Disgraced former ref Tim Donaghy has shown that fixing NBA games is possible. While he and the mob were both eventually caught and their charade ceased, it would be foolish to think that the practice of fixing NBA games has ended.
While it may be unthinkable to some, it’s actually pretty easy to put the fix on in a basketball game. Call a couple early fouls on a star player or force someone into foul trouble and the momentum can subtly turn. If this happens during periods of lower pressure, like the first or third quarter, no one will notice. But who is doing the fixing now that Donaghy and the mob are out?
Last night, there were two game 6’s in the NBA and both were forced to Game 7. By creating an additional playoff game the league stands to make millions of dollars while the owners will make a couple million in ticket sales. Game 7 will create additional attention for the NBA and generate popularity in the sport. Maybe the NBA isn’t betting in Vegas, but the league still has a lot of money on the outcome of playoff games.
Tonight the Warriors will lose in Houston. Not because the Rockets are a better team, not because the crowd will have any effect on the game, and not because Kevin Durant is injured. The NBA wants the Rockets to win and they will make Game 7 happen.
Bet on it.