Posted on: February 7, 2023, 12:13h.
Last updated on: February 7, 2023, 01:09h.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will not be the NBA’s all-time leading regular season scorer for much longer. LeBron James is on his heels, and the record of 38,387 career points could be broken tonight.
Although the oddsmakers feel Thursday is more likely.
If you want to bet on LeBron, who needs 36 points to surpass Abdul-Jabbar, the payoff is not all that bad. He will need to go for at least 36 for the 10th time this season, and he is a bit overdue, having scored 27, 26 and 28 points in his last three games after averaging 33.8 points per game in January. The Lakers play host to the Oklahoma City Thunder at 10 p.m. EST.
Here are the odds on the record falling tonight that are available at New York’s nine licensed sportsbooks:
- DraftKings: +150.
- FanDuel: +135.
- BetMGM: Not offered.
- Caesars: Not offered.
- PointsBet: +115.
- BetRivers: Not offered.
- WynnBet: Not offered.
- ResortsWorldBet: Not offered.
- BallyBet: Not offered.
The Thunder-Lakers game will be nationally televised by TNT, as will Thursday night’s Lakers-Bucks game when the record will likely fall if James comes up short tonight. Courtside seats are selling for $75,000 apiece for those who want to take a chance on witnessing history in downtown El Lay.
36 points away 👑
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 5, 2023
Why Are The Spreads So Different?
Every sportsbook sets odds trying to get equal action on both sides of the equation. This is why they build big hotels in Las Vegas, and this is why sports gambling stocks are confounding investors. With only four of the nine sportsbooks in New York offering LeBron-specific action, it would appear there is a creativity void at a few of these operations.
But with that being said, ResortsWorld is offering odds on how the record will fall: +250 on a layup, +300 on a 3-pointer, +400 on a free throw, +500 on a dunk and +200 on other. Draft Kings has a line of +360 on a 3-pointer and +350 on a free throw, and FanDuel has +450 on a free throw and +650 on a dunk.
FanDuel also has a number of popular parlays arrayed around the possibility of the record falling tonight. Among the 20 choices are a +3100 wager on James to score the record-breaking point on a dunk in the fourth quarter. The method is something King James has already considered.
"I know what I don't want it to be: a free throw."
LeBron James describes how he wants to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the All-Time NBA scoring record 👑pic.twitter.com/EwzGXbtrBR
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 7, 2023
LeBron Will do it Tonight, Won’t He?
Look, you can make a lot of mistakes when gambling. But you can cut those mistakes by never betting against the King. In case you have not been paying attention (living in a phone booth, as Gregg Popovich would say) for the past two decades, the guy is a freak of nature who simply refuses to age like the rest of humanity.
At 38 years old, he is averaging 30.0 points per game and is chasing another championship, although he will not be teaming up with Kyrie Irving, much to his chagrin.
Still, the Lakers are dangling guard Russell Westbrook and a pair of first-round draft picks in trade talks, and the Lakers team that takes the court tonight may look a little different from the Lakers team that plays against the Bucks on Thursday night. Los Angeles is 25-29 and 13th in the NBA’s Western Conference, and the odds on the Lakers winning the title range from +3500 to +5000.
James has won four titles, none since 2020. Abdul-Jabbar won the championship six times. He has been the NBA’s career scoring leader since April 5, 1984. Both James and Abdul-Jabbar are 19-time All-Stars. James has scored 20-plus points in 35 consecutive games, the third-best such streak of his career.
“To sit here and to know that I’m on the verge of breaking probably the most sought-after record in the NBA, things that people say will probably never be done, I think it’s just super, like, humbling for myself,” James told reporters prior to the start of the season. “I think it’s super cool.”
FanDuel lists the odds of the record falling Thursday at -200, DraftKings has it at -250, and PointsBet has it at -154.
Kareem will be in the house tonight, and he’ll stick around to see the other one of his former teams if the record falls Thursday instead of Tuesday.
Fans at Tuesday’s game will have the chance to bid on a pair of limited edition, custom-made adidas Forum “Legacy” sneakers signed by the great @kaj33!
Proceeds will benefit the Lakers Youth Foundation and Skyhook Foundation. Bidding at the LYF table (main concourse, aisle 12) pic.twitter.com/rUri1Onk4K
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 7, 2023
Might the record fall on a sky hook, which was Kareem’s signature shot?
Those of us who are old enough to remember seeing both guys play would find that option most fitting. And with that thought in mind, we asked PointsBet to give us a line on the record falling in that manner. (PointsBet has a “Name a Bet” feature for any wager not found on their site.)
But the best PointsBet would do was allow the choice of “other” at +200. Sigh. If the record does not fall tonight, your faithful correspondent will make a few calls to see that “Sky Hook” is on the board somewhere Thursday. Kareem made it an art form, and it would be fitting and make perfect sense for LeBron to break the record with one of these:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar turns 74 today 🎈
The sky hook will forever be a signature move. pic.twitter.com/qgMsrkP4XZ
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 16, 2021