Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr defends brother amid gambling probe

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Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. defended his brother, Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter, as the latter faced an investigation over gambling allegations earlier this week.

The investigation centered on prop bets involving Porter on two games – Jan. March 26 against the Los Angeles Clippers and March 20 against the Phoenix Suns. The NBA told Fox News Digital earlier in the week they were looking into the matter. ESPN first reported the probe.

But the Nuggets forward used some of his time with reporters on Wednesday night to defend his brother after the team lost to the Suns. He said that while he didn’t have any more information about the matter than the media does, he maintained his brother wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize his career in the league.

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Michael Porter Jr vs Grizzlies

Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. looks to pass the ball as Memphis Grizzlies forward Santi Aldama defends, Monday, March 25, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

“I’ve known my brother my whole life. I know what type of dude he is and I know he’s excited to play basketball and I highly doubt he would do anything to put that in jeopardy,” Porter said.

Jontay Porter has yet to address the situation publicly and has missed the last few Raptors games with the team, citing personal reasons.

Michael Porter Jr. added that he and others hear about how their performances have affected bettors.

“Yeah, especially the last few years, you hear people in the crowd saying what they need you to score tonight or what they don’t want you to score,” he said. “Every night you’re disappointing someone. You’re disappointing people if you score too much because they may have bet on the under, and you’re disappointing people if you didn’t score enough.

“So, it’s a part of the game now. I think that it’s obviously a dangerous habit. It’s a dangerous vice for people. You know, the love of money is the root of all evil. So, I think that even though it is a thing, we as players just have to accept that. We get paid a lot of money to play this game and I know these people, these fans, they want to make some money, as well….

Jontay Porter vs Raptors

Jontay Porter of Raptors fights for a rebound with Lindy Waters III of Oklahoma City Thunder in Toronto, Canada, March 22, 2024. (Zou Zheng/Xinhua via Getty Images)

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“It’s definitely something that has kind of taken over the sporting world – I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.”

ESPN broke down the situation involving Jontay Porter, starting with a Jan. 26 game against the clippersduring which “increased betting interest” was found on the under for Porter’s prop bets.

Before the game, over/under prop bets were created for Porter in points (5.5), rebounds (4.5), assists (1.5) and three-pointers made (0.5). Porter, who averages 13.8 minutes per game this season, would go on to play just four minutes in the game.

All of his prop bets hit the under, as he finished with no points, three rebounds, one assist and no 3-pointers made.

ESPN added DraftKings Sportsbook reported Porter’s three-pointers made under was the “biggest money winner for bettors of any NBA player props for games that evening.”

Jontay Porter vs Magic

Jontay Porter of the Toronto Raptors drives to the basket against the Magic on March 17, 2024, at the Kia Center in Orlando, Florida. (Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Then, in the game against the Suns, Porter had over/under prop bets set for 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds. Porter had to leave with an illness after playing just three minutes. He didn’t score after missing just one shot attempt, while hauling in two rebounds.

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Once again, DraftKings Sportsbook reported Porter’s unders were the top moneymaker bets for the NBA on March 20.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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