Avoid Games With Tanking NBA Teams

Tony Salinas: Avoid Games With Tanking NBA Teams

I've spent years complaining about how officiating has ruined the NBA. This year, I think something even worse has come along. The mindset has taken hold amongst losing teams that the ONLY way to build a winner is through the draft...and you should lose as many games as you can in the down years to give yourself a shot to win the draft lottery.

To me, this is just INSANE because there aren't enough impact players coming out of the colleges every year. And, even if there are one or two in a given season, there's no way 14 different teams can get them! But, nobody ever accused NBA owners of being sane. So, what we have right now are nightly schedules featuring way too many teams who just don't care about getting results.

You longtime readers know that my preferred handicapping style is to find value underdogs getting way too many points from public favorites. Well, if the underdogs aren't trying very hard, there's not much point in betting them! Should I just turn around and bet against all the losing teams in this environment? You might think that. But, oddsmakers have done a pretty good job of stacking the lines against the losers. That's clear when you look at who's on the floor Monday Night.

Six of tonight's nine games have at least one team that's clearly not trying to make the playoffs. Let me run through who those teams are, and what their records against the spread have been over their last 10 games. To make it easier to see the teams, I'll put the possible tank job teams in all caps.

TORONTO at Orlando: Toronto 4-6 ATS its last 10 games
DETROIT at WASHINGTON: Detroit 6-4 ATS its last 10 games, Washington 5-4-1 ATS
Boston at CHARLOTTE: Charlotte 4-6 ATS its last 10 games
Utah at NEW JERSEY: New Jersey 4-6 ATS its last 10 games
SACRAMENTO at Houston: Sacramento 4-6 ATS its last 10 games
NEW ORLEANS at LA Clippers: 5-5 ATS its last 10 games

That's seven teams on the card tonight who don't mind if they lose straight up. Those teams are 32-37-1 combined over their last 10 games.

That sounds like a money-making record for bettors fading the bad teams because it's five games over .500. Don't forget about the vigorish! Going 37-32 with a push on your bets is really 37 wins and 35.2 losses. You're up one unit over 68 bets. Hardly worth the effort.

So, there's obviously no value betting on teams like this because they're not going to give you a consistent effort. And, there's obviously no value betting against them because the Vegas lines have adjusted.

Should you try to cherrypick when these teams are going to show up with some intensity? Hey, nobody was worse than 4-6 ATS on the list above...that means everyone's covering games a couple of times a week. I will admit that I'll probably do that myself here and there. But, that's because I'm watching all the games on big screen TV's out here in Las Vegas sportsbooks. I've developed a feel for when a team like Sacramento will get up for certain opponents, or even Toronto and New Jersey. But, these are less likely to be BIG plays for me personally, which means clients won't even hear about them. Clients only get the exact same plays I'M BETTING THE BIGGEST MYSELF!

I strongly advise you to use caution in games involving these teams. The best advice may be to avoid those games entirely except maybe when red hot teams are lined up against them at affordable prices. Philadelphia has done a good job of covering against bad teams all year. Phoenix has gotten hot recently and is doing the same thing (witness their blowout of Cleveland Saturday).

For the most part...

  • If you're a DOG player, you should focus on playoff-type matchups where you can find matchup or fatigue advantages when getting points.

  • If you're a FAVORITE player, avoid the temptation to load up against the bad teams unless you're VERY confident of a blowout because of several different reasons. You probably won't GET THE BEST OF IT by blindly fading the bad teams. The lines are just too high. Focus on quality teams in important games (to them) at affordable prices.

If you'd like some help in the NBA now that the colleges are winding down, you can sign up for my service by calling 1-888-536-8880. It's easy to try things out for a few days here at the website. Picks go up every afternoon for credit card purchase.

Stop taking the worst of it by trying to guess if and when all the tanking teams are going to show up. Be sure you're GETTING THE BEST OF IT with the very best plays from TONY SALINAS!

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