Round 12 of the NBL starts on Boxing day when Melbourne United host the Brisbane Bullets.
This is a vital round for many of the teams as there is currently only two wins separating third place from sixth place.
Illawarra, Cairns and Melbourne all play twice throughout the week, so expect to see plenty of movement on the NBL ladder.
7:30pm Melbourne United vs. Brisbane Bullets
Punters are still having a tough time trusting Melbourne United and we don’t blame them.
United currently sit in third position with nine wins and six losses, which at face value isn’t too bad, but some of their losses have been extremely poor and this is from a team which was expected to win the competition this season.
The 99-91 win over Adelaide last week showed punters what they’re capable of and it was good to see, especially considering they were missing the injured Casey Prather from the line-up.
United face the Bullets on Boxing day, which went on a good mid-season run before losing to the Kings on Saturday night.
Brisbane have worked their way to a 7-9 record and they’re definitely playing better ball in December. They are the underdogs away from home, which was expected, but they’re capable on their day.
Betting tip: United –5.5 @ $1.85 (BET NOW)
United by 7
7:30pm Illawarra Hawks vs. Cairns Taipans
Both the Hawks and the Taipans are coming off impressive Round 11 victories, which should set up for a mouthwatering clash.
The Hawks caused the biggest upset of the season when downing the Perth Wildcats 96-84 in Perth. Teams don’t travel to Perth and score a double-digit win often, so it was credit to the club for stepping up to the mark.
Momentum is with the Hawks and confidence with key with this unit, but it won’t be an easy victory against the Taipans this Thursday.
The Taipans are typically not a confidence side away from home, but they threw that book out the window when beating the 36ers 94-75 in a thrashing on Sunday.
Captain Cam Gliddon led the way with 27 points and another performance like that would take the Taipans close of pulling off the upset, but we’ll stick with the home side on this occasion.
Betting tip: Hawks to win (BET NOW)
Hawks by 6
7:30pm Adelaide 36ers vs. New Zealand Breakers
If Adelaide coach Joey Wright had any hair, he’d be pulling it out.
The 36ers have looked like potential premiership winners at times this season, but on other occasions they have looked one of the worst clubs in the comp.
Trying to bounce back from a 75-94 home defeat against Cairns, the 36ers will need to find the same form which saw them turn around a nine-point fourth quarter deficit against the Breakers to win by 15 points in Round 10.
Punters thought that amazing comeback victory could help spur this team into the playoffs, but they have lost two games on the bounce since as they prepare to play those same Breakers on Friday.
The Breakers lead the competition and despite some recent losses to the likes of Adelaide and Brisbane, they have stayed relatively consistent throughout the season.
They are a solid unit across the court, especially with the American imports. Thomas Abercrombie and Alex Pledger are also playing well and that makes the Breakers tough to beat.
This should be a close game, but we’ll side with the revenge factor for the Breakers.
Betting tip: Breakers to win (BET NOW)
Breakers by 8
5:30pm Sydney Kings vs. Melbourne United
This is a tough game to call without knowing how United will play on Boxing day, but the Kings deserve some respect after their win last week.
Sitting on the bottom of the table with five wins and 13 losses, the Kings are unlikely to be making the playoffs unless they go on a lengthy winning streak.
That streak is currently at one after beating the Brisbane Bullets last week and scoring 101 points will give any team confidence and it came away from home against a team that was rolling.
Scoring upset wins will need to be a frequent occurrence for the Kings because bookmakers won’t give them much respect. The odds aren’t out for this game yet, but we’re expecting United to be firm favourites if they win on Tuesday and if United want to win this season, a victory against the Kings is needed.
Betting tip: United to win (BET NOW)
United by 5
3:00pm Illawarra Hawks vs. Brisbane Bullets
The Hawks play their second home game of Round 12 and the Bullets play their second road game of the round.
The odds for this game will be largely dependent on how both teams play earlier in the week, but the advantage goes to the Hawks at present.
They have been impressive at home this season and in beating the Wildcats in Perth last week. That win will give them the kick-start they needed this season and we’re predicting a mid-season run for the home team.
Bullets’ punters might get value odds for this game as they’re likely to lose to United earlier in the week. That will force bookmakers to adjust the odds for this game and punters should get around the $2.60-$2.80 mark for the visiting team.
This could be a close game between two sides trending in the right direction.
Betting tip: Hawks to win (BET NOW)
Hawks by 2
7:00pm Cairns Taipans vs. Perth Wildcats
Cairns are one of the toughest teams to play at home and punters got a good look at their best stuff last week when beating Adelaide with ease.
Returning home is going to help the Queensland-based side which thrives on the home court and is playing a team which has been inconsistent this season.
The Wildcats play their first game of the round and it’s a long wait after getting hammered on their home court by the Hawks.
That was a rare home loss and it could make the franchise question themselves. Confidence isn’t something the Wildcats typically lack, but they will be smarting after that loss and that makes them dangerous in this situation.
We’ll give the Taipans’ defence some credit, but slowing down this Wildcats offence is easier said than done.
Betting tip: Wildcats to win (BET NOW)
Wildcats by 6