Voulgaris is famous for his incredible NBA betting abilities. He’s won millions of dollars by wagering on pro basketball games. Now he’ll use his skills to provide the Mavs with analytics and expertise on player tendencies.
According to ESPN reporters Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants to use Voulgaris as a “strategic thinker” for the organization. Here’s more from Wojnarowski and Lowe:
“In part, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is expected to utilize Voulgaris as a strategic thinker who will help examine on-court strategy in big-picture ways. The state-by-state legalization of sports gambling has inspired the NBA and teams to better harness information and betting expertise to create revenue, and advance the gathering of information.”
Who Is Haralabos Voulgaris?
Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris is a Greek Canadian pro sports bettor who’s made a fortune betting on NBA games. He started gambling on pro basketball in the late 1990s and was risking $1 million per contest by the time he was 25.
According to a 2013 ESPN piece, he identified three coaches’ tendencies and in-game substitution patterns to make a killing. In another case, he used an inefficiency with halftime totals to earn millions:
“In betting parlance, the man could suss out an edge — and in 2002, he discovered one that would line his pockets for years. It all had to do with how most bookmakers set their halftime totals, the predicted number of points scored in each half of the game.
“Each half, of course, is its own discrete period of play, and the fourth quarters of close games can end in elongated foul-clogged stretches of free throws, timeouts, fast play and, hence, a burst of scoring.
“But incredibly, bookmakers at the time didn’t account for this fact; they simply arrived at a total for the full game and cut that figure roughly down the middle, assigning some 50 percent of the points to the first half and 50 percent to the second.
“For years, Voulgaris exploited this edge, playing both sides of it repeatedly. It is possible to say that it alone made him millions, combined with some keen observations regarding the game-management tendencies of three head coaches: Eddie Jordan, Jerry Sloan and Byron Scott. “Those were three coaches I had nailed perfectly,” Voulgaris, now 37, says. “I knew exactly what they were going to do. I mean, it was a joke, it was so easy.”
Voulgaris became so successful with NBA betting that he eventually earned appearances on mainstream sports shows hosted by famed personalities like Bill Simmons.
He’s displayed his immense knowledge of the league through these TV appearances. Now, he’ll have a chance to put his ideas to work for an actual team.
How can Bob Voulgaris Help the Mavericks Win?
The Dallas Mavericks have struggled over the last two seasons, compiling a 57-107 record in the 2016 and 2017 campaigns. That said, they can use all the help they can get in order to turn the franchise around. This is especially the case when considering that cornerstone Dirk Nowitzki is nearing retirement.
Enter Voulgaris, who can help Dallas catch up in the NBA’s era of big data. Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has helped popularize big data throughout the league, using that to transform Houston into a running and gunning team.
Voulgaris can use his advanced grasp of NBA stats to help the Mavs determine the most efficient and inefficient players on the roster. They can then use these numbers to help their players develop, or go sign free agents who are a better fit for their team.