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The NBA might adjust a key information distribution channel in deference to legal sports betting and daily fantasy sports.
The league will look at releasing starting lineups as early as an hour before tipoff for the upcoming season. That consideration emerges as part of a broader review of injury information, according to The Action Network’s Matt Moore.
Lineup information currently comes out as little as 10 minutes before tip. The so-called “load management” of player workloads most notably employed with Kawhi Leonard makes lineup information particularly valuable for NBA bettors.
Releasing information about player availability earlier could offer significant advantages in both daily fantasy sports and sports betting. Those edges could materialize on different sides of the transactions, though.
DFS players could receive a sizable boost by finding out who’s in and who’s out earlier in the evening. Learning about starters and nights off just 10 minutes before tip often forces players to scramble their DraftKings and FanDuel entries at the last second.
That advantage could grow exponentially for contests using late swap, as DFS players could more comfortably adjust their lineups throughout the night as information for later games becomes available.
Earlier release of lineups, injuries, and load management stands to help bookmakers quite a bit as well. NBA lines can shift drastically depending on who is playing, far more than most other sports.
Examples in the past few years show line moves anywhere from two to five points when superstar players like Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Chris Paul move in or out of the lineup on a given day.
In the new US sports betting market, more bookmakers would gain valuable time to adjust lines before late action comes in.
Major League Baseball took a step in this direction before the 2019 season. MLB announced plans to require clubs to turn in lineup information to league headquarters before releasing it anywhere else.
In a statement at the time, the league said:
“We are updating a number of our procedures to reduce integrity risks associated with the expansion of sports betting in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling last May. One new procedure is that we now ask Clubs to submit starting lineups in a uniform fashion in order to reduce the risk of confidential information being ‘tipped.’ This approach mirrors those of international sports leagues in more developed betting markets.”
Twitter becomes required reading for DFS players and bettors trying to glean information even a couple of minutes ahead of the pack. Beat reporters other media members often posted lineups and similar information as they acquired it from teams.