NBA Betting Probe Opened On Suspicious Porter Wagers

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NBA betting

The league office acknowledged Monday it is investigating suspicious NBA betting activity surrounding Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter

“We’re looking into it,” a spokesperson for the NBA told LSR

Sources told LSR that multiple state regulators were alerted to suspicious NBA betting activity surrounding Porter. The probe centers on prop bets involving Porter on Jan. 26 and Mar. 20.

ESPN first reported the probe earlier Monday.

NBA betting details involving Porter

DraftKings Sportsbook, in daily data sent to reporters, listed Porter as its top NBA moneymaker on March 20

Porter played just three minutes that night due to illness, finishing with zero points and two rebounds. His over-unders were set at 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds, meaning the unders hit.

On Jan. 26, the top DraftKings NBA moneymaker prop was Porter under 0.5 3-pointers made, and the third-highest was Porter under 3.5 rebounds. Porter played just four minutes that night.

The Raptors said he left due to re-aggravating an eye injury. He had three rebounds and one assist, and did not attempt a 3-pointer during a scoreless outing. While NBA player props typically have limits of $1,000 to $2,000, ESPN reported that multiple betting accounts attempted to wager upward of $10,000 to $20,000 on Porter unders for the Jan. 26 game.

DraftKings on NBA betting issue

DraftKings said it had no comment on Porter. 

“In general, it is important to note that one of the many benefits of legal and regulated sports betting is that sports betting operators identify and report suspicious activity and the integrity of sport is therefore protected in a manner that does not exist in the legal market,” a spokesperson from DraftKings said.

League revenue from gambling

The NBA projected to make $167 million in gambling-related revenue this season, with half going to the players. 

As per the collective bargaining agreement, players can hold passive, non-controlling interest in sports betting and fantasy companies. This is limited to a less than 1% stake for companies that offer or facilitate NBA bets or contests. 

Additionally, players may participate in sports betting or fantasy sports endorsement that involves general brand endorsement or endorsement of betting on non-NBA sports.

Donaghy scandal memory lingers

A betting scandal rocked the league in 2007. It involved referee Tim Donaghy conspiring to fix games. Recently, Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton lashed out against the sports betting industry. 

“To half the world, I’m just helping them make money on DraftKings or whatever. I’m a prop,” Haliburton said. 

Meanwhile, Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he received threats from gamblers last season and reported it to the league. 

“They got my telephone number and were sending me crazy messages about where I live and my kids and all that stuff,” Bickerstaff said. “So it is a dangerous game and a fine line that we’re walking for sure.”