Starting NBA lineups are used for fantasy basketball and NBA betting — whether you're making NBA DFS lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel, betting on NBA odds or wagering on player props, knowing today's starting NBA lineups is pivotal. And that's exactly what you'll find here..

How to Use NBA Starting Lineups in Sports Betting

When studying NBA starting lineup projections, you can also gain some knowledge to apply to sports betting. For example, if you are looking for the Boston Celtics lineup for an upcoming game, the status of Kristap Porzingis will impact how you will approach the games.

His status will also impact the spread and total for the game, and in DFS it will create value on the player who will start in his place.

Why the NBA Starting Lineup Is Important for DFS Play

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) scoring rules vary by platform and contest type, but there are some basic scoring criteria to be aware of. Players will earn points based on their performance metrics such as points scored, assists, blocks, steals, rebounds, and more. They can also lose points based on turnovers and missed shots.

Some platforms even offer points for hitting advanced metrics such as double-doubles or hitting a specific number of three-pointers. Make sure you are aware of exactly how scoring works when choosing the optimal lineup for your contest.

While NBA starters are an obvious choice on most occasions, diving into teams' benches to find a backup PG or SF can be the difference between winning and losing entry. Another thing to keep in mind is the average number of minutes played by each of the players you select, as there is a direct correlation to the number of points, assists, rebounds, etc. that they accrue (or don't).

Using NBA Starting Lineups in Fantasy Basketball

Using the Cleveland Cavaliers (CLE) and Dallas Mavericks (DAL) as examples, both playoff teams in the 2024 playoffs, let's look at a few ways that you could think about picking players for your starting lineup.

  • Choosing a Point Guard (PG): One of the first players you need to consider, usually at the top of the selection page, is the PG. For CLE, Darius Garland plays the PG position and is both an excellent distributor of the ball and a shooter. For DAL, phenom Luka Doncic is one of the best PG options in the league and one of the best scorers the league has seen in recent years.
  • Choosing a Small Forward (SF): For all basketball teams, players at the SF position often are the difference in games and are athletic enough to see the most minutes in each lineup. For CLE, Max Strus primarily plays that role and just so happens to be one of the best shooters on the team. Often an overlooked addition, DAL's Tim Hardaway Jr. can shoot with the best in the league and is a great option for your lineup at SF.
  • Predicting Minutes: Looking at historical data around minutes played in situational spots and against certain teams, try to predict the minutes each of the players in your lineup will play. Both CLE and DAL have rather shallow benches, meaning their starters will likely see more minutes than those on other teams.
  • Team Chemistry: For most teams, the chemistry starts with the PG. For teams like DAL that have perennial All-Stars at the PG position, the team will ebb and flow with how well the PG performs and assists those around him.
  • Pace of Play: Pace of play can dictate how many points players can score. From the SF to the C, the pace of play is a good indicator of the amount of minutes you'll have to score points for your team.
  • Recent Trends: Whether it's minutes played or how well the SF and PG have been performing, following recent trends to build your DFS roster is always a good idea. Teams like CLE or ORL are known for going on their runs (and stalls) throughout the regular season, so studying trends is a way to predict when each will come.

NBA Starting Lineup Picks Overview

Here's an overview of how to make your picks:

  • Stacking: The term stacking in DFS lineups refers to stacking players from the same game or team, when you anticipate a high-scoring game. For instance, you might stack the SF (Hardaway Jr.) and PG (Doncic) for a DAL game if you expect it to be a score fest.
  • Find Value: Dig deep into information indicating a player might receive more minutes of playing time than usual, a recent injury you found via a beat reporter that might go unnoticed by others, or other factors that DFS price makers might not have accounted for. When looking at teams with a lot of young, relatively unknown talent, there could be value flying under the radar due to the lack of name recognition.
  • Monitor Beat Reporters on Social Media: With ORL, DAL, CLE, and every other team having multiple local beat writers, there are always nuggets of information to be found online just before tip-off. Try to monitor their accounts for late-breaking information that might not be accounted for by DFS apps like PrizePicks.

Why Should I Play Basketball DFS Contests?

Need some convincing? Here are some reasons why DFS basketball contests remain so popular:

  • Excitement: Whether you are watching a game on TV or attending it in person, basketball DFS contests are a great way to make games even more exciting.
  • Emerging Stars: The league always has several young players who are no doubt the NBA's future, such as Evan Mobley (CLE) and Franz Wagner (ORL) in the 2024 season. Still relatively unproven, you can often find value with these guys when building your DFS lineups while watching the best young talent in the world.
  • Matchup Advantages: When choosing guys like Doncic (DAL) or Jarrett Allen (CLE), it's fun to investigate who will be matched up across them. Pick your spots to exploit these types of player matchups.

NBA Starting Lineups FAQ

Want to learn more about DFS NBA lineups and ways to play them? Read the following FAQs:

When are game-day NBA line combinations released?

Game-day NBA starters are announced typically 30 minutes before tip-off, though you can make some assumptions based on recently played games. Injuries also come into play. For example, if CLE SF Jarrett Allen is battling an injury, his availability will be uncertain until just before the game's tip-off.

What are the stats to watch when looking up NBA starting lineups?

Some key stats to watch when researching NBA DFS starting teams are things like Points, Rebounds, and Assists (PRA), Points & Rebounds (PR), Assists, and minutes played per game. DAL stars such as Kyrie Irving (SG) and Luka Doncic (PG) consistently rank high in each of the aforementioned statistical categories.

How do NBA starting lineup stacks work?

Stacks in basketball-focused DFS lineups work by selecting multiple players from the same team or game to maximize the potential points in a projected high-scoring matchup.

Card Legend

Actual Fantasy Points are listed in purple for all past games

Player Status Key

  • (P) Probable
  • (B) Best Guess
  • (C) Confirmed
  • (O) Out
  • (Q) Questionable
  • (D) Doubtful, Disabled (MLB)
  • (G) Game-time Decision
  • (PLR) Projected Long Reliever listed below confirmed started