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Ref Trends to Know for Thunder-Kings

Ref Trends to Know for Thunder-Kings article feature image

Thomas Shea – USA TODAY Sports

During my time in the gambling industry, I’ve heard plenty of people complain about games being fixed. I was still a youngster during the Tim Donaghy days so I don’t truly understand the rhetoric, but I can see why some folks are paranoid.

In general, non-betting sports fans would assume that referees or umpires favor home teams. That may be true some of the time, but certainly doesn’t appear to be the case tonight in Sacramento when the Kings (+7.5) host the Thunder.

The three officials for tonight’s game are Marc Davis, Eric Lewis and Dedric Taylor, three names that 90% of fans have never heard of or bothered learning. However, bettors should definitely pay attention to this trio in particular for tonight’s slate.

Since 2005, these officials have made a habit of blocking out the boos and favoring visiting teams. Davis and Lewis have been around since we started tracking data, but Taylor has been around for just four seasons.

Here’s how home teams have performed against the spread when one of these refs is on the court.

  • Marc Davis: 349-379 (47.9%)
  • Eric Lewis: 328-356 (48.0%)
  • Dedric Taylor: 91-116 (44.0%)

Add them all up and you get a home cover rate of 47.4% over more than a 1,600-game sample size. It’s not something that should make you auto-bet the Thunder, but definitely a factor when making your plays. If you were already leaning toward OKC, this is something that should push you over the edge.

Right now, 80% of bettors are taking the Thunder at -7.5, but I’m guessing they were going to do that regardless of the officiating crew. Normally, I’d love being on the side getting 20% of tickets, but this may cause me to hold off completely depending on how the line moves.

Top Photo: NBA Official Marc Davis

Photo via Thomas Shea – USA TODAY Sports

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