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 will be 3 units.


Adelaide 36ers

Ins: Donald Sloan (I), Tony Crocker (I), Isaac Humphries, Josh Giddey (NS), Sunday Dech, Keanu Pinder, Conner Henry (coach).

Outs: Jerome Randle (I), Eric Griffin (I), Ramone Moore (I), Harry Froling, Anthony Drmic, Obi Kyei (retired), Kevin White, Joey Wright (coach).

The inclusions for the 36ers on paper were some of the best in the NBL on paper. Sloan and Crocker both look physical guards who will take no time settling in. Humphries is a nice addition, no matter what they do with him in the rotation. I share the sentiment of a few who wonder how he and Johnson will play together but it could work fine. Dech was a great piece to add as well.

Unfortunately, there just seems to be nothing outside of those four players. It’s hard to know what their identity is going to be as well. Long gone are the days of Jerome Randle and scoring 100 points every time at home. Josh Giddey their Next Stars addition looks like he could be exciting but he can’t be relied on to carry them along.

Marking them the outsiders of the competition is fair. They’re not a Back or Lay proposition to start the season but they are a team we’ll be watching closely.

Brisbane Bullets

Ins: Vic Law (I), Orlando Johnson (I), Anthony Drmic, Harry Froling, Tanner Krebs, Tamuri Wigness

Outs: Lamar Patterson (I), Will Magnay, EJ Singler (I), Cam Gliddon, Taylor Braun (I), Reuben Te Rangi, Mika Vukona

Huge outs of Patterson and Magnay have left a massive hole in the Bullets, along with Gliddon and Te Rangi jumping ship and rumours swirling on Andrej Lemanis maybe not coaching out the season.

For their inclusions, Froling can be handy and Drmic is certainly not a downgrade on the version of Cam Gliddon we’ve seen the last few seasons. Their imports in Orlando Johnson and Vic Law look good on paper but the Bullets, outside of finding Patterson, have been responsible for some of the worst recruitments in the league ever since they returned. Time will tell on how much they can add to their ability to win.

Tamuri Wigness is one to watch as well who could potentially cause teams a lot of havoc off the bench. He’s modelled his game off Patty Mills and could be a shout for Rookie of the Year with enough playing time.

There isn’t a team in the league who has a bigger gap between their best and worst and that leaves a lot of question marks on the Bullets heading into the season. They’re a no bet and they won’t win the title, but we’re leaning that they’ll be far better than their $30 price on the Exchange.

Cairns Taipans

Ins: Mojave King (NS), Jordan Ngatai.

Outs: DJ Newbill (I).

Cairns enter NBL21 as second favourite and have the benefit of roster stability. Next Star player Nojave King, who impressed in preseason, and former Breaker Jordan Ngatai are the only two notable additions, while their only major loss — and a major loss it is — comes in the form of All-NBL Second Team member and Best Defensive Player winner DJ Newbill.

The Taipans finished sixth in the league in offence last year and fourth in defence, good for a 1.8 net rating, on the back of standout seasons from Newbill, fellow imports Scott Machado and Cam Oliver, rookie Kouat Noi and Majok Deng. With all but Newbill back for NBL21, expect growth from the Snakes.

Roster stability is a huge advantage, given the amount of movement across the league in the offseason, and Cairns have one of the deepest rosters in the NBL. Given that they finished 16-12 last season, I’m picking a few more wins for the Taipans in NBL21 and I will be shocked if they miss the top four.

Melbourne United

Ins: Scotty Hopson (I), Jock Landale, Yudai Baba, Jack White.

Outs: Shawn Long (I), Melo Trimble (I), Stanton Kidd (I), Alex Pledger, Tohi Smith-Milner.

Melbourne United are the market favourites to win NBL21 after a great offseason. Last season’s semi-finalists recruited star import Scotty Hopson to go with Boomer Jock Landale, former Duke player Jack White and Japan international Yudai Baba. Although they lost Shawn Long, Melo Trimble, Stanton Kidd, Alex Pledger and Tohi Smith-Milner, the class that they have brought in indicates that United are the team to beat this year.

After a 1-4 start to last season, Melbourne then won six straight before a rollercoaster of results, going 4-4 in their last eight games, to finish fourth. They lost 1-2 to Sydney in a nail-biting semi-final series, finishing second in the league in defensive rating and third in the league in offensive rating.

Expectations are sky-high for Melbourne going into this NBL season and rightly so. They aren’t used to being without an import PG but Mitch McCarron is capable of filling those duties and gaining a local the quality of Jock Landale is a massive advantage. Still with an import slot to fill should they wish, this already strong United team could potentially get better and I have them as clear title favourites.

BACK — Melbourne United to win at anything above $3.50 for 2 units

New Zealand Breakers

Ins: Lamar Patterson (I), Colton Iverson (I), Tai Webster, Rasmus Bach

Outs: Scotty Hopson (I), Brandon Ashley (I), Sek Henry (I), Jordan Ngatai, RJ Hampton, Jordan Ngatai, Tom Vodanovich, Ethan Rusbatch, Ater Majok.

NZ underachieved a little last season and had problems all year with their roster and ownership but they’ve reloaded and are set for a big crack at the title this year.

Scotty Hopson is no doubt a big loss but Lamar Patterson is an effective scorer who should be able to produce the same amount of offence, especially down the stretch. Their big man rotation of Iverson, Delany and Loe should be one of the best in the NBL and the likes of Abercrombie and Webster are proven commodities.

The price here on the Breakers is astounding though. The Breakers are clearly the team that is the most affected due to the shape of the season schedule and because of this, they are an automatic Lay. There is a very significant chance that they play zero games in New Zealand this season, something that no other team will experience.

With their home record so good over the last decade, taking that away is a huge loss. Lay them up to $9 and we can look to trade out later in the season because the talent is clearly there.

LAY — NZ Breakers up to $9 for 3 units.

Perth Wildcats

Ins: John Mooney (I), Todd Blanchfield, Jarred Bairstow, Kevin White

Outs: Nick Kay, Terrico White (I), Dario Hunt (I), Miles Plumlee (I), Damian Martin (retired), Rhys Vague

After winning yet another NBL championship, the Perth Wildcats gear up for another campaign. Bryce Cotton returns after initially opting out, though he will be coming back to a vastly different roster from that of the NBL20-winning side. Nick Kay and Terrico White are the big losses from the side, but also in the departing group are club legend Damian Martin, Miles Plumlee, Majok Majok (injured) and Rhys Vague.

The Wildcats enjoyed a 5-1 October to get their NBL20 season off to a flyer and also finished the season with a hiss and a roar, going 6-1 in their last seven games to finish 19-9 — good for second on the ladder. Cotton again orchestrated a strong offence, finishing first in the league in that metric, though they were sixth defensively.

Cotton will be up there with the best offensive players in the league again but his supporting cast, as mentioned above, has been severely depleted this season. I will be shocked if Perth finish a top-three offence and their defence isn’t shaping up to be overly strong either. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The fortress that they have built at RAC Arena will help them bolster their record and they should be contending for a playoff position at the business end of the competition, but they don’t look to be classy enough to go all the way.

South East Melbourne Phoenix

Ins: Ben Moore (I), Keifer Sykes (I), Cam Gliddon, Reuben Te Rangi, Yanni Wetzel.

Outs: John Roberson (I), Tai Wesley (retired), Ben Madgen (retired), Keith Benson (I), Jaye Crockett (I), Devondrick Walker (I), Dan Trist.

The South East Melbourne Phoenix enter their second season with a mixture of familiarity and fresh faces as they look to improve on a mediocre start to life in the NBL. The good news is that Mitch Creek returns. The bad news is that sharpshooter John Roberson and Tai Wesley headline their list of departing players.

After a 4-1 start to the season, including an opening night win over United, things were looking rosy for the Phoenix. However, they would go on to win only five of their remaining 23 games, finishing the season on an eight-game losing streak. Defence was the Phoenix’s main struggle in 2020, finishing last in the league in that metric, though they somewhat made up for it offensively with the league’s second-best offensive rating.

New imports Keifer Sykes and and Ben Moore will need to provide significant impact on both ends of the floor for this Phoenix side to be much of a hope of playing postseason ball. Depth looks like it will again be an issue for this SEM side and they just don’t look to have the squad to kick it with the big boys in NBL21.

Sydney Kings

Ins: Jarell Martin (I), Angus Glover, Dejan Vasiljevic, Tom Vodanovich, Adam Forde (coach)

Outs: Jae’Sean Tate (I), Andrew Bogut (retired), Kevin Lisch (retired), Deshon Taylor (I), Will Weaver (coach)

The Kings would feel hard done by that they didn’t get a chance to legitimately win the NBL title last season but they’re going to find it hard to get back into that position again. Departures of Bogut, Tate and Cooks being injured, along with Will Weaver departing has left the Kings with Casper Ware to shoulder the heavy load.

Casper is good enough to get them back to the playoffs by himself but it’s going to take a lot. Didi Louzada will continue his development and be a good option on the wing. Moller and Newly are fine players and their new import, Jarell Martin will look to make his mark like every other big man who comes to the NBL.

They were the number 1 ranked defence last season and near the bottom for offence. I expect that to flip on its head this season. They aren’t a back or lay proposition early in the season but if it turns out they’re winning games without Casper turning into prime Iverson, we’ll look to get involved in the season.

The Hawks

Ins: Justin Simon (I), Tyler Harvey (I), Justinian Jessup (NS), Deng Adel, Cameron Bairstow, Max Darling, Deng Deng, Isaac White, Brian Goorjian (coach).

Outs: LaMelo Ball, Aaron Brooks (I), Darington Hobson (I), Todd Blanchfield, Josh Boone, Sunday Dech, Tim Coenraad (retired), Angus Glover, David Andersen, Matt Flinn (coach).

The Hawks have been on a serious rollercoaster the last 12 months. The hype of LaMelo Ball has returned some life back into the franchise. They’re now just ‘ The Hawks’, they have a new coach and they’ve put together a pretty decent basketball team.

Deng Adel was widely applauded as one of the signings of the offseason with aspirations to make it back to the NBA again. He should really be able to put some teams to the sword and along with Simon and Harvey, it’s a very formidable trio on paper on both sides of the floor.

Just like last season, the depth for their Bigs is slim which could hurt them week to week and they are relatively young across the board, but I really like the Hawks to make a bit of noise this season. They’ll win games off the back of Goorjian’s coaching alone and at above $20, they’re worth a small play.

BACK — The Hawks to win at anything above $20 for 0.5 units

Adelaide 36ers v Melbourne United

Adelaide and Melbourne start off the 2021 NBL season on Friday night and a mismatch is on our hands. As mentioned in my season preview, I am very high on Melbourne this year and Adelaide are a fair way down the rankings.

The Sixers had a rough end to NBL20, losing and failing to cover the spread in five of their last six games. United, on the other hand, covered their last six in 2020. Adelaide are a young side and given the recruitments that Melbourne made in the offseason, I expect United to start the season in style.

BACK — Melbourne -4.5 for 1 unit


Brisbane Bullets v The Hawks

If you read the season preview, you’ll know that the Hawks are a team to watch this year and they can get off to a perfect start against the Bullets.

It was a clean sweep for the Bullets last season, winning all four encounters over the Hawks, covering the spread in all of them as well. It’s ominous on paper that they have their number but the start of the season presents a great opportunity for the Hawks here, especially against a home-court advantage that’s limited in capacity.

I’m expecting a lot of rustiness from both sides, especially Brisbane’s imports and had the odds pretty much even so getting a few points for the plus is a good way to kick us off.

BACK — Hawks +3.5 for 2 units


Current Results

Total Units Staked: 100.00

Total Units Returned: 98.28

ROI: -1.72%


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