The NBL ladder is congested at the top and it should make for an exciting tail-end of the season. Melbourne heads the table with 16 wins, but also on 16 wins are the Wildcats and Kings.
There’s a battle for the fourth playoff spot and there are three teams currently in the hunt. The Breakers have dropped off with consecutive losses and they are longshots to make the final four.
Eight NBL games to bet on this week and it tips off with the Breakers hosting the 36ers in New Zealand on Thursday.
5:20pm New Zealand Breakers vs. Adelaide 36ers @ Spark Arena
Just when the Breakers needed to make headway on the top four, they lose back-to-back games to Melbourne and it sees them languishing in seventh on the NBL ladder.
It all but put pay to their playoff chances but there’s still a chance and it starts this Thursday night against the 36ers, which sit in fourth position after beating Cairns last round.
They also get Ramone Moore back in the squad and that’s going to make it tough for the home side to hold the 36ers at bay.
Tough game to call but the 36ers could have too much firepower.
Betting tip: Adelaide to win @ $2.30 – BET NOW
Adelaide by 5
7:50pm Brisbane Bullets vs. Illawarra Hawks @ Brisbane Convention Centre
The Bullets hurt their playoff chances with consecutive losses in Round 16 but they have a chance to rebound against the Hawks, which are coming off a bounce-back performance against Cairns.
Brisbane slipped to fifth on the ladder but they remain only one win out of the top four. The same applies to the Hawks, which gained some confidence when scoring a 110-95 win over Cairns at home on Monday night and the quick turnaround could help them.
Bullets have tough to beat at home this season, however, and the Hawks aren’t the best team to back on the road.
We’ll stick with the home court advantage here.
Betting tip: Bullets to win @ $1.54 – BET NOW
Bullets by 8
7:50pm Sydney Kings vs. Melbourne United @ Qudos Bank Arena
It’s the marquee matchup of Round 16 as the Sydney Kings host Melbourne United and the top spot on the NBL ladder is on the line.
United were on top form last week when beating the Breakers twice on a home and away series. They scored over 106 points on both occasions and their offense is starting to click beautifully. They might not have any league leaders in the main statistical categories, but United play as a team and will be tough to beat this week.
Sydney has home court advantage and they’re also coming off consecutive wins over Brisbane. Their best win was a 107-91 thumping at home and given their home record this season, United won’t be counting their chickens.
There’s not much in this but we’ll go with United in a close one.
Betting tip: United to win @ $1.73 – BET NOW
United by 5
2:50pm Cairns Taipans vs. Brisbane Bullets @ Cairns Convention Centre
After a mid-season surge, the Taipans have regressed back to their norm after losing to the 36ers and Hawks in Round 16.
The rest of the season doesn’t bode well for the Taipans which come up against the Bullets desperate for a win. After losing consecutive games in Round 16, the Bullets play two games in three days and that could help them get back into a winning groove.
Taipans are never easy to beat but one team is in playoff contention and they should get the job done.
Betting tip: Brisbane to win @ $1.70 – BET NOW
Bullets by 10
7:50pm Illawarra Hawks vs. New Zealand Breakers @ WIN Entertainment Centre
This is a tough game to call because we can’t see the Breakers losing four consecutive games in rounds 16 and 17. They are a better team than that and playing the Hawks should be a nice relief after playing United twice last week.
The Hawks got back into a winning groove with a victory over the Taipans on Monday night where they were trailing at halftime but they kicked clear in the final quarter to record a comfortable win.
There isn’t much reason to be excited about the Hawks, however, and they lack an identity. That’s also something the Breakers have struggled with but if Shaun Long remains on the court, the Breakers should be tough to beat.
Betting tip: Breakers to win @ $2.30 – BET NOW
Breakers by 3
5:20pm Adelaide 36ers vs. Melbourne United @ Titanium Security Centre
Adelaide are going to have a tough time of it against United, which plays their second away game for this week and that could play against the league leaders.
It’s never easy playing on the road in the NBL and playing back-to-back games away from home is tough. United are the best team in the league at the moment but the 36ers are more than capable of sticking with the best teams.
Previous results this week could determine which team is more favoured to win but we’re picking a slight upset in favour of the home side.
Betting tip: 36ers to win @ $2.15 – BET NOW
36ers by 5
5:20pm Perth Wildcats vs. Sydney Kings @ RAC Arena
The Sydney Kings have to play United and the Wildcats this week and that’s going to make it tough, especially travelling to Perth on Sunday.
Perth play only one game in Round 17 and that’s going to help them here. They can sit back and watch the Kings go to battle against United and see what they need to do to win.
A key injury last week hurt the Wildcats’ premiership chances but they’re a deep squad and playing at home is going to help their cause.
Tough game for both sides but the Kings could struggle with the long flight.
Betting tip: Wildcats to win @ $1.63 – BET NOW
Wildcats by 9