FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy actually bet on the games he officiated, but hard numbers suggest he did more than that.
Las Vegas, Nevada (5/17/08) - As more information is released on the Tim Donaghy sports betting scandal, the more incriminating the facts become. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Goldberg said in a letter filed Friday in Brooklyn Federal Court that former NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on about 14 games that he personally officiated during the 2006-07 season.
Compare that admission to the following fact: The first 15 games of the 2006-07 refereed by Tim Donaghy that had big enough betting to move the point spread by at least 1.5 points were UNDEFEATED against Las Vegas meaning that the big money gamblers won a 15 of 15 times on his games. The odds of that happening randomly are 32,768 to 1 said RJ Bell of Pregame.com.
Tim Donaghy officiating style statistically changed during the 2005/06 and 06/07 seasons. During the two years prior (i.e., 03/04 and 04/05) he called significantly less fouls than the average NBA referee (his games scored more than Las Vegas expected only 44% of the time). During his last two seasons he called significantly more fouls than average (his games scored more than Las Vegas expected 57% of the time). The odds of this change happening randomly are approximately 19 to 1.
Now consider what must be believed in order to conclude that Tim Donaghy did not fix the games that he both officiated and bet on: first, that a person troubled enough to provide inside information to criminals was able to referee games in which he had a financial interest in the outcome without any bias. We also must believe that information alone allowed big bettors to beat Las Vegas 15 straight times. And finally we must believe that Donaghy becoming a much more active referee his final two years is a mere coincidence rather than evidence of an effort to increase his influence on games.
Keep in mind that a single call can affect the outcome of a pro basketball game. During the 06/07 season alone, 13 games refereed by Tim Donaghy fell within A SINGLE POINT of the Las Vegas point spread. In his final two seasons as a referee, the winner of 14 NBA games refereed by Donaghy was decided by a single bucket or less.
RJ Bell of Pregame.com said: "Over 50 BILLION dollars is gambled on the NBA each season. If not a single call was affected by Donaghy's bets, then we have the whole story. But if calls were affected, the true story is one of game-fixing, and thus much bigger."
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About RJ Bell of Pregame.com
RJ Bell, president of http://Pregame.com, has been featured on CBS News with Katie Couric, ABC News with Charles Gibson, Nightline, Sportscenter, Outside the Lines (ESPN), First Take (ESPN2), ESPN.com, ESPN National Radio, Yahoo, AOL.com, CNN.com and in Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, LA Times, Newsweek.com, Maxim, and Forbes.