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NBA Investigates Raptors Player for Possible NBA Game Betting – Sportico

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The NBA is investigating Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter for betting irregularities related to NBA games, including the possibility he bet the under on his own performances.

ESPN revealed the investigation Thursday, including details regarding the Raptors’ Jan. 26 game against the Los Angeles Clippers where proposition bets on the number of 3-pointers Porter would make were “the biggest money winner for bettors of any NBA player props from games that evening.” Also known as in-play bets, prop bets are wagers on specific events or outcomes in a game, such as number of steals a player makes in the second quarter or number of dunks a player makes.

The over/under on Porter’s 3-pointers that night was 0.5. He went scoreless and didn’t shoot a 3-pointer in four minutes. He left the game with what was reported as an eye injury. Porter played 19 minutes for the Raptors two nights later against the Atlanta Hawks. 

In a similar fact pattern last Wednesday, Porter played three minutes in a game against the Phoenix Suns before leaving with an illness. He went scoreless and had two rebounds, both below the prop bets over/unders for his play that evening. According to ESPN, prop bets on Porter that night were the No. 1 moneymaker in the NBA. Porter has missed the last two games for personal reasons.

The NBA prohibits players, coaches and other officials from betting on league events. The league can fine, suspend or ban those who are guilty. 

Prop bets have long been a source of concern with legalized sports betting because of the possibility of a player altering their play in ways that aren’t suspicious and that might not cost their team a win. Players sometimes have bad nights shooting or suffer in-game injuries, meaning when those occurrences take place, they usually appear innocuous. The NBA, like other major pro leagues, relies on their own officials as well as outside integrity experts to monitor for irregularities and attempt to acquire information. 

Earlier in 2024, New England Patriots wide receiver Kayshon Boutte was charged in Louisiana with computer fraud and prohibited gaming. Among the allegations are that he made prop bets on his own performances in games for LSU, for whom he played in college. Data indicates he lost about $81,000 on his bets over a two-year period. 

NCAA president Charlie Baker is a vocal opponent of prop bets, warning that it leads to harassment of college athletes by bettors.

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