Angry Bettors Harass UNC’s Armando Bacot Over Prop Wagers

Sports gambling continues to be a multi-billion dollar business experiencing exponential growth. Over the last several weeks alone, Colorado gambling revenue has been on the rise. Nevada reported that its year-over-year revenue is up 16%. North Carolina reported over $200 million in handle in Week 1 of its launch.

However, there’s an unfortunate downside to the behemoth that has become betting. That underbelly consists of fans overstepping boundaries by expressing frustrations with athletes whose performances don’t align with their wagers

One significant example involved North Carolina’s Armando Bacot during the men’s NCAA tournament.

Angry Bettors Hound College Athlete

As is the case whenever tournament time comes around, North Carolina was a team to watch. This especially held true as North Carolina sports betting launched across the state. The Tar Heels clinched the No. 1 seed in the West Region and had hopes of making a deep run.

Those dreams were thwarted when Carolina fell 89-87 to No. 4 Alabama in the Sweet 16. But things got ugly for Bacot during the team’s first- and second-round games against Wagner and Michigan State. 

The 6-foot-11 UNC forward had 18 points and seven rebounds in his squad’s win over the Spartans last weekend. In the Heels’ first-round contest against Wagner, he had 20 points and 15 boards. 

For some bettors, though, that wasn’t enough. Disgruntled folks flooded his direct messages on social media, complaining presumably that Bacot hadn’t notched enough rebounds or points.

“It’s terrible,” Bacot admitted to reporters. “I thought I played pretty good last game, but I looked at my DMs, and I got, like, over 100 messages from people telling me I sucked and stuff like that because I didn’t get enough rebounds.”

Prop Betting

In addition to wagering on a game’s moneyline, spread, and point total, bettors can try their luck at player prop bets. 

These markets predict the athlete’s Over/Under (O/U) of a particular stat within any contest. 

For example, if a sportsbook set the O/U for Bacot’s rebounds at 18.5, an Over bettor would need him to notch 19 boards or more to have a winning ticket. 

The same would apply to the points column. Hypothetically, if a book sets Bacot’s points O/U at 10.5, he must post at least 11 points for the Over to hit.

And for what it’s worth, the NBA is facing a similar reckoning with prop betting. Toronto’s Jontay Porter is being investigated for allegedly influencing his own prop bets by leaving Raptors’ games early.

“I understand the part of fans being mad,” the Carolina senior continued. “But it’s annoying, too, at times.”

Stop the Prop?

Not only is it annoying to the actual players, but it’s also disturbing the decision-makers. Take NCAA president Charlie Baker, who called for a ban on college athlete prop bets last week to resolve the issue of fans attacking players.

Citing harassment and the need to preserve the integrity of the game, Baker issued a statement on social media:

“The NCAA has been working with states to deal with these threats and many are responding by banning college prop bets. This week, we will be contacting officials across the country in states that still allow these bets … and ask them to remove college prop bets from all betting markets.”


About the Author
Erica Renee Davis

Erica Renee Davis

Erica Renee Davis is a sports betting writer with Gaming Today. She graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in Journalism and Political Science. After cheering as an NFL cheerleader for the Atlanta Falcons, Erica moved to Los Angeles where she became the host of Kevin Pollak's This Week In Football digital show. Since then, she has appeared as an on-air host and sports commentator for NASCAR Digital Media, FOX Bet, Spectrum News 1 SoCal, CNN, HLN, and TEGNA's Daily Blast Live.

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