NBA regular season is coming to a close and there is still plenty to be resolved. Playoff positoning, awards, a ton is up for grabs, but so is the scoring leader.
Three players, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid, are all averaging north of 30 points per game this season and are separated by fractions of a point as we head into the final week of the NBA regular season.
Let’s set some hypothetical odds and handicap the final week of the season through the scoring title, which player is going to go off with playoff seeding still at stake for all three superstars?
NBA Scoring Leader Odds
- LeBron James: -130
- Giannis Antetokounmpo: +150
- Joel Embiid: +170
James is the current leader through Friday’s games, averaging 30.4 points per game, with Antetokounmpo averaging 30.1 and Embiid averaging 30.0. So, it’s tight, but the Laker has the rightful leg up given the circumstances of his team.
The four-time champion has not won the scoring title since 2008, but has had to take on a crazy high workload with the injuries to his co-star Anthony Davis this season. James’ usage rate is the highest it’s been since the 2009-2010 season and has had little issue scoring at a high clip in an efficient manner. He’s shooting over 52% from the field on the year.
As well, James is well aware of the scoring title on the line as well as the precarious position Los Angeles is in. The team is the No. 11 seed in Western Conference, trailing the San Antonio Spurs by 1 game for the final play-in spot. James needs to play two more games to qualify for the scoring title, but didn’t seem hampered with his lingering ankle injury, scoring 38 points on Friday night after missing two straight games.
While stars like Antetokounmpo and Embiid are on teams jostling for playoff seeding, they don’t need to break 30 points in order for their team to succeed as they are more focused on the postseason. Meanwhile, James and the Lakers are fighting for their postseason lives and he is very aware of his standing as the league’s leading scorer. I believe that he is very motivated (and needed) to score at a high clip for both the Lakers sake and his own accolades.
With just a few games left, expect LBJ to continue putting up monster numbers, even if the Lakers season reaches a breaking a point.
You can find all of Reed’s bets HERE!