NBA Referees

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
5 minute read

Curry and NBA refereeNBA referees don’t have an easy job, there is a lot of pressure on the officials to always make the right call on every game, in fact, the league demands 90% of correct decisions per game. With stats like that, isn’t surprising that young referees are sometimes afraid of making mistakes and are prone to stop the game more than necessary.

We are not implying that NBA referees influence the outcome of your wagers, however, you can identify tendencies that could be an important part of your strategy. What’s interesting is that bettors rarely consider who is behind the whistle when it comes to betting basketball contests. Don’t be that bettor in today’s information age, where we count with several resources to find up to date information on each referee’s tendencies.

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NBA Referee Data And Betting Odds

Referee data is easy to access, offers up to date statistics on each referee’s tendencies, including their points per game allowed and bias towards home teams, a factor that we discuss more in-depth in our article on NBA Homecourt Advantages. posts their officiating schedule for each day on their site by 9 am eastern time. This isn’t early enough to make them a factor when betting overnight lines, but those who rise early may be able to take advantage of these numbers before any significant line moves on game day.

NBA Basketball Referee Stats 2018-2019

Brent Barnaky125453.346.73
Courtney Kirkland124851.748.32
Derek Richardson020540.759.3-10
Ed Malloy122954.845.23
Eric Lewis0.5227.549.450.6-0.5
James Capers121458.741.38
Jason Phillips023950500
JB DeRosa020451491
Ken Mauer1239.553.946.13
Kevin Cutler023051.848.22
Marc Davis0.667212.751.348.71.3
Mark Ayotte0.333226.348.152-2
Michael Smith025147.352.7-3
Mike Callahan0.667231.752.147.91.7
Rodney Mott0.66722249.350.7-0.7
Ron Garretson0.5220.554.745.34
Scott Foster119250500
Scott Wall022550500
Sean Corbin0.5251.553.746.33.5
Tom Washington1207.549.150.9-1
Tony Brothers1212.542.357.7-6
Tony Brown122055.144.95
Zach Zarba1243.748.251.9-2

How Valuable Is NBA Referee Data For Making Bets?

That’s certainly up for debate. NBA basketball referee factors have been something that handicappers have been utilizing for years and the NBA betting sites absolutely factor in which official is refereeing each contest into their betting lines. Also, while it’s true that officials who call more fouls preside over higher scoring affairs, and there seems to be a significant home team bias – referees are only one factor in the larger handicapping landscape of each game.

More Fouls Means More Points In The NBA

NBA Referee Factor

Historically, an increase in foul calls equals more points scored.

There shouldn’t be too much explanation needed for this point, but we’ll go ahead with it. Basketball is a game of possessions and pace. The more possessions each team receives, the more points that will be scored in that contest. This should be evident to anyone who has watched the end of a close Basketball game. The final two minutes of game time in a close basketball game can turn into a half hour of actual real-world time.

This is usually because the team that is losing is often fouling or chucking up shots early in the shot-clock to get back into the game. Referees that call more fouls will lengthen games and offer more possessions for both teams. Foul calls also stop the clock and allow teams to put more points on the board without time elapsing from the game clock. The more fouls calls, the more points will be scored. Therefore, referees, that call more fouls will produce more points in the games they officiate.

NBA Basketball Referee Hand Signals

basketball referee signalsDuring the game, you’ll notice referees use countless signals to communicate effectively with the rest of the crew. Basketball has specific signs for each situation. You can divide the referee signals into four categories: points, time, administrative decisions, and fouls. As a bettor and NBA fan, I’m certain you might feel intrigued in knowing what is the meaning of those gestures. Understanding some NBA basketball referee signals will provide you with a deeper knowledge of the game and a more technical way to follow the action.

NBA Basketball Referee Salary

NBA referees are paid based on their experience, it’s not an easy task to find data from reputable sources about how much the officials make, the league rarely provides information about it. However, according to the last numbers shared by the NBA in 2009, entry-level officials make around $91,000 a year. On the other hand, experienced referees earned an average of $550,000 per year and the best and most famous referees earn even higher salaries, but there’s no accurate way to know how much higher.

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Basketball Referees – Conclusion

Bettors who are blindly betting the over on NBA referees who call more fouls than others and not utilizing other aspects of handicapping aren’t likely to find success. Instead, incorporating the “referee factor” into your arsenal of tools for evaluating NBA games makes more sense. There are many other factors to consider before we begin to look at referees, but a strong matchup with officials may upgrade a play that may already be on handicapper’s radar screens. To learn how you can leverage referee data and more don’t miss our NBA Betting Guide.

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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