MLK Day Means NBA Unders

With handicapping legend Tony Salinas


There used to be a theory that you should bet Overs in the NBA on Martin Luther King day, because the players would just go out and have fun for a holiday crowd. Nobody would play defense, everyone would just pad their stats. Bet the Overs and cash your tickets.

That worked for a few years. But, then the attitude of the players seemed to change. Instead of seeing it as a big party, selfish millionaires saw it as a big hassle that they had to play a day game on a Monday. Suddenly, we were all watching yawners that lacked fire, excitement, and scoring.

Betting Unders became the smart move. You got the sense that these spoiled NBA pros were just going to do enough to earn their paychecks and get the game over with. I don't want to suggest that ALL pro players are like this. But, if enough bring that mindset to the floor, it's difficult for a few character guys to pick up the pace all by themselves.

Two years ago, on MLK Day of 2009, an amazing 11 of 12 games went Under their totals! It was like the whole league went on strike.

Things weren't as dramatic last year. Oddsmakers dropped the totals some, and only seven of 12 would stay Under. Still, a 7-5 record on your bets is GETTING THE BEST OF IT. And, that's a two-year record of 18-6 when betting the Under.

There are 13 games on the schedule this year. Be very careful if you were thinking about taking any Overs. For me, it's probably going to be Under or pass on most games for the following reasons.

*Fully 10 of the 13 games are scheduled during the day. NBA players are night owls, and HATE day games.

*Some of the day games are VERY early starts. The players won't even be awake yet!

*There are several teams in the league right now who are just going through the motions to begin with. I can't believe how much lethargic play I'm seeing before the All-Star Break from so many bad teams. You think THESE guys are going to show up on a Monday afternoon and play hard?

*Many playoff contenders have learned the art of getting a lead then grinding out the clock. That makes even more sense on a day like this were many opponents will be giving half-hearted efforts. I'll personally be looking to bet some second half Unders in the Vegas sportsbooks. You should be looking for Unders with defensive-minded playoff teams.

What could talk me out of an Under bet?

*I don't like betting Unders when run-and-gun teams with bad defenses are on the floor, even if it is a holiday. A team like this may allow 120 points, spiking your bet.

*I'm more focused on poor efforts in day games rather than night games. If a team who shows up to play every time is on the evening schedule, I'm less concerned about a no-show from them that would affect scoring.

*If a team has fresh legs because they haven't played many games over the past week, I'd be afraid they might push tempo because they have so much energy (conversely, I'll REALLY like Unders in day games with tired teams).

I can't tell you here in my web article whether or not an Under or two will show up amongst the plays I release to my customers. Clients always get the exact same plays I'm betting the BIGGEST myself. My very strongest games may be NBA team sides, or something from the colleges (where there's an ESPN quadrupleheader featuring Villanova/Connecticut, Kansas State/Missouri, Syracuse/Pittsburgh, Kansas/Baylor). But, if you're an action-minded Vegas bettor who likes playing totals, remember to be cautious with your Overs on MLK day, and more aggressive with your Unders. Recent history suggests that approach will help you GET THE BET OF IT!

Of course, you can GET THE BEST OF IT on a DAILY basis in the baskets by signing up for my personal service. I've got great rates for the season now. Game day releases go up a few hours before the opening tip. If you're reading this Sunday morning, don't forget I'll have big plays in BOTH PLAYOFF GAMES on the Sunday card. Seattle at Chicago is the early game, followed by the much-hyped NY Jets/New England game.

Stop taking the worst of it with your own picks. Start GETTING THE BEST OF IT with TONY SALINAS!

'GETTING THE BEST OF IT' is an ongoing series presented by and legendary high roller TONY SALINAS. For more information on TONY'S handicapping packages, call 1-888-536-8880.


Today’s Hot Plays