The Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon, who lost in the second tiebreaker round against the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine in the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest last season, will look to take home the title this year with Lavine out. Gordon is the betting favorite for the event at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday night.
The reason for him being the betting chalk, is thanks to LaVine’s absence from the contest. The Timberwolves guard, who was crowned the Slam Dunk champion in both 2015 and 2016, underwent knee surgery this week to repair a torn ACL. That has LaVine out for the season, and Gordon set as the dunk favorite.
Gordon is the -155 betting favorite on the odds to win the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night. Last year Gordon faced off against LaVine, the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond, and the Denver Nuggets’ Will Barton. Gordon trailed LaVine 99-94 after the first round, but the pair put up identical scores of a perfect 100 in the finals. They each scored 50 points in the first tiebreaker, but LaVine edged Gordon 50-47 in the second tiebreaker to win.
Only Gordon returns to the four-man field for the Slam Dunk Contest this weekend, and his biggest competitor for the event according to the betting lines is Derrick Jones Jr. of the Phoenix Suns. Jones’ odds are set at +130 to win the competition on Saturday night.
If you’ve never heard of Jones, you’re not alone. This would be his biggest accomplishment in his NBA career, as he’s played just 20 minutes for Phoenix over six games this season, scoring a total of five points. Gordon, meanwhile, is averaging just over 11 points and just under five rebounds and two assists per game on the season for a struggling Magic team.
The Slam Dunk Contest field is then rounded out by DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers (+800) and Glenn Robinson III (+900) of the Indiana Pacers. Both Robinson and Jordan are participating in the event for the first time. Robinson is averaging just under six points per game for the Pacers on the season, while Jordan is averaging just over 12 points and just under 14 rebounds for the Clippers.
The Slam Dunk Contest will be the third event on Saturday night, following the Skills Challenge and the Three-Point Contest. The NBA All-Star Game tips off at 8pm ET on Sunday night.
Odds as of February 16th, 2017