Holy Grail of Sports Betting

Last Sunday 60 Minutes did a story about Tim Donaghy and the 2007 NBA betting scandal.

What I find most interesting is the idea that an enterprising sports gambler could generate an edge simply by studying the referees. Most books written on this topic focus on player and team statistics and suggest means to calculate a winner based on performance data. The problem is that such a model assumes that referees are all the same and there really isn't such a thing as fair and unfair outcomes. If what Donaghy says is true, then simply studying the refs might be enough to make a killing on these games.