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Betting on the 2021 NBA 3-Point Contest

| March 5, 2021 6:44 am PDT

Half-a-dozen NBA superstars are set to take part in the 2021 NBA Three-Point Contest. Each participant is averaging north of 24 ppg this season, while two of the competitors are seeking their second three-point shootout title.

As for who’s in the 3-Point Contest and what the betting odds look like, let’s take a look.

NBA Three-Point Contest Odds

Stephen Curry+180
Zach LaVine+300
Devin Booker+350
Donovan Mitchell+400
Jayson Tatum+750
Jaylen Brown+800

As expected, Steph Curry leads the way as the betting favorite. That won’t change, but the odds for the Three-Point Contest will. In fact, they already have.

The best basketball betting sites originally installed Donovan Mitchell at +350 and Devin Booker at +450. Early action on Booker pushed the Suns shooting guard up the board, and don’t be surprised if he ends up passing Zach LaVine by the time Sunday evening arrives.

2021 NBA Three-Point Contest Info

  • Where: State Farm Arena – Atlanta, GA
  • When: Sunday, March 7th, 2021
  • Time: Approx. 7 pm EST (sandwiched between the Skills Challenge and the All-Star Game) 
  • Television: TNT

This page offers a full breakdown of the NBA 3-Point Contest format.

The Past 10 Winners of the Three-Point Shootout

From the time this event was inaugurated in 1986 all the way through 2018, eight NBA players competed in the annual Three-Point Shootout. 10 players competed in the 2019 iteration.

The addition of the two MTN DEW Zones in 2019 has upped the possible total for each round from 34 to 40 points.

Year Winner Final Score/Max Points Available
2020 Buddy Hield 27/40
2019 Joe Harris 26/34
2018 Devin Booker 28/34
2017 Eric Gordon 21/34
2016 Klay Thompson 27/34
2015 Stephen Curry 27/34
2014 Marco Belinelli 24/34
2013 Kyrie Irving 23/30
2012 Kevin Love 17/30
2011 James Jones 20/30

Larry Bird won the first three NBA Three-Point Contests in succession (1986-1988). Dale Ellis reigned supreme in 1989 before Craig Hodges ripped off three straight from ’90 to ’92. Nobody else has collected three trophies at this event; however, four others have won the 3-Point Shootout twice.

  • Mark Price (1993, 1994)
  • Jeff Hornacek (1998, 2000)
  • Peja Stojakovic (2002, 2003)
  • Jason Kapono (2007, 2008)

Time to start diving into this year’s participants.

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

  • 2020-21 PPG: 29.7
  • 2020-21 3PT %: 41.1%
  • 2021-21 Three-Pointers Made/Game: 4.8  

Commonly hailed as the greatest shooter to ever live, I’ll provide a bit of substance to back up that claim.

As difficult as it is to shoot over 40% from downtown in the NBA, it’s even harder to achieve if you’re a volume shooter. It’s specifically challenging to conquer if you’re constantly taking off-balanced shots with hands up in your grill.

Curry is all of that and then some, and he’s not just shooting over 41% from three in 2020-21. Steph has shot over 41% from three in 11 of his 12 seasons as a professional; the only time he didn’t was last year when he only played in five games.

Closing in on Ray Allen’s record for the most treys in NBA history, Curry’s 4.8 made three-pointers per game this season is tied with CJ McCollum for the most in the league.

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls

  • 2020-21 PPG: 28.7
  • 2020-21 3PT %: 43.5%
  • 2021-21 Three-Pointers Made/Game: 3.5  

Other than maybe Bradley Beal, you won’t find a guard in the Eastern Conference playing better than Zach LaVine right now. The Bulls combo guard has been on an absolute terror in the first half pouring in 30+ points 17 times. Zach strolls into the All-Star break with an NBA-high 21 straight games scoring at least 20 points.

As for his output from beyond the arc, know that LaVine shoots a higher % from downtown than anyone else in this year’s competition. Including Curry.

The strides Zach has taken from the perimeter are especially noticeable by peeking at these numbers.

Zach LaVine By the Numbers – Last Four Seasons
Season PPG 3-Pointers Made/Game 3-PT Attempts/Game 3-PT %
2017-18 16.7 1.8 5.1 34.1%
2018-19 23.7 1.9 5.1 37.4%
2019-20 25.5 3.1 8.1 38.0%
2020-21 28.7 3.5 8.1 43.5%

LaVine is aiming to become the first player in league history to win both the Slam Dunk Contest and the Three-Point Shootout. As much confidence as the 25-year-old UCLA product is carrying, I’m not sure I’d want to bet against him.

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

  • 2020-21 PPG: 25.2
  • 2020-21 3PT %: 36.7%
  • 2021-21 Three-Pointers Made/Game: 2.1

The Western Conference Player of the Month in February is the best player on the team with the second-best record in the West, and yet it took an Anthony Davis injury for Devin Booker to receive a nod as an All-Star. Rather than go on a rant about how laughable the NBA All-Star voting process is, let’s zero in on Booker’s chances of winning the Three-Point Contest on Sunday night.

On the surface, 36.7% and 2.1 long balls per game seem fairly pedestrian. Nevertheless, Booker has a knack for shining when the lights are bright that cannot be discounted. Consequently, Devin owns the record for the most points in a single round of the 3-Point Shootout with 28 en route to winning the whole thing in 2018.

Perhaps not regarded as a marksman from outside, he’s got that “it” factor that goes a long way in these types of contests.

Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz

  • 2020-21 PPG: 24.7
  • 2020-21 3PT %: 38.2%
  • 2021-21 Three-Pointers Made/Game: 3.3

Like LaVine, Donovan Mitchell is hoping to be the first former Slam Dunk Contest champion to hoist the hardware in the 3-Point-Shootout. And like Booker, Mitchell has that uncanny ability to rise when the pressure mounts.

The two-time All-Star has registered at least four triples 15 times this season and is shooting a career-best 38.2% three-point land. He’s shooting 39.8% from outside if you remove the first five games of the year from the equation.

Based on Donovan’s upward trajectory, “Spida” will be a 40% three-point shooter in no time.

Season Three-Point %
2017-18 34.0
2018-19 36.2
2019-20 36.6
2020-21 38.2

It’s worth noting that unlike the first three individuals featured in this blog, Mitchell has never appeared in an NBA Three-Point Contest before. Neither has either of the two representatives from Boston.

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

  • 2020-21 PPG: 24.9
  • 2020-21 3PT %: 36.4%
  • 2021-21 Three-Pointers Made/Game: 2.6  

Announced as an Eastern Conference starter following Kevin Durant’s withdrawal, Jayson Tatum can make this Sunday extra special with a win in the 3-Point Contest. His 36.4% clip from downtown doesn’t jump out, and most wouldn’t consider him as a deadly threat from deep. Having said that, Tatum shot over 40% from three in 2019-20 and is a career 39.5% three-point shooter.

He’s just so good at every other facet of the game of basketball that his perimeter shooting gets placed on the backburner.

To remind you just how accurate of a three-point shooter the Celtics 23-year-old phenom is, watch this 58-second clip of Tatum knocking down 20 in a row.

Now how do you feel about betting on the NBA Three-Point Contest in 2021?

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

  • 2020-21 PPG: 24.8
  • 2020-21 3PT %: 38.9%
  • 2021-21 Three-Pointers Made/Game: 2.3  

Last but not least is another swingman in Beantown. An All-Star for the first time in 2021, Brown’s ascension in The Association has been steady since he entered the league. He’s a gifted athlete with a soft touch from outside, but let’s not beat around the bush.

Brown will have to catch fire this weekend to keep pace with this aforementioned group. It’s hard to genuinely say that Jaylen has a sweet stroke when he’s a career 69.5% shooter from the charity stripe.

Sure, he’s indeed shooting much better from the line this season (78.1%), but this isn’t the playground for children. This isn’t the kiddie pool. The 3rd pick in the 2016 Draft is stacked up against some heavy hitters on Sunday, three of which have been here before.

As alluring as Jaylen’s +800 price tag is, I won’t be taking a bite.

NBA Three-Point Contest Prediction

Of the 27 possible attempts, more than 37% of them come from the corner. Before we lock in an NBA 3-Point Contest prediction, let’s use some advanced stats to determine how good these guys are from the corner.

Player % of 3PT Attempts From the Corner 3PT % From the Corner
Steph Curry 7.8% 31.3%
Zach LaVine 15.6% 46.5%
Devin Booker 9.5% 62.5%
Donovan Mitchell 13.5% 37.5%
Jayson Tatum 11.7% 32.0%
Jaylen Brown 10.5% 30.0%

I was leaning toward Zach LaVine before I tracked this information down, but this pushes me over the edge. The first-time All-Star consistently plays with a chip on his shoulder, and I anticipate that mentality shines through in the shootout.

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Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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