Sportsbooks Offering Options on How, When LeBron James Reaches 40K Points

Lakers star needs just 132 points to reach the milestone and sportsbook operators are offering the chance to cash in on history.

Brad Senkiw - News Editorat
Brad Senkiw • News Editor
Feb 21, 2024 • 10:50 ET • 4 min read
LeBron James NBA Los Angeles Lakers
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James is close to becoming the first 40,000-point scorer in NBA history. 

The basketball legend and Los Angeles Lakers forward who’s scored the most points ever in the league needs just 132 more to reach the regular-season milestone. 

Inevitably, James gets there this season, and based on his season- and career-scoring averages, it might be possible to pinpoint when it happens. 

Coming out of the NBA All-Star break, he’s averaging 24.8 points per game. His career average is 27.2 points per game. Of course, health and load management could play a factor. James has played in 49 of the Lakers’ 56 games this season.

Still, sportsbook operators are offering the chance to cash in on history, including wagering options on when and how James hits the historic mark. Among the sportsbooks offering 40,000-point props are DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and bet365.

It's similar to how books offered special markets last week on how college basketball star Caitlin Clark would break the NCAA scoring record.

Before or after?

DraftKings is offering a before and after timeline with the Denver Nuggets game on March 2 at -120 and the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 4 at -110. The online sportsbook also has 11 different games to choose from in which James reaches 40,000 points. 

That game against the Nuggets in early March is the favorite at +180 followed by the Thunder at +235.

Betting James to get there by the end of February offers some juicier odds with +380 for the last day of the month against the Washington Wizards. 

Some of the long shots are set for this week and post-March 4. Think he’s gonna score 132 points on Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors? DraftKings is offering odds of +100,000.

Show me the money

BetMGM released figures on how much it has already taken on James’ run to 40K. 

The online sportsbook has received 18.3% of the tickets - the most of any game offered - on the Feb. 25 contest against the Phoenix Suns. The odds of +10,000 have attracted the second-highest handle of 16.6%. 

That’s the third game coming out of the All-Star break, so James would need to average 44 points per contest during that stretch to reach the milestone on that date. 

The game taking the most money at BetMGM is the Feb. 28 L.A. showdown between the Lakers and Clippers, the fourth game coming out of the break. At +1400, it has also received the second-most wagers at 13.9%.

The Wizards at +375 on Feb. 29 have received the third-most tickets (11.2%) and the fourth-most money (13.2) with the Nuggets on March 2 at +200 getting 13.4% of the handle.

The listed game getting the least amount of action is the March 13 contest against the Sacramento Kings, which has odds of +900. Bettors aren’t banking on James being shy of the milestone at that point as it only generated 2.4% of the tickets and 1.7% of the handle at BetMGM.

Method of milestone

Bettors can also take a chance on which shot type leads to the historic 40,000th point. 

A layup at +250 is the favorite, but it’s only taken less than 10% of the action. The most wagered shot is the dunk at +550, which has received 38.4% of the tickets and 38.2% of the handle, according to BetMGM.

While free throw and 3-pointer options are also offered, “other” is getting 24.4% of the bets and 27.9% of the money, second most in both. 

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