2018/2019 NBL Round 15 Preview

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It’s a huge long weekend for the NBL with all eight teams in action not once, but twice.

The action begins nice and early on Wednesday, carrying right through until Monday with a huge game between Adelaide and Melbourne.

The stakes are high for teams like Brisbane and Perth this week as they hope to make a push up the ladder, while Sydney simply need to win if they wish to hold on the top spot.

So who’s a sure-thing this week?

Make sure to read our complete 2018/19 NBL Round 15 Preview for all the top tips!

Melbourne United Vs Illawarra Hawks

Wednesday January 23, 7:50pm, Melbourne Arena

Melbourne United have now lost three of their last five games after finishing five-points short against the Wildcats last week. United once again struggled from the field, despite a huge 21-point performance from Mitch McCarron.

The Hawks probably won’t play finals from here, but Illawarra can hold their heads high following their 11-point blowout win over the Breakers last week. The Hawks have hit their stride since the New Year began winning three of their last five, but they still find themselves as the underdog this week as they prepare to travel to Melbourne.

In their last five meetings United have won three, but they came undone against Illawarra back in November. At home United are 7-3 on the season, and they hold an even better 10-4 record against the Hawks as the home favourite.

Since the price looks a little short however, it’s comforting to know United are also 7-5 as the spread favourite against Illawarra when playing at Melbourne Arena.

Tip: Back Melbourne to Cover The Line (-4.5 Points) @ $1.90

New Zealand Breakers Vs Cairns Taipans

Thursday January 24, 5:50pm, TSB Stadium

The Breakers are probably counting down the days until the NBL season finally comes to a close. It’s been a year to forget for New Zealand with just eight wins to their name, while last weekend’s loss to the Hawks certainly didn’t help.

The Taipans are the bottom feeders destined for the wooden spoon. After defeating Perth a fortnight ago, Cairns have now lost two straight including last week’s game against Brisbane in blowout fashion.

So who’s winning this clash between the two cellar dwellers?

The Breakers have won two straight over Cairns this season and also hold home-court advantage. As the home favourite New Zealand are 6-8 against Cairns, but given the Taipans’ struggles of late from the field, you still have to like the Breakers in a close one.

Tip: Back the Breakers To Win 1-10 @ $2.65

Brisbane Bullets Vs Sydney Kings

Friday January 25, 7:45pm, Brisbane Entertainment Centre

The Bullets are determined to make things interesting, aren’t they?

Brisbane’s demolition of the Taipans last week has them in the hunt for Perth’s third spot on the ladder, but to close the gap they’ll have to play close to perfect against the ladder leading Kings at home.

Sydney have a lot on the line themselves with Melbourne still breathing down their neck, and last week’s 20-point loss to the 36ers didn’t help matters. Fortunately, you don’t have to rewind very far to find when the Kings last met the Bullets – the two played out a scrappy game back in December with the Kings prevailing 75-68.

It’s also worth nothing Sydney have won four straight against Brisbane dating back to 2017. Even so, the bookies aren’t showing the Kings any love this week listing them at the wider price on the road. It’s an unfamiliar position for Sydney – they’ve only opened as the underdog against Brisbane once.

With that in mind, this highlight game is tough to call. The Kings are 4-1-2 as the underdog at the line however, so it’s probably best to play this one safe.

Tip: Back the Kings at the Line (+1.5 Points) @ $1.90

Perth Wildcats Vs Adelaide 36ers

Friday January 25, 9:50pm, RAC Arena

Perth snapped their three-game skid last week with a huge win over Melbourne, but the Wildcats still look determined to leave their fans feeling nervous with the finals just three weeks away.

Unfortunately if you follow the Wildcats, you’re probably in for another nail-biter this weekend with Adelaide coming to town. The 36ers are the most interesting (and dangerous) team in the league right now, riding a two-game winning streak after handing the Kings a 20-point loss last week.

Both of these sides have everything to play for. A win for Perth and a Melbourne loss could see the Wildcats reclaim second on the ladder, while the 36ers could inch closer to finals contention behind Brisbane.

It’s no surprise to see Perth open as the favourite at home. The Wildcats are 8-2 at RAC Arena this season and are also 9-5 as the spread favourite at home over the last 12-months. Adelaide will no doubt give Perth a real scare, but this is a huge line in the sand game for the Wildcats that they have to turn up for.

Tip: Back the Wildcats to Cover The Line (-3.5 Points) @ $1.90

Illawarra Hawks Vs Cairns Taipans

Saturday January 26, 2:50pm, AIS Arena

Illawarra head to Canberra for their second game of the round to face the down and out Taipans. It’s a short turnaround for both teams after a Wednesday and Thursday night draw, but it’s an extremely tough ask for Cairns as they travel over from New Zealand.

Recent history shows these two sides have been less than exciting to watch when they meet. Illawarra have won four straight dating back to 2017, with only one game decided by less than five-points.

The Hawks are looking to build towards next season, and this is the perfect statement game for them to grow in confidence. Illawarra are only 6-6 as the home favourite against the Taipans, however given Cairns’ display last week and the short rest, this road trip just about cancels out any chance of an upset.

Tip: Back the Hawks 11+ @ $4.00

New Zealand Breakers Vs Brisbane Bullets

Sunday January 27, 12:20pm, Spark Arena

The second of two home games for the Breakers sees them take on the Bullets in what should be a spirited affair. If you’ll recall, the last time these two sides met back in November it was the Breakers who walked away with a one-point win over Brisbane on the road.

Given the Breakers’ home-court advantage as well as the short travel turnaround, it’s no surprise to see the Bullets listed as the underdog here. Brisbane have won just two of their last five against New Zealand, but their last road trip to Auckland did see them come away with an 86-73 victory.

Brisbane shot the lights out in that game, particularly in the fourth quarter where they put up a game-high 27-points. This is a huge test for the Bullets if they’re serious about the finals, one they look more than capable of passing.

Tip: Back the Bullets to Win @ $2.05

Sydney Kings Vs Perth Wildcats

Sunday January 27, 2:50pm, Quods Bank Arena

The NBL has nearly saved the best ’till last this week with the Kings hosting the Wildcats in a battle for ladder supremacy.

Like every other side this round, both teams will come into this one on limited rest, which leads us to believe both coaches may limit the minutes for their starters on Friday night. A win for the Kings here could see them distance themselves atop the ladder, while the Wildcats simply need to win if they hold any hope of reclaiming second.

These two sides met a month ago in an absolute one-point classic that the Kings won 98-97. Sydney have won four straight over Perth, and since we should expect a pretty raucous home atmosphere, it’s pretty hard to look past the Kings in this one.

Perth are just 1-3 as the away underdog vs. Sydney, and as their recent form suggests, the Wildcats are lucky they started the season so strongly. In their last 10-games, Perth have won just three, so make sure you stick with the Kings.

Tip: Back the Kings 1-10 @ $2.60

Adelaide 36ers Vs Melbourne United

Monday January 28, 7:50pm, Titanium Security Arena

This should be a fascinating battle between a very lively 36ers side and one of the league’s best defensive units, Melbourne United.

Melbourne fell by two-points to Adelaide on Boxing Day, but before then had won two straight. The 36ers will have to be at their very best following a tough match up against the Wildcats on Friday if they wish to repeat their success this time around, however. Melbourne, meanwhile, come into this one a little fresher with a two-day break.

United have been great all season when it comes to limiting the damage on the scoreboard. They’ve held their last three opponents to under 100-points, while Adelaide continue to look dangerous having won three of their last five entering the weekend.

Since Adelaide are at home this is a huge test for Melbourne, but also a big game if the 36ers wish to make something of this season. Given Melbourne’s inconsistencies and Adelaide’s short sample size of strong play, this is a market you should probably avoid.

Tip: No Bet

2017

The top four have opened up a gap on the rest of their rivals on the NBL Ladder, but there is still nothing between Melbourne United, Perth Wildcats, New Zealand Breakers and Adelaide 36ers.

All four of these teams will be in action on multiple occasions across what is a big weekend of NBL action and this could be the the most important round of the regular season to date.

We have analysed every game set to take place in the NBL this weekend and our complete 2017/2018 NBL Round 15 tips can be found below.

New Zealand Breakers Vs Melbourne United

Thursday January 18, 5:30pm, North Shore Events Centre

This is arguably the biggest game of the weekend.

The New Zealand Breakers have struggled for consistency in recent weeks and they were extremely poor against the Illawarra Hawks, but they will still go into this clash as clear favourites.

New Zealand have won eight of their past 12 games as home favourites as well as 12 of their past 13 games against Melbourne United in this scenario.

Melbourne United extended their winning streak to seven games with their narrow win over the Perth Wildcats and they have stamped themselves as the team to beat in the NBL this season.

They have won three of their past seven games as away underdogs for a small profit, but their record in New Zealand is a big concern.

This is a game that New Zealand simply must win to get themselves back into the mix and they are good value to do just that.

Back New Zealand To Beat The Line (-2.5 Points)

Adelaide 36ers Vs Illawarra Hawks

Friday January 19, 7:30pm, Titanium Security Arena

This is close to a must-win game for the Illawarra Hawks if they are to keep themselves in the NBL Finals mix.

Illawarra have won four of their past five games in impressive fashion, but they are still a tough team to trust on the road.

They have won only four of their past 15 games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is not much better.

The Adelaide 36ers continue to score plenty of points and they made it five wins on the trot with their victory over the Sydney Kings last weekend.

Adelaide have won eight of their past 13 games as home favourites and they have been a profitable betting play against the line in this scenario.

The Hawks have won the past three games between these two sides, but Adelaide can turn-the-tables this Friday.

Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-6.5 Points)

Perth Wildcats Vs Sydney Kings

Friday January 19, 9:30pm, Perth Arena

The Perth Wildcats are the shortest-priced favourites in the NBL this weekend.

Perth have struggled for consistent in recent weeks and they were far from impressive in their most recent clash against the Sydney Kings.

Perth Arena continues to be a happy hunting ground for the Wildcats and they have won 13 of their past 16 games as home favourites, while they are 12-4 against the line in this scenario.

It has been another long season for the Sydney Kings and their win tally sits at a very pultry four.

The Kings have won only two of their past 12 games as away underdogs for a big loss and their record against the line in this situation is just as poor.

The difference between these two sides is enormous and Perth can cover the huge line of 11.5 points.

Back Perth To Beat The Line (-11.5 Points)

Brisbane Bullets Vs Melbourne United

Saturday January 20, 5:30pm, Brisbane Convention Centre

Melbourne United are on the quick back-up after playing the New Zealand Breakers on Thursday night and they will still go into this clash as favourites.

The home-side has won all six games played between these sides since the Brisbane Bullets returned to the NBL and the Bullets have played well at home in recent weeks.

Brisbane have won three of their past six games as home underdogs and they are 4-2 against the line in this scenario.

There has been a fair bit to like about the recent form of the Bullets and they are good value to score an upset win.

Back Brisbane To Win @ $2.10

Cairns Taipans Vs New Zealand Breakers

Saturday January 20, 7:30pm, Cairns Convention Centre

There is nothing between these two sides in betting.

Cairns have struggled somewhat in the second half of the season, but they are always tough to beat in front of their home fans.

The Taipans have won 11 of their past 16 games at home for a clear profit and they have won five of their past seven games against the New Zealand Breakers.

Winning away from home has not been an issue for the Breakers and they have won six of their past 11 games on the road for a big profit.

New Zealand gave Cairns a touch-up when they met a week ago and another Breakers win is on the cards in this clash.

Back New Zealand To Win @ $1.90

Sydney Kings Vs Perth Wildcats

Sunday January 21, 3:00pm, Qudos Bank Arena

This is the second meeting between the Sydney Kings and the Perth Wildcats this weekend.

Sydney have a truly awful record as home underdogs – they have lost their past four games in this scenario and have covered the line on just one occasion.

Perth have won 23 of their past 24 games against the Kings as favourites and the Kings have covered the line in just three of these games.

Taking on the Kings continues to be a profitable play and there is no reason to jump-off this weekend.

Back Perth To Beat The Line (-5.5 Points)

Illawarra Hawks Vs Adelaide 36ers

Sunday January 21, 5:00pm, WIN Entertainment Centre

The Illawarra Hawks and the Adelaide 36ers will also meet twice this weekend.

Illawarra have an excellent record at the WIN Entertainment Centre and they have won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites, while they are 7-4 against the line in this scenario.

Adelaide have been nowhere near as strong on the road as they were last weekend and they have been a losing betting proposition against the line as away underdogs.

Illawarra are generally a touch underrated by the market – particularly at home – and they can cover the line in this clash.

Back Illawarra To Beat The Line (-2.5 Points)


There is now less than a month left in the NBL regular season and the race to the NBL Playoffs is now on in earnest.

The action gets underway when the Adelaide 36ers host the Illawarra Hawks on Thursday night before there are double headers on Saturday and Sunday.

Just about every game this weekend will be crucial in the run to the NBL Playoffs and you can find our recommended betting plays for every game below.

Adelaide 36ers Vs Melbourne United

Thursday January 12, 7:30pm, Titanium Security Arena

Adelaide 36ers 100 - Melbourne United 73

This is a top of the table clash and a potential NBL Finals Preview.

The Adelaide 36ers have been in outstanding form over the past month and they head into this clash on the back of another dominant victory over the New Zealand Breakers.

Adelaide will start this clash as narrow favourites and they have proven very tough to beat as the punter’s elect – they are 8-2 as home favourites this season and 6-4 against the line.

Melbourne United were no match for Illawarra last weekend and they will go into this clash as underdogs.

Melbourne have won four of their past eight games as away underdogs for a clear profit, but their record against the line is nowhere near as strong.

The home ground advantage gives Adelaide the edge and they should be able to come away with another victory.

Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-2.5 Points)

New Zealand Breakers Vs Sydney Kings

Friday January 13, 5:30pm, Vector Arena

New Zealand Breakers 92 - Sydney Kings 74

Both these teams are in particularly bad form and it is the New Zealand Breakers that will go into this clash as narrow favourites.

New Zealand have lost three games on the trot, but they have still won ten of their past 15 games as home favourites and they are 8-7 against the line in this scenario.

Sydney have lost five of their past six games and have really fallen into a hole following their impressive start to the season.

The Kings have won four of their past 11 games as away underdogs, but they are an impressive 8-3 against the line in this scenario.

Both these teams are tough to trust from a betting perspective and I am happy to stay out of this clash.

No Bet

Illawarra Hawks Vs Brisbane Bullets

Friday January 13, 7:30pm, Win Entertainment Centre

Illawarra Hawks 85 - Brisbane Bullets 80

The Illawarra Hawks returned to winning form against Melbourne United last weekend and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.

Illawarra have struggled as home favourites this season and they have been a losing betting proposition in both head-to-head and line betting in this scenario, but they have beaten Brisbane twice this season.

The Bullets have lost six of their past eight games and they missed out on a golden opportunity to make it two wins on the trot against the Perth Wildcats last Monday night.

Brisbane have won four of their nine games as away underdogs this season for a narrow profit and there really is not as much between these two teams as the current market suggests.

The 2.75 current on offer is well over the odds.

Back Brisbane To Win @ $2.75

Melbourne United Vs Cairns Taipans

Saturday January 14, 7:30pm, State Netball And Hockey Centre

Melbourne United 92 - Cairns Taipans 85

Melbourne United will be on the quick back-up after playing Adelaide on Friday night, but they will still start this clash as favourites.

Home favourtism has been a position in which Melbourne United have struggled somewhat in the past 12 months in terms of head-to-head betting, but every game that they have won has been by a big margin.

Cairns returned to winning form against the New Zealand Breakers last weekend, but they face a much tougher challenge against Melbourne United.

The Taipans have won just three of their past 12 games as away underdogs for a clear loss and they are 5-7 against the line in this scenario.

Melbourne United should prove far too strong for their rivals and can cover the line comfortably.

Back Melbourne United To Beat The Line (-4.5 Points)

Perth Wildcats Vs Adelaide 36ers

Saturday January 14, 9:30pm, Perth Arena

Perth Wildcats 84 - Adelaide 36ers 95

The Perth Wildcats made it three wins on the trot with their win over the Brisbane Bullets on Monday night and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.

Perth are always tough to beat in front of their home fans and they have won 13 of their past 17 games as home favourites, but their record against the line is an unconvincing 8-1-8.

Adelaide are on the quick back-up following their game on Thursday night and they remain the form team in the competition.

The 36ers have won seven of their past 15 games as away underdogs for a clear profit and they have also been a winning play against the line in this scenario.

This will be one of the most exciting games of the weekend and I am keen to back Adelaide with a start of 2.5 points.

Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (+2.5 Points)

Brisbane Bullets Vs New Zealand Breakers

Sunday January 15, 3:00pm, Brisbane Convention Centre

Brisbane Bullets 82 - New Zealand Breakers 84

This is a crucial game for both sides as they are quickly falling out of NBL Playoffs calculations.

Brisbane suffered yet another loss in front of their home fans on Monday and they have now won only two of their past eight games as home favourites for a clear loss.

New Zealand have not won a game on the road for a couple of months and they have won only five of their past 16 games as away underdogs.

Their record against the line in this scenario is much stronger and they are more than capable of competing with a Brisbane Bullets side that has really struggled in recent weeks.

Back New Zealand To Beat The Line (+2.5 Points)

Cairns Taipans Vs Perth Wildcats

Monday January 16, 7:30pm, Cairns Convention Centre

Perth have won three games away from home on the trot and they will go into this clash with the Cairns Taipans as narrow favourites.

This will be just the second game that Perth have started as away favourites in 12 months and despite their recent form they remain a losing betting proposition away from home.

Cairns have won their two games as home underdogs this season and their record in front of their home fans remains very strong.

The Taipans are often underrated from a betting perspective and they are good value to get the job done on Monday night.

Back Cairns To Win @ $2