As LeBron James has approached Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record this year, he’s done so with gusto. There was no limping up to the mark or only inching past it. Instead, LeBron has excelled as the season has progressed and is averaging north of 30 points per game.
The end result is that, sometime in the coming week — or potentially weeks — he will become the NBA’s all-time points leader. When will it come and how will he break the record?
Unsurprisingly, there are multiple ways you can put money down on LeBron’s chase of Kareem. Our friends at DraftKings have odds on both who he breaks it against and how the record will be broken.
First, the opponent. The current favorite is the Bucks at Feb. 9 at +100 odds while the Thunder on Feb. 7 at +150 odds, both of those contests coming back in Los Angeles. Entering Thursday’s game against the Celtics, LeBron sat 89 points away from Kareem with a contest against the Pelicans between then and the Thunder game.
Again, just based on raw numbers and little context, LeBron is averaging 30.2 points per game and basic math would say he needs less than three games to reach 89. Obviously, various things come into the equation there like the fact LeBron has scored 30 points just once in the last three games, a span that has also corresponded with Anthony Davis returning.
There are variables that come into play, though. LeBron is never going to take it easy in a game to break the mark against a certain team or in a certain location. So the possibility remains that he could just explode for 45 points in each of the next two games and break the record in New Orleans, which is coming in at +3000 odds.
Ultimately, though, it seems like the best bet to pick that Bucks game at +100 odds. There would be some poetry to it, breaking it against the team Kareem originally played for.
It’s also an interesting bet on what type of shot LeBron will break the record on, a two-pointer (-150), 3-pointer (+240) or free throw (+370). For the theatrics, a dunk would be a great way to do it if all things were equal.
It’ll be an interesting dynamic because LeBron will almost certainly know when he’s close to or within a shot of the record. A free throw might be a good value bet as, once he gets within a shot of the record, LeBron is going to do everything he can to break it and could end up on the line as a result. If you want to bet on the shot, I think +370 odds is too good of a value bet to pass up.