Chris Paul vs. Scott Foster: A Deep Dive Into Their NBA Playoff Results & Betting Market Reaction

Chris Paul vs. Scott Foster: A Deep Dive Into Their NBA Playoff Results & Betting Market Reaction article feature image

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images. Pictured: Scott Foster, Chris Paul

Referee bias is always a fun thing for bettors to consider and, ever since the Tim Donaghy scandal, it’s the NBA in particular that drums up the greatest talk. 

On Tuesday morning, the NBA named their referee assignments for Game 6. The crew chief? Scott Foster. 

Foster is part of the most talked about trends. In the NBA playoffs when Foster officiates a game Paul plays in, Paul's teams have lost 11 in a row dating back to games with the Suns, Thunder, Rockets and Clippers. 

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In total, Paul's teams have gone 1-12 in the last 13 games Foster has officiated but Paul sat out two of those games, including this year against the Clippers and a Game 7 loss to the Warriors with the Rockets in 2019.

Incredibly, Paul hasn't won a playoff game officiated by Foster since 2013 when his Los Angeles Clippers beat the Memphis Grizzlies. Paul's only covered once spread in that same time period, going 1-10 ATS in games he's played.

The trend has gotten so public that even Paul knows about it.

“They’re shooting a lot of free throws,” Paul said after his Suns lost to the Lakers in May. “Last night. Tonight. If I was a betting man — 11 in a row. Eleven games in a row. Eleven games in a row.” The number Paul mentions includes the Rockets' loss to the Warriors without him. 

Scott Foster Officiates Playoff Games Involving Chris Paul

MatchupResultFTA Differential
Suns vs. Bucks (7-11-21)L, 120-100Suns -10
Suns vs. Lakers (5-27-21)L, 109-95Suns -12
Thunder vs. Rockets (9-2-20)L, 104-102Thunder +2
Rockets vs. Warriors (4-30-19)L, 115-109Rockets +1
Rockets vs. Warriors (5-14-18)L, 119-106Rockets -4
Rockets vs. Jazz (5-2-18)L, 116-108Rockets +2
Clippers vs. Jazz (4-25-17)L, 96-92Clippers +13
Clippers vs. Blazers (4-23-16)L, 96-88Even
Clippers vs. Rockets (5-14-15)L, 119-107Clippers -15
Clippers vs. Spurs (4-28-15)L, 111-107Clippers +5
Clippers vs. Thunder (5-9-14)L, 118-112Clippers -3

Twitter was abuzz with the connection. By 12:30 p.m. ET, 'Scott Foster' was the No. 3 trending topic on Twitter, behind Jeff Bezos and Rand Paul. 

How Scott Foster pulling up to Milwaukee for Game 6

— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) July 20, 2021

CP3 hearing Scott Foster is reffing the biggest game of his 16 year career

— Stephen A. Smith Burner (@TheSASBurner) July 20, 2021

Despite the fact that the mainstream world seems to think that Foster’s involvement will lead to a Milwaukee Bucks clinch and title, bookmakers say it doesn’t lead them to make a move. 

“We look at our power ratings, we’re not adjusting for refs,” said Johnny Avello of DraftKings

“It’s definitely something considered,” said PointsBet spokesman Patrick Eichner. “But it’s not something that would have a huge impact or ever move a line. 

Eichner said NBA referees are worth less than baseball umpires, where data is abundant as to an umpire’s strike zone and how that affects a pitcher.

BetMGM’s trading team looks at the Foster consequences against Paul’s teams as not particularly something that is real, said the book’s spokesperson Elisa Richardson.

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