It’s the final week of the 2018/2019 NBL regular season and what an incredible round we’re in for as three teams vie for the top spot and two teams battle it out for the fourth and final playoff spot.
Perth, Melbourne and Sydney are all on 17 wins for the season but the Wildcats and United have two games to play this week and the Kings have only one. It looks as though it will be the Wildcats and United for the top spot and one of those teams will play either Adelaide or Brisbane.
The 36ers and Bullets haven’t exactly been in form down the stretch but it could be Brisbane with the upper hand as they face the Breakers in Brisbane and the 36ers play Perth away from home.
Round 18 is going to be action packed and we have free tips for every game.
5:20pm New Zealand Breakers vs. Illawarra Hawks @ Spark Arena
It seems strange to see the Breakers out of finals contention, especially given their emphatic victory over the Hawks last week, but consistency has been a huge problem for the franchise this season.
Starting centre Shaun Long has been terrific in the second half of the season and if the Breakers had a point guard who has good at providing assists (Shea Ili is not), then Long and the Breakers would have flourished.
They can end the season on a high against the Hawks, who they beat up on last week. The Breakers made it look easy against a Hawks team which had given up on making the playoffs.
Back at home we’re expecting the Breakers to end the season with consecutive wins.
Betting tip: Breakers –4.5 @ $1.90 – BET NOW
Breakers by 9
7:50pm Melbourne United vs. Cairns Taipans @ Melbourne Arena
This is essentially top vs bottom and we can see it going only one way. The Taipans have only pride to play for and we can’t see that being enough to get them over the line against one of the best clubs in the competition.
With 12 wins separating the two teams on the ladder, United have the clear advantage in all areas and they need to win this game to ensure the top spot for at least one day.
United will win and they should put the Taipans away early.
Betting tip: United –7.5 @ $1.90 – BET NOW
United by 14
9:50pm Perth Wildcats vs. Adelaide 36ers @ RAC Arena
The Wildcats dealt the Sydney Kings a massive blow when coming from behind to win in overtime last week and that win could be what galvanises this Wildcats team.
Bryce Cotton was scintillating in overtime and if he’s on, it’s tough for any team to stop Perth. The 36ers will need to play their best basketball of the season to pull out a win and a win is what they need, otherwise they could miss the playoffs.
They won’t want to leave their fate in the hands of the Brisbane Bullets but we’re thinking that might be the case as Perth have minor premiership aspirations.
It’s always a good game between these two sides and we’re looking forward to a blockbuster 40 minutes of action.
Betting tip: Wildcats to win @ $1.55 – BET NOW
United by 5
2:50pm Sydney Kings vs. Cairns Taipans @ Qudos Bank Arena
Poor Cairns have to play two of the best teams in the competition this week and we can’t see this game going any different from that against United.
The Kings’ fate will likely be decided before they play on Saturday night but they will be doing everything they can to finish the regular season on a high after losing to the Wildcats in Round 17.
Unless the Taipans figure out how to stop Andrew Bogut then the Kings should run away with this one and we’re also expect Jerome Randle to have another big game for the home team.
Betting tip: Kings –6.5 @ $1.90 – BET NOW
Kings by 10
7:50pm Brisbane Bullets vs. New Zealand Breakers @ Brisbane Convention Centre
The outcome of this game is going to be largely decided by the outcome of the Adelaide 36ers game against the Perth Wildcats. If Adelaide wins the Bullets are out of the playoffs, so they won’t feel overly keen on turning up against the Breakers.
That being said, we think the 36ers will lose against Perth and that will give Brisbane everything to play for on Saturday night.
It has been a sad state of affairs towards the end of the season for the Bullets, which looked strong in the mid-section of the schedule but have looked like a bottom-feeder team of late.
Expect the home team to come out firing if their season is on the line.
Betting tip: Bullets to win @ $1.53 – BET NOW
Bullets by 4
2:20pm Melbourne United vs. Perth Wildcats @ Melbourne Arena
A blockbuster to end the season and it could determine which team qualifies for the playoffs as the #1 seed. Both teams play twice this week and the results of their first games will affect this market, but United have been tough to beat at home.
They could have the slight advantage playing in front of what should be a sold-out crowd at Melbourne Arena. There hasn’t been a game this big for awhile and if everything goes to plan, we’ll see the biggest stars in the NBL on the court at the same time.
We’re giving the slight edge to Melbourne.
Betting tip: United to win @ $1.60 – BET NOW
United by 6