It all comes down to the finals for the NBL championship 2019, where Melbourne United and Perth Wildcats square off for a five-game series.
Both teams scored 2-0 series wins in the semifinals over the Sydney Kings and Brisbane Bullets respectively. They now meet in a best-of-five series which tips off this Friday night in Perth, which gets the benefit of hosting a potential three home games.
We have NBL finals tips for the series winner and although our picks for the 2019 Finals MVP.
2018/19 NBL Finals tips and form
United and Wildcats finished the regular season with identical win/loss records but Perth finished higher on the ladder and subsequently host the first game at home.
Getting off to a winning start with be imperative for the Wildcats, which breezed past the Bullets last week but were pushed to within five points in Game 2. That win was enough to get them home and with a relatively healthy squad, everything is in place to beat United.
That’s going to be easier said than done, however, as United made the Kings look second rate. That was a Kings side which had the like of Andrew Bogut and Jerome Randle in the team. They didn’t stand a chance against the deadly shooting of Casper Ware and Chris Goulding, who combined for 53 points last weekend to win 2-0.
United are almost impossible to beat when those two stars are shooting lights out. Opposing teams also have to guard Josh Boone in the paint and when he’s off the court, New Zealand international Alex Pledger comes on. It’s a formidable line up for United, which continues to bring the excitement.
They’re also the defending champions from last season. Having that experience helps but finals experience is something Perth isn’t lacking. Damian Martin has oodles of experience and Bryce Cotton seemingly doesn’t feel pressure. They are the two key players offensively and defensively for the Wildcats and both will need to play well to win this series.
United will need to win at least one game in Perth to take home a second consecutive title and that’s not going to be easy, but this United team was the favourite for most of the season and rightfully so.
They play as a team and although we value the 22.5 points per game gives the Perth Wildcats, the likes of Ware and Goulding seemingly shoot well when they have to. That often comes in the finals and considering they score in Game 5 last season, they won’t worry about losing Game 1 if that situation arises on Friday night.
Punters are getting better than even money for United and that’s good value.
Tip: Melbourne United to win @ $2.05 – Bet Now
2019 NBL Finals MVP tips
It looks a two-horse race between imports Bryce Cotton and Caspar Ware. Both point guards are the best offensive players in the NBL and they should be well-liked by MVP selectors when the series is all said and done.
The winner will likely come from the winning team and given that we think Melbourne will take out the honours, we’re going with Caspar Ware to win at $2.50. Ware is an explosive talent who likes to jack up three-point shots at any given time. They’re rarely poor shots and that’s why he’s such an economical shooter.
He’s also one of the best two-way players in the NBL. His defensive skills at the point guard position don’t go unnoticed and they shouldn’t be by the MVP voters.
A play at odds could be Josh Boone, who schooled Andrew Bogut in the first game of the semifinals last week. Boone is one of the better interior players in the NBL and although the MVP usually goes to the high-scoring types, it could be time for a change.
If Boone has a couple of big games where he does a double-double, the voters could give the honour to United’s big man down in the paint.
MVP betting can be a contentious call and not everyone agrees with the results, but going with Caspar Ware looks a good bet and the odds on offer are generous compared to that of the $2.10 on offer for Bryce Cotton.
Betting tip: Caspar Ware to win at $2.50 – Bet Now