One of the greatest National Basketball Association players of all time could cement his legacy even further with one of the league’s biggest all-time records. NBA star LeBron James is on pace to pass the NBA scoring record in the next two games. Here’s a look at the hype surrounding the record and how TV companies and sportsbooks could cash in.
What Happened: James entered the 2022-2023 season with his lowest betting odds and the largest potential payout of winning the NBA MVP award.
While James is still a long shot to win the NBA MVP for this season, one thing James will likely accomplish is the NBA’s all-time scoring record.
A record held by NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for over 30 years is now likely one or two games away from changing hands to James.
James has 38,352 points during his NBA career in 1,408 games played. The record of 38,387 is currently held by Abdul-Jabbar, who played 1,560 NBA games.
James currently ranks 32nd in NBA career rebounds at 10,576 and is fourth all-time in assists with 10,351.
Many consider the debate over the greatest player of all time to center around James and Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan. In 2,072 games, Jordan scored 32,292 points and ranks fifth all-time.
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What’s Next: The NBA scoring record is likely to be passed by James in the next one or two games, depending on if he can score 36 points in his next game.
James has a career average of 27.2 points per game and is averaging 30 points per game in the current 2022-2023 season, ranking seventh in the league.
Based on those stats, James would need two games to break the record.
The lineup of the next games for James is:
Feb. 7: Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers, 10 p.m. ET, on TNT channel
Feb. 9: Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Lakers, 10 p.m. ET, on TNT channel
Feb 11: Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors, 8:30 p.m. ET, on ABC
Feb. 13: Los Angeles Lakers at Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. ET, on NBA League Pass
The big winner from the TV coverage will likely be TNT, which is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery WBD. With the Lakers playing their next two games on TNT, the channel and parent company could benefit from strong viewership and the ability to charge a premium for any leftover advertising inventory. If James fails to clear the mark in the next two games, The Walt Disney Company DIS could benefit big with a primetime network television game between James and Steph Curry to break the record.
Several sportsbooks are offering bets on the record being broken by James.
DraftKings Inc DKNG has listed the odds of James breaking the record on Feb. 7 at +250 and on Feb. 9 at -295. FanDuel, owned by Flutter Entertainment PDYPY lists the odds at +340 for Feb. 7 and at -300 for Feb. 9.
There are also odds of what type of basket will be used to break the record. DraftKings has the odds as:
2pt field goal: -150
3pt field goal: +260
Free throw: +350
FanDuel is offering the scoring play with more options:
Free throw: +450
3pt field goal: +370
During the NBA season, James has passed the 36-point mark in nine of 43 games played, or around 21% of the games. In his last five games, James posted 27, 26, 28, 41 and 20 points.
The odds strongly suggest that James will break the record in his second upcoming game, needing to hit over his season and career average in the next game to break the record. The Lakers have not played the Thunder yet this season, making it hard to gauge what kind of performance James could have.
Another betting option to consider, offered by FanDuel, is during which quarter James will break the record. The odds are:
1st quarter: +220
2nd quarter: +175
3rd quarter: +380
4th quarter: +270
Assuming James hits his season average of 30 points against the Thunder and needs only six points to break the record, there could be value on this being accomplished in the first quarter against the Bucks in the next game.
Along with TV and sports betting, the ticket market is also heating up for the next two Lakers games. Sports reporter Darren Rovell shared that someone spent $48,562 on two courtside tickets for the Bucks at the Lakers game on Tickpick. The $24,281 per seat ranks similar to the most expensive seat bought for Kobe Bryant’s last NBA game in 2016 at $27,500.
The 27 points posted by James in the last game have significantly impacted the ticket market with many believing it will now take at least two games to break the record. On Jan. 29, the lowest tickets were $300 each for the Feb. 7 game and the Feb. 9 game. As of Monday morning, tickets for the Thunder game are now $200 each at their lowest and the cheapest tickets for the game against the Bucks are priced at $600.
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Photo: Erik Drost on flickr
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