooting 42.6% from beyond on the arc this season while averaging an impressive 9.0 three-point attempts per game.
Hield, who was the 2020 Three-Point contest champion, currently leads the NBA in made three’s this season (230) and is certainly comfortable creating his own shot.
We’ve seen Hield get hot in a hurry and his willingness to operate anywhere beyond the arc should set him up nicely in the competition.
Market value: A-
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Portland’s Damian Lillard is next in line and is +450 to take out the shooters crown.
Lillard has been lights out from deep since the start of the calendar year and is shooting 37.3% from beyond the arc on a career-high 11.2 attempts per game.
Since January, no player in the league has made more three-pointers than Lillard. Given his form and seemingly infinite range to take advantage of the “Starry Range” shots it’s fair to say that the Blazers superstar might represent the best value for bettors.
Lillard has one of the lowest assisted three’s per game in the league meaning he’s accustomed to taking and making shots from range without needing to be in rhythm. Lillard ticks most boxes you’d want for a three-point contestant.
Market value: A+
Kevin Huerter (Sacramento Kings)
Huerter started the season as one of the league’s most coveted sharpshooters before cooling off over recent months.
The former Atlanta Hawk is sitting at +500 but given the relatively short price I can’t say I’d highly recommend wagering on a player whose shot has been out-of-sorts lately.
Huerter is still shooting a career-best 39.2% from beyond the arc on the season, while also averaging a career-high 6.8 attempts per game. That said, he’s another player whose made baskets are almost exclusively off catch-and-shoot action that find him in rhythm.
His above the break 3-point shot is pure and he can certainly knock off a couple racks in quick succession, but it is interesting to see he’s shooting just 35% from the corner on the season. Pass on the man they call Red Velvet and find value elsewhere in this event.
Market value: C
Tyler Herro (Miami Heat)
Miami’s Tyler Herro comes into this event sitting at +550 in the market and just as he was for the Heat last season off the bench he truly represents a Joker in the deck.
Herro is shooting just 36.9% from three-point range this season, but his quick release and shot mechanics mean he’s capable of finding rhythm quickly.
He’s also a player that’s more than comfortable pulling up from anywhere and has shown himself capable of scoring off-the-dribble and creating for himself a multitude of times.
While his numbers aren’t exactly eye-popping, Herro is certainly the type of player capable of pulling out a big score at just the right time to take out top honors.
Market Value: B-
Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Boston’s MVP candidate Jayson Tatum comes into the three-point competition priced at a very juicy +650 in the market.
While Tatum’s 35.7% three-point average this season doesn’t fill you with confidence as a bettor it’s his size, shot release and range that become valuable in this environment.
Many former contestants have said that this competition can be better-suited to wings/forwards who don’t have to use their legs as much to get their shots off. The quick-fire nature of the competition means that fatigue can quickly accumulate for smaller guards and is a reason why we’ve seen guys with high-release shots do well in this event in the past.
Tatum very much meets that criteria and his ability to find rhythm quickly should suit him well in this format. He’s shooting 45% from corner this season (81st percentile in the league) and has the ability to make key shots from “Starry Range” that could also prove pivotal.
This is the best mid-range value price contestant for bettors and certainly worth a wager at his given price.
Market value: A-
Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)
Markkanen is the hometown hero and has the advantage of shooting in a building he’s very familiar with.
One thing that rings true for shooters is the importance of feeling comfortable with their surroundings and that does lend some value on Markkanen at the +700 price on him.
His biggest knock is that almost all his shots are assisted and while his 41.2% average from three-point range is impressive it’s important to note that he is only taking 7.4 attempts per game. He’s an incredibly efficient 55% from corner range, but has only taken 91 attempts from there on the season.
Rhythm in a home environment could propel him to a competitive score but his limitations from “Starry Range” and inconsistent shooting above the break could be his undoing.
Market value: B+
Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)
Haliburton sits at +700 and is the longest priced guard in the event this year.
The Pacers star has been a consistent outside threat since entering the league, with a career 3-point average of 40.7%. That said, his average this season has dipped slightly at 39.9% and while his raw numbers are appealing it’s his unorthodox style and low volume that are concerning in this event.
Haliburton is often taking pull-up three’s off-the-dribble in games and his made baskets off assists are also a higher average than you’d want for a pure shooter in this event.
Despite his efficient rate of scoring around the perimeter the small sample size makes it tough to gauge and while he has undoubted talent he simply isn’t a score-first guard that you’d want to back in an event like this.
Market value: D
Julius Randle (New York Knicks)
Randle enters as a last minute replacement for injured Blazer Anfernee Simons. His +850 odds have him as the ranked outsider and for good reason.
The Knicks forward is shooting just 33.8% from beyond the arc this season. He’s averaging just 2.7 Made Three’s on 8.0 attempts per game.
While he has shown himself capable of getting hot in a hurry with some of his first quarter outburst in recent months his inconsistent output and slow release leaves him unlikely to be a true challenger.
I wouldn’t recommend wagering any money on Randle at the current price. Even at a much better number it still wouldn’t represent value given his likely scoring.
Market value: D-
That’s all for our NBA Three-Point Competition 2023 preview. Be sure to check out all our All-Star previews ahead of a fun weekend of action, and don’t forget to check out the latest NBA injury report.
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