The NBA2K Players Tournament generated a lot of buzz last week. Players from around the league participated in a single elimination bracket event. Click here for a full list of NBA players who took part.
The tournament was was broadcast live on ESPN networks. However, the first round game between Kevin Durant and Derrick Jones Jr. was not live, it was pre-recorded. Durant played Jones earlier that day.
While US sportsbooks did not take bets on the NBA 2K Players Tournament, offshore betting sites did.
It appears that the bookmakers knew the Durant vs Jones Jr matchup was pre-recorded but had an agreement of secrecy in place with the players (and others who knew the outcome). This allowed the books to take bets on the game as well as props and tournament futures up until ‘tip-off’.
Now the sportsbooks say that the outcome was known to some individual(s) while betting action was still on the board.
Was the outcome of Durant vs Jones Jr compromised?
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that knowledge of the outcome in this game was likely leaked. A source from one popular illegal offshore betting site is claiming that they posted lines on the event, knowing it was pre-taped, and then “significant action” came in on Jones Jr almost immediately.
The betting action on Jones Jr. set off red flags that there was a leak in the non-disclosure agreement (if there was one). Someone ‘must have known’ that Jones Jr. would be the winner against the Brooklyn Nets star.
Another red flag is that Durant was a favorite to win the whole tournament and a heavy favorite in this game. That much action on the underdog is highly abnormal in any sport, including real basketball players playing video game basketball.
The suspicion lead to a suspension of betting on the event all together for another popular offshore sportsbook. Something didn’t smell right about the big five figure hit that the house took on the first round.
Jones Jr beat Durant 78-62 in a lopsided game. Durant played with the LA Clippers while Jones Jr. chose the Milwaukee Bucks.
Now there are multiple questions to be answered.
Based on the flagged betting action off-shore, was the outcome of the Durant vs Jones Jr game leaked? if so, by who?
Was there a nondisclosure agreement for everyone who knew the outcome (including the NBA players)?
Could Durant or Jones Jr. have been involved in any way with spilling the beans? Or could someone in their inner circles have placed the bets?
The Props Network will report on this story if there are further developments. Follow TPN for sports betting news and bonuses.