The regular season of the NBL has ended and now four teams will battle it out for the premiership over the next two weeks.
Top seed Melbourne United squares off against heated-rival New Zealand Breakers in what should be an exciting series between two impressive teams.
Adelaide 36ers will look to better the Perth Wildcats with home court advantage, but the Wildcats are one of the most successful teams in recent history and getting past them won’t be easy.
It promises to be a great Round 1 of the playoffs this Saturday and punters are gearing up for a big result.
5:30pm Melbourne United vs. New Zealand Breakers @ Hisense Arena
The United vs. Breakers rivalry is one of the best in the NBL and another chapter will be written this Saturday at Hisense Arena.
In years gone by the Breakers have had the wood over their Melbourne counterparts, but United has hit back this season by leading the NBL ladder heading into the playoffs.
Despite starting their season off on the wrong foot, United has become a better unit and they now look like the team to beat and the bookmakers agree.
The current $2 favourite to win the competition, United will be one step closer if the likes of Chris Goulding and Casper Ware can heat up against the Breakers on Saturday.
New Zealand haven’t been in the best late-season form and losing to Sydney 101-86 in Round 19 didn’t help their cause.
Also, not helping their cause is travelling back from South Korea, where many of the Breakers’ players were on national duty with the Tall Blacks, but it takes a brave punter to doubt the Breakers’ ability in the crunch.
They will be wanting to play well for the retiring Kirk Penney, who announced that he will walk away from the game last week.
Beating United at home is going to be tough for the Breakers, which will need to win at least one game in Melbourne and it doesn’t look likely to come this Saturday.
Stick with the home team at $1.29, but the Breakers are worth investing in at the points start option of +7.5.
Betting tip: Breakers +7.5 @ $1.86 (BET NOW)
United by 4
7:30pm Adelaide 36ers vs. Perth Wildcats @ Titanium Security Arena
The 36ers were in trouble mid-way through the season for Joey Wright’s men, but they rebounded well to finish second on the table with 18 wins from 28 games.
The Perth Wildcats started the season strong as per usual but we left scratching their heads after some disappointing results down the stretch.
Many of those results came away from home and that’s the challenge that presents itself this Saturday against the 36ers. Perth must limit the 36ers offensive prowess off missed shots and the best way to combat that is to make your shots.
Buoyed by a strong 89-61 win over the Taipans in Round 19, the Wildcats will call upon their customary defence to get past the 36ers in what should be a tough struggle for both teams.
Adelaide punters will be confident of getting a win after the form they showed towards the end of the season and bookmakers agree, having installed the home side as the $1.50 favourites.
With players such as Mitch Creek, Nathan Sobey and Shannon Shorter, expect the 36ers to come out aggressively and throw it down to the Wildcats in the opening quarter.
Betting tip: 36ers to win @ $1.50 (BET NOW)
36ers by 6
Be sure to check out our tips for games 2 and 3 of the NBL playoffs on March 5, 9 and 11.