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The "FIX" By Doc's Sports "Man behind the counter"
The "FIX" is in, or so they say. I have hear the word fix more in the past year, than in my entire lifetime. It all seemed to start with last years Wisconsin-UNLV game which took place here in Las Vegas. The Badgers opened a 3-point favorite, and bettors drove the number up to seven by kickoff. There was no unnatural betting pattern in Vegas. There were 20,000 Badger fans here, and it appeared that all of them had bet on their team. Most in the $10-to $500 category. A good portion was parlayed to the over.
The game was called with 7:41 remaining, thanks to a power outage at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Badgers were declared the 27-7 winner in the record books. All bets were refunded because Nevada sportsbooks have a rule that it is not an official game unless 55 minutes have been played. Is it possible then, that what is known as an "Asian Power Play" did take place right here in Las Vegas?
Soccer betting is rampant in Asia, and the rules that Asian bookmakers employ are that a match abandoned once it reaches halftime, will have the score at the time of the stoppage be declared official for wagering purposes. British soccer saw a flurry of early second-half power outages. Security has since been heightened. Offshore sportsbooks handle bigger bets and lots more money than do their Vegas counterparts. Most of the big players in this town have offshore sportsbook accounts because of the close scrutiny and regulations here. It is possible that there was a big play offshore on the Badger-UNLV game. A power company employee could have been bribed to pull the plug at an off-stadium power site. The person making the play had a free-shot.
Once again the word "FIX" is in the headlines. In Tennis, the Kafelnikov/Vincente match was pulled off the betting boards four hours before it started by Asian and European sportsbooks. Big money was on Vincente who was winless in his last 10-matches. He won!
Being behind the betting window on a recent Tuesday following the Monday night Colts-Bucs game, I was asked several times, "do you think the fix was in?" It was also the topic on internet forums as well as sports talk radio. No way was it a fix. It was just a case of the Colts capitalizing on the breaks they got, and the Bucs falling apart. Bad beats are all part of the game. And believe me, NFL officials have had a long history of making terrible calls.
In the past there has been isolated point shaving in college sports. But, the Pros? Can you payoff someone who is making millions? Do you believe that every time a big favorite loses straight-up, that the fix is in? Who is involved? The coaches? The Refs? An isolated player or the whole team? Who buys off those involved? Why would they risk it?
Once the perceived integrity is gone, the gambling is gone, once the gambling is gone, the interest is gone, once the interest is gone, the TV money is gone, the players salaries are gone. With so much at stake, do you think anyone would risk it?
Where there are large sums of money, there always has and will continue to be crooks looking for the easy buck, be it stocks, politics, or the gaming industry. Horse racing is infamous for its fixes in the past, yet the public still flocks to the betting windows. It's human nature!
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