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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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NBA Investigating Raptors Center Jontay Porter Over Suspicious Prop Bets

  • The investigation comes amid a series of high-profile gambling scandals in U.S. sports.
  • Porter is a role player for the Raptors and isn’t a major contributor to the team.
Rick Osentoski – USA TODAY Sports

Jontay Porter might have taken the phrase “bet on yourself” too far. Now the Raptors center’s career could be in jeopardy amid a league investigation.

The NBA is looking into Porter for “multiple instances of betting irregularities” in recent months, ESPN reported Monday night.

Suspicious bets on Porter props were placed in at least two games in January and March, according to ESPN.

The 24-year-old Porter is a role player on the Raptors and averages just 14 minutes per game.  In a Jan. 26 game against the Clippers, Porter’s props for the night of 5.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 0.5 three-pointers made, ESPN reported. In the game, Porter played just four minutes before exiting the game due to an eye injury the Raptors said he previously sustained. He went scoreless in the game and had three rebounds and one assist, meaning the unders on all of his props hit. 

The next day, DraftKings stated in its daily report to users that the under on Porter’s threes was the biggest money winner for NBA prop bettors that night. 

Porter played just three minutes against the Kings on March 20 and exited due to illness, the team said at the time, after taking just one shot and grabbing two rebounds. Sportsbooks had his over/under set at 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds. Just like the Clippers game, all of the unders on Porter’s props hit against Sacramento. 

DraftKings again reported that Porter’s prop bets were the top moneymaker among NBA bets that previous night. 

Prop bets are typically limited to the low four figures, according to ESPN, but someone reportedly attempted to place bets as high as $20,000 on the Porter props for that Clippers game in January. 

Porter is the younger brother of Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. and had played in 26 NBA games this season after back-to-back ACL tears in college at Missouri derailed his career. Jontay was on a two-way contract with the Raptors, making $415,000. He played in 11 games for the Grizzlies in the 2020–21 season. 

Porter has missed the Raptors’ two most recent games due to personal reasons. Raptors coach Darko Rajaković said before Monday’s game against the Nets that he had just become aware of the situation.

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

The Porter situation arrives as U.S. sports have been rocked by a series of gambling scandals, including millions of dollars in transfers from MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani’s bank account to an illegal bookmaker. It also comes as the NBA itself is heavily pushing gambling, inserting a direct gambling option into its League Pass streaming service.

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