Wolf: How Much Do You Wanna Bet Sports Has a Gambling Problem?

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March is one of the busiest times of the year for sports fans, as several seasons overlap. College basketball has March Madness in full swing, baseball is gearing up for a new season, and the NBA and NHL are entering the home stretch in their regular seasons, as teams jockey for playoff positioning. But, in recent years, many sports leagues have opened a Pandora’s box of issues, as legalized gambling operations have become less taboo and more commonplace. The simple pleasure of watching a game for the sake of watching a game has been lost in the shuffle, as point spreads and parlays now command attention.

Longtime sportscaster Warner Wolf is among those who feel the accomplishments on the field have been devalued in recent years. He appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to discuss how gambling has cast its shadow over baseball and college basketball.

Wolf addressed the mess involving the translator of Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani, who signed a $700 million contract to both pitch and hit for them the next ten years: “There’s no way they’re going to pin this on Ohtani, the biggest star in baseball,” Wolf reasoned with Berman and Riedel. “If they said that he bet on the games, and, you know, he knew his injuries as did the interpreter, if it was a lesser player, they’d have to throw him out. They’ll never do that. They’ll never admit anything attached to Ohtani, and that interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, you know, he was fired. Let’s hope he’s clean and there’s nothing to it.”

Warner also pointed to two “suspicious” college basketball games last week that might suggest that somebody at least has an eye on the point spreads. “Purdue was a 26-and-a-half-point favorite over Grambling, and they only led by 25 with just 37 seconds left in the game, and Purdue had the ball. You say, well, I guess they’ll run down the clock- no! They made a three-pointer and they won by 28 and beat the spread. [Meanwhile] Arizona was a nine-and-a-half-point favorite. They led Dayton by only nine and got the ball back with just 16 seconds left. Did they run out the clock? No! They hit foul shots and they won by ten.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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