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Slam Dunk Contest 2021 odds, picks: NBA All-Star Sunday predictions from proven expert

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 3/7/2021 CBS Sports Staff
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New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin is joined by Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons and Indiana Pacers guard Cassius Stanley to form the field for the 2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. All three high flyers will be in Atlanta to take part in the event, as the league attempts to highlight rising standouts. As usual, the Slam Dunk Contest will be in a showcase time slot but, instead of Saturday evening, the event will be during halftime of the 2021 NBA All-Star Game itself. The competition will take place in two rounds, with a five-member panel of former dunk champions serving as judges.

Toppin is currently the betting favorite at +150 (risk $100 to win $150) in the 2021 Slam Dunk Contest odds. Simons is listed at +175, with Stanley at +200. Before making any 2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest picks, be sure to see the 2021 All-Star Sunday predictions from SportsLine's Mike Barner

Barner is a respected NBA Fantasy expert, both season-long and DFS, whose work has appeared in Sports Illustrated and on Yahoo, RotoWire and KFFL. He has also been featured on ESPN Radio. He digs deep into the data, examining team trends and projecting game outcomes.

With his unmatched analysis, Barner spots opportunities in a unique way. Barner's expertise has been on full display lately. He is on a 35-23 run in against-the-spread NBA picks, returning over $950 to $100 players. 

Now, he has analyzed the 2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest lineup from all angles and is only sharing his pick here.

Top 2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest predictions


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One surprise: Barner is fading is Toppin. Big men are at a disadvantage in the Slam Dunk Contest, at least when assessing history. Only three players have ever won the event as full-time power forwards or centers, and it hasn't happened since Blake Griffin in 2011. One of those winners was Dwight Howard, who is a legendary athlete and future Hall of Famer, and Larry Nance Sr. is the only other winner, more than 25 years ago. 

As such, Toppin could already be fighting an uphill battle as easily the tallest contestant, and he only has 18 dunks so far during his rookie season. Toppin did lead the NCAA with 107 dunks last season, but he is more of a play finisher and power dunker than one who is known for style and flair. From there, Stanley and Simons are both explosive athletes that are capable of putting on a show for the judges.

How to make 2021 Slam Dunk Contest picks

Instead, Barner has identified one participant that is a must-back on Sunday. Barner calls this player "a scorer with plenty of athleticism." He's in perfect position to return value, so be sure to check out this pick over at SportsLine before getting in on the action.

So who wins the NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2021? And what X-factor makes this player a value pick? Visit SportsLine right now to get Sunday's's NBA Slam Dunk Contest picks, all from the SportsLine expert on an impressive 35-23 NBA heater, and find out. 

2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest odds

Obi Toppin +150

Anfernee Simons +175

Cassius Stanley +200

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