NBA All-Star Weekend has arrived and the marquee event of Friday night is the 2020 NBA Rising Stars Challenge. The game pits the best young players from the league against one another in a Team USA vs. Team World format, with plenty of intrigue and highlights on the way. Team USA boasts a trio of headline-level stars in Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant and New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson

On the other side, Dallas Mavericks standout Luka Doncic is the centerpiece, with uber-talented players like Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander filling out a loaded lineup. Team USA is favored by six points in the latest 2020 Rising Stars Challenge odds, while the over-under for total points is set at 306.5. Before making any 2020 Rising Stars Challenge picks, be sure to see the Team World vs. Team USA predictions from SportsLine's elite NBA handicapper, Mike Barner

Barner is a respected NBA Fantasy expert, both season-long and daily, whose work has appeared 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, while watching as many games as possible to gain an edge.

With his unmatched analysis, Barner spots opportunities against the spread as well as on totals. Barner's expertise has been on full display lately. He is on an amazing 78-47 run in against-the-spread NBA picks, returning over $2,600 to $100 players. 

Now he has zeroed in on Friday's NBA Rising Stars Challenge 2020. He has analyzed the rosters and matchups for this contest and released a confident against-the-spread pick. Head to SportsLine now to see it. Here are the latest lines and what you need to know for the 2020 NBA Rising Stars Challenge:

  • Team USA vs. Team World spread: Team USA -6
  • Team USA vs. Team World over-under: 306.5
  • USA: Features Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, the top two picks in the 2019 NBA Draft
  • WORLD: Has won three of five games in this format 

Why Team USA can cover

Barner has considered that Team USA is loaded with talent, including the two best rookies in the 2019 class in Morant and Williamson. That duo brings athleticism and skill that can't be fully matched by Team World and, when sprinkling the elite-level passing and long-range shooting of Young, the results could be staggering. 

Beyond that, Team USA has malleable pieces and that can kind of versatility could be vital in a setting with short benches. Memphis big man Jaren Jackson Jr. is the rare player that can block shots and space the floor offensively, Miami point guard Kendrick Nunn is capable of an explosion, and Team USA also has quality "role" players in Eric Paschall and PJ Washington to do all of the little things required, even in a high-scoring format. Team World is also missing a key piece in DeAndre Ayton, who has been ruled out with an ankle injury. 

Why Team World can cover

But there's no guarantee they'll be able to cover the Team USA vs. Team World spread. Team World has no shortage of returning players as Doncic, Gilgeous-Alexander and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie all participated last year. Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging a team-leading 19.5 points in his first season with the Thunder after being acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Paul George deal last summer. 

But Team World's hopes likely rest on Doncic, who registered 13 points and nine assists in the 2019 event. He has been doing it all for the Mavericks this season as he leads the team with 28.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.7 assists. New York Knicks swingman RJ Barrett also could be a factor as the rookie is among the leaders on his team in scoring (13.6 points) and steals (1.0). 

How to make 2020 NBA Rising Star Challenge picks

Barner is leaning over on the total as he's expecting a ton of offense from both sides, and he has also found a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. You can only see what it is, and who to back, over at SportsLine.

So who wins the NBA Rising Stars Challenge 2020? And what critical X-factor determines the spread winner? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side you should be all over on Friday, all from the SportsLine expert on a hugely-profitable 78-47 NBA run.