The NBA scoring title may fall outside the general list of awards (MVP, Rookie of the Year, etc.), but it’s arguably the most exciting race to keep up with throughout the season. Who doesn’t love points?
Joel Embiid is the two-time reigning scoring champion, averaging 30.6 points per game in 2021-22 and a career-high 33.1 in 2022-23. He’s in a good spot to repeat, but there will be challengers.
Here are the latest NBA scoring leader odds and my top picks for the 2023-24 season.
NBA Scoring Leader Odds 2023-24
Track line movement for NBA Scoring Leader with our odds widget below:
Select NBA Scoring Leader from this odds interface by changing the dropdown to Player - Regular Season - Most Points Per Game.
These NBA odds are current as of Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 1 p.m. ET and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Joel Embiid (+190)
- Luka Dončić (+255)
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+400)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (+550)
- Jayson Tatum (+750)
- Stephen Curry (+1300)
- Damian Lillard (+1400)
- Donovan Mitchell (+2000)
All other NBA scoring leader candidates have (+3500) odds or longer.
Who Will Win NBA Scoring Leader?
Joel Embiid: NBA Scoring Leader (+190)
DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit
Embiid would join some elite company by winning a third NBA scoring title, and at the moment, it looks like the honor is his to lose. Just nine players have led the league in scoring at least three times.
With Nick Nurse entering his first season as head coach of the 76ers, Embiid could see his workload increase significantly in 2023-24. Nurse tends to leave his best players on the floor for upwards of 37 minutes per game, meaning Embiid could put up even more field goal attempts than we’re used to.
Whether James Harden finishes the season with the 76ers is a moot point — yes, his playmaking ability has helped Embiid earn more efficient shots — but the reigning MVP is more than capable of creating for himself.
Few players — if any — will have the opportunity to score as often as Embiid this year, which is why I’m backing him to be this year’s NBA scoring leader with my NBA bet of the day.
NBA Scoring Leader Favorites
Luka Dončić: NBA Scoring Leader (+255)
Dončić reached new heights in 2022-23, ranking second only to Embiid with 32.4 points per game. However, with Kyrie Irving expected to be by his side for the 2023-24 campaign, Dončić will likely regress.
Before the Mavericks traded for Irving near the end of the 2022-23 season, Dončić averaged 33.4 points through his first 47 games. Following the acquisition, Dončić’s scoring average dropped to 29.9 points over his final 19 appearances.
Dončić undoubtedly has the potential to be the NBA’s top scorer, but Irving has to get his, too. It just doesn’t seem likely that the opportunity will be there for him.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: NBA Scoring Leader (+400)
Gilgeous-Alexander made a massive leap with the Thunder this past season, increasing his scoring output from 24.5 points per game in 2021-22 to 31.4 in 2022-23. The then-24-year-old was one of just six players to average more than 30 points per game last year.
Although he could easily surpass that mark again in 2023-24, there are far too many talented players in Oklahoma City for him to become the scoring leader. NBA Rookie of the Year candidate Chet Holmgren is set to take on a significant role, and Jalen Williams and Josh Giddey are on the rise, too.
Gilgeous-Alexander is the undisputed alpha on this roster, and the ball will be in his hands when it matters most. There are just too many mouths to feed for him to outpace the other candidates in this race.
NBA Scoring Leader Contenders
Giannis Antetokounmpo: NBA Scoring Leader (+550)
DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 Units
There are two ways to look at Antetokounmpo’s upcoming season in Milwaukee.
On one hand, he could have his most dominant, highest-scoring year to date now that Damian Lillard is there to take the attention off of him. On the other, Lillard’s need to have the ball in his hands could limit Antetokounmpo’s scoring opportunities.
Unlike the Dončić-Irving situation, I view this as a positive for Antetokounmpo’s odds of becoming the NBA scoring leader. Lillard’s focus on perimeter scoring and playmaking should open the door for Antetokounmpo to further command the offense inside the arc, where he’s most efficient.
The Greek Freak may see his field goal attempts decrease slightly in 2023-24, but with a potential bump in efficiency, he could still have an outside shot of leading the league in scoring.
Jayson Tatum: NBA Scoring Leader (+750)
Tatum averaged 30-plus points per game for the first time this past season, increasing his previous career-high mark of 26.9 points per game to 30.1. And while he remains the No. 1 option, offseason additions Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porziņģis will almost certainly eat into his scoring opportunities.
Both averaged over 15 field goal attempts with their respective teams in 2022-23 for a combined scoring output of 42.5 points per game. Those figures are bound to decrease in Boston, but Holiday and Porziņģis will still impact Tatum’s usage.
- See where the Celtics stand in the latest NBA Eastern Conference odds.
There’s also Jaylen Brown, the only other Celtic to attempt at least 20 field goals per game in 2022-23. Brown’s scoring is as vital to Boston’s success as Tatum’s, which should keep him out of the scoring title conversation.
NBA Scoring Leader Sleepers
Stephen Curry: NBA Scoring Leader (+1300)
DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.25 Units
A two-time NBA scoring champion, Curry is almost always a viable choice to win this award. Even entering his age-35 season, he could still be due for another monster campaign after averaging 29.4 points per game in 2022-23.
The addition of veteran point guard Chris Paul is beneficial, too. Curry has never had someone so talented setting him up for easy looks, and Curry’s off-ball movement was already one of the most underrated aspects of what makes him such a lethal scorer.
Moreover, unlike Jordan Poole, Paul won’t cut into Curry’s offensive output with a barrage of field goal attempts. CP3 averaged under 12 shots per game with Phoenix from 2020 to 2023, and he should remain a pass-first point guard in Golden State.
Donovan Mitchell: NBA Scoring Leader (+2000)
Mitchell was one of two players to record a 70-point performance in 2022-23 (Lillard was the other), but that isn’t the only reason he’s one of my favorite sleepers to win the NBA scoring title.
As the unquestioned No. 1 option in Cleveland, Mitchell will always have the opportunity to score at will. Of course, the offense in question isn’t anything special — the Cavaliers ranked 25th in points per game last year — but Mitchell still put up the fifth-most total field goal attempts in 2022-23.
He can be a 30-per-game scorer this season, but his opportunities will be limited until the Cavaliers implement a more up-tempo offense. Only three teams took fewer field goal attempts per game last year than Cleveland, and none played at a slower pace.