A monster nine-game slate of NBL awaits this week as we continue the countdown towards finals.
Things are razor tight atop the ladder with very little separating the Wildcats, United, Phoenix and Bullets in the top four, making this a crucial weekend of basketball for any team looking to extend its season.
The highlights this week include the Hawks taking on the Phoenix on Friday night from Wollongong, followed by a Sunday afternoon clash between the Kings and Phoenix from Sydney.
United and Brisbane will also write another chapter in their epic rivalry on Monday as both sides look to move a step closer to cementing their top four spot.
With value right across the board, our best bets for NBL Round 13 can be found here!
South East Melbourne Phoenix
Friday, April 9, 7:30pm, WIN Entertainment Centre
The Hawks and the Phoenix meet for the second time in just over a week in what is sure to be another telling battle on Friday night.
South East Melbourne annihilated Illawarra last week by 32 points, largely thanks to a dazzling third quarter that saw the Phoenix blow the game open with a 24-0 run.
The Hawks again have home-court advantage, but like the bookies, I’m having a tough time fading the Phoenix in the spot as they look to extend their win streak to three.
South East Melbourne currently leads the league in points-per-game, and while the Hawks are no slouch defensively, it was clear last week that the Phoenix have no trouble moving the ball against them.
With a big game only two days later against the Kings in Sydney, this is a huge chance for the Phoenix to cement their spot in the top four.
Tip: Back the Phoenix to Cover the Line (-5.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday, April 10, 5:30pm, Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Adelaide capitalised on the out-of-form Hawks last week with a surprising 12-point win at home, but they are about to face a tough reality check on Saturday with the white hot Wildcats rolling into town.
After holding off the Kings last week, Perth has now won nine on the trot as they look to extend that record to 10 against one of the worst defensive sides in the competition.
Bryce Cotton has been almost unstoppable against the 36ers this year averaging close to 35 points-per-game.
Having covered the line in four of their last five games as the away favourite, this one is a no-brainer.
Tip: Back the Wildcats to Cover the Line (-6.5 Points) @ $1.90
New Zealand Breakers
Saturday, April 10, 8:00pm, John Cain Arena
Interesting game here after these two sides played out a couple of three-point classics last month.
United has steadied following a midseason lull to win five straight, while the same can’t be said for the Breakers as they look to avoid their 13th loss of the season.
Fortunately, New Zealand fans do have a reason to watch this week with former NBA G-League star Levi Randolph making his debut for the team.
Randolph should provide a much-needed spark to a Breakers offence that currently ranks second-last in the league in points-per-game.
As far as betting goes, Melbourne should win, but I do like the Breakers to keep it close.
New Zealand has covered the line in nine of its last 16 games as the away underdog against Melbourne, and there’s good reason to believe Randolph’s inclusion can help them stay in touch on the scoreboard.
Tip: Back the Breakers to Cover the Line (+5.5 Points)@ $1.90
South East Melbourne Phoenix
Sunday, April 11, 3:00pm, Qudos Bank Arena
The Kings have drawn all the favours this week with only one game scheduled on Sunday night.
Not surprisingly, Sydney has opened as the favourites with home-court advantage, while the fact the Phoenix are playing on short rest following Friday’s big game against the Hawks only complicates matters for Simon Mitchell’s side.
To make matters worse, the Phoenix are yet to record a win over the Kings since entering the competition two years ago.
Sydney won by six in Melbourne when these two sides met last month, largely thanks to a double-double from Casper Ware.
The Kings are also playing on the back of a loss to the Wildcats last week, which as we know, tends to be a profitable betting play.
Sydney has played to a strong 9-2 record at the line following a loss, so I’m with the Kings to make a bit of a statement here.
Tip: Back the Kings to Cover the Line
Sunday, April 11, 5:00pm, WIN Entertainment Centre
Very tricky game for the Hawks on Sunday having already played two games leading in.
It’s obviously tough to feel confident in the bottom-placed Taipans causing an upset, but it is worth noting Cairns beat the Hawks when they met back in February.
All of this depends on how the Hawks pull up following Friday’s game, but with much fresher legs, there is a bit to like about the Taipans keeping this close.
Tip: Back the Taipans to Cover the Line
Monday, April 12, 7:30pm, John Cain Arena
The Bullets might be riddled with injury, but that didn’t stop them pulling off a six-point win over the Hawks in Wollongong on Wednesday.
This is obviously much tougher against one of the premiership favourites, but Andrej Lemanis’ men should feel pretty confident knowing they beat 96-88 in the Bubble last month.
The fact the Bullets also have a bit of a rest advantage here makes them an appealing bet.
United has only one day off after playing the Breakers on Saturday night, so there’s plenty to suggest Brisbane can at least keep the margin respectable.
Tip: Back the Bullets to Cover the Line
New Zealand Breakers
Tuesday, April 13, 7:30pm, Silverdome
We head to Tasmania on Tuesday for the final game of the round between the Breakers and Wildcats.
This has been a big week for both sides, which has me leaning towards the Under at time of publish.
The last four games between New Zealand and Perth have all gone Under the Total, and with a couple of the league’s top rebounders in John Mooney and Colton Iverson on the court, a similar outcome seems likely.
Tip: Under the Points Total
Round 13 of the NBL season tips off on Thursday with a huge top four clash between Melbourne United and the Cairns Taipans.
The action continues right through until New Year’s Day, with a key top two clash between the Kings and the Wildcats thrown in on Saturday night.
It’s a massive nine-game slate of hoops and action and we’ve previewed each and every in our Round 13 NBL Preview below!
Thursday, December 26, 7:30pm, Melbourne Arena
Third plays fourth to open Round 13 as Melbourne hopes to extend its winning streak to three against an unpredictable Taipans outfit.
United pulled off what could be described as a season-defining win last week in Perth – overcoming the Wildcats comfortably by 13-points.
Cairns also made full use of home-court advantage handing the 36ers an eight-point loss. The win leaves the Taipans within striking distance of United on the ladder, and they can certainly take plenty of heart in the fact they defeated Melbourne 93-86 when the two sides met back in November.
With home-court advantage this time around its no surprise to find Melbourne favoured heavily in the market. That being said, Cairns is no easy out, even if their 2-6 record on the road suggests otherwise.
The Taipans have also been the best team to bet on against the line this year covering in 10 of their 17 games. Although United rolls into this one fresh from a big win, there’s nothing stopping Cairns from keeping this competitive.
Tip: Back the Taipans to Cover the Line
New Zealand Breakers
Friday, December 27,7:30pm, Queensland State Netball Centre
There’s plenty on the line in this bottom four clash as both teams hope to turn things around.
The Bullets snapped their two-game losing streak last week with a seven-point stunner over the ladder leading Kings – a victory that has left Brisbane as the odds-on favourites with home-court advantage.
New Zealand also won big last weekend with a pair of victories over South East Melbourne and Illawarra. Beating the Hawks is nothing to brag about, but the Kiwis finally have their first road win on the board.
Considering these two teams are both averaging less than 90 points-per-game, it might be worth steering clear of the head-to-head market altogether and instead focusing on the Under.
The Total has gone Under in 10 of New Zealand’s 16 games this season, so take this one to be low scoring.
Tip: Under 180.5 Total Points @ $1.85
Saturday, December 28, 5:30pm, Qudos Bank Arena
Christmas comes a little late this week as the NBL’s top two teams go head-to-head on Saturday.
The Kings will be eager to make up for last week’s slip up against Brisbane, a loss that has left the door slightly ajar for the Wildcats to claim the top spot on the ladder.
Perth also has plenty to make up for themselves however, as the Wildcats lost a shocker at home to Melbourne United last week in blowout fashion.
The Kings haven’t lost back-to-back games at all this year, while Perth lost two in a row back in November.
It’s difficult to back against Sydney with home-court advantage, especially considering they handed the Wildcats a 104-85 loss at Quodos Bank Arena only two months ago, so with some value on offer in the Margin market, take the Kings in a close one.
Tip: Back the Kings 1-10 @ $2.60
S.E. Melbourne Phoenix
Saturday, December 28, 8pm, Melbourne Arena
The season is quickly slipping through South East Melbourne’s fingertips, but with a fairly winnable game ahead, there’s still reason for hope.
The Phoenix now find themselves sitting sixth on the ladder after losing both games last week to the Breakers and Kings. Simon Mitchell’s side has taken a serious step back following their remarkable start to the season, but the cellar dwelling Hawks might be the perfect team to spur on a return to form.
Illawarra pulled off a big win last Friday night over the 36ers in Adelaide before losing two days later at home to the Breakers. With LaMelo Ball still on the sidelines, it’s been another forgettable season for Matt Flinn’s side.
These two teams met back in October in a game the Phoenix won by only four points. Things could turn out a little more one-sided this time around though, as South East Melbourne currently leads the league in average points-per-game.
The Hawks, on the other hand, rank dead last in the same category and have also won only two of their eight games on the road.
Tip: Back the Phoenix 1-10 @ $2.75
New Zealand Breakers
Sunday, December 29, 3pm, Adelaide Entertainment Centre
These two sides were at opposite ends of the spectrum last week as the Breakers won both games of their doubleheader, while the 36ers weren’t quite as fortunate with a pair of losses to the Taipans and Hawks.
This is a huge weekend for Adelaide if they hold any hopes of regaining a spot inside the top four, and with home-court advantage, there are really no excuses for the 36ers.
New Zealand has less to play for sitting second from the bottom, but a win on Sunday would still be a huge confidence booster for a team that has won only one game on the road all year.
Fortunately for the Breakers, they don’t have to rewind very far to find their last win in Adelaide. New Zealand got the better of the 36ers back in January, leaving the Breakers at a very handy price to cause an upset.
Neither coach will need to rewind very far in his pre-game film studies either. The 36ers won by only three points when these two sides met a fortnight ago, setting up what could be another close affair.
Although the head-to-head price looks good money, the margin is probably the safer option. Eight of the last 11-games between these two sides have been decided by 1-10 points, so take the 36ers in a nail-biter.
Tip: Back the 36ers 1-10 @ $2.60
Sunday, December 29, 5:00pm, Melbourne Arena
The odds paint the full picture here as the Bullets head to Melbourne as +6.5 underdogs.
It’s difficult to get a feel for this game with both sides playing on short rest, while the short odds available for United head-to-head make things even trickier.
Brisbane lost by 14-points when these two sides met back in November, but it is worth noting the Bullets had won three straight games over Melbourne prior.
Unfortunately, the Bullets’ 3-5 record as the line underdog this year isn’t very convincing, while Melbourne’s 9-7 mark is.
This isn’t a game worth putting a great deal of money on, but considering the Bullets rank second-last in points per-game, take United to win in a big way.
Tip: Back Melbourne to Cover the Line (-6.5 Points) @ $1.92
Tuesday, December 31, 5:30pm, WIN Entertainment Centre
The NBL is hardly seeing 2019 off in style with this first v last affair.
Sydney has been installed as -7.5 favourites as they head to Illawarra to face the Hawks – a team the Kings have beaten once already this year.
Both sides enjoyed the highs and lows in Round 12 with both earning a win and a loss each. For the Kings, this game is a must-win with the Wildcats now breathing down their necks, while a Hawks win would also put the pressure on the Breakers at the bottom of the ladder.
Despite what the odds suggest, the Hawks have actually enjoyed the better part of this matchup in recent tines. Illawarra has won three of its last five games against the Kings, while six of the last 11 meetings have been decided by 1-10 points.
It’s difficult to get excited about this game considering where both teams sit on the ladder. But even so, there’s nothing stopping the Hawks from keeping this close with both sides playing on little rest.
Tip: Back the Kings 1-10 @ $2.75
S.E. Melbourne Phoenix
Tuesday, December 31, 8pm, WIN Entertainment Centre
This shapes up as a huge game in terms of finals seeding as the Taipans and the Phoenix both hope to secure a spot in the top four.
Cairns currently sits fourth on the ladder at time of publish, however the Taipans will be eager to put last fortnight’s overtime loss to South East Melbourne behind them.
The Phoenix sit sixth on the ladder, but with a win and results going their way this weekend, South East Melbourne could find themselves back inside the top four.
The weight of money is firmly in Cairns’ favour with home-court advantage and rightfully so. The Taipans have won six of their nine home games so far, making this a daunting task for a Phoenix side that has never played up north.
Cairns has been the best side to bet against the line this year holding a strong 11-7 record. Considering the travel demands on the Phoenix this weekend, the Taipans look too good to ignore.
Tip: Back the Taipans to Cover the Line (-3.5 Points) @ $1.90
Wednesday, January, 1, Adelaide Entertainment Centre
The 36ers are back in action on New Year’s day as they prepare to face a Wildcats team looking to snatch the top spot on the ladder.
This game shapes up as a potential finals preview, and if it turns out anything like their last meeting, the result might just throw the ladder into complete chaos.
Adelaide got the better of Perth when these sides met back on December 1st. The 36ers won comfortably 99-88 at RAC Arena, leaving Adelaide looking well over the odds at their current quote.
Perth has been one of the best defensive sides in the league, but it’s worth noting the 36ers rank third in points-per-game. Considering the 36ers hold a steady 5-5 record as the home underdog against the Wildcats, it’s worth taking a gamble with some value on offer.
Tip: Back the 36ers to Win @ $2.00
There’s just five weeks remaining in the NBL season, and with an equal number of points separating the first-place Sydney Kings from third-place Melbourne United, every game and every point counts on the way to the Finals.
It’s a big weekend for both of those sides this weekend if they wish to maintain their spot on the ladder, while the second-place Perth Wildcats enjoy a cruisy week against the wooden-spoon favourite Taipans.
You know the drill – be sure to check out all of our top tips in our complete 2018/19 NBL Round 13 Preview below.
Thursday January 10, 7:50pm, WIN Entertainment Centre
The 8-10 Hawks mightn’t be playing finals this season, but their huge seven-point win over the Kings last weekend had to feel good.
Adelaide are still in the fight of their life if they wish to play beyond the regular season, and after a disappointing eight-point loss to the lowly Breakers last week, it’s an uphill battle from here on out.
With the Hawks holding home-court advantage once again this week, it’s not surprising to see Illawarra as the favourites. Rob Beveridge’s side have recorded two-straight wins over Adelaide and are also 9-3 as the home favourite against the 36ers. After shooting 46% from three-point range last week and 80% at the free-throw line, you can’t go against Illawarra in this one.
Tip: Back the Hawks to Cover The Line (-1.5 Points) @ $1.90
New Zealand Breakers
Friday January 11, 7:45pm, Quodos Bank Arena
Sydney’s season continues to take a swing after first losing to the Hawks last Saturday, only to bounce-back and defeat Cairns on Monday night.
If the Kings wish to stay atop the NBL ladder they’d better hope they find some form soon, but fortunately this home game against the traveling Breakers presents the perfect opportunity for Sydney to string together another winning streak.
Don’t get it wrong though, New Zealand are no easy-beat despite what their 8-9 record might say. The Breakers pulled off back-to-back shockers over Adelaide and Perth last weekend, both of which were in blowout fashion.
On the road New Zealand have struggled all season though, and as the odds suggest, this game could turn ugly. The Kings opened as -3.5 points favourites to begin the week, and with a 3-1-1 record against the Breakers in that scenario, it looks to be the safest play.
Tip: Back the Kings to Cover The Line (-3.5 Points) @ $1.90
Friday January 11, 9:50pm, RAC Arena
Perth sniffed the top spot on the ladder last week following Sydney’s shock loss to the Hawks, but it was shortlived as the Wildcats failed to cash in on an opportunity to reclaim what was one theirs.
The Wildcats dusted off this same Cairns side a week ago, only to back it up with a blowout loss of their own against the Breakers last week. It was a disappointing performance as the team shot just 37% from the field on 31/82 shooting, leaving many to wonder if Perth are indeed a contender or a pretender with just six weeks remaining.
Of course, there’s no denying how difficult it is for opposing teams to travel to RAC Arena, especially for a side like Cairns who have just two wins to their name. Give them credit though, the Taipans’ 29-point victory over Brisbane last week was gutsy, but with the good came the bad, as Cairns followed it up with a four-point loss to the Kings on Monday night.
It’s tough to see the Taipans hanging with Cairns on such short rest as well as the extended travel. Perth are 12-9 as the home favourite over the last 12-months, so stick with the Wildcats.
Tip: Back the Wildcats To Win 11+ @ $3.10
Saturday January 12, 2:50pm, Titanium Security Arena
It’s been a bit of an up and down run of late for these two sides, with both the 36ers and the Bullets showing some pretty spotty form in recent weeks.
The 36ers’ four-game unbeaten run came to an end against the Breakers last weekend, but there’s no looking past Brisbane’s terrible effort against the lowly Taipans on Thursday night.
This game figures to be the perfect bounce-back for either side, although as far as Adelaide are concerned, home-court advantage will be a welcome sign following Thursday night’s game against the Kings.
Brisbane have won three of their last five meetings against Adelaide, but they do find themselves as the away underdog in this one, a role they are 2-3 in against the 36ers. Adelaide, meanwhile, are 13-8 as the favourite over the last 12-months.
Tip: Back the 36ers To Cover The Line (-2.5 Points) @ $1.90
Sunday January 13, 2:50pm, Quodos Bank Arena
The second of two games for the Kings should be a thrilling rematch of last week’s upset against the Hawks.
Illawarra benefited from a huge 17-point performance from Brian Conklin, but if Kevin Lisch can come through with another 19-point performance of his own, Sydney should be a strong chance at revenge in front of their hometown fans.
Prior to last week’s loss the Kings had won two straight over the Hawks, but since Illawarra have shown a tendency to upset Sydney on any given occasion, this one is tough to read. The odds well and truly favour Sydney, and you could even argue the -4.5 point line is a little generous. With the Kings 7-7 as the home favourite against the Hawks, this is a market you’re best off avoiding.
Tip: No Bet
Sunday January 13, 5:20pm, Cairns Convention Centre
Round 13 wraps up with the Taipans taking on Melbourne in what could spell a huge upset for United.
Dean Vickerman’s side was embarrassed twice last week, first against Adelaide and then against Brisbane. Melbourne have now lost four of their last six-games, which makes it surprising to learn United are the favourites away from home.
Cairns are tough to trust, especially considering they’ve won just three of their last 12-games against Melbourne. The Taipans are 8-3 as the home favourite against United though, and since Melbourne are having plenty of troubles in the fourth quarter, a close game could turn the way of Cairns in an upset.
Tip: Back Cairns the Taipans To Win @ $2.45
There are now only six weeks left in the NBL Regular Season and all but the Sydney Kings remain in the NBL Playoffs race.
The Perth Wildcats, Melbourne United and New Zealand Breakers are all locked in a battle for the minor premiership, while only a couple of wins separates the Adelaide 36ers, Illawarra Hawks, Cairns Taipans and Brisbane Bullets.
Every game in the NBL this weekend is vital and our complete NBL Round 13 tips can be found below.
Thursday January 4, 7:30pm, Titanium Security Arena
There is very little between the Adelaide 36ers and the Perth Wildcats in betting for this clash.
Adelaide returned to winning form with a narrow win over the New Zealand Breakers and they have now won ten of their past 15 games as home favourites, while they are 9-6 against the line in this scenario.
Perth have won six of their past eight games and they were nothing short of dominant against the Cairns Taipans in their final game of 2017.
The Wildcats have won seven of their past ten games as away underdogs for a huge profit and they continue to be the benchmark in the NBL.
The home team have won six of the past eight games played between the two sides and the 36ers can continue this trend.
Back Adelaide To Win @ $1.85
Friday January 5, 7:30pm, Cairns Convention Centre
The Cairns Taipans have lost four of their past five games, but they will still go into this clash with the Brisbane Bullets as clear favourites.
Cairns have won eight of their past 12 games as home favourites for a profit, but they are only 6-6 against the line in this scenario and they have lost their past three games against the Bullets.
Brisbane finished 2017 with three straight losses and they need to return to winning form to get themselves back in the NBL Playoffs mix.
The Bullets have won three of their past 15 games as away underdogs and they are 6-2-7 against the line in this scenario.
This is a game that the market looks to have gotten just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Saturday January 6, 5:30pm, Qudos Bank Arena
The Sydney Kings have the home-court advantage, but it is the Perth Wildcats that will start this game as favourites.
It is no secret how strong Perth have been away from home this season and they have won their past three games against the Kings.
It continues to be a long season for the Kings and they went into 2017 on the back of a very heavy loss at the hands of Melbourne United.
Sydney have lost their past two games as home underdogs and their record against the line when giving away a start is an extremely poor 3-1-11.
This is a game that Perth should win comfortably and they can cover the line of 3.5 points in the process.
Back Perth To Beat The Line (-3.5 Points)
Saturday January 6, 7:30pm, WIN Entertainment Centre
There is nothing between the Illawarra Hawks and Melbourne United in betting.
Illawarra finished the year with three straight wins in front of their home fans and they have now won 11 of their past 16 games at the WIN Entertainment Centre.
Melbourne United have won five games on the trot and they did beat Illawarra in Illawarra at the end of last year.
In saying that, their record on the road is still a poor 5-9 and they are only a middling 7-7 on the back of a win.
This should be one of the most exciting games of the weekend and it is the Hawks that represent genuine value at their current price.
Back Illawarra To Win @ $1.90
New Zealand Breakers
Sunday January 7, 1:00pm, Spark Arena
There is no doubt that the New Zealand Breakers have faltered in the second half of the season and this is their chance to return to winning form.
The Breakers have won only three of their past eight games, but they continue to be a profitable betting play as home favourites.
The Cairns Taipans have won their past two games against the Breakers in New Zealand, but their overall record on the road is poor.
They have won only four of their past 14 games as away underdogs and their record against the line is no better.
This is a crucial game for the Breakers and they really should be able to get the job done comfortably.
Back New Zealand To Beat The Line (-6.5 Points)
Sunday January 7, 3:00pm, Brisbane Convention Centre
This will be the second game for both these teams this weekend and there is very little between them in betting.
Winning at home continues to be an issue for the Brisbane Bullets and they have won only two of their past seven games as home favourites for a clear loss.
The Adelaide 36ers haven’t been as strong away from home as they were 12 months ago, but they have still won five of their past ten games as away underdogs for a clear profit.
Adelaide have won four of their five games against the Bullets and they can continue their excellent record against their rivals.
Back Adelaide To Win @ $1.92
The Christmas period is now past us and the race towards the NBL Playoffs really starts from here.
There will be plenty of interest in just about every game this weekend, but the New Year’s Eve double-header is particularly exciting – with the Illawarra Hawks hosting the Perth Wildcats before the Brisbane Bullets take on the Perth Wildcats.
The action concludes on on New Year’s Day when Melbourne United face the Adelaide 36ers and you can find our thoughts for every single game below.
Thursday December 29, 7:30pm, Cairns Convention Centre
Cairns Taipans 78 - Melbourne United 79
Cairns have won their past four games as home underdogs for a clear profit, while Melbourne United have won just two of their past six games as away favourites.
Back Cairns To Win @ $2.10
New Zealand Breakers
Friday December 30, 7:30pm, Qudos Bank Arena
Sydney Kings 85 - New Zealand Breakers 80
The Sydney Kings have lost four games in a row and they are 6-5 as home favourites over the past 12 months.
New Zealand have won five of their past 15 games as away underdogs and their record against the line is not much better.
Saturday December 31, 5:30pm, Win Entertainment Centre
Illawarra have won eight of their past 12 games as home favourites, while the Perth Wildcats have won just one of their past nine fixtures as away underdogs.
Back Illawarra To Beat The Line (-3.5 Points)
Saturday December 31, 7:30pm, Brisbane Convention Centre
Brisbane Bullets 93 - Cairns Taipans 76
Sunday January 1, 7:30pm, State Netball And Hockey Centre
Melbourne United 104 - Adelaide 36ers 73
Melbourne United have won eight of their past 13 games as home favourites for a narrow loss, while the Adelaide 36ers have won seven of their past 14 games as away underdogs for a big profit.
Back Adelaide To Win @ $2.10