Thirty-six points. Heading into Tuesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, that’s all LeBron James has left before he stands alone at the summit as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Naturally, then, FanDuel Sportsbook has posted odds that offer bettors a few different ways to wager on LeBron James’ chase for the record.
Both when and how figure to be of interest. We’ll take a look at those markets here.
LeBron James Player Props
When And How Will James Break Record?
Ticket brokers and buyers are already playing this market, in a sense. Prices have begun rocketing up for games in which James has a chance to break the scoring record.
So, what do FanDuel’s odds have to say?
|Feb. 7||vs. Thunder||+135|
|Feb. 9||vs. Bucks||-195|
|Feb. 11||@ Warriors||+2600|
|Feb. 13||@ Trail Blazers||+20000|
|Feb. 15||vs. Pelicans||+20000|
|Feb. 23||vs. Warriors||+20000|
|Feb. 26||@ Mavericks||+20000|
|Feb. 28||@ Grizzlies||+20000|
|March 1||@ Thunder||+20000|
After a couple of slow — be LeBron James standards — games against the Pacers and Pelicans in which he totaled “just 53” points, James remains 36 points shy of holding the scoring mark alone. With the Bucks and Thunder on deck (Feb. 7 and Feb. 9, respectively), the market seems to have correctly pegged one of these home games as the record-breaker.
He needed to score at his average for three straight to break the record against OKC. That means he’s a bit behind pace for that, hence the underdog price remaining. The Thunder’s No. 10 defense (per Cleaning The Glass) will prevent a fairly substantial challenge to that, though they do push the pace at the sixth-fastest speed.
Note that FanDuel also has markets up for in which quarter James will break the record. As he draws nearer, this clears up some. Even another fairly modest (high 20s) effort from James against the Thunder will leave him likely to break the record in the first half against the Bucks. The market seems to like second quarter, so with that price pushed down, there may be some value on hoping for a big first or low 30s total against the Thunder.
Additionally, FanDuel offers odds on how James will break the record and score his 38,388th point.
Basketball Reference breaks down James’ shooting into different categories, so we can see what share of his points each of these shooting categories makes up.
Layups accounted for about 35.6% of James’ scoring this year. We can see why that’s the favorite. Compare that to the 40.82% implied probability and it’s fairly close but still a bit short.
James averages 2.2 3s per game, which comes out to accounting for 21.8% of his scoring. This one is much closer to the offered price, which reflects a 21.2% probability James will break the record with a 3.
As James has aged, his share of free throws has waned a bit. He’s down to just 4.8 PPG from the line this year, 15.9% of his total. The implied probability on +450 is 18.18%.
James’ 60 dunks account for just shy of 10% of his scoring. There, the implied probability is just above 13%.
That leaves the remaining buckets, 17% of his share. With implied probability just over 20%, this sits in the same ballpark as the non-3 offerings.
Here are the strengths and weaknesses in terms of shot frequency of the three most likely opponents for James to break the record. All ranks per Cleaning The Glass. We’ve used above-the-break 3s since James basically never shoots from the corner.
|Team||Rim Defense||3-Point Defense||Free Throw Rate|
Best of luck betting LeBron James odds as the all-time great chases one of basketball’s most hallowed records.