NBL fans are getting treated to some great action this week and the results could well secure the playoff positions.
Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth look safe to make the playoffs, but the Breakers will need to hold off the Hawks to secure their spot inside the top four.
The Hawks and Breakers play twice this week in what will be a crucial series and we haven’t forgotten about the Perth vs. Adelaide two-game series.
Punters have been licking their lips for this round for some time and we’ve found our best tips for all six games.
7:30pm Illawarra Hawks vs. New Zealand Breakers @ WIN Entertainment Centre
The Hawks made ground on the Breakers with their win over the Taipans last week, whereas the Breakers suffered another loss to the Wildcats.
Illawarra needed the win to keep within touching distance of the fourth playoff position, currently held by the Breakers, which are three wins ahead.
This Friday’s game could ultimately decide which team carries momentum for the rest of the season and bookmakers have the Hawks as favourites.
Expectations were high for the Hawks to begin the season, but they haven’t quite found their offensive rhythm. The Breakers, on the other hand, looked good early on, but have faltered in recent weeks.
This is a must-win game for the Hawks, but we’re going to stick with the better side.
Betting tip: Breakers to win @ $2.18 (BET NOW)
Breakers by 2
9:30pm Perth Wildcats vs. Adelaide 36ers @ Perth Arena
The Wildcats scored a desperate win over the Breakers last week to restore some normalcy in the camp.
Amidst a losing streak, the Wildcats were able to thrash the Breakers 90-73 and the confidence levels should be up now as they prepare to face the dynamic 36ers.
Adelaide could return to the top of the ladder with a win over the Wildcats this Friday night, but they should have already been there. The loss to Brisbane last week was costly, but it’s unlikely to have dented their confidence.
They play with supreme confidence and coach Joey Wright has finally figured out what makes this team click. Good play from the senior players, including Daniel Johnson, is helping the 36ers improve on their overall performance.
The real test comes against the Wildcats, but they’re not as formidable at home as they have been in previous seasons.
Betting tip: 36ers to win @ $2.55 (BET NOW)
36ers by 3
5:30pm Melbourne United vs. Brisbane Bullets @ Hisense Arena
Two wins from two games last week has given Melbourne United all the confidence they’ll need to make a run for the top playoff spot.
Having looked well below par throughout most of the season, United has stormed to the top of the ladder with 16 wins from 23 games and they’re now firm favourites for the title.
It’s come on the back of every player doing their job and they are going to be a tough team to stop now that the confidence is up. Caspar Ware and Chris Goulding are firing on all cylinders and the Bullets are next in line.
The Bullets have a capable team on their day and they scored a quality win over Adelaide last week, but consistency isn’t their strength and United should be taking this one.
Betting tip: United –7.5 @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
United by 12
7:30pm Cairns Taipans vs. Sydney Kings @ Cairns Convention Centre
The Taipans have a slim chance of making the playoffs and a win against the Kings this week is a must.
Cairns didn’t do themselves any favours when losing to the Hawks last week 88-78, considering the Hawks are equal on points with the Taipans.
Facing the Kings could pose a problem this week as the Kings have shown glimpses of good form towards the end of the season.
Losing 76-93 to United last week was a step back for the Kings, but they looked good beating Perth twice prior to that and they’re a team that can turn it on at the flick of a switch.
This is a close game on paper and the Kings could play the role of the spoiler here.
Betting tip: Kings to win @ $2.24 (BET NOW)
Kings by 1
1:00pm New Zealand Breakers vs. Illawarra Hawks @ Spark Arena
We’re predicting the Breakers to win game one of this series on Friday, so we’ll stick with the home side on this occasion.
The Breakers have played well at Spark Arena this season and the Auckland crowd will be eager to see their team play some good basketball.
Bookmakers have New Zealand as the $1.50 favourites prior to Friday’s game, but that should shorten if our predictions come true.
The Hawks struggle away from home and that trend should continue here.
Betting tip: Breakers to win @ $1.50 (BET NOW)
Breakers by 9
3:00pm Adelaide 36ers vs. Perth Wildcats @ Titanium Security Centre
Adelaide and Perth play their second game of the weekend.
Bookmakers have Perth as the favourites for the first game, but the roles have been reversed for Sunday’s game.
Adelaide are going to be tough to beat in both games and we’re confident that the home side will take the win on this occasion.
Betting tip: 36ers –3.5 @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
36ers by 8