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What is the NBA Rising Stars Challenge and how to bet on it?
Feb 22, 2022, 4:41:00 AM

What is the NBA Rising Stars Challenge and how to bet on it?

The All-Star weekend has many games that keep fans excited. The best players from different teams in the league come together to show an outstanding match. One game in particular gets showcased on the first day of the All-Star break—the Rising Stars Challenge.

The Rising Stars Challenge is what the future would look like in the NBA with young star players battling it out to showcase their talents. However, some fans might question—what is the Rising Stars Challenge? People tend to overlook this aspect of the All-Star game because of the actual competition itself. When you have perennial All-Stars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant playing as team captains, younger players often get overshadowed in this prestigious weekend.

However, the NBA rising stars game is a one of a kind competition. Classic players like the late Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter all proved to the league why they are the face of basketball. 

Tune in to the Rising Stars Challenge rosters to make huge bets and see an outlook of what’s to come in the NBA. If you’re a punter, you can even make the most out of sports betting sites like to learn more about the Rising Stars Challenge odds. 

If anything, this annual basketball game is your key to witnessing the talent of young players. However, the question is how the odds work and what is the Rising Stars Challenge all about. 

Check out this complete guide to understanding all you need to know about the Rising Stars Challenge and how to bet on it.

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A brief history of the Rising Stars Challenge

The Rising Stars Challenge is an exhibition game conducted during the All-Star weekend. During this season, players are judged on whether or not they qualify to be included in the All-Stars. To determine an All-Star, fans need to vote from polls or on the official NBA website. 

Since March 2, 1951, fans are on the run to vote who is deserving of a spot in the All-Star roster. In the earlier years, the NBA All-Star game used the East and West format. For instance, when Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan played in his first All-Star game in 1985, he was part of the East team because the Bulls is an Eastern Conference franchise. Every All-Star game also has its own homecourt that’s decided by the commissioner and his advisers. 

While fans enjoyed the All-Star game every February of the year, the NBA found the need to up their flair and provide a new type of game during the prestigious weekend. Long behold, the first instance of the Rising Stars Challenge was born. 

In 1994, the Rising Stars Challenge was named the ‘Rookie Challenge’ which was originally organised by two randomly selected teams with first year players. The first Rising Stars Challenge game occurred on February 12, 1994 between the Phenoms and the Sensations. 

The game favoured the Phenoms who scored 74 to the Sensations’ 68 points. The Rising Stars Challenge MVP award went to Orlando Magics point guard Anfernee Hardaway. 

However, the Rising Stars Challenge changed its format to East versus West in 1996-1998. Soon after, they turned to the Sophomores versus the Rookies since the turn of the decade in 2000. 

In 2012, the All-Star games coordinators tried something new by splitting the players into two camps. These teams were coached by legendary NBA players like Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley, then turned to Grant Hill and Chris Webber in 2014. 

These teams were named after their coaches like Team Chuck and Team Shaq. However, the Rising Stars Challenge changed its format again in 2017 to Team USA vs the World with international and domestic freshmen and sophomores competing. 

What the previous MVPs can teach you in the betting scene

You might be thinking that the Rising Stars Challenge games can predict who the best players will be. While there are certainly Rising Stars Challenge rosters that compose NBA legends, you still can’t be too certain. 

Among the several great players are also NBA careers that fell off and became busts. A perfect example of this is the case of Tyreke Evans. During the 2010 Rising Stars Challenge, Evans was named the MVP of the match. 

He also won the Rookie of The Year award by the end of the season which showed a lot of potential. During his rookie year, Tyreke averaged 20 points per game which placed him in a rare category of rookies who averaged more than or equal to 20 points a contest.

Alongside Evans are LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Kevin Durant who all scored 20 points or more during their first season. However, as he progressed further into the league, Tyreke digressed significantly by scoring fewer points each season as he reached his prime. 

In 2018, Tyreke Evans retired after playing for the Indiana Pacers and only averaging 10 points a game. He only had a 9-year career after being projected to be a future MVP in the league. 

As you can see, the Rising Stars Challenge doesn’t accurately predict who becomes good or not. The games’ main purpose is to showcase young talent and their potential to be better as seasons wane. 

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75th anniversary Rising Stars Challenge format

Throughout its history, the Rising Stars Challenge rules always tried to keep fans and bettors at the edge of their seats with new flairs each season. In fact, the 2022 version of the game featured 4 teams with 7 players in each.

These teams participated in a three-game mini-tournament. 24 freshmen and sophomore NBA players were selected by the G League commission assistant coaches.

The 2021-22 season marked the 75th anniversary of the NBA and had the members of the 75th anniversary team as the head coaches. These members then chose the players for their own Rising Stars Draft. 

After drafting the 7 players, one from the G League Ignite, the games began where the winning team should first score the first 50 points. Once a winner was placed, a championship round ensued where a score of 25 should be achieved. 

Punters will always find the NBA Rising Stars Challenge to be a sight to see. With new formats like this that keep on coming up, bettors will always have something to look forward to during All-Star weekend. 

Rising Stars Challenge odds explained 

The NBA Rising Stars Challenge betting scene is quite similar to almost all sports betting lines. Just like any American sport, the American betting odds system is used here. Therefore, the plus (+) and minus (-) symbols are used to interpret the odds.

The plus symbol represents the underdog while the minus symbol represents the favourites. When you see odds during the Team USA vs Team World game of -120 and +110 respectively. You can interpret it as Team USA being more likely to win. 

Using the sample odds from above, you need to bet $120 on the favourites to earn $100 when they win. On the contrary, betting on the underdogs only requires you to bet $100 for a $110 payout if they win. 

The reason for the higher reward when betting on the underdog is the risk involved. Underdogs are not favoured for a reason. This is because there is a unique quality in them that isn’t on par with the favourites. These qualities include an inferior roster, defence, offence, and just about any aspect of the game. 

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Different Rising Stars Challenge betting markets

After understanding the odds, it is also best to learn how NBA Rising Stars Challenge betting lines work. Basically, markets or betting lines are ways you can bet on the NBA Rising Stars Challenge.

Here are the most common and profitable markets that will get you started in betting on your favourite rising stars team: 

Which team wins the Rising Stars Challenge?

Also considered as the moneyline bet on other sportsbooks, betting on the rising stars team to win is a common betting line. All you need to do is bet on either the favourites or underdogs to win the challenge and hope for your team to win.

Who wins the Rising Stars MVP? 

The Rising Stars MVP is the player who performed the best during the game. Examples of past MVPs were Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Jamal Murray. For most punters, betting on who you think will win the award is the hardest market to predict. 

Determining factors to win such accolades are performance during the regular season, rookie power rankings, and the general stat lines of each player. 

Over/under bets 

Over or under bets are common betting markets to predict how many points each team will score in a quarter, half, or the whole game. 

Since the formats change consistently, the 2022 version of the Rising Stars Challenge won’t be using the over/under bets. This is because the final score of the game will be fixed at 50 and 25 for the initial game and championship round respectively. 

Point differential betting

Betting on how much difference the two scores will be is common among punters. The mechanic is quite simple. You just need to predict by how many points the winner will win. The spread can either go for over or under 2, 4, 10, to 20 points. Depending on the sports betting site, it can be any number as well. 

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Start betting strategically during the Rising Stars Challenge 

If you want to be a professional punter, strategies are your best friends. It’s hard to go into a Rising Stars Challenge game without understanding how to put yourself in the position to win. 

Discover these strategies to start winning more:

Don’t overhype a certain player’s success early in his career

When watching the Rising Stars Challenge, most of the players participating are either freshmen or sophomores. It’s challenging to figure out whether or not a player will show his full potential. This is why you should manage your expectations. 

History will tell you that the Rising Stars Challenge has had players who are either great or underwhelming. Careers start on the battlegrounds of the Rising Stars Challenge. Carefully looking at every player playing the game is integral to betting on the right athletes into making it to the NBA Hall of Fame one day. 

Bet on the team with players who retained the Kia Rookie of The Year

For the most part, the Rookie of The Year winners often become one of the best players in the NBA. The Rising Stars Challenge also comprises sophomores, one of which is a Rookie of The Year awardee. 

This means that the team with the potential best player will win. However, you should also note that team composition matters a bit more than the Rookie of The Year. But when Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant proved to win their respective Rising Stars Challenge MVPs, betting on the best players will give you a higher chance of multiplying your bets. 

Bet on the team with players who have more point averages

When betting on in-play games, you can see stat lines like field-goal percentage and points scored during the quarter or half. This gives you a good idea of which team is performing better. 

However, teams can only struggle in specific periods of the game and later rally to beat the opposing team. Looking at the averages is a great strategy when you know the roster and how the coaching staff draw plays. 

Who has the better roster? 

At first glance, you can almost immediately see which team has the better roster. It’s quite simple to determine that by looking at the players. Those who achieved better scoring, rebounding, and assisting averages tend to be in teams that are generally just more superior. 

Teams with better 3 point shooters generally win

In the modern NBA, 3-point shooting is common. More teams are focusing on building their rosters around elite 3-point shooters. When looking at a team in the Rising Stars Challenge game, the better 3-point shooting team tends to have an upper hand advantage. 

The league average 3-point percentage in the 2021-22 season is at 34.9% while the volume of 3-pointers go for 30 to 35 three-point shots. If the numbers are close or better, you’ll find every good reason to bet on said team. 

What you need to remember before betting on the Rising Stars Challenge

Now that you’re ready to test out your luck and begin betting on the best Rising Stars Challenge teams and players, here are a few notes you have to remember:

    •   The All-Star game in general never plays defence. While coaches advise them to do so, defence is much laxer during the All-Star weekend.

    •   It’s more of an exhibition game, so it’s quite hard to predict who would win if the atmosphere is not competitive. The lack of defence should be enough to convince you that there is little to no competitive spirit other than making the flashiest dunks.

    •   Scoring is the priority during the Rising Stars Challenge. Offence looks more impressive than defence, so expect a high-scoring game. 

However, with the recent format as of writing, the defence may step up a notch. But judging by the previous Rising Stars Challenge games, the defence still takes a foot off the pedal than the usual regular season game. 

Betting on the Rising Stars Challenge is a novelty not a lot of punters do these days. More are focused on the All-Star game itself. But the Rising Stars Challenge is where all great players go through at some point in their careers.

When placing your wagers, remember to always employ a strategy at hand and understand the history of each player to have a greater chance of winning. 

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Words by: Vonn Consul

Image: Alamy 


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