Industry Outrage as NBA Insider, FanDuel Partner Influences Draft Betting Line....Gets it Wrong

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:

It's an incident that highlights the dangers of sports leagues, sports personalities and media outlets getting into bed with sportsbooks, and the industry, along with regulators, are taking notice.

Ahead of Thursday night's NBA Draft, league insider and reporter for The Athletic Shams Charania tweeted out that Scoot Henderson to Charlotte had been gaining some serious traction.

"Sources: Scoot Henderson is gaining serious momentum at No. 2 with the Charlotte Hornets in tonight’s NBA draft. Hornets have been torn over the last week between Henderson and Brandon Miller. Team has final meetings today to settle on decision."

Charania would be the man to know based on his "insider knowledge", but he also just happens to work for the wagering firm FanDuel.  Companies like FanDuel do not exactly want folks placing their bets based on such info.


The reporting caused a dramatic line move across the board within minutes of Charania's reporting.  Henderson’s odds increased in likelihood over Alabama's Brandon Miller to be the No. 2 overall pick as a result.

Then this happened...

Charlotte didn’t pick Henderson at all.

One can only imagine the type of profit FanDuel made on this type of wrong information.

And there is every indication this information was known to be wrong all along.

According to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Charlotte had zero intention of selecting Scoot.  

It should be noted that neither Wojnarowski or ESPN have any relationship with US regulated sportsbooks.

"All along, the entire Charlotte Hornets organization has been all-in on Brandon Miller -- ownership, front office, scouts, coaches. They see him as a perennial future All-Star player."

The Wall Street Journal's Jared Diamond writes:

Such situations make it clear that trusted reporters have the ability to significantly influence how people bet.

Sam Neumann of Awful Announcing:

Yes, Charania got it wrong. It happens in the industry, but that’s not the issue here. What’s called into question is the ethics that surround a journalist reporting something that is directly involved with betting markets while also being on the payroll of a sportsbook. There remains a huge possibility that by tweeting out what people perceived as insider information, the betting markets for the 2023 NBA Draft could have largely been manipulated.

FanDuel issued a statement following the controversy, however, the damage is already done as this incident is sure to erode the trust in sports reporting moving forward. 

“FanDuel is not privy to any news that Shams breaks on his platforms,” read the statement via Darren Rovell.

Neumann expressed skepticism.

Charania is the co-host of Run It Back on FanDuel TV. So, the likelihood that his bosses at FanDuel are not privy to any information that he reports on his platform(s) is questionable at best.

It remains to be seen what type of fallout might follow.  This is likely to get mighty ugly though, so fasten your seat belts.

- Don Shapiro,

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