LeBron James’ historic chase continues Tuesday, as the generational talent is 36 points away from breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time NBA scoring record (38,387 points). It’s not a matter of if, but when, James will surpass Abdul-Jabbar.
Sports betting odds suggest fans of James and history may have to wait beyond Tuesday’s home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Based on the odds, James is more likely to break the record Thursday at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. Each game tips off at 7 p.m. PT and will air on TNT, giving James a national spotlight to break the record this week.
When will LeBron break the record?
James is averaging 30 points per game this season, so hitting the 36-point mark Tuesday isn’t out of the question. His point total prop was listed at 32.5 points at Barstool Sportsbook and Caesars Sportsbook as of Tuesday morning.
LeBron has scored 36 or more points in six of his 15 games played in 2023, including four 40-point games. James scored 41 points in a recent loss to Boston, but he’s failed to surpass 30 points in each of the Lakers’ last three games.
The 36-point threshold is attainable for James, but it would require an above-average scoring effort against the Thunder.
FanDuel is among the mobile sportsbooks with numerous props related to LeBron’s record-breaking pursuit, and it lists James to break the record Tuesday at +135, a change from when it was listed at +240 on Monday morning. He’s -200 to break the record Thursday against the Bucks, although those odds were -300 on Monday morning.
BetMGM lists LeBron at +150 to break the record Tuesday against the Thunder, a change from when the odds were +250 on Monday morning. DraftKings also had James at +250 on Monday morning to break the record against the Thunder, but as of Tuesday morning those odds are +130. James to break the record Thursday against the Bucks is -225 at DraftKings and -250 at BetMGM.
How will LeBron break the record?
Sportsbooks are also offering an array of wagers on how James will break the scoring record.
DraftKings has a 2-point field goal at -150 as the most likely way James surpasses Abdul-Jabbar’s record. BetMGM lists 2-point field goal at -250. DraftKings has 3-point field goal at +260 and free throw at +350, while BetMGM has 3-pointer at +310 and free throw at +400.
FanDuel goes more specific on how James will break the record, as the sportsbook offers odds on layup (+145), 3-pointer (+370), free throw (+450), dunk (+650), and other (+380).
Only way to pass Kareem is this shot or sky hook @KingJames https://t.co/nbZbRibgzM
— Danny Summerville (@dansummerville) February 2, 2023
Once James breaks the record, he’ll have the rest of his career to build a lead over peers in pursuit of the scoring title. Sports Handle’s Mike Seely pondered which players could one day surpass LeBron’s scoring total. Spoiler alert: It won’t be easy for any of LeBron’s contemporaries to make a run at the crown.
Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images