When it comes to taking and making shots from beyond the 3-point arc, few NBA players are on the same level as Stephen Curry.
That’s why the Golden State Warriors’ baby-faced bomber is the favorite to win this Saturday’s annual All-Star 3-point Shootout. But, while Curry is the oddsmakers’ pick, you may not want to make him yours.
Underdogs have had the hottest hands in recent 3-point shootouts, like last year’s winner Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who was the biggest pup in the litter at +600. In fact, the last four 3-point champions were not the betting favorite heading into the event.
Behind Love’s title in 2012, James Jones of the Miami Heat won at +450 in 2011, Paul Pierce of the Celtics won at +400 in 2010, and Daequan Cook of the Heat won at +750 in 2009 – also the biggest odds on the board.
Books opened Curry, who is second in the NBA in 3-point percentage (44.7 percent), at +300 and early action has taken those odds down to +275 as of Thursday. He is up against Steve Novak (+400) of the Knicks, Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (+350), Spurs forward Matt Bonner (+600), Ryan Anderson (+450) of the Hornets, and Pacers guard George Paul (+600).
Saturday is Curry’s second 3-point contest in the past four seasons. He finished second to Pierce in 2010, losing 20-17 in the final round after sinking a first-round best 18 shots from distance. He entered that event as a +300 co-favorite.
Anderson is the only other contestant with experience in the 3-point shootout, missing the cut with 17 makes in the first round after being the second-overall favorite at +325 last year. This season, he is shooting just over 40 percent from the arc and leads the league in 3-point attempts (396).
Last year, Love won with 17 makes in a tie-breaker against Kevin Durant, but both hit just 16 in the final round. That was the lowest winning total in the past 10 All-Star Weekends, with the average winning score being 20.2 makes since 2003.
For you horse racing bettors, who handicap pedigree, Curry's father - legendary marksman Dell Curry - competed in the 3-point shootout twice in his career. In 1992, he hit only 11 and failed to make it out of the first round. In 1994, the elder Curry hit just 12 in another first-round flop.
Odds courtesy of UWin.com.