NBA Scoring Leader Odds: Will Embiid Top the Charts for a Third Straight Season?
Last season, Joel Embiid repeated as NBA scoring champion on the way to finally winning MVP honors after consecutive runner-up finishes to Nikola Jokic.
It marked the 13th time in NBA history that someone led the league in scoring in back-to-back seasons.
Of those 13 instances, a second straight scoring title was followed by a third in a row nine times, with Michael Jordan (seven consecutive scoring titles from 1987 to 1993 and a three-peat during the Bulls’ second three-peat from 1996 to 1998) the only player to do it twice.
Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1973 – Nate Archibald), Allen Iverson (2003 – Tracy McGrady), McGrady (2005 – Iverson), and the late, great Kobe Bryant (2008 – LeBron James) have failed to turn a back-to-back into a trifecta.
So, history is heavily in Embiid’s favor to win a third consecutive NBA scoring title this season. So are the odds, which have Embiid out ahead of Luka Doncic, who finished second behind Embiid in scoring last season.
2023-24 NBA Scoring Champion Odds: Who Will Lead the League in Points Per Game?
Odds are via Bovada as of Sunday, October 15, 2023.
- Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers +200
- Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks +275
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks +420
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder +420
- Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks +650
- Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics +750
- Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors +1500
- Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers +2500
- LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers +3500
- Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans +5000
- Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns +5000
- Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns +5000
- Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers +7500
- James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers +8000
- Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves +8000
- Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks +8000
NBA Scoring Leader Predictions for the 2023-24 Season
Will Embiid be scoring champion again?
If he stays healthy, he will.
After averaging a career-best 30.6 points per game in leading the NBA in scoring in the 2021-22 season, Embiid topped that this past season by averaging 33.1 PPG.
In the 66 games he played, Embiid shot a career-best 54.8% from the field, made 33% of his three-point attempts, and connected on 85.7% of his free throws.
In addition to having a decent enough shooting percentage, high volume is an important factor in being able to lead the NBA in scoring. Out of the top 15 scorers in the league last season, the only player not to average at least 19 shots per game was Durant. He averaged 18.3 shots per game but made 56% of them, the highest percentage in that top 15, as well as making 40.4% from three and 91.9% from the foul line.
2022-23 NBA Scoring Leaders
- Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers – 33.1 PPG
- Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks – 32.4 PPG
- Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers – 32.2 PPG
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder – 31.4 PPG
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks – 31.1 PPG
- Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics – 30.1 PPG
- Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors – 29.4 PPG
- Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets/Phoenix Suns – 29.1 PPG
- LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers – 28.9 PPG
- Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers – 28.3 PPG
Last season, Embiid averaged 20.1 shots per game (a career high) and 11.7 free throws per game after averaging 19.6 shots per game and 11.8 free throws per game the previous season.
His high volume won’t decrease this season, whether or not James Harden remains a Sixer.
Whereas there might be a bit more balance with other duos or trios like in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, and Phoenix, Harden and Tyrese Maxey are unlikely to take touches away from Embiid on a level that would diminish his chances for another scoring title.
Who could emerge from outside of the top contenders?
If Embiid doesn’t three-peat, my money’s on Curry or Gilgeous-Alexander.
If Giannis and Lillard gel as well as they could, the Bucks could be prolific to the level that Giannis could make a serious run at his first scoring title, but until we see things in meaningful action, it is an unknown how things will be spread between Giannis, Lillard, and Khris Middleton. The same can be said for KD, Booker, and Bradley Beal in Phoenix.
But outside of those top contenders, keep an eye on Zion Williamson and Anthony Edwards.
Of course, the big question with Williamson is whether or not he will be able to stay on the court.
Zion enters this season with a career scoring average of 25.8 PPG, but since being drafted first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, he has played only 114 games. Last season, he averaged 26.0 PPG, but he was limited to only 29 games and didn’t play after January 2 due to a hamstring injury.
Zion Williamson Year-by-Year
- 2019-20: made season debut on January 22, averaged 22.5 PPG in 24 games
- 2020-21: averaged 27.0 PPG in 61 games
- 2021-22: missed the entire season
- 2022-23: averaged 26.0 PPG in 29 games
A big year should be ahead for the player who followed Zion as the first pick in the draft. In his third year in the NBA, Edwards averaged a career-best 24.6 PPG, shot 45.9% from the field (another career best), and nailed 36.9% from three (another career best).
After taking on a starring role for the USA in the FIBA World Cup, Edwards should enter the season with a lot of confidence. Also, his sights are sure to be on earning one of the highly coveted spots in next year’s Olympic team.
With how much competition there will be for those dozen spots, Edwards will have to unlock a new level to have a chance to beat out some future Hall of Famers. I don’t know if he will be able to land one of those spots, but I have very high expectations for Ant Man this season.
Recent NBA Scoring Leaders by Year
- 2022-23: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (33.1 PPG)
- 2021-22: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (30.6 PPG)
- 2020-21: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (32.0 PPG)
- 2019-20: James Harden, Houston Rockets (34.3 PPG)
- 2018-19: James Harden, Houston Rockets (36.1 PPG)
- 2017-18: James Harden, Houston Rockets (30.4 PPG)
- 2016-17: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (31.6 PPG)
- 2015-16: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (30.1 PPG)
- 2014-15: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (28.1 PPG)
- 2013-14: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder (32.0 PPG)
Where to Bet on the NBA This Season
There are numerous sports betting sites you can choose from that are good for NBA betting. Here are several books that we have reviewed and highly recommend:
If you don’t have an account at a book on this list, check out our reviews to help you determine if it is worth your interest and your betting funds.
Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade and has been with Betting News since 2021. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter.
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