NBL – National Basketball League 2018/19

The National Basketball League (NBL) is the premier professional men’s basketball tournament held in Australasia. Inaugurated in 1979 the competition currently pits eight NBL teams against each other across the season for the Championship title.

The regular NBL season runs from October to February of the following calendar year across a 28 week regular season that sees each team have 14 home games and 14 away clashes. The NBL Finals take place from late February – March to decide the NBL Champions and are played between the top four teams on the NBL Ladder at the end of the regular season. Originally the NBL season ran during the winter, but since in the 1998-99 season it has run over the summer to avoid a clash with the famous Aussie football codes over the winter including the NRL and AFL whose Grand Finals are held in October.

This is a far cry from the NBL’s American counterpart – the NBA – which features a huge 82 round season and features the world’s premier pro-basketballers.

NBL Betting: Grand Final

The 2019 NBL season has boiled down to a fascinating Grand Final match up between Melbourne and Perth. United and the Wildcats have been the top two teams for most of the year, and as the odds suggest, it’s tough to tip a winner of the five-game series. Can Melbourne handle the travel and prevail in Game 1 in Perth? One thing is for sure, expect plenty of points!

  • Round:Grand Final
  • Date: March 8, 2019 – March 17, 2019 (if necessary)
  • Games: 5
  • Round Highlight: Perth Wildcats v Melbourne United
  • Round Tip: Perth to Cover The Line (-2.5 Points) – BET NOW

The current NBL Teams are the:

  • Adelaide 36ers
  • Brisbane Bullets
  • Cairns Taipans
  • Illawarra Hawks
  • Melbourne United
  • Perth Wildcats
  • Sydney Kings
  • New Zealand Breakers
Ladbrokes offer the best NBL Odds and Betting.

Ladbrokes is a major sponsor of the 2017/18 NBL Season.

The only one of these NBL clubs to have played every single season since 1979 is the Illawarra Hawks – formerly the Wollongong Hawks. The New Zealand Breakers are the sole NBL team based outside of Australia.

2018/19 NBL SEASON

The regular 2017/18 NBL Season kicked off from Thursday October 5 and was the 40th season of the competition. The Perth Wildcats were the defending NBL Champions and started third favourites in early 2017/18 NBL Championship betting markets to go back-to-back. Melbourne United were the 2017/18 NBL betting favourites to take out the tournament and saluted for the punters winning the NBL Grand Final Series 3 – 2 over the Adelaide 36ers.

The Perth Wildcats made it all the way through until the NBL 2017/18 Semi-Finals when they were knocked out by the Adelaide 36ers went on to finish runners-up to Melbourne United in the best-of-five NBL Grand Final Series.

2017/18 NBL Season highlights included an increased number weekend games, New Year’s Eve games and a special Heritage Month in January to mark the league’s 40th anniversary. The first ever NBL game on Christmas Eve drew plenty of attention between the Adelaide 36ers and Cairns Taipans, while the Brisbane Bullets played the Gold Coast “hosting” Melbourne United on October 28 – the same day Winx won her Ladbrokes Cox Plate. There was also a NBL Grand Final rematch slated between Perth and Illawarra at Perth Arena on October 13.

  • 2018/19 NBL Season Dates: October 2018 – February 2019
  • 2018/19 NBL Finals Dates: February 2018 – March 2019
  • Defending NBL Champions: Melbourne United
  • 2018/19 NBL Champions: Melbourne United
  • 2018/19 NBL Runners-Up: Adelaide 36ers

NBL Betting

Betting on the NBL is open right across the season with a range of top NBL odds on offer from head-to-head pricing on each game to futures markets on the NBL Championship Winners.

NBL Finals

The NBL Finals are held from late February to early March each season. They are contested between the four highest-ranked teams on the season’s table and are made-up of two semi-finals series and the coveted NBL Grand Final series that decides the current Championship winners.

NBL Finals betting is open across the season on the teams most likely to be crowned the NBL Champions.

NBL Awards

The NBL also awards a Most Valuable Player (MVP) each season who takes out the Andrew Gaze Trophy, named in honour of a former champion player in both Australia and America for such clubs as the San Antonio Spurs, Washington Bullets and Melbourne Tigers. Gaze is the current head coach of the Sydney Kings and won the MVP award seven times. This award is the NBL equivalent of the NRL’s Dally M and the AFL’s Brownlow Medal.

Odds are open each season on the NBL Most Valuable Player and are a great exotic basketball betting market to get involved in.

Other notable NBL awards given out each season include the:

  • Larry Sengstock Medal for the Most Valuable Player in the Grand Final Series
  • Lindsay Gaze Trophy for the NBL Coach of the Year
  • NBL Rookie Of The Year
  • Most Improved Player
  • Best Defensive Player
  • Best Sixth Man


Below are the NBL Most Valuable Player winners dating back to 1979.

Year Player Nationality NBL Team
1979 Ken Richardson Australia West Adelaide Bearcats
1980 Rocky Smith United States St. Kilda Saints
1981 Mike Jones Australia Illawarra Hawks
1982 Al Green United States West Adelaide Bearcats
1983 Owen Wells United States Sydney Supersonics
1984 Leroy Loggins United States Brisbane Bullets
1985 Ray Borner Australia Coburg Giants
1986 Leroy Loggins United States Brisbane Bullets
1987 Leroy Loggins United States Brisbane Bullets
1988 Joe Hurst United States Hobart Devils
1989 Scott Fisher United States North Melbourne Giants
1990 Derek Rucker United States Brisbane Bullets
1991 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1992 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1993 Robert Rose United States South East Melbourne Magic
1994 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1995 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1996 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1997 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1998 Andrew Gaze Australia Melbourne Tigers
1998–99 Steve Woodberry United States Brisbane Bullets
1999–2000 Paul Rogers Australia Perth Wildcats
2000–01 Robert Rose United States Townsville Crocodiles
2001–02 Mark Bradtke Australia Melbourne Tigers
2002–03 Chris Williams United States Sydney Kings
2003–04 Matthew Nielsen Australia Sydney Kings
2004–05 Brian Wethers United States Hunter Pirates
2005–06 Chris Anstey Australia Melbourne Tigers
2006–07 Sam Mackinnon Australia Brisbane Bullets
2007–08 Chris Anstey Australia Melbourne Tigers
2008–09 Kirk Penney New Zealand New Zealand Breakers
2009–10 Corey Williams United States Townsville Crocodiles
2010–11 Gary Ervin United States Wollongong Hawks
2011–12 Kevin Lisch United States Perth Wildcats
2012–13 Cedric Jackson United States New Zealand Breakers
2013–14 Rotnei Clarke United States Wollongong Hawks
2014–15 Brian Conklin United States Townsville Crocodiles
2015–16 Kevin Lisch United States Illawarra Hawks
2016–17 Jerome Randle US/Ukraine Adelaide 36ers
2017–18 Bryce Cotton United States Perth Wildcats

NBL Results & History

NBL results date back to the competition’s inaugural season in 1979 won by the St Kilda Saints. Of the current NBL Teams the most successful is the Perth Wildcats who have won eight NBL Grand Finals series to take out the Championship since they entered the league in 1982.

Two other current clubs boast an equal four Championship wins in NBL History with the Adelaide 36ers and New Zealand Breakers. Overall Melbourne United have enjoyed five NBL Championship titles, but their first as a rebranded outfit came in the 2018 NBL Grand Final Series.

Defunct NBL clubs to have won the Championship include the Canberra Cannons (1983, 1984, 1988) and the North Melbourne Giants (1989, 1994).


Team Titles Season
Perth Wildcats 8 1990, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2017
Adelaide 36ers 4 1986, 1998, 1999, 2002
Melbourne United 5 1993, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2018 (first as rebranded club)
New Zealand Breakers 4 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
Canberra Cannons 3 1983, 1984, 1988
Sydney Kings 3 2003, 2004, 2005
Brisbane Bullets 3 1985, 1987, 2007
St. Kilda Saints 2 1979, 1980
North Melbourne Giants 2 1989, 1994
South East Melbourne Magic 2 1992, 1996
Launceston Casino City Tigers 1 1981
West Adelaide Bearcats 1 1982
Illawarra Hawks 1 2001
South Dragons 1 2009

NBL Hall of Fame

The NBL Hall of Fame has been in place since 1998, which was the 20th NBL Season anniversary. It recognises outstanding service to the NBL from players, game officials and other pro-basketball contributors.

NBL Players need to have been retired from the game for at least four seasons and have played a minimum of 100 games to be eligible for induction into the National Basketball League Hall of Fame. Coaches have to have been retired for at least four seasons and been head coach of a NBL club for at least 10 seasons. There are also eligibility restrictions for NBL Referees and NBL Contributors.


Name Award Inducted
Barry Barnes Coach 1998
Ray Borner Player 2006
Cal Bruton Player 1998
Steve Carfino Player 2004
Wayne Carroll Player 1999
Ken Cole Coach 2012
Eddie Crouch Referee 2007
Ian Davies Player 2001
Mark Davis Player 2006
Scott Fisher Player 2007
Al Green Player 1999
Michael Johnson Player 2004
Damian Keogh Player 2000
Brian Kerle Coach 2006
Leroy Loggins Player 2006
Herb McEachin Player 1998
Danny Morseu Player 2002
Bill Palmer Contributor 1998
Darryl Pearce Player 2002
John Raschke Contributor 1998
Larry Sengstock Player 2001
Phil Smyth Player 2000
Malcolm Speed Contributor 2000
Bob Turner Coach 2000
Andrew Vlahov Player 2007


The Women’s National Basketball League (WMBL) is the women’s equivalent of the NBL and is the marquee pro-basketball competition for female players held in Australia. The tournament was formerly known as the Women’s Interstate Basketball Conference (WIBC) and was founded in 1981.

The league is currently comprised of eight WMBL Teams:

  • Adelaide Lightning
  • Bendigo Spirit
  • Dandenong Rangers
  • Melbourne Boomers
  • Perth Lynx
  • Sydney Uni Flames
  • Townsville Fire
  • University of Canberra Capitals.

A number of these WMBL clubs have NBL counterparts playing in the men’s league. A number of international players from America’s WNBA competition player during their off-season for the WMBL down under. And vice versa, the WMBL can be a major stepping stone for Aussie players looking to make it in the WMBL in the USA.

The WMBL runs across a 22-game regular season beginning in early October and the WMBL Grand Final to decide the WNBL Champion club.