NBA All-Star Game Caps Great Weekend – February 18

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Tonight’s NBA All-Star game caps off a great weekend of sports. Even without the NFL and college football, this weekend was full of outstanding sporting events. There were 22 ranked college basketball teams in action on Saturday. The NHL’s 2024 Stadium Series began last night and has another game today. There was UFC 298, the Genesis Invitational, and today we kick off the NASCAR season with the Daytona 500.

When the NBA All-Star game tips off at 8 p.m. ET tonight, we will have had as full a weekend as we could get without football. The second NHL Stadium Series game is this afternoon. The Genesis Invitational will have a winner. Patrick Cantlay leads by two shots heading into today’s final round. The Daytona 500 will also have a champion by then. The NBA All-Star game will send off the weekend in style.

East vs. West in NBA All-Star Game

This year’s NBA All-Star game gets back to its roots. It’s the Eastern Conference All-Stars against the Western Conference All-Stars. The league toyed with the NBA All-Star game, beginning in 2018. That year, instead of East vs. West, the top two vote getters would be team captains and the captains would draft their teams. LeBron James was one of the two top vote-getters in each of the six seasons of this NBA All-Star game format. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry were also captains during that six-year stretch.

James will play in his 20th NBA All-Star game tonight and will start for the West along with Durant, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Antetokoumpo will start for the East along with teammate Damian Lillard, Jayston Tatum, Tyrese Haliburton, and Bam Adebayo, who starts in place of the injured Joel Embiid. 

NBA All-Star Game Caps Great Weekend - February 17
The 2024 NBA All-Star game goes back to the East vs. West format

The NBA All-Star game also got rid of the Elam Ending this year. The Elam Ending is a system that uses an untimed fourth quarter. Instead of a time limit, teams play to a target score. The first team to reach it is the winner. In the NBA All-Star game using the Elam Ending, the final target score was 24 points more than the leading team’s score after three quarters. The number 24 was picked to honor Kobe Bryant, who had been killed in a helicopter crash just before the NBA All-Star game in 2018.

NBA All-Star Game Extras

Every NBA All-Star game has a bunch of other festivities that make up its All-Star weekend. The NBA is no different. On Friday night, the best of the young talent in the league played in the Rising Stars game. NBA rookies and second-year players (21 total) are drafted into three teams and seven NBA G League players form a fourth team. The teams compete in a single elimination tournament. This year’s Rising Stars winner was Team Jalen, coached by Jalen Rose.

NBA All-Star Game Caps Great Weekend - February 17
The Pacers won the NBA Skills Challenge

Mac McLung, who plays for the Osceola Magic in the G League, won his second consecutive NBA Slam Dunk contest last night. Lillard won his second consecutive 3-point shooting contest and the Indiana Pacers won the NBA Skills Challenge. The NBA All-Star Game Skills Challenge is a competition among three teams. One of the teams is composed of players from the host city’s team. This year, that’s Indiana. The teams compete in a four-round competition. The Pacers beat a team of All-Stars and a team of Top Picks.

Sports Hub & MMA – Remember This

Next time there is a UFC event on a Saturday, get yourself over to Sports Hub’s members’ area. Dive into the picks database and find MMA Free – Sports Hub and/or MMA Prime – Sports Hub. These are two expert handicappers that only make picks on MMA events like last night’s UFC 298.

MMA Free, of course, is all free picks. Last night, MMA Free made 26 picks and took home a bag full of cash. MMA Prime, which offers premium service plays, also went home with pockets full of dead presidents after crushing it on 13 picks. 

NBA All-Star Game Caps Great Weekend - February 17
Our experts crushed MMA picks yesterday!

Both of our expert MMA cappers earned over $600 yesterday, but they weren’t even the top dog. That would be our partners at Scores & Stats, the Sas Insider. The Insider loaded up and made 75 picks yesterday, all on college basketball.

Let’s see how the Insider did.

  • $1600 on CBB: The Sas Insider went 47-28 on those 75 college basketball picks and ended up with winnings of $1622. The Insider is No. 3 on our 7-day leaderboard and also No. 3 on our 7-day basketball leaderboard. The Insider is ninth on the overall 30-day leaderboard.
  • MMA Free – Sports Hub: Our free MMA picks went 22-4 last night on UFC 298. That netted a total of $825 in winnings. All you had to do to win big was join Sports Hub, log into your account, and go check out the best MMA picks in our system.
  • MMA Prime – Sports Hub: MMA Prime went 10-3 on its 13 UFC picks. If you had tailed MMA Prime, you’d have another $653 in your bankroll right now.
  • SWJ Sports: Scott at SWJ Sports is one of our MMA experts and, as usual, he was on one last night. Scott hit 9 of his 14 picks and earned $335. SWJ Sports is No. 1 over the last three days with a 16-6 record and $1300 in winnings. If you had followed Scott over the last five days, you’d be up $2055!
  • Computer Picks: If you know anything about our Computer Picks, you know that they win roughly 59 percent of the time. Yesterday, they weren’t quite at 59 percent, but 22 wins out of 39 picks won $330 yesterday. It would be worth checking to see if Computer Picks, or any of our expert cappers, have picks for tonight’s NBA All-Star game.

NBA All-Star Game Festivities Trending

With all of the hoopla over the NBA All-Star game, its events are dominating the latest news cycle. There were a few big games in college basketball too, as well as an upset win in UFC 298. 

Let’s check out the trending news.

  • McClung wins dunk contest: Mac McClung won his second consecutive NBA All-Star game Slam Dunk contest. His dunk over Shaq – 7-foot-1-inch Shaquille O’Neal – earned a perfect score of 50 and gave him the win.
  • Curry beats Ionescu: WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu scored 26 in her 3-point competition against NBA great Steph Curry. Curry followed up with a 29 to grab the victory.
  • UConn smokes Marquette: In a Big East showdown of No. 1 versus No. 4, defending national champion UConn showed why it’s the nation’s No. 1 team. The Huskies beat Marquette 81-53.
  • Topuria beats Volkanovski: Ilia Topuria knocked out Alexander Volkanovski to capture the UFC featherweight title. Volkanovski is arguably the greatest featherweight in UFC history. Topuria scored the upset with a second-round KO.

NBA All-Star Game Heads Today’s Schedule

If you didn’t know by now, the NBA All-Star game is tonight. You can catch it on TNT beginning at 8 p.m. ET. It’s not the only sporting event today. There are a number of events that you could take advantage of today. Our Sports Hub cappers will be doing so. Check our picks database to see what they are betting on.

What will you bet on today?

  1. NCAAB: There are 22 college basketball games on the schedule today. Two ranked teams will take the court. No. 24 Florida Atlantic travels to South Florida in a game that will determine first place in the American Athletic Conference. No. 2 Purdue is at Ohio State (14-11), which just fired head coach Chris Holtmann.
  2. NHL: Game 2 of the 2024 Stadium Series is today. The two New York teams – the Islanders and the Rangers – will play at MetLife Stadium starting at 3 p.m. ET. Los Angeles is at Pittsburgh and Arizona is at Colorado. Both of those games start at 6 p.m. ET. Arizona has the NHL’s longest current losing streak at eight games.
  1. NBA All-Star Game: It’s East vs. West in this annual all-star tilt. The last time the NBA All-Star game format was East vs. West, the West was a 192-182 winner. The West has won the last three straight and six of the last seven in this format.
  2. NASCAR: The Daytona 500 was scheduled for today, but rain has forced the race’s start until tomorrow. The race will start at 4 p.m. ET on Monday.
  3. Soccer: The top 5 professional soccer leagues in the world all have matches today. Check Sports Hub’s picks database for soccer picks. Don’t forget Geovanny Araya, our premier soccer handicapper.
  4. Genesis Invitational: Patrick Cantlay still has the lead at Riviera Country Club. He’ll start today’s final round with a two-stroke lead.
  5. Tennis: The ABN Amro Open, Delray Beach Open, and IEB+ Argentina Open all have finals today. The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Qatar ExxonMobil Open, Rio Open, and Mifel Tennis Open are all underway on the ATP Tour. The women are competing in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Enjoy today’s sports. Get on the right side of the action with Sports Hub. Our experts have hundreds of picks on all sports available on a daily basis. All you need to access them is a Sports Hub account. If you haven’t already, get one…now! See you tomorrow!