We have expert betting predictions for first round of playoffs featuring the Wildcats vs Hawks and United vs Phoenix.
Both semifinal series come down to Game 3, which starts on Monday and concludes on Tuesday.
The Wildcats host the Hawks after they have traded road wins. United hosts the Phoenix, which bounced back and forced the premiership favourites to a do-or-die game.
NBL Playoffs Round 3 Predictions
Perth Wildcats vs Illawarra Hawks @ RAC Arena
The Perth Wildcats never go away despite facing elimination in Illawarra. They scored a pivotal 79-71 win on the road in Game 2 to force a Game Three, which should be an exciting clash.
Despite not having NBL’s leading scorer Bryce Cotton on the floor, the Wildcats leaned on their defence to produce the goods. It was a terrific display and unheralded hero DP Travers came up with the goods.
Travers hasn’t been a big part of the offence for the Wildcats this season, but someone needed to step up and it was Travers, who dropped an important 12 points behind John Mooney’s 18.
Illawarra looked outstanding when beating Perth at RAC Arena in Game 1. The 74-72 win was full of big moments, but the scoring levels have gone down in the playoffs, which is a concern.
The Hawks are a team that needs to see the ball going in the bucket. Scoring totals of 74 and 71 won’t get it done often against the Wildcats, and we’re worried about their chances of winning back-to-back road games in Perth.
Bookmakers have the Wildcats as $1.64 favourites and we’re not surprised. The crowd will be roaring and the Wildcats’ support players will likely step up in the absence of Cotton.
Take the Wildcats to score a gutsy victory at $1.64. For more value, we suggest taking the Wildcats halftime/fulltime at $2.23. It gives punters more value and we think they will come out of the gates humming.
Bet: Perth Wildcats to win @ $1.64 – Bet @ Sportsbet
Melbourne United vs S.E. Melbourne Phoenix @ Qudos Bank Arena
It was a strong fightback victory for the Phoenix to force a Game 3. The 90-79 win put pay to United, which was looking to secure a spot in the finals after scoring a comfortable win in the opening game.
The standout player was Kiefer Sykes, who has been in excellent form since returning from injury. He dropped 26 points to tie with Mitch Creek, who has also had an interrupted season but he came up big when it counted.
If S.E. Melbourne can have another big scoring night, they are good enough to score an upset. However, winning consecutive games against United is easier said than done.
The likes of Chris Goulding and Scotty Hopson didn’t play well in Game 2, but we expect them to improve considerably on Tuesday night.
Despite finishing on the top of the table, Melbourne doesn’t get the benefit of home court. Both teams in this series are from Melbourne, but due to Covid, the series has been played in Sydney.
It hasn’t helped United, but bookmakers should have them favourites for this game and we’re expecting a bounce-back victory.
They have too much class for Phoenix, which is unlikely to play as well as they did on Sunday.
Bet: Melbourne United to win – Bet @ Sportsbet
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.