NBA Probing Iffy Betting Patterns on Raptors’ Jontay Porter

Posted on: March 26, 2024, 11:06h. 

Last updated on: March 26, 2024, 11:27h.

The NBA says it’s investigating suspicious betting patterns surrounding Toronto Raptors’ basketball player Jontay Porter.

Jontay Porter, Toronto Raptors, suspicious betting, NBA
The Toronto Raptors’ Jontay Porter, above. Gamblers betting the under on Porter three-pointers were the biggest winners among all NBA prop bets in two recent games where he exited early. (Image: USA Today Sports)

It’s believed the investigation is focusing on two games involving Porter. The first was the January 26 game against the LA Clippers, which the Raptors lost, 127-107. The second is the March 20 game against the Sacramento Kings — again a loss for the Raptors, 123-89.

On both occasions, Porter exited early. He played four minutes of the first game after a reoccurrence of an existing eye injury, and just three minutes of the second after complaining of feeling ill.

Taking the Under

In the Clippers game, Porter, who averages 14 minutes per game, totaled no points, three rebounds, and one assist. In the Kings game, Porter managed one missed shot and two rebounds. Porter is averaging 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 26 games.

After both games, DraftKings said gamblers betting the under on Porter three-pointers were the biggest winners among all NBA prop bets.

The player, who wasn’t with the team on Monday due to “personal reasons,” hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing.

But the NBA will investigate whether there is evidence of spot-fixing where players manipulate not the outcome of a game, but aspects within the game that can be wagered upon, or the exchange of insider information for betting purposes.

Raptors coach Darko Rajaković told the Associated Press he learned of the news shortly before the team’s game on Monday night.

“I never doubt injuries. I never doubt honesty from players,” Rajaković said. “Obviously, I’ve never had a situation like this before.”

Negative Press

Advocates for sports betting regulation in the US will hope this doesn’t develop into another scandal. That’s after a slew of recent negative headlines involving sports figures and betting violations, from Iowa college athletes to Alabama baseball coaches.

Then there is Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter, who is accused of stealing millions from the Dodgers star to wager with an illegal bookmaker.

On Monday, a DraftKings spokesperson told CNN that the company had no comment on the Porter case, but seized an opportunity to highlight the benefits of sports betting regulation.

“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 illegal market.”