2020 NBA HORSE Challenge odds, optimal picks: Predictions from proven data engineer

Basketball is finally back, at least in a format not seen for 10 years, as eight current and former NBA and WNBA stars will take part in the 2020 NBA HORSE Challenge starting Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. The 2020 NBA Horse Challenge field features Trae Young, Zach LaVine, Chris Paul and Mike Conley, as well as retired NBA All-Stars Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce. The WNBA is represented by Chicago Sky standout Allie Quigley and retired WNBA star Tamika Catchings.

The NBA HORSE Challenge is a bracket-style contest from the players' home courts. The semifinals and finals are set for Thursday. Several sportsbooks are taking action on the overall winner as well as individual matchups, and the latest 2020 NBA HORSE Challenge odds list Young as the favorite at +225 (risk $100 to win $225). Before locking in any 2020 NBA HORSE Challenge picks, be sure to see the latest predictions and best bets from SportsLine's Mike McClure

McClure is a DFS professional with nearly $2 million in career winnings. NBA is one of his specialties, as he's seen his lineups return as much as 40x on FanDuel and 84x on DraftKings. He's also a data-driven predictive data engineer who uses a powerful prediction model to help him make picks on every sport and event. 

With the 2020 NBA schedule currently paused, he's turned his attention to the NBA HORSE Challenge 2020. He's revealing his picks right here

Top 2020 NBA HORSE Challenge predictions

One shocker: McClure is fading Young, even though he's the overall Vegas favorite. The second-year Oklahoma sharpshooter has been known to fire away from just about anywhere on the court, which could be a recipe for disaster in this format. Young's desire to put on a show on a big stage could backfire, as evidenced by his first-round flameout in this year's NBA three-point shootout. 

While Young assuredly has the chops, range and trick-shots to make a dent in this format, his first-round opponent could be a problem. Billups shot 90 percent from the free-throw line during his NBA career and has the capability of frustrating Young into a big upset. McClure believes that Young is a strong player with a bright NBA future, but that there are much better values in the 2020 NBA HORSE bracket than the +225 premium you'll need to pay for him.

Another surprise: McClure is high on Pierce (+110) to upset two-time Slam Dunk champion and Bulls star Zach LaVine in Sunday's action. "Pierce was extremely vocal about wanting to be in this event from the second it was suggested," McClure told SportsLine. "Remove the dunking ability of LaVine and this is a relatively even matchup in a game of HORSE."

How to make 2020 NBA HORSE Challenge picks

Instead, McClure says a critical X-factor makes one player a must-back. In fact, he says this event was tailor-made for them to shine. He's only sharing who to pick at SportsLine.

Who advances in the NBA HORSE Challenge 2020? And what critical X-factor makes one player a must-back? Check out the latest 2020 NBA HORSE Challenge odds below and then visit SportsLine now to see which player you need to jump on now, and who wins every matchup, all from a proven data engineer who has provided plenty of big returns

2020 NBA HORSE Challenge odds to win 

Trae Young +225
Chris Paul +300
Zach LaVine +400
Mike Conley Jr. +450
Paul Pierce +500
Chauncey Billups +700
Allie Quigley +900
Tamika Catchings +1200

2020 NBA HORSE Challenge odds for Sunday

Trae Young -250 vs. Chauncy Billups +200
Mike Conley Jr. -450 vs. Tamika Catchings +350
Zach LaVine -140 vs. Paul Pierce +110
Chris Paul -350 vs. Allie Quigley +250

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