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.
Illawarra Hawks Vs Adelaide 36ers
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
Sydney Kings Vs 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
Perth Wildcats Vs Cairns Taipans
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
Adelaide 36ers Vs Brisbane Bullets
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
Sydney Kings Vs Illawarra Hawks
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
Cairns Taipans Vs Melbourne United
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.
Adelaide 36ers Vs Perth Wildcats
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
Cairns Taipans Vs Brisbane Bullets
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.
Sydney Kings Vs Perth Wildcats
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)
Illawarra Hawks Vs Melbourne United
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 Vs Cairns Taipans
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)
Brisbane Bullets Vs Adelaide 36ers
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.
Cairns Taipans Vs Melbourne United
Thursday December 29, 7:30pm, Cairns Convention Centre
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
Sydney Kings Vs New Zealand Breakers
Friday December 30, 7:30pm, Qudos Bank Arena
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.
Illawarra Hawks Vs Perth Wildcats
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)
Brisbane Bullets Vs Cairns Taipans
Saturday December 31, 7:30pm, Brisbane Convention Centre
Melbourne United Vs Adelaide 36ers
Sunday January 1, 7:30pm, State Netball And Hockey Centre
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