|ESPN.com | by Scott Eden 02-19-2019|
How former ref Tim Donaghy conspired to fix NBA games:
"Rhino Ruggieri was booking bets made by an acquaintance from back home, a guy he knew from the golf course named Jack Concannon. Back in Philly, Ruggieri had noticed that Concannon's bet sizes were an order of magnitude higher on certain NBA games. And those bets won -- won like Concannon had never won before. Normally this guy was a $100 or $200 or maybe $500 bettor. And normally this guy lost. But suddenly this recreational dumb-money insurance salesman was putting five dimes each on select NBA games and beating the bookies? Why? There had to be a pattern.--end quote
Since he was now affiliated with PlayASAP, Ruggieri was running all the bets that he booked back home, including Concannon's, through the PlayASAP website. Everyone at the Curaçao office, therefore, had access to Concannon's gambling account. They'd studied his wagers. It hadn't taken long to deduce. Because he was a sometime member of the same golfing circle back home, Ruggieri knew that Concannon and NBA ref Tim Donaghy were friends. They checked the games. Who were the referees? Sure enough, there he was. One of the three was always him. F---ing Donaghy.
Holy s---! they thought. Donaghy and Concannon are betting on Donaghy's games -- and making a goddamn killing.
So what do you do when you stumble upon a possible criminal conspiracy in progress? What Battista, Ruggieri and the rest did was follow the Concannon-Donaghy bets with bets of their own -- $30,000, $50,000, $100,000 a game, according to a person familiar with the betting. Large sums but, if handled deftly, not large enough to alert the broader market that something screwy might be going on. They had possibly just stumbled on the ultimate edge. They now had one job: Do not lose the edge by letting the information leak. Whether Donaghy was using his whistle to fix games was beside the point. When Donaghy reffed and Concannon bet, the side he bet was covering the spread between 60 and 70 percent of the time. The Animals went so far as to study the box scores after each of Donaghy's outings. "If you looked at the stats," said one gambler in The Office at the time, "you could see he was calling more fouls on the team he bet against and less fouls on the team he bet on. That was obvious."
Said another: "Did I assume he was fixing the games? Yeah, I did. But I didn't give a s---, because it was great information. From 2003 to 2007, we didn't miss a game. Any game that he reffed we had a wager on.""
Imo, great article with lots of info about the Tim Donaghy story.