Toledo Basketball Point Shaving: Behind the Numbers!
How many basketball games are really fixed?
Las Vegas, Nevada (8/6/08) - Former Toledo basketball player Sammy Villegas has been charged with point-shaving. The indictment references games from the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. A closer look at the numbers tells a fuller story.
The main game in question was played between Toledo and Central Michigan on February 4, 2006. Toledo was a 15-point favorite, and won the game by 16 to just barely cover the point-spread. Villegas played 21 minutes, taking only 1 shot the entire game – and missing both his free throw attempts.
During the two seasons in question, Toledo basketball had a winning record (30 winners; 26 losers) against the Las Vegas point spread – which would be surprising if rampant game fixing had occurred; by definition, a fixed game is when a player purposely plays poorly so his team loses against the betting spread.
If the allegations are true, this is one incident of many. RJ Bell of Pregame.com said: “Academic studies indicate that over 5% of college basketball teams favored by double digits engage in some form of corrupt game manipulation.”
”Of all teams in recent years, those Toledo basketball games had by far the strongest buzz around Vegas that something funny was going on,” said RJ Bell of Pregame.com.
The case comes approximately 12 months after a Toledo football player was accused in a sports betting scheme, though the charges against him were later dropped. RJ Bell of Pregame.com widely reported that during the 2005 Toledo football regular season, SEVEN games had lopsided enough betting on one team to move the point spread by at least 2 points; those seven teams were UNDEFEATED against Vegas – meaning that the big-money gamblers won a perfect 7 of 7 times on games involving Toledo; the odds of that happening randomly were 128 to 1 against.
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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.
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