One of the most simple NBA wagers you can make all season is on the NBA Scoring Leader of the year. The premise of the award is fairly straight forward – the player who proves to be the top scoring player in the league, wins the award. There is no panel of judges or voters like the other awards, the player with the highest points per game average wins.
You may be thinking, shouldn’t this be determined by total points? Which ultimately makes the most sense, but this was changed to represent consistent scoring abilities. Players that are known to be top scorers on their teams or in their division in general will be listed as contenders.
Players who tend to have high point totals or are well-known scoring threats like James Harden tend to be favorites to win the Scoring Leader award, but that is not always the way the season pans out. While there are superstars on the odds list, you may not see a favored player win, whether that be to a scoring slump, injury, or any other factors.
The NBA Top Scorer award winner will accumulate their points through free throws and field goals, racking up the points consistently through the season. In terms of records, Wilt Chamberlain’s 4,029 point season, 50.4 point per game record still has yet to be beat (1961-1962). However, that record was set when total points were still the end-all, be-all of the award selection.
No present-day player has come close to beating that record. James Harden is the only active player with a record of 2,822 points and 34.8 points per game average in 2018 – the only one who came remotely close to Wilt Chamberlain. Not surprisingly, Michael Jordan holds the record for most NBA Top Scoring titles with ten and is tied with Wilt Chamberlain for most consecutive titles with seven.
Steph Curry is the most recent recipient of the NBA Scoring Leader award, who totaled 2,105 points and 32 points per game in 2020-2021.