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NBA All-Star Game: Slam Dunk Contest Odds, Bets & Picks (Saturday)

by February 16, 2023
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The All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest has long been the crown jewel of NBA All-Star Saturday. Iconic performances over the years from the likes of Dominique Wilkins, Spud Webb, Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Nate Robinson and Blake Griffin have provided so many incredible moments for the league. Although the rules of the competition have evolved over the years, it is, at its core, the same competition of unadulterated athleticism that we’ve come to love.

The 2023 version will start with a first round in which the four dunkers will get two dunks, scored between 40-50. The two highest scorers will advance to the final round, where each will get two dunks again scored between 40-50.

NBA All-Star Game: Slam Dunk Contest Odds, Bets & Picks

(Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook)

Dunk Contest Competitors

  • Kenyon Martin Jr. (F – HOU) | +250
  • Jericho Sims (F – NYK) | +250
  • Trey Murphy III (G – NOR) | +290
  • Mac McClung (G – PHI) | +230
    *recently signed by the 76ers but has spent most of the season in the G-League*

It can be exceptionally difficult to handicap a competition like this from a betting angle, and we see that in the lines being fairly similar amongst the competitors. To find the best bet, I dove into common traits among recent winners

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Dunk Contest Factors

I’ve looked over the last 12 winners comparing how they stack up in three categories: height, age and minutes played. The results are in the table below, including the four contestants from this year for comparison.

Year Player Height Age MPG
2022 Obi Toppin 6’9” 23 17.1
2021 Anfernee Simons 6’3” 21 17.3
2020 Derrick Jones 6’5” 23 23.3
2019 Hamidou Diallo 6’5” 20 10.3
2018 Donovan Mitchell 6’1” 21 33.4
2017 Glenn Robinson 6’6” 23 20.7
2016 Zach Lavine 6’5” 20 28.0
2015 Zach Lavine 6’5” 19 24.7
2014 John Wall 6’3” 23 36.3
2013 Terrence Ross 6’6” 21 17.0
2012 Jeremy Evans 6’9” 24 7.5
2011 Blake Griffin 6’9” 21 38.0
2023 Kenyon Martin Jr 6’6” 22 26.3
2023 Mac McClung 6’2” 24 25.9 (G-League)
2023 Trey Murphy III 6’9” 22 29.5
2023 Jericho Sims 6’10” 24 16.2


Height is pretty self-explanatory. Shorter dunkers typically have a ton of explosiveness to even be in this competition, but we often don’t get the high-flying dunks that the judges love. In contrast, taller dunkers have often found the competition difficult because they don’t possess the jump-out-the-gym athleticism that winners typically possess. 

In the last 12 contests, the winner has been between 6’3” and 6’6” in eight of them, with only one under 6’3” and none over 6’9”. This puts McClung and Sims at a disadvantage right off the bat and puts Martin Jr. right in that sweet spot.


The Dunk Contest has long been a showcase for young talent in the NBA, so it is no surprise that over the 12 years, we haven’t had a single winner over the age of 24, and there have rarely been competitors outside that age.

A deeper look shows that typical winners are 21-23 years old. Eight of the winners in the time frame shown fit into this mold, with only one player to win at 24 or older. Both McClung and Sims have celebrated their 24th birthday, and Sims would be the oldest to win since Jeremy Evans in 2012.

Minutes Played

Many players love the break of All-Star Weekend as a chance to rest their legs. This is especially true of younger players that haven’t logged these kinds of minutes or this kind of travel before. Because of this, players to win the Dunk Contest often are role players, playing well under 30 minutes per game. The fresher legs show in a contest that is all about getting lift.

Over the last 12 years, winners of the Dunk Contest averaged 22.8 MPG on the season. Only four winners have played 28.0 or more. Starters who log heavy minutes typically need this time to rest tired legs. Trey Murphy finds himself the odd man out here as he’s logged more minutes than expected with injuries to Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson this year.

The Pick

Kenyon Martin Jr. | 1.0 u (+250)

When taking all of these factors into consideration, I have to go with Martin Jr. to win the 2023 Slam Dunk Contest. He fits all of the criteria we’ve typically seen from Dunk Contest winners. 

An added factor I like in his favor is that he’s the son of a famous former player who was a well-known dunker himself. Tidbits like that can be a factor when it comes to props and pageantry of the contest. Throwing a unit on Martin will add a little more fun to an All-Star Saturday night that should provide plenty of entertainment.

Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.

View 5-star bets and historical prop performance by players with our Prop Bet Analyzer >>


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