NBA investigating Toronto Raptors’ Porter for betting irregularities

League reportedly looking into multiple potential instances

The NBA is investigating Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter for potential betting irregularities related to his own performances in games.

ESPN reported on Thursday that multiple instances are being explored by the league, including the possibility that Porter bet the under on his own performances.

For the Raptors’ Jan. 26 game against the LA Clippers, prop 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” at DraftKings, ESPN reports. The over/under on Porter’s 3-pointers for that game was 0.5. In four minutes of action, he didn’t attempt a shot from outside the arc and failed to score before exiting the game with what was reported as an eye injury.

Two days later, Porter played 19 minutes and scored 12 points with seven rebounds and three assists.

Earlier this month, a second instance deemed suspicious by the NBA, Porter went scoreless with two rebounds in three minutes against the Sacramento Kings before leaving with an illness. Those points and rebound totals were both below the prop bets over/unders for that game. Again, prop bets on Porter that night were the No. 1 moneymaker in the NBA, DraftKings said.

ESPN reported that DraftKings is not the only U.S. sportsbook to have detected unusual betting interest on those particular Porter props in those particular games. An industry source claims that multiple betting accounts attempted to bet large amounts, upward of $10,000 and $20,000, on Porter unders in the January Clippers game and that “people were trying to do whatever they could to bet Jontay Porter props” for that game. And then, just a few days ago, the same thing. We had a bunch of people trying to bet under for more.”

An NBA spokesman told ESPN that the league is “looking into it.”

Major sports leagues in North America prohibit players, coaches and other officials from betting on that league’s events and can fine, suspend or terminate the contract of anyone found guilty.

Porter has missed the last two games for what the Raptors called personal reasons.

Prop bets a primary concern for sports leagues

The issue that sports leagues have with prop bets is that their outcomes often don’t affect the overall result or score of a game, meaning that microbetting irregularities can theoretically go undiscovered.

Major sports leagues in North America rely not just on their own officials but also external integrity experts to attempt identify such suspect activities.

Porter report follows Ohtani incident

This report about Jontay Porter follows the high-profile news last week that LA Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter Ippei Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers and is accused of stealing millions of dollars from the player for the purposes of illegal gambling in the closed jurisdiction of California.

Again uncovered by ESPN, at least $4.5 million was sent via wire transfers from Ohtani’s bank account to an associate of an illegal sportsbook operator in the state. Ohtani’s name was seen on two wire transfers worth $500,000 each.

MLB has opened an investigation into the incident surrounding the highest-paid athlete in North American sports history. Ohtani himself gave a statement a Monday saying he has never gambled on sports, didn’t tell Mizuhara to wire money from his account to pay a bookmaker, and was “shocked” to discover that Mizuhara “has been stealing money from us and has told lies.”

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