Several of the game’s brightest young stars will go head-to-head at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte for the 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge at 9 p.m. ET to headline the first day of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend on Friday. The game originated back in 1994 and switched to its current Team USA vs. Team World format back in 2015. In the four years since, Team World is 3-1. However, this year it’s Team USA that is a 2-point favorite with the total set at 296.5 in the latest 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge odds. But before you make your predictions, be sure to check out the 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge picks from proven NBA expert Mike Barner first.
A respected NBA Fantasy expert, both season-long and daily, Barner has seen his work appear in Sports Illustrated and on Yahoo, RotoWire and KFFL. He has also been featured on ESPN Radio. Barner digs deep into the data, examining team trends and projecting game outcomes.
Barner’s expertise has been on full display lately: Over his past 38 NBA picks, Barner has cashed at a massive 74 percent win rate that has returned nearly $1,700 to $100 players. That payout doesn’t include the 6-1 parlay he nailed by hitting all three of his best bets for Monday.
Now, he’s locked in on the 2019 Rising Stars Challenge as part of NBA All-Star Weekend. He has released a confident against-the-spread pick that’s only available at SportsLine.
For Friday’s 2019 Rising Stars game, Barner knows that Team USA’s big advantage will come in the backcourt. There is impressive offensive talent at guard with Donovan Mitchell, De’Aaron Fox and Trae Young. Mitchell should provide the scoring punch since he averages 22.4 points, while Young and Fox will share responsibilities at point guard.
That blend should be particularly interesting, with Young providing incredible range and the ability to create offense from anywhere off the dribble and Fox providing the slashing ability. Team World doesn’t have matching production in its backcourt and could have issues defending on the perimeter too.
But just because Team USA features plenty of talent doesn’t mean it’ll cover the Team USA vs. Team World NBA Rising Stars spread.
For Team World on Friday night, one of the big advantages should be the returning experience of Lauri Markkanen, Ben Simmons and Bogdan Bogdanovic.
All three were on the Team World roster last season when they routed Team USA 155-121, and all three players made significant contributions. Simmons had 11 points and 13 assists, Markannen had 15 points and six rebounds and Bogdanovic hit seven 3-pointers and went off for 26 points off the bench.
Team World did a tremendous job of sharing the basketball in that game, assisting 45 of 64 made field goals and knocking down an astonishing 23 3-pointers in that game. Expect Team World to have the advantage from beyond the arc again and it could come in handy in what is always a high-scoring exhibition.
We can tell you Barner is leaning under, but his stronger pick is against the spread. He knows a hidden x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
So who wins Team USA vs. Team World at the 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge?