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. Their focus will be on the Thursday and Friday night matches and we’ll aim to have these predictions available every Wednesday 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 win, total and line bets this season.

It might not be the Grand Final series we expected but it’s certainly one that’s not surprising. For the second year in a row, Melbourne United are back in the NBL Grand Final, taking on the dynasty of the Perth Wildcats, returning once again to the Grand Final after finishing the season on top.

Melbourne United blew away the Sydney Kings in both games and they did it the way they have done all season, as a team. In Game 2, Casper Ware got them going with 17 points in the first quarter and they cruised from there.

Perth had it just as easy in their series over the Bullets. After a brutal 30 point victory in Game 1 and injury concerns to a few of the key players for Brisbane, Terrico White and Nick Kay were able to carry the Wildcats into another Grand Final series.

The season series was split 2-2 with bot teams winning their games at home, along with two of the games going into Overtime. It’s worth noting the Wildcats won both games by 5 points while United won their games by 11 and 17. On face value, this shows United are more than capable of winning games in this series on the road.

Both teams certainly have their weaknesses in this series that the other is well equipped to take advantage of.

For Melbourne, they tend to beat themselves. With how they play on the fast break, they can turnover the ball at a high clip and have to dig themselves out of a hole. That’s where the deep 3 ball attempts and they can go away from the high percentage shots they can get at will.

If those shots don’t go in for Goulding, Ware and Barlow from deep, will they slow down, play through Boone and just get the guaranteed good shots? Or will they live and die by the sword.

For Perth, it’s clearly the scoring. They have been the 2nd worst shooting team, along with being the worst 3-point shooting team this season.

While they can get to the free throw line at a high rate, they simply must make shots in this series because they won’t be able to keep up with Melbourne in the same way Sydney couldn’t. White and Kay must lead the way here because Cotton is going to score no matter what.

Against Brisbane, they had just 25 points scored from their bench in the series. Goulding scored 23 by himself in Game 2 against the Kings. They need bench productivity.

Perth only need to win their three games at home, where they’ve been so good all year, and they’ll win it all. The difference is United are so well equipped to win on the road in such a hostile environment that the advantage of home court won’t be as great like it was in the Semi Finals. If both teams are playing at their absolute best, Melbourne United will win this series.

They’re never out of the game because of their offensive weapons. It’s as simple as just riding the momentum waves on the road for United. Don’t get frustrated at the big calls that will go Perth’s way over the course of the 5 games and they’ll come out victorious. I think it will go 4 games with United wrapping up the series on their home court.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne United to win the series 3-1

Perth have been the quiet achiever this year. The glitz and glamour of United and the Kings have dominated the season while in the background, the Wildcats have finished on top of the ladder once again which seems like the 65th time in a row.

The Bullets on the other hand have been the league’s surprise team. Back to back wooden spooners, they went out early in free agency this year to get the players they needed and it’s paid off.

Forgetting their last month and a half, they were in the top four for the whole season, including beating the Wildcats twice at home.

There’s no tougher task in Australian basketball than winning in Perth. The referees won’t be on your side and the crowd plays a serious factor for both sides.

Bryce Cotton, the NBL’s leading scorer this season, has been the best player in the NBL over the last three years and is a guarantee that even if Perth are down 12 points at 3Q Time, they can win the game. That’s going to play a big part in this series in my mind.

How do the Bullets respond when the big calls don’t go their way, or say if Cotton scores eight points in a minute? As a team, they have plenty of experience individually but as a team, this will be their first experience together in the playoffs.

To me, I think they will respond in the best way possible. There’s a serious number of factors that favour the Bullets here in this series if you think they can steal a game on the road.

Clearly, they limped to the finish line this season. The pre-playoff break couldn’t have come at a better time for them. On the other hand, it’s awful for the Wildcats who have won six of their last seven games and were really running hot.

Who do Perth have to match up with Lamar Patterson? His ability to create with the ball in his hands is a problem for Perth because they have some serious shooting talent he can kick it to if he’s not open.

You combine it with the inconsistencies of the Perth offence even with Cotton firing, the experience and depth of the Bullets roster along with them beating them twice this season and I like their chances.

The Bullets have absolutely nothing to lose here and while I think it may take them the first game to get into playoff rhythm, I like the value of them winning the series.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane to win the series 2-1

It’s a shame that this won’t be the five game Grand Final series but I’m certain we will get the right result after these two have finished their series.

The Kings were built for the playoffs. Bogut clearly has set the tone with this team and the expectation of winning so you can be sure that they’ll come out firing on the road in Game 1.

United had to retool after their championship win last year and have formed one of the deepest squads we’ve seen in the NBL for years that can win in multiple ways.

Melbourne did win the season series 3-1 but won two of the games by less than five points and Sydney won their most recent encounter by 12 which will give them massive confidence heading in.

One of the biggest keys for the Kings to win this series is to not panic when United are hitting tough shots.

It’s very easy for them to hypothetically move Kevin Lisch to defend McCaron because he’s lighting them up and then you have another problem if Goulding starts hitting shots. The same goes for the many transition buckets United will get.

United certainly make you feel like you’re in a sinking boat with no way to plug the holes but riding the momentum waves will go a long way for them winning this series. Run your sets, get good shots and the rest will take care of itself.

Casper Ware has not shot well leading into the playoffs but the natural expectation will be for him to do well in these games. The same can be said for Jerome Randle and they’ll be a fascinating match-up to watch.

Andrew Bogut is the best player in this series and I expect him to bring his NBA Championship experience in a big way. The pace will be slower and the game will be more physical which plays right into his hands. This is what he came back for.

If United take good care of the basketball, they’re going to be near impossible to beat here but I like the Kings to defend well enough to make it happen. It may take them a game to figure it all out but the star power of Bogut here is enough for me to tip them in a three game series.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney to win the series 2-1

Sydney Kings v Melbourne United

This looks to be a Grand final preview. Melbourne beat New Zealand twice and returned to the top of the ladder whilst Sydney took care of the Bullets twice. Melbourne have a game in hand so can’t afford to drop a game.

It really looks to be a battle of a superstar team versus a superstar in Bogut. Bogut leads the league in blocks with 2.7 per game and rebounds with 11.6 per game. He will have have his hands full here though with Josh Boone who has been in a rich vein of form and now is second in the league in blocks with 1.5 per game and third in the league for rebounds with 8.6 per game.

Melbournes offence has really clicked into gear over the last 3 weeks and now average 93.6 PPG but they are coming up against the best defence in the comp in Sydney who only allow 84.6 PPG.

United will be looking for offence output from both Casper Ware 19.2 PPG and Chris Goulding who looked great in the first game against the Breakers with 24 points but was held to 8 points in the latest game.

If the Kings can keep Goulding quiet from beyond the arc then they have a real chance in this match.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney at $2.1 or better

New Zealand v Adelaide 36ers

New Zealand had their finals hopes destroyed by Melbourne United last weekend losing their double header to the reigning champs. It’s going to take a miracle to get them in the top 4 from here but i think they’ll take the first step tonight at home to achieve that miracle.

Adelaide have been the second best team on the road this season, including winning four of their last 5 away from South Australia but NZ have had their number this season, winning 2/3 in very high scoring games.

The 36ers are going ok but against the Breakers who know they cant leave anything left in the tank, I see them falling short and i’m happy to take the price on the Breakers.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – NZ Breakers to Win for 1 unit

Brisbane Bullets v Illawarra Hawks

We’ve had great success recently going against the Bullets and at first look, the price on the Hawks did surprise me.

Illawarra have won 5 of their last 8 and have been hanging around keeping their finals hopes alive. The Bullets have stumbled a little bit but i do see them getting over the line here at home.

What im keen to select here is the total. Six of the last eight games the Bullets has played have gone over 180 points. It’s the same for the Hawks, clearing this total in six of their last 7. Take the overs.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 180.5 for 2 units

New Zealand v Melbourne United

The last time these 2 teams met was in Round 6 in Invercargill and United were the 7 point winners. Both teams won both of their games last weekend. Melbourne sit on top of the table and look to finally kill off the Breakers play off hopes here.

It is no coincidence that Melbourne resurgence has been coupled with the improved form of Josh Boone. He’s been averaging a double-double over the last 4 games, Melbourne have won 3 and just lost to Perth in the other.

Casper Ware is setting the standard in the league at the minute, but will be tested by Jarrad Weeks here, who has been outstanding of late, averaging 17.2 PPG over his last 5 games.

United won their 2 games last weekend by overwhelming the opposition with offence scoring 227 points. They will do the same here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne 1.6 or better

Brisbane Bullets v Sydney Kings

We find ourselves in the exact same position as last week and the Kings are till underdogs? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

The Bullets were clearly disappointed in their efforts last week, particularly against restricting Bogut but stopping him isn’t an easy task. Despite the hiccup against Perth, Sydney should be heading into this game full of confidence as they fine tune every detail with the playoffs approaching.

The Bullets have lost both games they’ve played against the Kings this season and at the price, the play here is the Kings once again.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney Kings to Win for 2 units

Perth Wildcats v Illawarra Hawks

The injury to Mitch Norton hurts the depth of the Wildcats a little but I’m keen to back them here at the line.

The Wildcats have come off resounding wins on the road, including battering the Kings. The Hawks just scraped by the Taipans on Australia Day and haven’t won two games in a row since early December.

They’re by far the better team and despite Illawarra being still in the hunt for a playoff spot, I can’t see them getting close in this one.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth -7.5 for 1 unit

Brisbane v Sydney

Brisbane are the hottest team in the NBL right now, winning their last 3 in a row but the odds do surprise me on the Kings tonight.

The Kings last two games haven’t represented who they truly are as a team and i think they’ll be trying to make a serious statement tonight on the road. They should still cruise into the playoffs but a loss tonight will make things interesting for them and i can’t see the experienced heads on the team letting that happen.

Bogut v Patterson is going to be a great watch and im tipping the Kings to get this one done at great value of $2.30+.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney Kings to Win for 1 Unit

Melbourne v Illawarra

United are coming off a 5 point loss to Perth, a win would have seen them in top spot, whilst the Hawks come off an 11 point win over the Breakers, but are still 2 games behind Brisbane and Adelaide for the 4th play off spot.

Melbourne will need to find an answer to their slow starts if they want to win this match. In the match against Perth, they scored 14 1st quarter points, whilst allowing 27, and the week before against Cairns they scored 18 points and allowed 25.

Illawarra will need to continue to produce offensive production like they have been, but really need to work on continuing to get better defensively. They average 92.7 PPGA whilst Melbourne only allow 88.4 PPGA.

There is much to play for here, with the Hawks season on the line, and Melbourne looking or home court for the play offs, and in front of a huge home crowd, United just need to get off to a reasonable start to win this match.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne $1.5 or better

New Zealand v Cairns

Battle of the also rans here, with both teams being out of play off contention. Cairns killed of the Breakers season last week beating them by 8.

New Zealand have really been struggling of late losing their last 3, whilst the Taipans have found a vein of form that has seen them competitive over the last 3 to 4 weeks, except for the match against Brisbane where they were blow out by 31.

Couldn’t really rush in to take the odds on about the Breakers at the moment.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cairns at $2.30 or better

Illawarra v New Zealand

As Lloyd Christmas said, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance” Both of these teams would need to win out from here and rely on other results put get into the play offs. The Hawks come off a big win over the Kings last week by 12 and the Breakers went down to the Kings by 8.

This does give us a very solid form line to work with. Illawarra has really improved it performance and work rate over the last few weeks and the results are now starting to show. New Zealand still have 2 games in hand compared to their other play off contenders, but would need to win both  to be level with them.

The only real concern for the Hawks is to continue to improve on their defence. They still give up 92.6 PAPG and this will need to continue to come down. Rookie Emmett Naar was the Star last week, running the point and with his confidence sky high that looks to continue here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Illawarra at 1.66 or better

Adelaide vs Perth

Both teams are coming off losses here in the last round, with Perth in play off position going down to bottom placed Cairns by 2 points, and Adelaide went into the 4th place battle with Brisbane and gave up 35 points in the last quarter to go down by 12.

Adelaide’s defence is really starting to become a problem as they are simply giving up too many points. Averaging a league worst 95.2 PAPG it really is negating their excellent offence which leads the league with 95.7 PPG.

The battle last week between Melo Trimble and Bryce Cotton was excellent watching and Cotton was sold with 20 points, it looked like he still had more to come after his injury set back the previous week.

It is hard to see Adelaide keeping Perth to a low enough score to see them winning.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth at 2.2 or better

Adelaide vs Brisbane

These two met back in Round 9 in a high scoring affair with Adelaide winning 101 to Brisbane 91. Sobey was the star for the 36ers with 24 and Patterson had the same for the Bullets.

Lamar Patterson will need to put up a similar performance here, but he can certainly do that having been in red hot form of late. The critical match up will be Sobey VS Cadee, as Sobey has ripped Brisbane apart in the last 3 match ups with 67 points, 22 rebounds and 18 assists.

Adelaide will again try and overwhelm with offence as they have averaged 100.6 PPG in their last 10 games. This will be very hard to contain for the Bullets.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Adelaide 1.5 or better

Sydney v New Zealand

These two teams met back in round 8 with the Kings falling across the line to win by a point and it could have been a New Zealand win if Tom Abercrombie’s last shot had made it. Sydney have now won their last 4 against the Breakers and sit on top of the ladder, and the Breakers have won 4 of their last 5.

Bogut looks to have a big influence on this match in the same way he did in the previous match up with 23 points. He will certainly have his hands full with Shawn Long who has the impressive figures of 25.8 PPG 12.8 RPG and 2.5 BPG in the last 4 matches.

The interesting fact with this game is New Zealand averages 93.3 PPG against the rest of the league and just 78.3 PPG against Sydney.  Expect a reversion to the mean here and a strong performance from the Breakers.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New Zealand at 2.60 or better

Perth v Cairns

These two met a new years eve, back in Round 11 and Perth ran out 15 point winners in Cairns, and that was without Bryce Cotton.

Perth have beaten Cairns three times already this year by a total of 42, but the Wildcats have lost 6 of their last 8 but that hasn’t been helped by the fact their home court has been unavailable due to the Hopman Cup.

In their recent form turnaround, the Taipans have found some defensive pressure only allowing 83 PPG against the Bullets and the Kings, compared to 94.4 PPG in the previous 14 games.

Terrico White stepped up in the absence of Cotton, and has been outstanding in the last 2 games and looks set to continue here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth at 1.20 or better

Illawarra vs Adelaide

This looks to be a very even match up on paper, as the last time these two teams met there was only a point the difference in favour of the Hawks. This was largely due to a very poor 12 point last quarter from the 36ers.

Last week Adelaide made life very difficult for themselves by going down by 8 to New Zealand. Illawarra on the other hand had a mini resurgence by beating the top of the ladder Kings by 7.

The market is telling the story here with this game, with it virtually being pick with a light adjustment for home court and recent form. These are 2 teams that are particularly inconsistent at this point of the season.

The key player here will be Sobey for the 36ers who leads the highest scoring offence in the league and Dave Andersen for the Hawks who shut down Bogut last week.

With Illawarra still in the hunt for a playoff spot and coming off a big win, we’ll take them to keep their momemtum going.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Illawarra to Win for 1 unit

Illawarra vs Sydney

These 2 met back in round 9 where it was a contest until half time before then Kings went on a 44 to 24 tear and killed the Hawks. Lisch, Kickert and Newley went 10 from 16 from 3 point range and Bogut pulled down 11 defensive rebounds, in a complete performance from the Kings.

The Kings now sit on top of the table, but only just. They’re percentage in front of Perth and half a game ahead of Melbourne. They play a couple of easier games before a very tough run home against fellow contenders.

The Hawks however, would have to win 8 of their last 11 games to make the play offs and given their current form that would be highly unlikely.

The highlight of this game will be the match up between Dave Andersen and Bogut. The worry for the Hawks is that Bogut kills the Hawks. He averages 15.5 points, 14.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks against Illawarra. Andersen has rallied in the last 2 games playing all 40 minutes in both games and has even shot  from 9 from 3. The worry is there will be very little help for him.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane at $1.5 or better

Adelaide v New Zealand

These 2 met just 5 days ago in the first of 2 games here in Adelaide, with the 36’ers taking control of the match after the 1st quarter, winning 109 to 98.

It was an excellent display from both Johnson 28 and Sobey 21. An even performance from New Zealand with Ili 19, Weeks 18 and Delany 18.

This is a real opportunity for Adelaide to cement their play off spot after Brisbane completely crapped the bed last night going down by 29 points to the lowly Taipans.

A win here will see the 36er’s stay with a game of Melbourne and a game clear of Brisbane. With an offence that scores 95.6 PPG they should once again overwhelm the Breakers.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane at $1.5 or better

Cairns v Brisbane

These two last played in round 1 when Brisbane were home after beating New Zealand in New Zealand and Cairns were at full health. Cairns won 88 to 70 but the key stat here was Brisbane were 6 from 30 from 3pt range. Melo Trimble was the star for Cairns with 32.

Fast forward to now, it was Cairns one and only win for the season, and they have now lost 14 in a row. Brisbane have won 5 of their last 7 and are in a very tight tussle with Adelaide for the 4th play off spot.

There is no other way to spin this, this is a must win for Brisbane. Their motivation and focus should be at a peak. They need to keep winning to hold on to the 4 spot on the ladder. Even on the road, all the metrics point to a Brisbane victory here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane at $1.5 or better

Cairns v Perth

The last time these two met was in round 8 and that was a 22 point win to the Wildcats. The worrying thing for the the Wildcats is, they’re lost 5 of their last 6 since then, including being beaten by Illawarra. Cairns simply can’t beat anyone.

Some key injury news in this game is the absence of Bryce Cotton, who has a hamstring injury and didn’t fly to Cairns. This makes it a very tough spot for punters. Perth are sadly out of form and Cairns were never in form so im happy to leave this one alone.

Illawara v Brisbane

The last time these 2 teams met back in round 7 Brisbane flogged Illawarra by 19 with Lamar Patterson doing most of the damage with 24 points.

Brisbane losing to Sydney looks to be one of the most critical games of the season as far as playoff implications are concerned, as it now leaves them a game behind Adelaide in 5th spot on the table.

The key match up here is Blanchfield vs Patterson. Blanchfield has averaged 6.5 PPG in the 2 games against Brisbane this season which really does show how great a 2 way player Patterson is.

To be able to defend like that at one end and still have the output on offence is highly sort after. Blanchfield is a much better player at home however so Patterson will need to bring it.

This is a huge chance for Brisbane to not only keep the pressure on Adelaide for the spot in the play offs, but all but kill off Illawarra’s.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane at 1.65 or better.

Adelaide v New Zealand

Adelaide scored 103 points to beat Melbourne by 2 in the open air classic on Boxing Day. It was a real team performance with Wiley and Moore getting 18 points, Conger 15 and Sobey 13.

Last week New Zealand thrashed Illawarra by 17. Adelaide are on the short back up having played on Wednesday for todays TV game. They are locked in a battle with Brisbane for the 4th Play Off spot.

Adelaide continue to be the highest scoring team in the comp with 94.8 PPG while New Zealand can only must 88.7 PPG. Adelaide will certainly have to maintain their focus on defence as they are currently giving up a league worst 94 PAPG.

New Zealand have a average defence too, allowing 88.9 PAPG so they will have their work cut out to try and restrict the 36ers.

Adelaide have great momentum at the moment and will look to solidify their play off spot at home. The only worry is the short back up.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Adelaide at 1.40 or better.

Melbourne v Adelaide

One of the highlights of the season tonight, with the open air game in Melbourne that is quickly becoming a tradition. A great point of difference and perfectly placed in the calendar, kudos to Larry Kestleman and the NBL.

Melbourne are coming off a 5 point win over the 2nd placed Sydney Kings and sit on top of the ladder. Adelaide are coming off a win over the hapless Cairns Taipans, and sit in 5th place one game out of the finals. This is the first meeting between the teams for the season.

Melbourne are a very balanced team with plenty of star power. Casper Ware averages 18.6 PPG 4th in the league while Josh Boone averages 8 Rebounds 4th in the league and they have the outside threat of CG43 Chris Goulding. Adelaide on the other hand are the highest scoring team in the comp with 94.2 PPG (no other team over 90) but also have the worst defence giving up 93.5 PAPG.

United will be looking to put a buffer behind them on top of the ladder and with the huge home crowd behind them, it’s hard to see anything other than a United win.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Back Melbourne 1.4 or better.

 Adelaide v Cairns

These two met back in Round 7 where Adelaide won by 14. Adelaide were very stiff getting beaten by a point last week to Illawarra, while Cairns lost their tenth game in a row on Thursday night going down to Sydney by 11.

Adelaide are the highest scoring team in the comp averaging 94.7 PPG but they lack defence giving up 94.4 PAPG. Cairns have only had one shining light this season, Melo Trimble, and he was down on production on Thursday night, but he had to cop a double team for a fair amount of that match. He will need to produce more here for the snakes to be a chance.

Adelaide have to keep winning as they’re now 2 games behind Brisbane on the ladder, and would really lose play off touch if they drop this. Also Cairns are hopeless.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Adelaide at $1.25 or better

Brisbane v Perth

The Bullets will be looking to bounce back this week after being early held by 10 by the Adelaide 36er’s last week, while the ladder leaders Perth were completely out of sorts with a buzzer beater loss to Sydney in Perth by 1, before coming to Melbourne and being played off the court by United who won by 17. The last time these two took on each other was Round 5 and Perth won by just 3.

Even after losing twice last weekend, Perth still have the second best defence in the comp, only allowing 83.9 PAPG whilst having the second best offence scoring 90.8 PPG. The offence is lead by league leader Bryce Cotton who averages 23 PPG. Brisbane have a 7-7 record and their 89.6 PPG and 89.3 PAPG really show they are almost exactly an average team.

Brisbane are at home and will look to consolidate their spot in the play offs, but they couldn’t have found a worse time to be coming up against the Wildcats coming off back to back loses. Perth will want to keep their buffer at the top of the table.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth at $1.75 or better

Cairns Taipans v Sydney Kings

The last time these two teams met was Round 3 with the Kings taking care of the Taipans 98 to 90, and this was where the divergence on trajectory of the 2 teams seasons took place. Cairns have lost every game since and Sydney have won 8 of the 10 games they’ve played.

Cairns really have only one shining light and that’s Melo Trimble. The match up with Jerome Randle will be one to watch. They are the second and third highest scorers in the league averaging 22.1 and 19.4 PPG respectively.

This game however will be won with defence, with Cairns having the worst D in the league, giving up 93.9 per game and Sydney at just 83.3. With Sydney keeping Illawarra last week to less than 10 offensive rebounds, there looks to be only one result.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney Kings at $1.33 or better

Perth vs Sydney

The last time these two teams met was one of only two losses for the year for the Wildcats going down to the Kings by 5 points. That was without Bryce Cotton would be the league MVP at this stage of the season.

This will be a high quality match up, with Perth looking to put further space at the top of ladder behind them and try and edge closer to home court in the play offs, and for the Kings they will look to continue their red hot form having won 7 of their last 9 but not having won in Perth since 2008.

This looks to be a classic battle of offence and defence, with Perth averaging 92.3 compared to 87.5 for the Kings. Both sides play very good defence with Perth leading the league with 82.9 points against and Sydney next best with 83.5 points against.

Bryce Cotton is a huge inclusion, and when you add him to a well drilled outfit that execute their offence so well and with a solid home court advantage  it’s hard to see the Wildcats getting beaten here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth $1.40 or above

Brisbane vs Adelaide

Brisbane are coming off a winning double last round over Melbourne United, including winning by 16 in the latest match, whilst Adelaide had a heartbreaking 1 point defeat to Illawarra

The Bullets have definitely got their defence working in the last few weeks and now have the 3rd best points allowed in the league with 88.4 but they need to lift their scoring only collecting  89.5 PPG. Adelaide have a negative differential scoring 94.2 PPG but conceding 94.6 points against.

Brisbane had a very even spread of contributors in the last game and will look for that to continue here with a slight increase in output from Cadee they look the likely winners against an Adelaide team which rely heavily on Nathan Sobey .

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane $1.70 or above

Illawarra vs Sydney

Sydney fly back from Perth on Friday night after their buzzer beater win against the league leaders and continue their hot vein of form. They now look like they are finally achieving their pre season power rating. Illawarra come off 2 wins last week against Cairns by 11 points and by a single point over Adelaide, who were impressive yesterday beating the inform Bullets by 10.

A contrast of 2 styles here, with Sydney being the second-best defensive team in the comp with 84.6 PAPG and Illawarra who are the worst in the comp with 95.2 PAPG. Illawarra have the slight advantage on offence with 90.7 PPG compared to the Kings 88.3, but that looks to come down here for the Hawks as they go up against Bogut and Co.

Bogut was statistically quiet on Friday night, 6 Points, 6 Rebounds and after the Twitter blue he had with Corey ‘Homicide’ Williams, you expect a big game from him today. Also the good from of Kevin Lisch and Jerome Randle will make it very hard for the Hawks to stop the scoring. Illawarra have a very even spread of blue collar contributors, and they will need to get their full court press working effectively to stop the Kings.

The Kings are in a finals position and they will look to keep the momentum going here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney $1.60 or above

Cairns vs New Zealand

Battle of the 2 cellar dwellers here. The Breakers were beaten by a point by Sydney last round and Cairns were beaten at home by the 3rd last team in Illawarra by 11.

Very little to get excited about in this match with the 2 worst offences coming together, Breakers 88.1 PPG, Taipans 84.9 PPG, and their defences are much better Breakers 90.6 PAPG and the Taipans 94.4 PAPG.

The question you have to really ask yourself here is, do I have that little respect for money that I want to back New Zealand as road favourites or do I want to back the God awful Taipans at home as an underdog? The answer is no to both.

You are not required to watch this game! No Bet.

Sydney vs Perth

In the preseason this match would’ve been seen as a potential Grand Final preview, but for the unexpected reason, that looks way off here. The Wildcats are absolutely flying at the minute. They sit atop the ladder, having only lost one game all season, and are scoring 94 PPG and only allowing 84.5 PPG, with a gap more than double any other team in the comp.

The Kings on the other hand were seen to be the pre season favourites, with the addition of Bogut, and he has certainly helped them on the defensive end, with Sydney only allowing 86.2 PPG, however they are only scoring 90.4 PPG and this has been the area that has let them down.

Sydney went down last week in an all time classic against Melbourne by 2 points and the Wildcats took care of the Breakers twice. Perth have the clear scoring advantage, with Bryce Cotton leading the league with 24.2 PPG and surrounded by a great supporting cast. The Kings rely too heavily on Jerome Randal with 21.5 PPG and the it drops right off with Lisch averaging 15.1.

Sound the wrong favourite klaxon here folks, because there is no way the Kings should be favs based on recent form. Even if Bryce Cotton doesn’t play tonight being under an injury cloud, im happy to take the value on Perth here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth $1.85 or above

Cairns vs Illawarra

Very hard to get inspired by this meeting of the two worst teams in the comp. Both teams beat the Adelaide 36er’s last week, and both would love back to back wins.

Cairns have been inept on offence, only averaging 86.4 PPG, whilst conceding 94.3 PPG and the Hawks have been slightly better on offence scoring 90.6 PPG but their putrid defence has allowed the league worst 97.1 PPG.

The real shining light for Cairns this season has been Melo Trimble. He’s averaging 24 PPG and is an absolute joy to watch but has no real support around him. Illawarra has no real stand out on offence and that has held them back this year,

Cairns are at home but the don’t inspire much confidence, and Illawarra have been very average over the last couple of weeks.

Betting Strategy

No Bet.

Brisbane VS Illawarra

This match is the definition of a do or die battle. Both teams have struggled in recent times and losing this match really will really put the play offs out of the picture for the loser.

Brisbane have been decent lately, hanging tough with Melbourne last week before the class took over. Illawarra on the other hand got blown apart by Adelaide to the tune of 25 points last week, and they are also in the look ahead situation with Adelaide back on deck on Sunday.

The Bullets have been on a 3 game losing streak but have a 16 day break after this game, so will want to go on the break with some confidence and they’re in front of their home fans.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane $1.6 or better

New Zealand VS Perth

The greatest rivalry of the past decade in the NBL is renewed here. They traded championships with Perth winning 2010,14,16&17, with New Zealand winning 2011,12,13&15. Perth currently sit on top of the ladder and have only dropped one game so far for the season. They have done this by having both the best offence 93.9 points and the best defence only allowing 83.3.

New Zealand have been a muddling team only scoring 89.9 PPG while allowing 91.9. There is a key stat here that is overly effecting the price in the match. New Zealand have won their last 5 at home and Perth have only ever won at Spark Arena once, and that was back in 2013. Perth are rolling at the minute and there is no way they shouldn’t be favourites

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth $1.85 or Better

Adelaide VS Cairns

Cairns super star Melo Trimble was probably responsible for the play of the season last week, when he pulled off the huge 4 point play in the Taipans narrow overtime loss to Perth at Home. Adelaide are full of confidence after crushing Illawarra by 25, and now play in front of their home crowd.

The key battle in this match will be the point guard battle between Trimble and Nathan Sobey, who had a triple double the last time these two teams played. If Sobey plays any where near that level here expect a comfortable 36ers Victory.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Adelaide $1.35 or better

New Zealand Breakers v Melbourne United

Both of these teams got out of jail last Sunday. The Breakers were saved by an Abercrombie jump shot late in the game to win by a point over the Bullets, however they should’ve never been in that position after leading by as many as 23 in the 2nd quarter.

For the Breakers to be competitive in this match, they will need a similar performance from Patrick Richard, who had 21 points including 6/11 from beyond the arch.

United were also 7 point winners on Sunday in a come from behind win over the Cairns Taipans. This was largely due to the huge performance of Casper Ware who had 34 points and 6 assists and set up the game winner.

Another performance of note was that of Mitch McCarron who had 16 points, and this helped the reigning champs start to look like title contenders again.

Melbourne look to be gathering momentum this season and look to have too much class for the Breakers, home court helps them but not enough to get them over the line

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne at $1.70 or better

Melbourne United v Brisbane Bullets

By the time Sunday comes around, United are going to be exhausted and this looks a perfect opportunity for the Bullets to capitalise.

Brisbane have been the surprise team this season, playing great team ball and if it wasn’t last second daggers from Tom Abercrombie and Bryce Cotton, they’d be 6-3.

United will be coming back from a grueling New Zealand trip and while they may have enough in the tank to just hold on for a win like they did against Cairns, the line looks really appealing here for the Bullets.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Bullets +6.5 for 2 units

Illawarra Hawks v Melbourne United

Another peculiar quirk of the fixture sees Round 5 open on Thursday night with the third meeting of these two teams already this season.

United have won both games, the first being the Quadruple Overtime classic in Round 1 and winning by 6 in Round 3, where the Hawks were as far as 22 behind before fighting back.

Sadly that has been the story of the season so far for the Hawks, having lapses during games, where they fall into a bad hole, but always fight back before coming up short.

That trend should continue here and even though the Hawks are at home, expect another United victory to follow up on their Cup Eve win over the Kings. No Goulding just means a boost to the price.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne United at $1.60 or better

New Zealand Breakers v Cairns Taipans

A couple of the league strugglers meet here, both desperate for a win. The Breakers were good in their last home game beating Adelaide by 20.

Contrast of 2 styles here, New Zealand are last in the league for scoring averaging 86.2 PPG while Cairns are the worst in the league in defending, conceding 92.2 PPG, but they have no problem scoring averaging 87.8 PPG.

It has been hard not to be impressed with Melo Trimble so far the season as he leads the league in points, and with a little bit of support from those around him, it could possibly lead to an upset.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cairns at $2.85 or better

Perth Wildcats v Brisbane Bullets

Brisbane have been flying in the last couple weeks, with a win against the Wildcats in Brisbane, then beating Adelaide both home and away.

The key to this game will be 3 point shooting. The Bullets have been on fire in this department, shooting 38.9% as a team. This has seen them put up scores of 100/108/93 in their last 3 games. They have made 41 more 3’s than any other team.

There looks to be a real opportunity here for the Bullets and with import Lamar Patterson getting his dog out of his hand luggage and spending a week practising with the team, they may be able to over the tough trip to Perth.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane at $3.50 or better

Melbourne United v Sydney Kings

It’s the match-up we’ve all been waiting for since the start of the season and we’re getting fantastic odds on the Sydney Kings here. United have been their usual selves on offence but on the other end, they’ve been poor.

The Kings are rolling now led by Andrew Bogut who is just bullying opposing centres. Boone is good enough to keep him honest but if Bogut gets involved early as a facilitator, he won’t be able to stay close to the rim.

The gamble to play Chris Goulding against the Taipans didn’t pay off, only playing 5 minutes when they ended up winning by double digits. Even if he does play tonight, chasing around Kevin Lisch when not 100% is going to be a mammoth task.

Ware and Randle cancel each other out but i just can’t see United outperforming in all the other match-ups. Take the Kings.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney Kings to Win for 3 Units

Brisbane Bullets v Adelaide 36ers

It’s a bit difficult to get a read on the Bullets at the moment. They’re 2-3 yet the two wins came against NZ on the road and Perth at home, both teams who are in the second tier behind the Sydney Kings.

Their problem is scoring, averaging 81 a game which is by far the lowest in the league and I expect the 36ers to be too strong here. They won’t have an import sorted before the game and even though Alonzo Gee provided nothing offensively, he’s still a loss on the other end.

The 36ers have been a little up and down but I just can’t see the Bullets scoring enough to keep it close. The line looks good.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Adelaide 36ers -3.5 for 2 Units

Sydney Kings v Illawarra Hawks

The Hawks want to be the team that dominates the paint and they’re going to have their work cut out against the Kings who are building very nicely after a slow start.

The Taipans took the Kings to OT last week off the back of 17 second chance points but I can’t see the Kings letting that happen here against the Hawks. They were down 20 to United on Monday and only got back into the game off fatigue.

The Hawks struggled to guard Melbourne with half the offensive firepower the Kings will have here. I expect them led by their stellar back court to make it three wins in a row here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney Kings -5.5 for 1 Unit

Brisbane Bullets v Perth Wildcats

Round three opens up on Thursday night with the Perth Wildcats travelling across country to take on the Brisbane Bullets. Perth remain undefeated and sit atop the ladder with three wins, whilst Brisbane has only one win, catching New Zealand off guard to start the season.

Brisbane somehow need to find 15 points to turn around the margin that Perth beat them by last week.

Bryce Cotton was the star again for the Cats with 28 points, 4 Assists and 3 Rebounds and was backed up by Nick Kay 16 Points 10 Rebounds and Martin scoring all his 12 points from beyond the Arc.

Perth have shot to the top of my power ratings and even though this game is on the road, it would be a major surprise to see the Bullets win this. It’s not always wise to tip road favourites but this looks a great spot for Perth.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth Wildcats at $1.45 or above

Cairns Taipans v Adelaide 36ers

This looks to be a very even match up. Cairns have had some fluctuations in their form so far, whilst Adelaide have been very solid and nearly pinched last Sundays game against Melbourne United on the road.

Adelaide are on the road again heading to Cairns but may be encouraged by Illawarra beating the Taipans by 11 on the weekend.

This game looks very even and im happy to stay out here. No bet.

Adelaide 36ers v Sydney Kings

After an unbelievable Round 1 of the NBL, we bounce straight into Round 2 on Friday night with the Adelaide 36er’s hosting the much hyped Sydney Kings. Adelaide have owned the Kings recently, winning the last 10 meetings and 14 of the last 15.

They meet last week in Sydney in Bogut’s league debut, but it was one to forget for the big man, with an 94-83 loss. Bogut did however control the glass with 14 boards and 4 blocks.

It was a wonderful Blue Collar effort by the 36er’s who had great contribution’s from Johnson, Sobey, Wiley and Drmic, while the Kings were lead by Randle with 28 points.

We were left with some real questions about the Kings. Can Gaze coach? Can Bogut score? Are there enough pieces around Randle? The market seems to still have a fair bit of hype built into it.

That leads to a great opportunity in this game. There is no way known the Kings should be favourites on the road. When you mix the recent form, Sydney still coming together and gelling a team and the Adelaide home crowd, this looks a great spot for the 36er’s

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Adelaide at $1.80 or above

Illawara Hawks v Melbourne United

Melbourne United performed well in North America, with narrow loses to both the Philadelphia 76er’s before running out of gas against the Toronto Raptors. United have a very settled line up, who started slowly last season but they look to have overcome any chemistry issues, that slowed their roll at the start of last season.

Illawarra have added a few pieces for this season and that makes them very interesting. They added Dave Andersen as well as Todd Blanchfield and Cedric Jackson from Melbourne.

The key battle here will be on the glass. Josh Boone averages 9.4 Rebounds per game, so AJ Ogilvy who averages 7.7 rebounds per game will need to set up to try and control the game. The area that United have the edge is 3 point shooting, with Chris Goulding leading the way.

With a more NBA emphasis on coaching and a focus on the three ball, this gives them a clear edge.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne United at $1.50 or above

New Zealand Breakers v Brisbane Bullets

The most anticipated NBL season in living memory kicks of tonight, across the ditch.

Coming off the back of a hugely successful pre-season tournament in the USA against NBA opposition, interest in tonight’s double header will be enormous.

The Breakers enjoy a huge home court advantage and with the loud fans behind them and Tom Abercrombie just 16 points away from the all time scoring record, this looks a great spot to start the season.

The Bullets should improve this season but we can’t see them beating New Zealand at home.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New Zealand Breakers at $1.40+

Adelaide 36ers v Perth Wildcats

Clash of traditional rivals, who renew hostilities after the 36er’s beat the Wildcats by a single point in last years semi-final.

A lot has been made of Perth losing to the Utah Jazz by 58 points. However, few conversations acknowledge that they pushed another NBA franchise, the Denver Nuggets, and only lost by eight points.

Bryce Cotton and the Perth Wildcats look value here and we’re backing them at odds of $2.20 and above.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Perth Wildcats at $2.20+

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