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LeBron Scoring Record Odds – When Will He Break Kareem’s All-Time Scoring Mark?

Sam Cox

by Sam Cox in NBA Basketball

Feb 1, 2023 · 6:48 AM PST

LeBron James holds the ball and points
Jan 31, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) controls the ball against the New York Knicks during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
  • LeBron James is 89 points off the all-time NBA scoring record held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • James recorded a 28-point triple-double in the Lakers’ Tuesday night overtime win against the Knicks
  • See the odds on when LeBron will break Kareem’s all-time scoring record

For a long time, it has been inevitable that LeBron James would pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the all-time leading scorer in NBA history. That moment is nearing, with James sitting only 89 points behind Kareem after dropping a 28-point triple-double at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

At DraftKings, bettors can wager on which game LeBron will break the scoring record in. The King is chasing history, while the Lakers battle for position in the NBA playoff bracket.

Odds When LeBron Passes Kareem’s Scoring Record

Opponent Date Odds
Indiana Pacers 2/2/23 +50000
New Orleans Pelicans 2/4/23 +3000
Oklahoma City Thunder 2/7/23 +130
Milwaukee Bucks 2/9/23 +120
Golden State Warriors 2/11/23 +300
Portland Trail Blazers 2/13/23 +950
New Orleans Pelicans 2/15/23 +2500
Golden State Warriors 2/23/23 +5000
Dallas Mavericks 2/26/23 +10000
Memphis Grizzlies or later 2/28/23 +2000

Odds as of February 1st at DraftKings Sportsbook. Get the DraftKings Sportsbook bonus code to bet on the 2022-23 NBA season.

The two favorites are LA’s matchup with the Thunder on Feb. 7 (+130) and the Bucks on Feb. 9 (+120).  The Lakers have dates with the Pacers (Feb. 2) and Pelicans (Feb. 4) in the interim.

 

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LeBron Season Averages

James averages 27.2 points per game for this career. If he were to score at that rate and play in all of the upcoming games, the four-time MVP would need four games to overtake Kareem. In 2022-23, however, James is scoring over 30 points per game. At that pace, James would be passing Kareem towards the end of the contest with the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 7th.

Not only is he exceeding his career marks for this campaign, he is also averaging north of 33 points per game since the turn of the year. James has scored 40 or more points on five occasions this season, all of which have come since December 30th. One night with that level of production would accelerate his pursuit of the record considerably. It is not out of the question that he puts up consecutive 40+ games, which could see him need just two games to become the league’s all-time leading scorer.

Away from James’ scoring numbers, load management is a factor here, too. There are no back-to-backs for the Lakers until mid-March, but James played 43 minutes on Tuesday after 44 against the Celtics at the weekend.

Eyeing the Record at Home

Los Angeles rested both James and Anthony Davis against the Nets in the first game of a back-to-back. There were murmurs that this was not only about preserving energy, but also a means to put James on track to break the record at home. Their next game at Crypto.com Arena is against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 9th.

Like with so many of the league’s stars, there is relative uncertainty over whether James will take the hardwood on any given night. It is possible he is missing from the Lakers’ NBA lineups for another game on this road trip (perhaps against the sinking Pacers on Thursday night).

James had to put in another gruelling, epic performance on Tuesday, giving the Lakers a good excuse to give him the night off, while all but guaranteeing he breaks the record on his home court.

With Kareem starring for both the Bucks and Lakers, there is something poetic about LeBron breaking the record with those two teams on the court. Of course, James cannot entirely control when he breaks the record, but that scenario is unquestionably going to be appealing to LeBron and the people close to him.

Prediction for LeBron to Break the Record

James, though, remains a fringe contender in NBA MVP odds, and faces a pair of subpar defenses in the next three games in the Pelicans and Pacers (both rank below average in 2023). He scored a combined 41 points across his two games against those teams earlier this season, but both are trending in the wrong direction.

Passing the record is historic, and another significant moment in James’ GOAT candidacy, but how much can LeBron and the Lakers let it distract from their season? They are in a fiercely competitive Western Conference, with little margin for error after a slow start to the season. Resting James in Indiana, New Orleans or Oklahoma City would be risky.

Barring a significant injury, this comes down to the Thunder or Bucks, as the odds suggest. James would surely prefer to do it against Milwaukee in Los Angeles, but his scoring over the last few weeks, and the opponents to come, suggests the Thunder game is the best bet.

Pick: Thunder (+130)

 

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