NBA Betting Rules: Do Free Throws Count for First Basket Scored Props?

NBA Betting Rules: Do Free Throws Count for First Basket Scored Props? article feature image
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Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets.

Most sportsbooks do not count free throws for first basket props. FanDuel, however, does.

Quite possibly the longest parlay in the history of humanity hit in January of 2022, as three bettors at FanDuel turned 50 cents into more than $130,000 by nailing six first basket props.

Yes, that's 260,567-1.

But the final leg of the bet was LeBron James scoring first in LakersKings. LeBron technically didn't score the first "basket" — he hit a free throw to open the scoring.

FanDuel, where these three bettors hit this parlay, counts free throws. It states clearly in its rules that it pays out on "the first score of the game."

Most other books do not count free throws as part of this prop. It's who scores the first actual basket.

Here's how some of the major books handle it. Always check your sportsbook's house rules.

SportsbookRule
FanDuelFree throws count
DraftKingsFTs do not count
PointsBetFTs do not count
BetMGMFTs do not count
BarstoolFTs do not count

FanDuel

  • Free throws count

"Resulted on the first score of the game. Should a player listed not start the game, all wagers on the player selected will be refunded. In the event of a tie at the end of the first quarter, First Basket / First Quarter double wagers are resulted as a loss."

DraftKings

  • Free throws do not count

DraftKings says in its house rules that free throws do count. But when you go to bet it, DK tells you right in the bet slip that free throws do not count, and grades it like that.

"Settled based on listed players only (Meaning: The first FG scorer out of the players listed in this market will be graded the winner). Free throws do not count as field goals."

PointsBet

  • Free throws do not count

"Resulted on the first score of the game, excluding free throws, as per official NBA box score. Should a player listed not start the game, all bets on the player selected will be void otherwise betting is all-in. The First Team Basket Scorer will be resulted on the first scorer from each team."

BetMGM

  • Free throws do not count

MGM titles this market "First Field Goal" so it's pretty clear that free throws do not count.

"Wager on which player will score the first field goal in a basketball match. Wagers are refunded on player who does not take part in the match or who comes on as a substitute after the first field goal has been scored. Field goals scored in own basket do not count for first field goal scorer bets and are ignored for settlement purposes."

Barstool Sportsbook

  • Free throws do not count

Like MGM, Barstool titles the market "Player to Score the First Basket of the Game." So free throws do not count.

It does not list anything in its house rules about this wager type.

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Nick Sterling
Jun 22, 2024 UTC