FanDuel Sportsbook defended its relationship with reporter Shams Charania amid backlash over controversial NBA betting intel ahead of last night’s NBA Draft.
Charania’s tweet Thursday morning that Scoot Henderson was “gaining serious momentum” for the No. 2 pick in the 2023 draft caused NBA betting odds to shift. However, the Charlotte Hornets ultimately took Brandon Miller with the selection that evening.
“FanDuel is not privy to any news that Shams breaks on his platforms,” a spokesperson for FanDuel Sportsbook told LSR.
FanDuel Sportsbook stands by Shams
A source told LSR that FanDuel is not considering ending its relationship with Charania following the incident.
Charania’s Twitter bio says as follows:
Senior lead NBA Insider for The Athletic and Stadium. FanDuel Partner and co-host of Run It Back on FanDuel TV.
Incident brings up a larger issue
The Charania incident poses a larger question about the potential conflict of interest that exists when sportsbooks enter into financial partnerships or agreements with content creators or reporters.
In this case, the concerning aspect is whether a sportsbook should partner with a reporter who is reporting on the same betting market that is also being offered by sportsbook. Previous rumored partnerships included sportsbooks pursuing NFL insider Adam Schefter.
Draft markets typically have low limits, but bettors potentially trusted Charania’s insider reputation to get an edge. LSR has reached out to Charania for comment but not yet received an answer.
NBA betting market moves with tweet
Charania’s tweet caused the market to move.
For example: As noted by theScore Bet, as of Thursday morning, Henderson was a +275 underdog to be taken at No. 2.
Yet the Charania tweet caused the market to swing, making him a -450 favorite.
FanDuel Sportsbook vs. ESPN intel
Asked about swinging the market by millions with his tweets, Charania told the Pat McAfee Show: “Facts only.”
Charania never tweeted that Henderson to the Hornets was a done deal. But his information differed from ESPN, which never wavered off its intel that it was always Miller at No. 2.
The Athletic reported that Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak told Miller after drafting him: “‘We had you all along; we just wanted to make sure.’”