2021 NBL Grand Final Series Game 1 – Tips, Predictions & Odds

We have expert betting predictions for the NBL finals series between the Perth Wildcats and Melbourne United.

Melbourne is the red-hot favourite to take the series and add another title to its record. However, Perth plays the first two games at home and that is an advantage.

It should be a terrific series and we look at which team will come out ahead.


All odds are with Sportsbet – our No. 1 rated bookmaker. You can join Sportsbet by clicking HERE.


NBL Grand Final Series Game 1 Predictions

Perth Wildcats vs Melbourne United Prediction

There is a big discrepancy in the market and the Perth Wildcats are getting no respect from bookmakers.

Melbourne United is $1.16 to win the NBL title and the Wildcats are $5. That’s the biggest difference you will ever see in a finals series and it’s all down to the unavailability of MVP Bryce Cotton.

The American will play no part in the finals, but that doesn’t mean Perth can’t be competitive, especially with the first two games being played at RAC Arena.

The Wildcats were good enough to get past Illawarra in the semifinals despite losing Game 1. That was a gritty series win and it holds them in good stead for this weekend’s games.

Melbourne was also forced to go the distance against S.E. Melbourne. It battled back from a Game 3 deficit to progress and it could be enough to galvanise this squad.

United won’t want to give the Wildcats an early lead in any game over the next week. Perth are good front runners and it has the defence needed to hold off a late charge. That was shown against the Hawks and we think the Wildcats deserve more respect from bookies.

Friday’s Game 1 is a much closer betting market. United is the $1.62 favourite, which doesn’t match up with the series odds. Perth is a $2.31 underdog, which isn’t a bad price with home court advantage.

The Wildcats might be without their best player, but that was the case against a good shooting team in Illawarra. Melbourne is a harder opponent, but not to the point where we wouldn’t entertain Perth’s chances of taking a 1-0 lead.

John Mooney is a rebounding machine and the former Notre Dame alumni is producing the goods on a consistent basis. He’s not as explosive as Cotton, but Perth is a team that has always relied on systems, so losing one player isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Melbourne has been the best team all season, but it showed frailties against the Phoenix and they could be exploited. It’s all about containing Jock Landale and ensuring Chris Goulding doesn’t get his confidence levels up.

United is a streaky team, but Perth plays excellent defence. It’s good enough to contain the superstars for United and pull off an incredible upset.

We wouldn’t recommend taking the $1.15 for United to win the NBL premiership. It’s too short and the value is with Perth at $5, who could take a 1-0 lead on Friday.

Look for the Wildcats to come out humming and cause one of the biggest betting upsets in NBL history.

Bet: Perth Wildcats to win @ $5Bet @ Sportsbet


All odds are with Sportsbet – our No. 1 rated bookmaker. You can join Sportsbet by clicking HERE.

Daryl Curnow
About the Author: Daryl Curnow

After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NRL, AFL, NBA, Rugby, NFL, and US college sports. Daryl’s tips have been featured on various websites around the world before joining the GoBet team. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.

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