NBA Possible Tweak to Lineup Submission Protocol Could be an Assist For Bettors, DFS Players

Posted on: August 12, 2019, 05:37h. 

Last updated on: August 12, 2019, 06:12h.

The National Basketball Assn. (NBA) is reportedly considering altering the guidelines for when teams must submit starting lineups, a move that could be helpful to daily fantasy sports (DFS) players and bettors.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. The league is reportedly considering changing the timeline for lineup submission. (Image: CBS Sports)

Reports suggest the Association is mulling adjustments that could see the lineup submission period moved back to 30 minutes to 60 minutes before tip-off, a significant departure from the current rule.

At least ten minutes before the game is scheduled to begin, the scorers shall be supplied with the name and number of each player who will start the game,” according to Section II of Rule 3 in the 2018-19 NBA Rulebook. “Failure to comply with this provision shall be reported to the League Office.”

The current 10-minute rule mandates that coaches give their starting lineups to opposing coaches, the scorer’s table, league office, and the press.

News of the potential alteration to the lineup submission protocol swirled on the same day the league unveiled its schedule for the 2019-20 regular season, which featured adjustments such as fewer back-to-back games and changing the starting time for nationally televised games on the West Coast to accommodate fans on the East Coast.

“Golden State and the Los Angeles Lakers will start several games a half-hour earlier than usual, while broadcasters ESPN and Turner are going to earlier start times on many of their midweek doubleheader nights,” according to the Associated Press.

Why The Lineup Time Change Would Be Important

If the NBA proceeds with changing the time frame on when teams have to publicize their starting lineups, that could be a boon for DFS players. Of the major US athletic leagues, none are driven by star power more than the NBA, and none rest high caliber players more than the Association.

The practice of resting star players is often tied back to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who once rested future Hall of Famers Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili in a single game, and would frequently rest one or two of those players when they were healthy just to give them a break from the grind of the 82-game regular season. Other coaches, including Popovich disciple Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors, adopted the tactic.

The league intervened by threatening fines for resting healthy players during nationally televised games. However, not all NBA games are broadcast across the country, and lineup information is crucial to DFS players and bettors alike.

DFS providers typically allow participants to change lineups right up until a game starts. But knowing what an NBA team’s starting roster will look like an hour before tip-off instead of 10 minutes prior could alleviate some of the lineup-shifting burden for active DFS players.

“Contest entry will close approximately one minute before the start of the first game in the contest,” according to DraftKings. “You can edit your full roster as many times as you like before the contest closes and begins. You can continue to edit and swap any player up until the start of their individual game time for NFL, MLB, NHL, CFL, soccer. Players will lock at the start time of the contest for NBA, Golf, MMA, NASCAR, LoL and will not be eligible to be swapped out once a contest begins.”

Help For Bettors, Too

League rule changes don’t mean it’s easier or harder for bettors to win money. But for gamblers rushing to place wagers 15 or 20 minutes before the start of NBA game, knowing that the lineup that was publicized a few minutes earlier is etched in stone is instructive.

The information would also help sportsbooks, which typically price in an NBA player’s status for a particular game well in advance of tip-off, provide more accurate lines.

Moving back the lineup presentation deadline for NBA coaches could avoid a situation where, say, 15 minutes before game time, sportsbooks and bettors expected LeBron James to suit up for the Lakers, only to find out a few minutes later he’s a “healthy” scratch for rest.