When Does the Game Start? Check The Sportsbook, Not The TV Listings

Posted By Katie Kohler on June 9, 2021

When does the game start? A common question with a not-so-easy answer.

TV listings and NBA.com tout a certain time. I rushed through Taco Tuesday to catch the 7:30 tip-off of Hawks vs. Sixers. But I could have had at least one more margarita if I checked the sportsbooks.

If you are looking for an accurate time for when the game actually starts, just log on to your favorite PA sports betting app.

Sportsbooks more accurate than others for start times

When I got situated in my “spot” to watch the game, the Sixers didn’t start promptly at 7:30. Well, didn’t you think there would be a pregame?

Game 2 will tip off at 7:30 p.m. on TNT, with Sixers Pregame Live beginning at 7 p.m. on NBCSP+.

In a group text with Sixers fans and wannabe touts, someone was adamant about Joel Embiid going “over” on props in all caps. I reasoned that if he didn’t score over 29.5 points and get more than 9.5 rebounds the Sixers would probably lose Game 2.

There was no way the Sixers could go down 0-2 the Hawks. Embiid and Ben Simmons have never advanced past the second round of the NBA Playoffs and a two-game hole would put too much pressure on them.

I logged onto DraftKings Sportsbook PA and since the game hadn’t started, player props were still available. Where the game is listed, the start time is at the top right, 7:55 p.m. 

Not 7:30.

But, I was able to place my Embiid prop bets.

The Hawks and Sixers tipped off at 7:51.

One sportsbook precise with first pitch

Late-night MLB action featured the Chicago Cubs against the San Diego Padres. ESPN said the start time was 10 p.m. MLB.com, 10:10. DraftKings and BetMGM Sportsbook marked the start time at 10:10. FanDuel listed the start time as 10:11 pm. Was that a typo? I doubt it.

At approximately 10:11 p.m. Joc Pederson led off for the Cubs.

In the words of Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny…”extremely accurate.”

Sportsbooks updated changing time of second game

Play the song!

After a couple rousing renditions of “Here Come the Sixers,” and an even series, I’m too keyed up to go to bed…unlike my husband.

And it was a no sweat night for bets as Embiid hit the over for points and rebounds by the end of the third quarter.

When I first logged on around 7:30, DraftKings listed the start time for Clippers vs. Jazz at 10:10. However, as I was in the app for live betting and my newfound obsession with start times, I noticed they updated the time. It moved to 10:25 p.m. The second NBA Playoff game of the night began at 10:23 p.m.

Sportsbooks listed start times may vary

Do I think I discovered the next Bitcoin, or picked the next hottest gambling stock? No.

Am I possibly turning into my early-to-rise father who has spent a lifetime rooting for Philadelphia sports teams and espousing “games that never start on time”? Probably.

We all love “life hacks.” I put a couple fresh squeezes of lime juices on Taco Tuesday’s leftover guacamole to get rid of the little bit of brown color.

If I want the most accurate start times for games, I’ll just check one of the PA sportsbooks on my phone.

However, they aren’t all the same across sports betting apps.

Sixers vs. Hawks Game 3 start times at Pennsylvania online sportsbooks:

  • FanDuel: 7:35
  • DraftKings: 7:40
  • BetMGM: 7:30
  • BetRivers: 7:40

Perhaps the NBA and sportsbooks are feeling their inner Freddie Mercury vibes. “I’m a performer darling not a Swiss train conductor.”

Lead image via Dreamstime.

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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