Sportsbook Operators Discussing NBA Betting Lines Moving Forward

  • There are different scenarios that can happen during the NBA restart that bettors have raised questions and concerns about.
  • The main questions are concerning players that test positive for the coronavirus as well as games being played in the bubble.
  • The odds and futures bets on the NBA will all be graded differently depending on how the bet was laid out.

ORLANDO, Fla. – As the NBA restart is set to begin in about a month, bettors are itching for the opportunity to bet on their favorite NBA teams. However, before bettors begin to place their bets, questions have arisen regarding what would happen to bets placed if the coronavirus modifies them.

Different online sportsbooks have weighed in on what would happen if these bets were to be affected by the virus as well as other questions concerning the NBA bubble.

Players Testing Positive

One of the main questions that is being asked is, what would happen to a bet if a player tests positive for COVID-19 and is forced to miss time?

There are different answers to this question, however. It all depends on the type of bet that is made.

If bettors place a prop bet on a specific player and the player is forced to miss time due to testing positive, the bet will be refunded. Furthermore, if a futures bet is made or a straight bet on the Moneyline, those bets will not be refunded as the players' absence will be treated like an injury.

Six of the biggest online sportsbooks have all made this clear that the only bets that will be voided are those prop bets that are on a specific player that has tested positive for the virus.

“All bets are final in relation to the team futures. It’s effectively like an injury. All bets will stand provided the season is finished as planned. At FanDuel, we always try to rule in bettors’ favor where possible, and I think we will use a common-sense approach in relation to markets where we can (considering our rules),” said John Sheeran, the Director of Trading at FanDuel. “In general, I expect the majority of wagers to stand. Player props are only offered on a game-by-game basis and are void where players are not on the roster; therefore, I don’t expect any impact on game-to-game player props. For player awards, etc., same as team futures above.”

Backing up those decisions by the NBA sportsbooks is NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver.

“We haven't worked through every scenario— But the notion would be that if we had a single-player test positive, frankly, whether that player was an All-Star or a journeyman, that player would then go into quarantine,” said Silver. “We would then be tracking any players or other personnel that that player had been in contact with, and even potentially supplement the daily testing just to ensure that others have not been contaminated— But then we would continue. That team would be down a man, and we would treat that positive test as we would an injury during the season. And so we would not delay the continuation of the playoffs.”

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Home Court Advantage

Another question that has been brought up is, how would not having home-court advantage affect a bet?

This is a valid question as having home-court advantage, especially in the playoffs is a huge deal for teams and bettors.

Not having a home-court advantage could drastically affect NBA bets.

Instead of there being a home-court advantage now, teams will be playing on neutral courts.

“It’s just a neutral court— You just do what you do the way you normally do it, without home court factored in,” said Johnny Avello, DraftKings Sportsbook Director of Operations.

It is easier said than done though, a team having home-court advantage in the playoffs could be a make or break for winning a game seven in a series.

The only factors of a bet that would be tampered with by this would be game totals and spreads as there would not be any fan noises there to impact with opposing team players.

All in all, the odds will be set based on team performance and statistics rather than having home-court advantage factored in. With that being said, bettors will have to make wise choices rather than bet on the home team.