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NBA Starting Lineups, Depth Charts, Inactives & Injuries

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Importance of Starting Lineups in NBA DFS

More than perhaps any other sport, basketball is subject to variations in rotations on a night-to-night basis. Injuries, rest, coaches’ decisions, all of these come into play every single night, and unlike football, we do not have a full week to prepare lineups in case someone sits out. The NBA is also notoriously unreliable when it comes to injury reporting, and confirmations of players’ in/out status may not come until minutes before tip-off, or may even change multiple times in the leadup to start time. Look at Devonte’ Graham last year, when he was declared out about 15 minutes before lock, leading to a hoard of Dwayne Bacon lineups. Then, with about three minutes until tip, it was confirmed Graham was in fact playing. With up-to-the-minute starting lineups at your disposal, you can gain an edge on the field simply by having this information at your disposal sooner than your competition.

The Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups

What separates the Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups from other starting lineups pages is that these are the same lineups that Alex ‘Awesemo’ Baker, the world’s No. 1 daily fantasy football player, has helped create. He uses these up-to-the-minute lineups to make the last-minute switches that have won him millions playing NBA DFS.

How to Use NBA Starting Lineups

NBA News

Starting lineups will allow you to see who is in and out for the given night, what position they are playing and their salaries on DraftKings and FanDuel. We will post the projected starting lineups early in the day, and then as NBA news comes in leading up to lock time, the starting lineups will update. You will also be able to see various NBA news bulletins that could give you an idea of a player’s status for that night prior to confirmation. For example, if at 2 p.m. the starting lineups have a note that Kyrie Irving is questionable, perhaps you would then focus your attention to Kevin Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie, etc. Then when he’s confirmed out at 6:55 p.m., you already have an edge over the field.

NBA Starting Lineups and Position-less Basketball

NBA starting lineups also help you see what positions players are matching up with for the given NBA slate. Basketball, especially at the professional level, has become increasingly flexible with players’ positioning. Any position can now feature 3-point shooting, playmaking, rebounding, etc. With versatility becoming a must even from 7-footers, there are plenty of players who can vary their position label across DraftKings and FanDuel. For example, Kawhi Leonard and Jayson Tatum frequently are labeled small forwards on one site, but then they are power forwards on another. Sometimes Deandre Ayton is a center, sometimes he’s a power forward. Donovan Mitchell can be both a point guard and shooting guard. Small-ball teams like the Rockets have no qualms of playing five guys under 6-foot-6. All this is to say, NBA teams are less concerned with labeling their players as they are with putting the best lineups on the floor. As such, seeing how teams are utilizing their starting lineups, and how these lineups match up with their opponent, can be a key factor in creating more bang for your buck in NBA DFS.

Importance of Starting Lineups in NBA Betting

NBA Over/Under

NBA teams reveal a lot about their gameplan based on the starting lineups they churn out. If a team is rolling with a traditional small forward at the power forward position and surround him with three high-shooting guards, chances are they plan on playing a run-and-gun, 3-heavy brand of offense. Therefore, you can bet on a high team total, and probably a high game total as well. On the other hand, if their lineup features two old school bigs, they are probably planning on keeping a slower pace, and you could bet accordingly. Whichever way the starting lineups are pushing your team and game total bets, head over to OddsShopper and see which markets are offering the best prices on your favorite NBA over/unders.

NBA Player Props

You can combine the Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups with OddsShopper to compare lines across betting markets and get the best value on bets you want to make. See something in the lineup that has you thinking the over on Luka Doncic’s assist prop for tonight? Head over to OddsShopper and see who offers the best line for your bet!

NBA Point Spreads + Moneylines

NBA starting lineups can also help you make last-second plays on the spread or on moneylines. Say a team decides in the waning moments before tip to rest their star for tonight. Before the lines change to account for this news, you can make a quick-fire bet to take advantage.

Limitations of NBA Starting Lineups

Sometimes basketball can be so positionless that it is impossible to roster a player at the position he is technically playing that night. For example, P.J. Tucker’s run at center last year was tough for NBA DFS because, as a 6-foot-5 player matching up with giants, it would be nearly impossible to have much rebound or blocks upside, even if it would open him up for 3’s a bit more. There is also the simple fact of NBA teams playing their lineups quite close to the vest some nights, and we do not learn about injuries, rest or any other circumstance that keeps a player on the bench for the night until it’s too late for it to factor into NBA DFS or NBA betting. We do our best to update lineups when news comes in, but NBA does not have us in mind when it releases lineup news, unfortunately.

NBA Starting Lineups Frequently Asked Questions

What is an NBA Starting Lineup?

An NBA starting lineup is the five players opening the game for their team. Typically they are assembled as point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center, though again, those are just labels and not necessarily indicative of the player in that slot.

Are your NBA Starting Lineups updated for 2020-21?

Yes. Our lineups are updated throughout the year.

Are your NBA Starting Lineups updated daily?

Yes. We are updating lineups constantly to account for late-breaking news, injuries, rest days, etc.

Why are NBA Starting Lineups important?

Knowing a team’s starting five gives you insight as to who is in, who’s sitting, who projects for more/less playing time and how they match up with the opponent. This information allows you to make informed, last-minute changes to your NBA DFS lineups or NBA bets.

Are NBA Starting Lineups reliable?

To a degree, yes. They will constantly update when information comes in, and a good percentage of the time, a team’s starting five is going to play the most minutes on a given night. However, because rotations in the NBA can be fickle, players coming off the bench can play a lot of minutes, sometimes considerably more than starters. This is most frequently the case with non-shooting bigs because these players are considerably more interchangeable than other players with shooting and playmaking ability.

How often do Starting Lineups change?

It varies by team. Some teams have their starting lineups set in stone, barring injury, and will run out the same five guys night after night. But some teams are in a state of flux and will experiment with their rotations a bit more, leading to multiple lineup changes in a week. We are also in an era of NBA news where star players rest fairly frequently, which of course also changes starting lineups. This is why it is more important than ever to make sure you have all the late-breaking NBA lineups news you need.

When do NBA Starting Lineups come out?

NBA teams will often post starting lineups early in the day. However, it is entirely common for them to wait until the last minute to do so to account for questionable players, so sometimes lineups are not released in full until minutes before tip-off.

—Alex "Awesemo" Baker

Awesemo's team of daily fantasy baseball experts give you a MLB DFS tutorial 6/21/21.

Alex Baker has been playing daily fantasy professionally since 2015 under the handle Awesemo. Working his way up from the smallest stakes, he has been the #1 overall ranked player in DFS since 2017 on the strength of his predictive models for sports. As the competition has gotten more sophisticated, Alex has used game theory to build a winning strategy combining his fantasy and ownership projections. To this day, he still participates in almost every DFS tournament available.