Unders Winning Big in the NBA

Tony Salinas: Unders Winning Big in the NBA

It's very hard for any sports bettor to break 55% over a high volume of picks. Action heavy bettors aim for a number just below that. More picky bettors bet very few games, hoping they can make a run at 60%. Every so often though, something happens in the sports world that actually makes it EASY to top 55% over a lot of plays.

That's what's happened this year in the NBA. Oddsmakers did such a poor job of estimating the impact that the offseason lockout would have on the court that bettors could have grinded out an amazing 57% win rate thus far with a very simple strategy.


Through Monday Night's games, totals have gone 131-171-5 to the Under this season, which is a win rate of 56.7% over more than 300 games. And, it's not like this is some sort of big surprise. Many pundits expected scoring to drop this year for the following reasons:

  • The shortened preseason meant teams had to run simplified offenses. There was no time to learn complicated plays, particularly for teams who had turnover in their starting rotations. It's easy for NBA defenses to slow down simplified offenses.

  • The high volume of games meant that everyone would be playing with tired legs almost all of the time. I've been telling you for years that tired legs usually means Unders because jumpers start hitting the front rim instead of going in.

  • There would be a tendency to bench the starters quickly if a team fell way behind because there was probably another game coming up the next night. Second units usually aren't very good offensively. Some teams have VERY poor offensive units with their backups because the coach prefers to have defensive role players in those spots.

  • There's no reason to run-and-gun this year because that would make everyone tired. The schedule is exhausting enough without playing up-tempo basketball.

  • Injuries were likely to be more common this year because injuries happen when players get tired. Also, it would make sense to sit a big name starter for even minor ailments because you're trying to make sure he lasts the full season. If superstar scorers are in street clothes, they're not putting any points on the board!

Bettors KNEW all of these elements would be in play. Oddsmakers knew it too, but were slow to react. But, even then...even when it was clear that scoring WAS going way down this year, oddsmakers were slow to adjust the numbers. That 171-131 won-lost record for Under bets is even better if you look only at opening lines rather than the late-day widely available numbers.

I hope you were among those taking advantage from the very beginning. I hope you'll continue to monitor Over/Unders for great opportunities. The market is closer to catching up now (which is why I'm writing the article now...after much of the edge appears to be gone with the market equalizing of late). There are still individual teams though who can't throw the ball in the ocean when they get tired. Orlando scored just 67 points in a back-to-back spot in New Orleans, then only 69 points playing their fourth game in five nights in Philadelphia on Monday Night. Those two games stayed Under the Vegas number by 15 and 35 points respectively.

Here are the teams who have skewed to the Under most often this year:
New York 5-15 to the Under
Phoenix 6-14
Philadelphia 7-14
Orlando 7-13
Washington 8-13
Portland 8-13
New Orleans 8-13
Sacramento 7-13
Boston 6-11

Only a few teams have shown Over tendencies of any magnitude:
Denver 12-8
Miami 12-9

The two fastest teams are just a few games over break-even on their Overs...while much of the league is WAY Under.

I generally focus on team sides for my clients because online customers have made it clear they prefer team sides to totals. When an Under grades out as one of my very best plays I'll pass that along. I hope many of you out there will strongly consider adding some Unders to your nightly portfolios. You may not hit 57% over a high percentage of games any more. But, you can probably pick your spots with the best options and hit that well or better. Some of these games are landing in the 160's or even 150's and Vegas just doesn't want to post lines that low.

Obviously, with only one football game left this year, you need to focus on basketball from this point forward if you want to make any money. My nightly basketball can be purchased here at the website a few hours before the games tip off. I also have great rates for seasonal packages. If you have any questions, call my office at at 1-888-536-8880. Sign up for any basketball package and I'll include Sunday's Super Bowl in your program.

Vegas sportsbooks have really been taking the worst of it with their poor Over/Under numbers this year. Make sure you're always GETTING THE BEST OF IT with TONY SALINAS!


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