The LeBron James Betting Guide: When to Buy or Fade the King
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: LeBron James
- Ever wondered which spots are the best to target LeBron James and his teams against the spread? At home vs. on the road? As a favorite or as a dog?
- Using the Bet Labs tool, I looked into a ton of different situations to determine when to buy or fade the King.
Our Bet Labs tool is awesome. Seriously.
Ever wonder how LeBron James has historically performed against the spread as a favorite vs. as an underdog? On the road vs. at home? What about vs. the East or the West? Or even as an underdog against a Western Conference opponent?
You can answer all of those questions quickly with Bet Labs, so I thought it’d be interesting to look into some of the numbers. Below is a variety of betting trends throughout LeBron’s career.
LeBron’s Career Record ATS
First, overall LeBron’s teams since the 2004-05 season have gone 537-550-16 (49.4%) ATS.
That’s probably not completely surprising given how public of a player LeBron is, but it goes to show in general that betting on LeBron has not been a historically profitable endeavor.
But are there specific spots to target? Let’s take a look.
Favorite vs. Underdog
Unfortunately, there’s not much of an edge with targeting LeBron as a favorite or as an underdog.
- LeBron’s teams as a favorite: 425-437-11 (49.3%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams as an underdog: 111-113-3 (49.6%) ATS
Again, public players and teams are often unprofitable bets, and it seems that the betting market has adjusted to LeBron.
At Home vs. on the Road
What about LeBron at home vs. traveling? Again, not much there.
- LeBron’s teams at home: 267-279-6 (48.9%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams on the road: 270-271-10 (49.9%) ATS
What about as a favorite or dog on the home/road?
- LeBron’s teams as a home favorite: 252-260-6 (49.2%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams as a home dog: 15-19 (44.1%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams as a road favorite: 173-177-7 (49.4%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams as a road dog: 96-94-3 (50.5%)
Only LeBron as a road dog has been better than 50%, but it’s still not enough to make any money long term.
OK, let’s keep moving.
Against the East vs. West
Is there any edge in targeting LeBron against either conference?
- LeBron’s teams vs. Eastern Conference teams: 333-362-11 (47.9%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams vs. Western Conference teams: 204-188-5 (52.0%) ATS
His teams have definitely been better against Western Conference foes, but it’s still nothing to write home about.
What about as a favorite or dog in those spots?
- LeBron’s teams as favorite vs. Eastern Conference: 275-300-10 (47.8%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams as dog vs. Eastern Conference: 58-62-1 (48.3%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams as favorite vs. Western Conference: 150-137-3 (52.3%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams as dog vs. Western Conference: 53-51-2 (51.0%) ATS
Still not much there.
First Half of the Season vs. Second
Here’s how his teams have fared in the first 41 games versus the final 41.
- LeBron’s teams in first half of season: 254-284-7 (47.2%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams in second half of season: 283-266-9 (51.6%) ATS
Still losing money to the vig.
What about in specific game situations such as back-to-backs?
- LeBron’s teams in back-to-backs: 113-135-6 (45.6%) ATS
Do home road/splits matter?
- LeBron’s teams at home in back-to-backs: 36-43-1 (45.6%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams on road in back-to-backs: 77-92-5 (45.6%) ATS
Nope. LeBron has historically not covered in B2B situations.
Off a Win vs. Loss
A couple more. What about his teams after a win or loss?
- LeBron’s teams coming off a win: 355-360-11 (49.7%) ATS
- LeBron’s teams coming off a loss: 175-184-5 (48.8%) ATS
Alright, regular-season LeBron is just not profitable from a betting perspective.
Finally, what about his playoff record?
In the Playoffs
- LeBron’s teams in the playoffs: 134-102-3 (56.8%) ATS
Well, that’s at least something.
Overall, it seems like it has not been historically profitable to bet on LeBron James’ teams … in any situation.
Of course, that means that there could be a couple situations — the ones in which LeBron is most overvalued — to bet the other side of the matchup. Some of those include road favorites against LeBron, as well as teams getting him on the second leg of a back-to-back.