Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thank You

Due to time constraints I won't be writing as frequently on this blog so I can focus on other projects but I may be on here from time to time so feel free to continue commenting and sharing. Of course I will continue to watch countless hours of sports and spot those weird drops, missed shots and penalties we all see manipulating our beloved sports games. Thank you all for your continued support and talk to everyone soon.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Are Sports Outcomes Manipulated When Running Short on Television Broadcasting Time?

One of the major topics author Brian Tuohy touches on in his book 'The Fix Is In' is that sports leagues create story lines and manipulate outcomes to bring in higher television ratings to make those multi-billion dollar television rights deals worthwhile.

Similarly I have to wonder if some sporting events are manipulated when time is short on a regular TV channel broadcast. Obviously fans want to see the end of a game or fight but either the broadcast cuts it off short or the outcome dramatically finishes within minutes so they don't go over their expensive schedules. I see this time and time again with fights. Take last Saturday's Fox broadcast of UFC on Fox 9: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2. I was looking at the time before this fight started and noticed the broadcast was about to go way over the scheduled time especially if this fight went the full five rounds which was expected since neither Demetrious Johnson nor Joseph Benavidez had ever been finished and only lost via decisions. Although the TV broadcast still went over it wasn't nearly as bad as it potentially could have been because the unthinkable happened again, Johnson knocked out Benavidez two minutes into the very first round. It looked legit but how do these types of occurrences happen over and over again when broadcasts look like they will go over there allotted times? It would be much easier to pay off a player or fighter to make an error or take a dive to finish things early than to have to pay the almighty television companies hefty fines for going over broadcast times. Just my thoughts for the week.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Final BCS Goes Out with a Bang

With the College Football Playoff set to replace the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) next year they certainly went out with a bang. How many years have we begged to see the two best college football teams play each other for the national championship only to see other teams squeak into the championship game because of the ridiculous BCS computer rankings?

I think the fans, the big television execs and Vegas scored the biggest victories with this final season of the BCS. I believe games are played out for the most part and even more so in college but when things don't go the way of the fixers people step in.

I believe Bowling Green State University and their defense did out play Northern Illinois University but before this game even kicked off I had a strong sense that NIU would most likely lose. NIU was installed as a three point favorite which brought in an astronomical 80-85% on the spread and around 90% on the moneyline for NIU. The line did budge temporarily to 4-4.5 but was bumped back down by the sharps. Sharps or not that is ridiculous that this line was not adjusted accordingly based on percentages. If this game was mixed in with a hundred others on a Saturday and not for a potential BCS spot then it might not have been moved as the action might have been more limited being small schools but being the only game that night on national television with possible BCS considerations I sensed it would not end in a NIU victory let alone a cover. First, a lopsided betting pattern and more important in my mind, the BCS did not want NIU in a BCS game back to back years. NIU had their big shot last year but they are not a nationally known school and won't bring in TV ratings which are the big factors here in sports and the money being generated for the big business of TV, the BCS and conference money sharing.

Although I did not see this game I also had a strong feeling Michigan State would beat Ohio State. This one was for the TV ratings and finally one for the fans. After Auburn pulled off the huge upset of number one Alabama the BCS standings ended up being Florida State (1), Ohio State (2) and Auburn (3) going into the final weekend. People including myself believe and want to see the two best, Florida State and Auburn battle for the national championship. And that is exactly what will happen on January 6, 2014 thanks to Michigan State beating Ohio State for the Big Ten Championship last weekend moving Auburn up to the number two spot in the final BCS rankings. This couldn't have been scripted better.

Sports are manipulated more than people would like to think and it comes right from the top dogs so they can make more money.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Coach Mike Tomlin Becomes Part of the Special Teams Unit

As Charlie Harper once said, "it doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's whether or not you beat the spread." Last week on Turkey day, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin tried helping this cause. With his team down 13-7 in the third quarter Tomlin decided to step in, literally. Baltimore Ravens return man Jacoby Jones was about to run back a touchdown until he had to cut back to avoid Tomlin who was standing on the edge of the field clearly impeding Jones path down the sideline which allowed the Steelers to catch him and bring him down before taking one to the house. Watch the video above and click here for another view. Tomlin has profusely apologized and maintains his innocence for his blunder but others like Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco believe the incident was intentional. Currently the NFL is investigating the actions of this play before handing down possible punishment towards Tomlin and the Steelers.

Some might say who cares, it didn't have an impact on the game as the Ravens still won 22-20. But in Vegas is had a huge impact on the betting outcome as the Ravens were three point favorites. The Ravens were limited to a field goal on that drive that should have been a touchdown. This would have made the final score 26-20 with the Ravens covering but because of this gaffe the Steelers back doored the three point spread and covered by one point.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

More Monday Night Football Shenanigans

Did anyone catch the ending of the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers game two weeks ago? I had no action other than my confidence pool but I was watching this game with a friend who did take the Patriots on the spread and think he got screwed along with everyone else who took the Patriots.

With just 3 seconds left in the game from the 18 yard line, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady fired one last shot to tight end Rob Gronkowski. The pass was intercepted but the official at the back of the end zone threw a flag for pass interference on Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly who clearly was impeding Gronkowski from turning to make the catch. After officials gathered for a moment they waived off the penalty and called the game over.

The part that makes it even more interesting is that the Panthers were 3 point favorites with more action on the Patriots. Final result, Panthers 24 - Patriots 20. Once again right down to the last play and the side with more action loses. Doesn't anyone notice this happen over and over and over again? Obviously they can't have every game come that close for suspicion but the high number of games that do is completely impossible unless manipulated.

Once again the NFL, ESPN and Vegas clean house.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The NSAC Does it Again at UFC 167

Time and time again the judging of UFC fights by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) appointed judges comes into question. Some fights are scored worse than others but when a major title is on the line like last Saturday at UFC 167 between champion Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks you need to be on your A-game. Watch the video of UFC president Dana White even blasting the NSAC for the recent decision in favor or St-Pierre. Dana is famous for saying, "don't leave it in the hands of judges" to his fighters and for good reason.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cheating the Spread in College Sports

Many people ask if college sports are fixed as well. If you can gamble on it, you better believe it. There have been multiple point shaving scandals over the years in NCAA sports especially in basketball and football. With the amount of money college programs bring in these days and the corresponding television contracts these schools sign they have every incentive to win, create story lines and bring in high ratings. This is often done through point shaving, ridiculous officiating and more. On the other side of the ball, the athletes themselves are often tempted by bookies and others to point shave to earn a little money on the side or pay off debts since they do not get paid to play. A book called Cheating the Spread: Gamblers, Point Shavers, and Game Fixers in College Football and Basketball by Albert Figone touches on the shady side of college sports and the infamous fix. Pick up a copy and let us know what you think the next time you see a star college player mysteriously start missing easy shots or field goals.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Anyone Else Suspicious of GSP?

I know, innocent until proven guilty but I have to wonder if Georges St-Pierre is on the juice and I am certainly not the first to be suspicious. With just a week to go before his title defense against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 on November 16th I thought this was a good time to discuss recent red flags. Initially the St-Pierre camp wanted to use an alternate drug testing company, had unusual testing questions and more that even raised the eyebrows of UFC president Dana White. According to sources at both fighters originally agreed to be tested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but oddly GSP's attorney asked questions like what they test for and wanted to have predetermined dates for testing. GSP's team then suggested using Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) but the Nevada State Athletic Commission even suggested the use of WADA. On top of that, according to Hendricks manager, Ted Ehrhardt, GSP has a connection with VADA. These are some very suspicious actions and questions from the GSP camp. GSP has passed a few tests already as seen in second picture above that he recently tweeted. People don't normally go out of their way to show they are clean which makes me even more suspicious that GSP is trying to hide something. Although we have to give him the benefit of the doubt, don't forget other sports MVP's have lied to the sporting world before only to be caught later on.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI

After reading "The Fix Is In" by Brian Tuohy it might be time to pick up his follow up book "Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI". His first book had some great points and plenty of examples of "the fix" in sports. If you have ever doubted the outcomes of sporting events then both of these books are must reads. Definitely looking forward to what new information he has to offer. If anyone has already read this please leave me your thoughts in the comment section.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

If At First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again

Anyone else see that crazy new penalty called on the New England Patriots in overtime last Sunday against the New York Jets? Being a contrarian type bettor I went against the public and took the home dog Jets so this outcome was in my favor but still find it odd how the referee's control game after game.

According to one site the Patriots had the most lopsided betting action on them for the whole NFL week with over 70% of the action coming in on them at -3.5 and the percentage even higher for moneyline bettors. Anytime I see these high percentages I usually go opposite or stay away from that game altogether. Seeing this crazy line and percentage I had a feeling I might see a strange outcome. I honestly believe this was a game that was predetermined for the Jets to cover.

Late in the fourth quarter, down three, the Patriots charged down the field and tied up the game with a field goal. Down to the Jets 26 yard line and then Brady throws three straight incomplete passes. I understand his receivers are new but I believe they easily could have scored a touchdown instead of this field goal especially the way they drove down field so efficiently. I think the manipulation was started here. If the Patriots scored a touchdown they would have gone up by 4 which would covered the spread and not given the Jets much time to drive back down field. I was kind of expecting a missed field goal but they didn't and the game went to overtime. The Patriots did nothing with their first drive but the Jets certainly did with the call of a new penalty, an overtime victory and more importantly they won outright and covered the all important spread. After Nick Folk of the Jets missed a 56 yard field goal a strange new penalty was called which gave the Jets a new set of downs and a shorter field goal made on the next attempt by Folk to win the game 30-27. Unsportsmanlike conduct was called on New England defensive tackle Chris Jones but this was actually part of a new rule. Rule 9-1-3 says, "Team B players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation." Coach Belichick of the Patriots went ballistic and sports new sources around the country were looking for explanations as well. Click here for the best explanation but in my opinion this was just another manipulated game that should have ended earlier. Thanks to the referees the team that is supposed to win will eventually get there even if they have to try, try again. Controversial as sports sources call it or was it just plain fixed?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

80-Year-Old Weightlifter Busted for Steroids

According to news outlets like the Associated Press and Fox Sports, 80-year-old weightlifter Don Ramos has recently been suspended for two years by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for testing positive for steroids. Ramos tested positive in June while attempting an age group world record at the Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championships. While most people suspect the young for steroid use this just goes to show the elderly use as well. When it comes to competitions and unfair advantages age does not matter.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

El Salvador Bans 14 Soccer Players for Life for Match Fixing

In a follow up to our feature about El Salvador investigating national Soccer players for match fixing they have now handed down lifetime bans on 14 current and former national team players with several others receiving suspensions from one to eighteen months while even more players are still being investigated according to multiple new sources including

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ray Lewis & Terrell Suggs Say Blackout was Conspiracy Against Ravens

The power outage of Super Bowl XLVII has been making news again but this time from Baltimore Ravens players Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs.

Last month Ray Lewis told NFL Films' that he believes the lights went out as a conspiracy against the Ravens according to Nate Davis of USA Today. Lewis also said, "I'm not gonna accuse nobody of nothing because I don't know know facts. But you're a zillion dollar company, and your lights go out? No. No way. But you cannot tell me somebody wasn't sitting there and when they say, 'The Ravens are about to blow them out. Man, we better do something.' That's a huge shift in any game, in all seriousness. And as you see how huge it was because it let them right back in the game."

Earlier this week Terrell Suggs went even further to say Commission Roger Goodell was behind this. Suggs told ESPN, "I was like Vegas, parlor tricks, you know what I mean? I was like, ahh, Roger Goodell, he never stops, he always has something up his sleeve. He just couldn't let us have this one in a landslide, huh? I thought he had a hand in it. Most definitely, he had a hand in it."

To revisit what happen, the Baltimore Ravens were leading 28-6 early in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII when the power outage occurred. Once the power and game resumed the San Francisco 49ers then rattled off 17 points but Baltimore ultimately ended up winning 34-31 after a late drive by the 49ers failed. Just to note the Ravens were 4.5 dogs the total was 47.5 so the outcome of the sides would not have changed unless San Francisco put up two additional scores. Regardless, any time stoppage can change momentum in a team for the better or worse and you have to wonder how could this happen during the biggest game of the year? Did Roger Goodell have some hand in this to keep the game interesting by having a close finish? Pretty damning stories when two top players are making these accusations.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

NASCAR Chase Adds 13th Spot

Anyone notice a 13th spot in this years NASCAR Chase? All major news outlets including Yahoo Sports picked up on this debacle a couple of weeks ago.

It all began at the last pre-Chase race in Richmond on September 7th. With six laps to go both current leader Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon were in place to clinch spots in the Chase with Newman ready to claim a wild card spot and Gordon ready to claim the 10th guaranteed spot. On this lap Clint Boyer spun out, many of whom called this spin intentional which we will get to in a second. On the restart Newman lost the lead and his wild card spot in the Chase to Martin Truex Jr. and Jeff Gordan lost enough spots to turn over his tenth guaranteed position in the Chase to Joey Logano. This one spin out and resulting restart took out Newman and Gordon from the Chase and ultimately replaced them with Truex and Logano. We often see NASCAR race finishes full of wrecks as drivers go all out to win races but this one car spin out caused quite a controversy that was just beginning.

First, Truex was penalized which ultimately dropped him from the Chase and allowed Newman back in however Boyer was never mentioned or penalized probably because he did not qualify for the Chase anyways. Second and the most damning news I have read from multiple sources was that radio communications between Front Row Motorsports and Penske Motorsports spoke of fixing race positioning to allow Logano to move up and make the Chase. Last but not least NASCAR then announced they would add a 13th spot to the Chase for Gordan after what had just unfolded in the days prior.

Talk about a dirty and fixed sport when you have the governing body making these changes and the drivers and owners making deals to manipulate spots via spin outs and more. Live reporters never inquire about fixes but check out the video above for more insight and how big this mess became.