NBA Expands Replay Review – Are There Betting Implications?

NBA new instant replay rules

NBA Betting Effects of the Replay Review Rule Update

The league announced yesterday that there will be major changes to the replay system. Previously, referees could review plays that were close, such a possession when the ball goes out of bounds or if a player made a three-pointer or a two-pointer.

However, under these new NBA instant replay rules – which will be active for at least the 2019-20 season – coach’s will be able to challenge certain plays, provided they have a time out.

Two Instant Replay Rules Approved

The NBA Board of Governors today unanimously approved two changes to instant replay rules.

#1: Coach’s Challenge – Instant Replay Review

The first change is the introduction of a Coach’s Challenge to trigger instant replay review of a limited set of matters. A version of the Coach’s Challenge that has been in effect in the NBA G League for the last two seasons and is being used at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019.

It will be adopted in the NBA on a one-year trial basis during the 2019-20 season.

#2: Referees and Replay Center Can Trigger Reviews

The second change enables the NBA Replay Center (in addition to the on-court referees) to trigger instant replay in certain circumstances. This was successfully tested at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018 and again at this year’s event. The process will be implemented for the 2019-20 NBA season. 

How The Replay Challenges Work

The details of how the challenges work and what coaches can and cannot challenge have still not been formerly written, but here’s what we know so far:

Coaches will receive one challenge per game. They will need to have a timeout to use a challenge. Regardless of if they win or lose their challenge, they will still only have one challenge per game.
They can use it to challenge only called fouls, goaltending, basket interference and plays when the ball is knocked out of bounds.
Teams must call a timeout immediately after an event they would like to challenge. Though they do not receive another challenge, regardless of the sucess of their challenge – the team does retain the timeout they called if the challenge is successful.
Coaches won’t have a red flag or other item to throw when they want to challenge a play, ala the NFL. Instead, they will “twirl his/her index finger towards the referees” if they wish to challenge a play.
The crew chief will determine the outcome of challenges involving foul calls. The rest of the challenges will be done by the NBA’s replay center.

How Will This Affect NBA Betting Markets?

I wouldn’t expect drastic changes, but the details haven’t been fully released either. Coaching intellect may be something to consider more when handicapping NBA games since there is only one challenge per game.

  • Will coaches use a challenge early in the game on a play they can clearly win?
  • Will they hold their challenge until late in the game in reserve in case of a critical play that may cost them the game?

I’m sure coaches will develop a strategy for challenges. If used correctly will undoubtedly add some value to his team’s winning percentage; albeit the difference may be small. We won’t know until the season begins and see how coaches employ their challenges.

Potentially New NBA Prop Bets

I’m sure we can expect to see some new NBA propositions markets. These may not be available right away, but I am sure some of the good online betting sites will have gambling options, such as:

  • “Will Both Coaches Use Their Challenge In This Game?”
  • “Will Warriors’ Head Coach Steve Kerr Win His Challenge?”

NBA Live Betting Implications

One wagering aspect I immediately thought of when going over these rule changes was NBA live betting. In-play wagering, or live betting, has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Challenges should add another element to live betting basketball markets.

Beating the Sportsbooks Before a Challenge

It’s possible that sportsbooks suspend wagering when a coach issues a challenge. However, if you’re quick enough to place a bet before a coach calls a timeout or challenge – then you may beat the sportsbooks to the punch.

I’m sure there will be plenty of games where a late coach’s challenge decides a critical play and the outcome of the game. Bettors who can keep track of coaching tendencies and if coaches have used their challenges may have an edge here.

Use The Live Game To Your Advantage!

Remember, coaches have to do this on the fly. They will likely not have the advantage of viewing a replay before they choose to use their challenge.

Viewers or sports bettors watching at home may have a faster and better view of the action.

All this is something to think about in what should be one of the most exciting NBA seasons in quite a long time. Let’s see how the new instant replay review rules pan out during the upcoming season.

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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