Your Expert NBL Tips

Our local basketball experts never lost their love for the NBL and will be on hand all season to share their exclusive NBL tips.

They will be previewing three games per round on the Betfair Hub.

We’re pleased to share that you’ll find all the primary NBL betting markets on the Betfair Exchange too. Go where the value is for your head to head, total and line bets this season.

A maximum bet for this content will be 3 units.

Total Units Staked: 7.00

Total Units Returned: 7.61

ROI: 8.71%

Sydney Kings v Adelaide 36ers

Saturday October 12th, 5:30pm

Adelaide returns from their 133-81 drubbing at the hands of the Utah Jazz to take on title contenders, the Sydney Kings. After playing on Sunday (Aus time) and making the long trek back to Australia, the Sixers will not be feeling fresh for their NBL season opener.

That will likely lead to easy buckets for Sydney and with Jerome Randle at the point, Adelaide is likely to run a fast-paced offence again this season, making the over a great shout here. The over has cashed in nine of Adelaide’s last 13 games and nine of their last 11 on the road.

From a Kings perspective, the over is 9-5 in their last 14 games and is 6-2 in their last eight at Qudos Bank Arena. The total has gone over the line in 10 of the last 12 clashes between these teams in Sydney and it looks the best play in this one.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 176.5 for 1 unit at $1.95

Brisbane Bullets v Cairns Taipans

Friday October 11th, 7:30pm

Brisbane impressed in their season opener over the Hawks and find themselves in a good spot to make it a 2-0 start. Cairns scored just eight points in the fourth quarter as they fell by eight at home to Sydney last week and they won’t be high on confidence this Friday, having lost 11 of their last 13 road games.

The Bullets covered five of their last eight home games last season and have covered four of their last five at home against the Taipans. Additionally, Cairns’ last five road losses have come by an average of almost 12 points and we could well be seeing another loss by a similar margin on Friday.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane -6.5 for 2 units at $1.95

Perth Wildcats v Illawarra Hawks

Friday October 11th, 9:30pm

The market has reacted a little over the top to Perth not being at their best in Week 1.

At first look, it was a bad performance from the Wildcats. United was severely short-handed and needed until the very last 10 seconds on the clock to hit the front.

However, when you dive deeper into the numbers, United shot 64% from the field and 50% from the three-point line. You don’t win many games giving up those numbers but they pulled through and they’ll tighten up defensively for this one.

Signs were a little concerning for the Hawks in their first game. They seem unsure of their rotation, who closes for them at the end of the game and how to take advantage of their size.

Perth has covered 14 of their last 17 ATS at home. Illawarra won’t be afforded the same chances they had in Week 1 on the glass against the Wildcats and in the toughest building in the competition, they’ll struggle in this one.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth -6.5 for 1 unit at $1.95

Illawarra Hawks v Brisbane Bullets

Sunday October 6th, 3:00pm

The Hawks are in a great spot to get their NBL campaign off to a winning start, hosting the Bullets on Sunday.

Illawarra will play bigger and better games than the one on Sunday but all eyes will be on LaMelo Ball in his first game in his quest to boost his NBA Draft stocks.

The Bullets leadup to this game has been not ideal with average performances in the preseason and players only rejoining the team after the FIBA World Cup, along with coach Lemanis.

We got a taste of the way the Hawks want to play at the end of the last season with 8 of their last 10 games going over the total. With Brooks and Ball at the helm who will only play downhill, in front of their packed home crowd, the Hawks should be able to blow away the Bullets here as they shake off some cobwebs.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Illawarra Hawks to win for 2 units at $1.71

Melbourne United v South East Melbourne Phoenix

Thursday October 3rd, 7:30pm

The season-opener pits the competition favourites against the NBL’s new franchise as Melbourne United host South East Melbourne Phoenix.

The Phoenix have done well to build a competitive roster in their debut season and their 2-0 record at the NBL Blitz shows that they have the goods to be competitive in their infancy.

In terms of opening games, however, things don’t get much harder than taking on last season’s losing Grand Finalists at Melbourne Arena. Melbourne went 12-7 at home last season and covered five of their last seven games there to end the season. It wasn’t just at home that Melbourne impressed at the end of last season though, with nine of their last 10 wins coming by more than seven points.

Over the last three seasons Melbourne are 31-18 ATS at home (including finals) and taking on a new team with very little competitive basketball together under their belts, it’s hard to see the score being all that close on Thursday night.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne United -5.5 for 1u at $1.90

Adelaide 36ers

2018/19 Record: 14-14.

Ins: Jerome Randle, Eric Griffin (I), Deshon Taylor (I), Daniel Dillon, Obi Kyei, Kevin White.

Outs: Demetrius Conger, Nathan Sobey, Majok Deng, Adam Doyle.

Joey Wright again steers the ship for a reasonably settled Adelaide team. That is said since they lost just four players in the offseason but it’s important to note that two of which were arguably their two best players in Demetrius Conger and Nathan Sobey.

With Conger now out of the NBL and Sobey at Brisbane, Eric Griffin and Jerome Randle have been brought in to fill the gaps. Randle played his best basketball with the 36ers so getting him back is a good win for them heading into the season.

They can lean on Ramone Moore for another season of somewhere around 10/4/5, and the likes of Daniel Johnson, Harry Froling and Daniel Dillon are all capable NBL players, but Adelaide lack the star quality that many of the top teams in the league possess.

That spells trouble for the Sixers. They have one of the thinnest squads in the NBL and the Exchange has correctly placed them as wooden spoon runner ups. They are very light in the paint and their depth at guard is another reason to be concerned. We agree with the market’s assessment and we find it hard to see them getting near the 14 wins that they picked up last year.

Brisbane Bullets

2019/19 Record: 14-14.

Ins: EJ Singler (I), Taylor Braun (I), Nathan Sobey.

Outs: Cam Bairstow, Adam Gibson, Jeremy Kendle.

The Bullets were better than expected last season, falling short to eventual champions Perth in the playoffs when injury troubles had them shorthanded. Strong recruitment through the offseason has signalled that Brisbane believe they’re in the window to win a title.

Nathan Sobey was the number one man on the list of coach Andre Lemanis and he got him. Sobey was one of the most valuable free agents available and gives them one of the top back courts in the league alongside Cam Gliddon.

The biggest move was securing Lamar Patterson for another year. Coming in early last season, he lit up the league and changed the entire dynamic of the Bullets. They suddenly looked dangerous on both ends of the court with him, averaging 18/6/4 and one steal per game.

Taylor Braun, who was recommended to the Bullets by Joe Ingles, and EJ Singler fill up the other two import slots. They’ll be joining a returning core which sets the Bullets up to be one of the leading title-winning chances this season.

Brisbane were the equal-best three-point shooting team in the league last season which is a credit to their system. The big area of improvement needed is their rebounding, in which they were last in the league last season.

Their front court depth is thin so Lemanis will need to make sure they don’t get exposed and have a plan when they square off with the likes of Shawn Long, Josh Boone, Andrew Bogut, and Dario Hunt across the season.

Chemistry and continuity will be the Bullets’ biggest strength early in the season while other teams adjust to cater for their new stars. They’re a wait-and-see betting option for the season but, for now, they look a very good price.

Cairns Taipans

2018/19 Record: 6-22.

Ins: Cameron Oliver (I), Scott Machado (I), Mirko Deric, George Blagojevic, Kouat Noi, Majok Deng, Anthony Fisher.

Outs: Melo Trimble, Devon Hall, Dexter Kernich-Drew, Kuany Kuany, Rob Loe, Alex Loughton, Lucas Walker, Mitchell Young.

Last season was meant to be the one where the Taipans bounced back. Unfortunately, they fell further behind from the rest of the pack. They only won six games last season and were largely uncompetitive in most areas under new head coach Mike Kelly.

What made matters worse was the Brisbane Bullets jumping ahead of them and making the playoffs when, a season ago, the Taipans looked well ahead of them in their quest to win their first NBL Title.

The obvious hole in the roster is the loss of Melo Trimble, their leading scorer last year at 22.5 PPG. The Taipans were also the lowest-scoring team in the 2018/19 season, so losing Melo is not ideal.

However, with two brand new imports in Scott Machado and Cameron Oliver along with the returning DJ Newbill, the talent is certainly there for them to be competitive in most games throughout the season.

Their willingness to push the pace during preseason games could signal the way they want to play this season. Majok Deng and Nate Jawai will ensure that they will be a decent rebounding team and Oliver’s interior presence will ensure their frontcourt rotation will always be good during games.

That said, The Taipans, unfortunately, do not look like they can conjure that little bit extra to make the playoffs but week to week, they will have potential to be value against teams on their home court.

Illawarra Hawks

2018/19 Record: 12-16.

Ins: Aaron Brooks (I), Josh Boone (I), LaMelo Ball (NS), Angus Glover, Sunday Dech, Sam Froling, Matt Flinn (coach).

Outs: Brian Conklin, Cedric Jackson, Jordair Jett, Marshall Nelson, Nic Pozoglou, Kevin White, Rob Beveridge (coach).

Finishing at 12-16 for the second straight season last year, Illawarra have taken up a fair share of the offseason discussion after adding NBA prospect LaMalo Ball and former NBA player Aaron Brooks to their team. Josh Boone also joins the squad from Melbourne as their second import, but equally as important is the departure of championship-winning coach Rob Beveridge.

In Beveridge’s place is long-time Hawks assistant Matt Flinn, and he’ll be leading a largely familiar playing group with the likes of AJ Ogilvy, Todd Blanchfield, David Andersen and Emmett Naar all returning for another year. This makes us less nervous about Flinn’s first year as head coach given his 10-plus years of experience around that setup.

While this core has produced sub-par records in the past couple of seasons, there is a significant step up in the standard of imports this year, with NBA veteran Aaron Brooks joining the ranks and established NBL big Josh Boone improving the frontcourt.

LaMelo Ball looked as good as anyone could have hoped in the preseason and, importantly for Illawarra, doesn’t count as an import, meaning there’s the potential for the Hawks to add to another international to their team midway through the season.

10 of Illawarra’s first 13 games come against teams outside of last season’s top four and there’s every chance they get off to a strong start. Currently at $9.80, they should be shortening early in the season but, realistically, are a very slim chance of winning the title. A good trading selection.

Betting Strategy

  BACK to LAY – 3u on Illawarra at $9.80 (trade out at $7.00 or better).

Melbourne United

2018/19 Record: 18-10.

Ins: Melo Trimble (I), Shawn Long (I), Casey Prather (I), Shea Ili, Jo Lual-Acuil.

Outs: Casper Ware, Josh Boone, DJ Kennedy, Craig Moller, Dan Trist, Venky Jois, Peter Hooley.

After falling 3-1 in last year’s Grand Finals series, Melbourne United have strengthened their squad and go into the 2019/20 seasons as favourites. While they did lose key pieces Casper Ware, Josh Boone and DJ Kennedy, they’ve more than made up for those losses through signing Melo Trimble, Shawn Long and Casey Prather.

Shea Ili also joins the team, further bolstering their backcourt and their frontcourt isn’t far behind in terms of quality. Shawn Long didn’t take long to find his feet in New Zealand last year and with the playmakers present at Melbourne, expect it to be a seamless transition for the American and his teammates.

The import trio of Trimble, Long and Prather is second-to-none. Prather was instrumental in Melbourne’s 2018 title and has won a title in all three seasons he’s played in the league, Trimble averaged 22/5/4 in his first season in the NBL with Cairns last year and Long put forward a legitimate case for best centre in the league in the 2018/19 season.

On paper, it is hard to see who can top this United squad. They have great depth behind their star imports while Dean Vickerman has already won a championship with the club and took them to the Grand Finals last year. Their roster has only improved and we have them as clear favourites to claim their sixth title.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – 4u on Melbourne United at $3.50.

New Zealand Breakers

2018/19 Record: 12-16.

Ins: RJ Hampton (NS), Sek Henry (I), Scotty Hopson (I), Brandon Ashley (I), Rob Loe, Ater Majok, Dan Shamir (coach).

Outs: Shea Ili, Shawn Long, Majok Majok, Armani Moore, Patrick Richard, Tai Wesley, Kevin Braswell (coach).

After a disappointing 2018/19 season, especially for the Breakers’ lofty standards, a revamped New Zealand outfit has arrived for the upcoming season. Last year’s coach, Kevin Braswell, is gone after just one season at the club and he’s been replaced by the esteemed Dan Shamir who brings a wealth of experience from top European leagues.

On the court, big changes have been made too. The most talked about of which has been the signing of Next Star player and top NBA draft prospect RJ Hampton. One of the top-ranked high school point guards in the USA in 2019, Hampton comes into the league with a tonne of hype and expectation on his shoulders and he’ll have to carry a bulk of the playmaking duties for his team after Shea Ili’s departure.

Joining him as Breakers newbies are swingman Sek Henry, big man Brandon Ashley and former NBA forward Scotty Hopson. It’s a huge overhaul of players and their imports look like an improvement on last year’s bunch but losing All-NBL 2nd Team centre Shawn Long is a massive blow.

Coupling that with a new coach and an 18-year-old set to play major minutes with major responsibilities, we see another season of struggles coming up the Breakers.

Perth Wildcats

2018/19 Record: 18-10.

Ins: Dario Hunt (I), Majok Majok.

Outs: Angus Brandt, Greg Hire, Sunday Dech, Tom Jervis.

The reigning champions. It felt like the Wildcats weren’t discussed all season long until the playoffs arrived and even then, weren’t given the respect they deserved compared to the Kings and United.

This season, the Wildcats have a new look. For the first time in a while, they underwent significant turnover with their roster. Angus Brandt and Tom Jervis are gone while Greg Hire has retired.

They’ll have a brand new front court this year. New import Dario Hunt will give them a new look at centre along with signing the experienced Majok Majok. Hunt has played with Bryce Cotton in Europe before so there shouldn’t be any major chemistry issues to start the season.

Bryce Cotton will once again lead the way on both ends of the court. Re-signing Terrico White was a great result after his tremendous Grand Final performance against United last season.

Nick Kay looks to be primed for a huge season after a terrific campaign with the Boomers in the FIBA World Cup. I expect we will hear some MVP Chatter around him as the season goes on and a much bigger role in the offence.

It would take a catastrophe for the Wildcats to not finish in the Top 4 again this season and if they have home-court advantage, they’ll be heavily favoured.

Perth is a wait-and-see in the market. They’re likely to trade shorter than the current $5 but with an early stretch of four road games in a row, we’ll learn more about them as the season goes on.

South East Melbourne Phoenix

2018/19 Record: N/A.

Ins: John Roberson (I), Ben Madgen, Mitch Creek, Tai Wesley (I), Keith Benson (I), Kyle Adnam, Adam Gibson, Kendall Stephens, Dane Pineau, Daniel Trist, Terry Armstrong (NS), Deng Acouth, Simon Mitchell (coach).

Outs: N/A.

New to the NBL in 2020, South East Melbourne has assembled a roster that’s set to cause a bit of a stir. General Manager and former NBL veteran Tommy Greer has assigned Simon Mitchell, who’s assisted at Melbourne United for the past four years, as the team’s head coach and they were quick to assemble a competitive squad.

American point guard John Roberson looks to be the big import signing. Having played his last eight seasons in Europe and most recently averaging 14/2/5 in his 2018-19 season in Russia, Roberson will be a reliable ball-handler and shooter for the Phoenix but expect Mitch Creek to be their main man. Formerly of the Nets and Timberwolves, Creek has proved that he has the goods to be an NBA player and will be responsible for much of SEM’s offence as long as he doesn’t hop on a plane back to the states.

Other significant players on their roster will be the other two imports, centre Keith Benson and forward Tai Wesley, while proven NBL players, such as Kyle Adnam, Ben Madgen and Adam Gibson round out what is a well-assembled roster.

Of some concern is their lack of defensive talent and their lack of size in the backcourt. Ben Madgen, at 6’4”, is likely to be their tallest guard, unless Next Star Terry Armstrong plays significant minutes, which may see them struggle against the lengthier teams in the competition, such as Brisbane.

Also worth taking into consideration is the fact that they are a completely new team with almost all of the players having never played competitive basketball together. With a rookie head coach at the helm, we don’t see them causing too many upsets this season, but they should be competitive among the bottom five teams on the ladder.

Betting Strategy

 LAY – 2u on South East Melbourne Phoenix at $13.50.

Sydney Kings

2018/19 Record: 18-10.

Ins: Casper Ware (I), Jae’Sean Tate (I), Didi Louzada (NS), Shaun Bruce, Craig Moller, Lucas Walker, Will Weaver (coach).

Outs: Jerome Randle, Brian Bowen, Kyle Adnam, Dane Pineau, Andrew Gaze (coach).

The Sydney Kings would say themselves that they underachieved last season. Equaling Perth and Melbourne on 18 wins for the year, they were decisively swept by United in the playoffs and looked completely out of rhythm when it mattered most.

There were plenty of positives for them, none more than Andrew Bogut winning the MVP in his first season for the Kings and with new coach Will Weaver replacing Andrew Gaze who looked out of his depth through his tenure, they’ll be eager to go one step further.

The biggest addition for the Kings, however, is not their new coach, but their brand-new point guard Casper Ware, who made the switch from Melbourne United.

The Kings were the second-lowest scoring team last season and struggled plenty of times to maintain a good flow to their offence with their former PG Jerome Randle. With Casper, they’ll not only have a better facilitator but also a better clutch shooter late in the shot clock.

The excitement doesn’t end there though for the Kings. Next Star signing Didi Louzada, who will probably start at SF in Week 1, has been lighting up teams in the preseason from the perimeter and looks to elevate their offence to a new level.

On paper, the Kings look better than the Wildcats and barely behind United, so finishing outside the top two is not an option. Their record on the road was the best in the league last year so any improvement to their record at home will see them be very hard to beat all season.

Sydney’s depth this season looks so much better while also improving their starting five. At their current price of $5.20 on the Exchange and they look a great trading prospect throughout the year.

Betting Strategy

  BACK to LAY – 3u on Sydney at $5.20 (trade out at $3.50 or better).

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