Tuesday, July 24, 2007

70% (Updated to 57%)

Stories are starting to come out about the games a certain ref worked under the orders of Uncle Junior Soprano, apparently 70% of the games he refereed hit the over. That's astonishing. He should be indicted for that alone. If you hit 70% of anything gambling wise you're either a cheat or you built a time machine out of a Delorean and already know the outcome and are just losing enough not to get caught. I think point spreads would be a little tougher to fix from a ref's standpoint, but still certainly possible. The over/under would be extremely easy to fix though. It appears blatantly obvious that the 30% of the games they didn't hit the over were games that they weren't wagering on, obviously it's quite a red flag if games you're reffing happen to hit the over 100% of the time.

UPDATE: Appparently the numbers above are not entirely accurate. Here's an excerpt from ESPN.com's Wayne Drehs and his analysis of the subject:

"In the two seasons in which the FBI is investigating Donaghy for allegedly fixing games for gambling purposes, Bell found that NBA teams scored more points than Las Vegas expected (hitting the over) 57 percent of the time when Donaghy was part of the officiating crew. With a league average of 49 to 51 percent, the odds of such an occurrence are 19 to 1."

"When Bell analyzed the numbers from the two seasons before the two in question, he discovered that in games Donaghy officiated NBA teams scored more points than Vegas expected just 44 percent of the time."
"Although the 13 percent difference might not seem that jarring to the casual observer, it's jaw-dropping in the world of sports gambling. Bell said the odds of a 44 percent probability happening 57 percent of the time are about 1 in 1,000. "

I echo The Moderator's thoughts on this as well, I don't think this will destroy the league. Unless there were players and hordes of refs involved and this was the tip of the ice burg, then that might have a lasting effect. Baseball didn't suffer too much overall when the Pete Rose stuff was coming out, but it did when the 1919 Chicago White Sox threw the Series. That really hurt the game and until the Babe started doing his thing in the Bronx, baseball was on the ropes (note: there's obviously a lot more to this, but this is a basketball blog). It would be much worse if they found out the Dallas Mavericks threw the series against the Warriors.

Onto some Blazer related stuff, it would appear the mystery starting small forward for the Blazers is going to be James Jones or Travis Outlaw. I'm somewhat ok with this, Jones is a gunner and Outlaw is a slasher, they should complement each other well in a sort of baseball player platoon split kind of way. I get the feeling that they're just waiting for Fernandez to get over here after this season and then go with the run and gun style with Sergio, Roy, Fernandez, Aldridge, and Oden. Is it too soon to call Sergio and Rudy "The Spanish Armada"?

Does anyone else get totally fired up when they're driving on the freeway and see the giant Greg Oden jersey on the side of the Rose Garden?

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