Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

By Mark Strotman | | 3 mins

NBA Bettors Will Reap Benefits from New Starting Lineup Rule

NBA Bettors Will Reap Benefits from New Starting Lineup Rule
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NBA bettors are already in the win column and the season hasn’t even begun. The NBA recently announced a rule change that will require all teams to announce their starting lineups 30 minutes prior to tipoff.

This constitutes a significant change – especially as far as bettors are concerned – from the old rule, which only required teams to give information on their five starters 10 minutes before tipoff.

Bettors Can Relax Before Tipoff

It’s a long-awaited change that will have a direct impact on the betting industry. Instead of bettors anxiously awaiting a decision on whether a player listed as a game-time decision will play down to the final minutes before tipoff, they’ll be able to make a more informed decision when lineups are announced a half-hour before the game begins.

Though there wasn’t one specific instance that prompted the NBA to institute the change, the league’s desire and openness to get in on the wave of legal gambling across the country certainly played a role in its arrival.


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And it’s not just injuries. Players such as Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard were held out of a handful of games last season – Leonard for rest purposes; Davis for potential trade purposes – and their respective teams did not make decisions on their statuses until minutes before tipoff. In the case of Davis, he went through pregame warmups on a number of occasions – leading bettors to believe he would play – before ultimately being ruled out.

No sport sees its betting lines swing one way or the other more significantly off one player’s status than in the NBA, so the changes should allow for more transparency for bettors and lock in betting lines.

Still Some Wiggle Room For Teams

It won’t be a perfect formula. The NBA also said in its official statement that teams will still have the ability to change their lineup inside of that 30-minute window “if circumstances change.” Within that vague description lies a handful of loopholes teams could find to wind up waiting closer to the prior 10-minute deadline to announce their lineups.

It would be difficult for the league to determine if a circumstance such as a pregame injury was legitimate or not to warrant a change.

DFS Will Benefit Too

While lines and odds now will be less likely to shift in the leadup to the game, DFS players will also be able to feel more comfortable making their lineups.

Similar to bettors who wagered on the Raptors and Pelicans last season, many daily fantasy bettors were burned by not being able to swap out NBA players if they were ruled out right as the game was tipping off, thus locking their DFS lineups.

About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman

Mark Strotman is a veteran sports journalist who has covered the Chicago Bulls and the NBA for NBC Sports Chicago since 2012. His work has also appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports. He covered the NBA Playoffs in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 as well as Team USA Basketball in 2014 and 2016. He has also covered high school football and was nominated for a Midwest Emmy in 2016 for his work on a documentary featuring local Chicago product and NFL prospect Miles Boykin. Strotman graduated from Marquette University in 2012 and during his time there reported on the men’s basketball team, covering both the Big East Tournament and NCAA Tournament in 2011 and 2012.