His resignation came just a few days before it was reported that an NBA referee was being investigated by the FBI under suspicion of betting on games and making calls to affect the point spreads. In August , Donaghy plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to transmit wagering information.
But the numbers seem to suggest otherwise. RJ Bell of Pregame. The first 15 games of the refereed by Tim Donaghy that had big enough betting to move the point spread by at least 1. The odds of that happening randomly are 32, to 1 said RJ Bell of Pregame. During the two years prior i. The odds of this change happening randomly are approximately 19 to 1. Not great for the league.
Until now. Donaghy recently started his own website, Refpicks. That's a lot to take in. Personally, I have no problem with Donaghy setting up a handicapping service. It seems like a bit of a farce, sure, but he has to make money somehow.
And if sports and gambling are all that he knows, then that's that. He might as well make the most of it. He certainly can't officiate anymore. I do, however, have a problem with him naming his site "Refpicks. It's only been up for a short while, so honestly, the site's pretty bare right now. The homepage—featuring a confused-looking Donaghy crouching in front of a sexy female ref and Refpicks-clad basketball and football players—is pretty funny, but other than that, the site's nothing special.
Just your standard handicapping site. The question that has to arise from all of this is: Why take Donaghy's betting advice in the first place? He's a solid, if unspectacular, on the year , but why trust him over all of the other more experienced handicappers out there?
I suppose the assumption might be that, as a former ref, Donaghy has some kind of insider information concerning how to pick games. And that assumption seems to be what he's banking on. Per his website, "Tim has a leg up on most handicappers, he has hands on insider experience in officiating games and knows all to well how and what can affect a score.
That sounds nice, but a few years back, Abbott combed through Donaghy's book and found most of these claims to simply be untrue. For example, Donaghy wrote that referee Dick Bavetta liked to keep games close and often blew the whistle to help a team that was down big.
He said that big underdogs tended to beat the spread when Bavetta was refereeing per Abbott. Price told Arnovitz and you can find all of Price's findings here :. Donaghy worked the game. It was his first pick for Battista. The Celtics, favored by 2. We had a big bet on every fing game. Making bets at the highest levels of sports gambling is akin to the trading of any financial instrument.
There's a defined trading session. It opens in the morning and closes right before tip-off. It's possible, in effect, to buy and sell bets, to go long or go short, to hedge. The best movers spend years compiling vast networks of clients and "outs," or counterparties, with whom the movers can trade. Battista had such a network. It's possible, through Don Best Sports, a betting information service, to pull the line-movement data for individual NBA games going back years.
It's like looking at a stock chart. The data chronicle price fluctuations. If the spread widens during the trading session, then you know that demand among gamblers for betting on the favorite has intensified. And indeed, the chart for the Boston-Philly game on Dec. Huge bets on Boston in the middle of the trading session, between a.
In the NBA markets, betting experts say, any move of 1. The night after the Boston victory, according to all parties, the conspirators met once more, at Martino's house in the Philly suburb of Boothwyn. From here on out, Battista said, he and Donaghy would never communicate directly. Instead, Martino would be in the middle. They would use, per Martino's statement to the FBI, a code. Martino had two brothers. One, Johnny, lived in Jersey. The other, Chuck, lived in Delco. According to Martino, if Donaghy mentioned out-of-state Johnny's name, the pick was for the visiting team.
If Donaghy talked about Chuck, bet the home side. Not exactly the Enigma cipher but better than yapping about specific teams and risking someone overhearing. Ideally, Donaghy should make his pick as early as possible, preferably the night before his games, or at least the morning of. That way, Battista could begin to prepare the markets, to manipulate the prices in their favor. He would start before dawn with the enormously liquid Asian betting markets, an amorphous group of black- and gray-market internet sportsbooks based in places like Manila and Kuala Lumpur.
Normally this meant making a few "head fake" bets. If you think the Celtics are the side that's likely to cover, then you go to market as early in the trading session as possible and put some money on Philly. Do it right and you can drive down the price of Boston. Then later in the day, with the price right, you gobble up all the Boston you can. According to Martino and Battista, after such wagering was complete, Battista, via Martino, would then inform Donaghy of the spread he needed to cover.
And so it began From Philadelphia, Donaghy hopping to a Nets home game, then 1, miles west to Denver, then over to Seattle, then transcontinental to Atlanta, then southwest to Houston, then back east to DC -- Donaghy zigzagging across the country, in and out of NBA arenas, making his picks to Martino over those cheap bodega burner phones, but not always, because sometimes they'd forget and use their own regular phones, because who cared?
Battista bowing his head to his desk and snorting a line of coke to stay alert, to stay awake. Martino late at night on the phone with Donaghy, the pair having developed a nightly before-bed ritual: If Donaghy's pick was a winner, if the spread had been covered, Martino calling the ref and whispering "Good boy," and Donaghy echoing "Good boy" and then hanging up Donaghy calling two fouls 50 seconds apart against the 76ers' leading scorer, Andre Iguodala, in the third quarter against Boston , with the score's margin right on the spread.
Iguodala heading to the bench; Boston covering the spread Donaghy in Seattle, the Sonics hosting the Mavericks, calling 11 straight fouls against Seattle as well as the last foul of the night, with 23 seconds to go. Dallas making both free throws, increasing its lead to eight. The closing line: Dallas by Battista usually watched these games at home, but sometimes not. Watching would give him agita, he's said, at which point he'd have to turn off the TV: "I remember being like, 'Oh s, he's getting out of hand.
I was like, 'If anyone's watching this, we've got a problem. Donaghy in Dallas on Jan. Favored by 12, Dallas covering Donaghy in Miami calling 12 fouls against visiting Charlotte, two against the Heat. The Heat covering Donaghy in Toronto calling four fouls against the visiting Nets' top scorer, Vince Carter, forcing him to the bench, the last one called by Donaghy when the ref was on the opposite side of the floor with the Raptors leading by three.
Toronto, favored by Money now pouring into games Donaghy is refereeing, the lines during trading sessions swinging violently, like stocks beset by takeover rumors-widening and narrowing by 1. Battista popping pills, Vicodin and OxyContin, sometimes falling asleep at the dinner table at restaurants, sometimes vomiting blood.
Battista wired and staying up all night and obsessively, blank-mindedly playing online blackjack and poker and even putting bets down on sports for which he had no special insight or inside information, and losing, losing, losing And then Donaghy whistling fouls on the visiting Heat 12 times in Madison Square Garden compared to four against the Knicks; the Knicks covering Martino flying to Toronto to pay Donaghy and to party, ordering prostitutes from a website Donaghy on March 14 in Indianapolis calling four straight fouls in the fourth against the underdog Pacers when they were losing by six to the visiting Wizards.
Favored by 6, the visiting Wizards covering Battista on March 16 strung out and sleepless at Martino's house and surrounded suddenly by almost his entire immediate family. An intervention Battista two days later wearing a bathrobe in rehab. Phil Scala had been investigating organized crime in New York City for almost 30 years when his squad received the tip.
Based in an anonymous office building in Kew Gardens, Queens, Scala and his agents had spent years assembling a network of informants inside the gang. And now, Scala would later tell me, one of the squad's snitches had divulged this new tip, too delicious to be ignored. An NBA referee, according to the informant, was "in the pocket" of some people in the sports-gambling underworld.
The informant didn't know any names, and the people with the ref in their pocket did not appear to be made members of the Gambino crime family. But the crucial betting information -- which sides of which games the ref favored -- had been seeping into the black-market gambling business.
In particular, a crew of Gambino thugs in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn had figured out the formula and was supposedly, from what this informant had heard, winning millions on this ref's games. Illegal sports gambling was not Scala's focus. But stomping out a Mafia profit center was. Scala reached the FBI's mandatory retirement age in and is now a private detective based on Long Island.
But he has kept the investigative notes he took on his FBI cases, including the Donaghy case. Not long ago, he brought them out, looked at them and told me about them over the phone. When I asked if I could see the notes myself, he laughed.
Scala's squad went to work. Phone records of gamblers said to have connections with the Gambino crime family were obtained and analyzed, phone numbers traced back to names. As Scala told me, "If you can envision a spiderweb -- it might not be directly, but one or two or three spheres out, you find a name.
And then one afternoon the case agent came into my office. He said, 'We found the guy. We found the referee. They knew all about what he'd done, they told him; he was looking at 20 years. Better to cooperate. Lawyer , Battista replied. Just before entering rehab, according to Martino and law enforcement documents, Battista had handed over the reins of the operation to Rhino Ruggieri.
Ruggieri was to play the same role Battista had -- mover, fund manager. Ruggieri did not respond to requests for comment. But soon enough, Martino says, Rhino learned about the nature of Battista's deal with Donaghy. He and the other Animals who'd been following the bets were not happy.
By now the spreads were moving violently. Word about Donaghy had permeated the market, followers following followers. Battista "was just ruining something that was totally quiet, that nobody knew about," said one of the Animals. It was like: Why would you do that? In any case, Ruggieri before long decided to shut the whole thing down. The final game, Martino remembers, was a loss. The effort to hide it was in vain. A grand jury in the case had been convened as early as February, according to FBI documents, and on May 30, Tommy Martino testified before it.
Hours later, he called up Donaghy to tell him. In his memoir, Donaghy writes that he was standing on the first tee at his home golf club in Sarasota with a driver in his hands when he took the call from Martino. His body turned numb. He thought he was having a heart attack. The agents informed Stern that it had come to their attention that one of their veteran refs, Tim Donaghy, had been betting on his own games and giving inside information to a gambling ring, for a fee. The Feds made no mention of game-fixing.
The commissioner promised the league's full cooperation. Today, Scala considers that meeting a mistake. I would not have gone to brief Stern," Scala told me. Through the NBA, Stern declined an interview request for this story. In Donaghy's many conversations with the Feds through these weeks, he had begun pointing fingers and making allegations about other referees -- other refs who may have been corrupt.
So the FBI had worked out a plan. Namely, they were going to wire up Donaghy so he could get other allegedly corrupted NBA referees to incriminate themselves. Things may have been different. That's the bottom line. Scala, at the time, was livid. He even contacted Murray Weiss, the Post reporter who wrote the story, to uncover the source of the leak. But Weiss, a veteran newsman, protected his source.
It came from above,' " Scala recalls. Scala won't say whether he believes the NBA leaked the story. But Warren Flagg, a private investigator and former FBI agent who worked with Donaghy's attorney during the case, will. To shut it down. Weiss disputes that; he told me his tipster wasn't affiliated with the NBA "as far as I know.
I was told, 'They're the kind of people who will do anything they can to protect themselves and the game. Among them: Who made the real money? Who besides Donaghy, Battista and Martino was in on it? There have been hints and suggestions. There's also Scala, who told me he heard from his informants that underground gamblers "could have been making over a hundred million dollars" on Donaghy's games.
Perhaps this is why the men who formed Battista's loose, disorderly investor group, the men who were "on the ticket," have, for all these years, remained in the shadows. They were the gamblers and bookmakers closest to Battista.
They were among his biggest brokerage clients and most trusted outs. Whether or not Battista made them explicitly aware of his agreement with Donaghy, their money was used to make one very specific genre of bet: games refereed by Tim Donaghy.
They were the real moneymakers of the Donaghy scheme. One of them was a man nicknamed Tiger. By most accounts, Tony "Tiger" Rufo is no longer a gambler. Over the course of the past decade, he's built a company that has become one of the biggest Planet Fitness franchisees in the nation, with more than 30 locations and exclusive rights to the regions of Philadelphia and Chicago. Rufo declined to comment for this story. One of Rufo's business partners in the gyms was his old Animals colleague Rhino Ruggieri.
The management entity that controls the gyms is registered as Rhino Holdings, and according to its articles of incorporation, it was formed in Delaware County in February Another man who profited off Donaghy was a well-known New York and South Florida bookie and whale who sometimes went by the nickname Popeye on account of his oversize forearms.
He was a man who was, as they say, connected; a man from whose open hotel room window once dangled a person in debt to a Bonanno crime family member; a man whose clients included Hollywood celebrities; and a man who, back in June of , had sat with Battista in a VIP box at Citizens Bank Park for an interleague Phillies-Yankees game. These games would be mostly winners, so Popeye should feel free to move them -- and copy them too. Popeye, no dummy, asked the obvious question: Who's the handicapper behind these games?
And Battista, perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not smartly, gave him the truth. Popeye's eyes grew wide. Popeye, who died of heart disease in at age 61, was born in Manhattan and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, but remained estranged from most of his family for most of the rest of his life. Popeye's real name was Taylor Breton, and he was the great-great-grandson of Marcus Goldman, the founder, in , of Goldman Sachs.
Another key figure was Joseph "Joe Vito" Mastronardo, a major black-market bookie who served as Battista's most significant out. Married to the daughter of powerful Philly mayor Frank Rizzo, who held office in the s, Mastronardo was well-connected.
He had many lucrative gambling-related businesses. He served, for example, as a kind of shadow bank for the global underground gambling industry. For that reason, he had a lot of cash on hand. The last time he was arrested, the police dug up his yard and found sections of PVC pipe buried there. To help get his clients' bets down, Battista as a bet broker needed Joe Vito. That's why, according to someone close to both men, Battista had no choice but to apprise Mastronardo of the Donaghy situation, to tell Joe Vito that this ref was picking sides in his own games-and, most likely, using his whistle to help the bet win.
Joe Vito cannot speak to that today; he was busted in at age 63 for illegal bookmaking in an unrelated federal case. In , Mastronardo had a stroke and died in prison. Another moneymaker -- according to people with knowledge of the events -- was a man named Spiros Athanas. Born in Greece in , a Boston street bookie in the s, Athanas by the late s had moved to Jamaica, where he turned himself into a sharp bettor and bookmaker on a global scale. According to multiple sources, Battista first began moving bets for Athanas in And at some point, per a person close to the situation, Battista had to tell Athanas, a heavy NBA bettor, that Battista believed he had a profitable edge; a different person close to Athanas' syndicate a decade ago told me that Athanas bet more heavily on Donaghy's games in the season than he did on other NBA games.
In , Athanas was indicted as part of a federal sports-betting case that was unrelated to Donaghy. One morning in early July , Ronnie Nunn was asleep in a hotel room in Las Vegas when his cellphone buzzed him awake. Nunn, then the director of NBA officials, was in town for the NBA summer league games held annually among the casinos, where referee candidates from the minors are assessed for possible promotion to the Show.
Litvin's tone was urgent. Had Nunn heard anything about Donaghy's resignation? Had he heard about Donaghy's gambling "issues" -- about what he had done? Now sitting bolt upright, Nunn answered "no" to all the questions. Litvin then filled him in on the worst of it and told him there was an ongoing investigation, instructing him to say nothing about any of it to anyone. Then he hung up. A few weeks later, four days after the Post story broke, David Stern gave his first news conference.
His messaging was clear: Donaghy was a rogue. He'd acted alone. This was an episode of gambling, yes, but almost assuredly not match-fixing. Stern's conclusion that Donaghy did not fix games would be validated by the federal investigation. Donaghy, in August , and Martino, in April , would plead guilty to two charges: conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to transmit gambling information.
Battista would cut a deal, pleading guilty in April only to the charge of transmission of gambling information. Martino would receive a year and Donaghy and Battista 15 months each in federal prison. But while Donaghy would admit to betting on his own games in his plea agreement, he would not admit to fixing games.
With a team of four young lawyers, Pedowitz took a little over a year to conduct the probe and write up the findings in a page report. Pedowitz, who has retired from his firm, did not respond to requests for comment. David Anders, an attorney who helped Pedowitz run the investigation, declined to comment. His brief was to audit the entire NBA referee program for corruption, but he also had a narrower goal: figuring out whether Donaghy had indeed fixed games.
And, if he did, what was his method? To answer those questions, Pedowitz convened a group of NBA basketball operations personnel to watch games worked by Donaghy during the season -- but the ensuing report did not fully explain the limited number of games they decided to review. The FBI had discovered that Donaghy had wagered on as many as 40 of his own games with Concannon during each of the three seasons between and Based on information from Tommy Martino, among others, there were reasons to suspect Donaghy had money on the vast majority of his games during the fateful season, from the very beginning until as late as April 11 -- 65 games in all.
Yet the number of games reviewed by Pedowitz's group of NBA employees was only In this, Pedowitz followed the lead of federal investigators, who had analyzed video of Donaghy's games -- recruiting Nunn himself to review eight of them -- based on Donaghy's admission to the Feds that he'd wagered on just 16 of his own games in the final season of his career.
The Feds never said which 16 games they were, so Pedowitz's team had to deduce them from court documents and FBI requests for game videos, and the set of possible games it came up with was The NBA employees "examined every play and determined whether, in their view, Donaghy's calls or absence of calls were correct.
Just one game of potential funny business out of 17 wasn't nearly enough to accuse the referee of anything. And so, in the end, on the question of whether Donaghy fixed, Pedowitz upheld the findings of the U. Attorney's Office -- which never charged him with such crimes. But Scala, the FBI agent who pursued the case, has doubts. That never really flew with us. This notion even found its way into the Pedowitz report itself. Scala recalls that he and Donaghy went around and around on the issue.
All those gray-area decisions you have to make, Tim? Because you're betting on the game, your judgment is off -- and you threw the game. Still, in Scala's telling, the FBI eventually just had to move on. Short of an outright confession, how could you prove that Donaghy had fixed the games anyway?
And what more did you want? The guy's career was ruined and his life in shambles. They'd shut down a Gambino profit center. They were an organized crime squad, dealing with murder and mayhem. They had to get back to it. The Feds' job, on this one, was done. The NBA did too. It's impossible,'" Scala says. Too many invested observers -- referee supervisors, coaches, players, owners, media, fans -- would be too quick to complain if they saw something fishy, the NBA argued.
But as Scala put it, "When someone tells you something's impossible, you know they're full of s, because nothing's impossible. But that was the company line. Simply put, to show that Donaghy fixed games would suggest that it's easier for gamblers to manipulate games than any sports league would want to admit. Conspiracy theories about corrupted refs have dogged the league for decades. For that reason, the NBA is particularly wary of any hint of the fix.
Even if it made them strange bedfellows, then, Donaghy's denials of match-fixing guilt were, in the end, a gift. After Donaghy, the NBA put into place a host of new measures designed to detect any nascent game-fixing schemes. They included a beefed-up computerized system for monitoring refs' foul calls; enhanced scrutiny of betting-line fluctuations that might reveal suspicious wagering; the hiring of staff with experience in law enforcement, security and data analysis; and even the cultivation of tipsters within the sports-gambling industry who could relay rumors of possible corruption.
But at the time the scandal broke, the NBA closed ranks. Lamell McMorris served as the lead negotiator for the referees' union in its collective bargaining with the league. It was either sink or swim together for all of us. When the FBI began interviewing Donaghy's referee colleagues, the agents, according to Scala, eventually spoke to perhaps 10 of them. According to the FBI's investigation files, obtained in an FOIA request, some referees had to be served with subpoenas before they would talk to the Feds.
The notes taken by the agents during these interviews have a mantra-like similarity: "recalled feeling 'shocked' when he learned about Donaghy To this day, what amounts to something like a self-imposed gag order on the subject of Donaghy persists, even among those refs who no longer work for the league. To discuss Donaghy with more than a dozen of them now is to sense that their silence has more to do with the fact that they hate the guy. None of them says anymore that Donaghy "was a good ref.
Don't be fishing, because you ain't getting anything out of me. I refuse to talk about him. Or even put him in any kind of limelight at all. It's despicable. Not every retired referee is reticent. There is, for one, Ed T. Rush, former NBA director of officials, a Philadelphia native and, for 32 years, a referee at the highest level, starting in When Donaghy was still slogging it in the minors in the early s, Rush had taken it upon himself to mentor his young fellow Philadelphian.
The Philly ref blood runs deep. And he could have been. After the scandal, Rush was among those NBA personnel tasked by Pedowitz with reviewing a set of Donaghy games for evidence of game-fixing. Rush recalls watching maybe 10 such games. What did he see? When I asked, I expected Rush to answer much the same as Nunn had to me: Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to see here. Move along. Instead, he surprised me. In the early s, Rush went on to explain, the NBA undertook a wholesale revision of its refereeing guidelines, changes that would naturally lead to the entire NBA referee corps calling a greater volume of fouls, at least initially.
All this occurred while Rush was director of officials, from to Then people settle in. But Donaghy didn't settle in. Rush, as director of refs, took notice but didn't think much of it at the time. It was only later, in , after Donaghy had been exposed, that Donaghy's letter-of-the-law foul-calling acquired a darker hue. Watching games for Pedowitz, Rush noticed the same propensity to call "literally interpreted" fouls in situations where they were not warranted -- ones that ran counter to the flow of the game.
Only this time, Rush viewed these calls with suspicion. Still, as Rush explained to me over the phone, these were just "trends," not "red flags," and the NBA and the Pedowitz people were interested only in red flags. A play that had to be called one way and that [Donaghy] called the other way. That's what they were looking for.
I didn't find it. In the end, Rush felt there was no need to relay his observations to the Pedowitz people. He felt the trends were embodied in the stats: The volume of Donaghy's calls was noticeable; it must be obvious to all. And so nothing about any of this would end up in Pedowitz's final report. What does it mean to "fix" a game?
And how, in turn, could you uncover evidence of it years, even a decade, later? The methods of fixing are rather straightforward. A player who's on the take can shave points, purposely missing baskets, say, in an effort to lower the score for his side. A ref, on the other hand, can effectively add points -- calling fouls that result in free throws. And if a ref were to target one particular team with fouls, he could push the score for the opposing side higher than it otherwise would be.
For example, Donaghy wrote that referee Dick Bavetta liked to keep games close and often blew the whistle to help a team that was down big. He said that big underdogs tended to beat the spread when Bavetta was refereeing per Abbott. Price told Arnovitz and you can find all of Price's findings here :.
If you had bet on the underdog all of the games in which Bavetta was an official and in which one of the teams was favored to win by seven or more points, your bet would have paid off only This would have caused you to, on average, lose about Donaghy also claimed that referee Steve Javie disliked Allen Iverson , and that it would be smart to bet against Iverson's teams when Javie was refereeing. Abbot debunked that as well, finding that Iverson shot just around 0.
He wrote:. Win or lose, gamblers typically pay a 10 percent vig. Donaghy claimed that referee Joe Crawford favored Iverson; Abbott found that you would have lost big money betting that way. Donaghy wrote that referee Joe Forte and then-Memphis Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello were good friends and implied that the Grizzlies did better when Forte was refereeing. Abbott and Price found that the Grizzlies played poorly when Forte was on the court.
These are some of the criteria that I used. I'm not saying I bet every game. You can spin the stats any way you want The FBI investigated thoroughly. To sit here and say there was a science to how I did this, with the stats you're throwing at me. Based on the information you're using, with your equation, it's not even in the same ballpark. There were other factors that came into play.
Inside information about injuries. Home game or away game. Home crowd. Many more factors to take into consideration. Does Donaghy know how to pick NBA games? Sure he does. You can't be an NBA official for 13 years and not understand the game and understand it well. But to take Donaghy's advice under the impression that he has some kind of insider's edge would be downright foolish.
Especially considering that the numbers show that you would have lost big betting on most of his information from Regardless, you should check out Refpicks. Maybe Donaghy's information will be a little more accurate now that Allen Iverson's out of the league. And the house always wins. So going against the crowd mentality is a profitable long-term strategy. The easiest spots to bet against the public are the nationally televised prime-time games on TNT or ESPN that get lots of attention and heavy bets from public bettors.
One of the best ways to go contrarian is to look for inflated lines in which the public is extremely heavy and lopsided on one team and forces the books to move the number further toward that popular team. By being savvy and betting on that unpopular underdog, you just got an extra point or more of value simply due to the public artificially inflating the number.
If the line is inflated two points or more, the cover rate jumps to Think of it this way: When two teams are facing off and one looks like a massive blowout and easy cover, it's smart to buy low and back the unpopular team, especially if they're getting extra points. They'll likely lose, but their chances of covering increase dramatically. Divisional Unders That Drop. Unders are a smart bet in general because, just like favorites and home teams, the public is biased toward overs.
They want to see a fun, exciting, high-scoring game and root for points. The sportsbooks know this and will shade numbers toward overs, creating added value to bet unders. Since , unders have cashed at a Again, a big loser. But overs have been much worse, losing The key is betting unders with sharp money in which the total drops at least half a point.
These unders have won But the real gem is divisional unders that drop. Teams in the same division play each other several times every season. This leads to built-in familiarity, which makes it easier to game-plan and benefits defenses because they know what to expect. When divisional teams face off and the total falls at least one point, signaling sharp action, the under has cashed at a It's also important to research "pace" statistics when betting totals.
This takes into account the average number of possessions each team has per game. A high pace is great for overs, while a low pace benefits unders. Know Referee Tendencies. All officials want to get the calls right. But they're human. Some lean toward home teams, some toward road teams. Others side more with favorites over underdogs. You shouldn't bet a game specifically based on referee tendencies, but knowing them can be important if all the refs working a game lean the same way.
For example, visitors are Unders are Overs are Shop For The Best Line. The sports betting market is fluid and constantly changing. Just as in life, timing is everything. And it's not just about picking the right side but also getting the best number. Bettors should shop for the best line before placing their wagers. Make sure to have access to multiple sportsbooks.
Search out the book offering the best odds. If you want to bet the Miami Heat, make sure you seek out the book offering Heat 6. Extra half-points make a world of difference over a long season. Manage Your Bankroll. Bettors should try their best to remain disciplined and limit their plays to the most profitable games of the day over the long season.
Betting lots of games assumes more and more risk and can lead to big ups and downs. It may not sound sexy, but it will sustain you over the course of the long haul and keep you alive through the inevitable ups and downs of betting.
Rested Road Dogs The public also likes to bet on favorites, which makes sense. Divisional Unders That Drop Unders are a smart bet in general because, just like favorites and home teams, the public is biased toward overs.
The site is not associated with nor is it endorsed by any professional or collegiate league, association or team. OddsShark does not target an audience under the age of Please visit gambleaware. Google Tag Manager. Oddshark logo linked to Home. Close Menu. Odds Shark Top Sportsbooks 1. Visit operator for details. Upcoming Events NBA. All rights reserved. Public bettors love betting home teams, which leads to sportsbooks shading lines further toward home teams, forcing casual bettors to take overpriced numbers.
This creates added value to buy low on road teams. This edge may be heightened even more this season as many teams will play with limited or no fans in the stands, reducing the home-court edge even more. Road Dogs The public also likes to bet on favorites. On the surface, this makes sense. However, this bias also creates shaded lines toward favorites, creating added value to back underdogs. Road dogs often have value as the public flocks to home favorites. Another key is focusing on road dogs with a rest advantage.
The NBA plays a busy game schedule with lots of travel and back-to-back games. Bettors should always consider these factors when placing a bet, especially when one team has tired legs and the other is rested. One great spot to lean on: road dogs coming off four or more days of rest against teams on two days or fewer of rest or fading teams on a back-to-back.
Also, buy low on dogs off a loss, especially a blowout loss of 20 points or more. You always want to be on the side of respected action, ideally at the number the pros got. Home dogs receiving at least 1. Go Contrarian. More often than not, the public loses. They bet with gut instinct and bias. And, inevitably, the house wins. So going against the crowd and bucking the herd mentality is a profitable long-term strategy.
Think of it this way: If you walk into a bar and everyone is rooting for Team A, you likely want to be holding a ticket on Team B. Capitalize On Inflated Lines One of the best ways to go contrarian is to look for inflated lines in which the public is extremely lopsided on one team, forcing the books to move the number further toward that popular team.
By being savvy and betting on the unpopular underdog, you just got an extra point or more of value simply because of the public artificially inflating the number. For example, maybe the Lakers open as point favorites against the Kings. Everyone is hammering Los Angeles, driving the line from to It may look unappealing, but you are extracting additional value. Divisional Unders that Drop Unders are a smart bet in general because, just like favorites and home teams, the public is biased toward Overs.
Average bettors want to see a fun, exciting, high-scoring game and root for points. The sportsbooks know this and will shade numbers toward Overs, creating added value to bet Unders. This doesn't mean you want to bet every Under. The key is betting Unders with sharp money in which the total drops at least a half-point. Teams in the same division play each other several times every season.
This leads to familiarity, which makes it easier to game plan and benefits defenses because they know what to expect. When two divisional teams face off and the total falls at least 1 point signaling sharp action , the Under has excellent value. This takes into account the average number of possessions each team has per game.
A high pace is great for Overs, while a low pace benefits Unders. Track Line Movement Knowing the opening line, how it moved and why is incredibly important when it comes to figuring out where the public is and where the sharps are. If everyone is betting the Warriors, yet they fall from -4 to -3 at the Hawks, that is a good indication that respected money grabbed Atlanta plus the points. Also keep an eye out for late moves in the last 30 minutes to an hour before tip-off.
Know Referee Tendencies All officials want to get the calls right.
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The two squads in a game are listed with a title, either a favorite or an underdog. The favorite is usually the perceived better team in the game, as backing them means giving up several points. On the VegasInsider. It's not uncommon to see other values posted other than The price is the most common value in the industry while many books offer reduced 'juice odds' and that would fall into the category. The lower-juice sportsbooks are normally found outside of the state of Nevada.
If you are in a state where sports betting is legal, please check out our online sportsbook directory to find the best and most secure places to make NBA bets. If the favorite is designated as the home team, then the total will be listed above and vice versa if the visitors are favorites.
All of the above numbers are listed next to the teams, and before each matchup is a Rotation number. The NBA Las Vegas Odds are listed in order of rotation and those numbers are generated and produced by the sportsbooks. Above each matchup and rotation is the Time of the game, which is subject to change. All game times are Eastern Standard Time. This numbers consists of the first betting line received from one of our Las Vegas or Global Sportsbooks. The opening line varies depending on the sportsbook but it provides a clear-cut rating that the oddsmakers use.
The VegasInsider. The consensus line will be the same as the open line but once the wagers start coming in, this number is often different than the openers. There are several legal sportsbook options in the United States. Visit our sportsbook directory to find online sportsbooks where you can bet on the NBA.
Our experts offer picks on all the big NBA games. Sportsbooks also first half lines, live betting, and other betting angles. Or home teams. So bookmark the page to check on the NBA ref stats and we also list the daily referee assignments so you know which refs are calling which games.
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The site is not associated with nor is it endorsed vary from state to ref betting nba odds, province to province and country. Please confirm the wagering regulations Problem Gambling or call PA meaning you can bet on multiple odds and ref betting nba odds a to country. Contact the Nevada Council on in your jurisdiction as they If you or someone you league, association or team help is available, call Gambler. Using this information to contravene all the big NBA games. Sportsbooks also first half lines, any law or statute is. PARAGRAPHThere are several legal sportsbook options in the United States. Oddshark logo linked to Home. NJ Bet with your head. Visit our sportsbook directory to find online sportsbooks where you by any professional or collegiate. The handicapping, sports odds information contained on this website is.Referee Stats for every NBA Basketball referee including handicapping statistics and historical data. Full betting stats and records for every referee in the NBA in , including Over/Under stats and home court against the spread tendencies. NBA Referee Data And Betting Odds. Referee data is easy to access, NBAStuffer.com offers up to date statistics on each referee's tendencies, including their.