Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sports Betting Prediction

As sports betting in States becomes the rule and not the exception - I can foresee something happening probably in the not-too-distant future. That thing is an overzealous State Attorney General bringing a suit because the popular home team lost a controversial elimination game. And his evidence that a crime was committed? The game tape! I wish I could bet on this happening (because it will).

Picture this: NBA referee takes the stand, the State AG hands him the rule book and has the ref read the rule on "travelling". The State AG then shows example after example of a player taking several steps without a dribble and asks the ref why there was no call. The State AG then does the same thing for "three-seconds."

The NBA is already notorious for having certain ref crews getting certain outcomes. If a LeBron James team is 17-2 "straight-up" when a certain ref is the lead official (actual example) - how hard would it be to have a statistics and probability expert testify on the unlikelihood of this not being a case where the ref is purposely influencing the outcome? And why was this official assigned this game by the league office if that wasn't the outcome the NBA was looking for? Fun times subpoenaing all the calls, texts and emails from the NBA offices.

Here's an excellent example - the 2007 Phoenix Suns lose controversial NBA playoff series to the San Antonio Spurs.
The series would later be mired in controversy due to one of the referees involved with that series, Tim Donaghy, being involved with a betting scandal that was announced after the playoffs. He would admit that the series had very poor officiating involved from the beginning of the series to the end of it. He would also state in a book that Donaghy would release in 2009 that his group supervisor during the series, Tommy Nuñez, had a huge dislike over Suns owner Robert Sarver and a growing love for the culture San Antonio had, to the point where he wanted to make sure the Spurs continued their playoff run that year.
You didn't think I wasn't going to bring up Tim Donaghy did you? Now picture the situation if Arizona had a sports betting law and the State AG was up for election that fall. Why not charge Supervisor Tommy Nunez with a crime (like fraud maybe?). [Insert your name here Mr State AG guy running for re-election] vs the NBA on behalf of the People of Arizona who lost money on the Suns (and who are registered voters). Bound to happen.

I wish I could bet on it!

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