Only four rounds of NBL action remain as we continue the push towards the finals.
In case you hadn’t heard, only a game separates fourth from seventh on the ladder, while the race for the top spot between the Kings and the Wildcats remains razor tight.
The hardcourt action heats up this weekend with just about every game holding serious implications, so be sure to read our entire 2020 NBL Round 17 Preview below for complete coverage.
S.E. Melbourne Phoenix
Thursday, January, 23, Queensland State Netball Centre, 7:30pm
Three wins on the trot has the Bullets riding a bit of a purple patch ahead of Thursday’s massive game against the Phoenix.
With two games to play this weekend, the Bullets could potentially edge Melbourne for a spot inside the top four – a scenario that seemed highly unlikely only a month ago.
Now at 11-11, the Bullets were once considered a chance for the wooden spoon, but some sharp play from the NBL’s third-highest scorer Lamar Patterson has helped them turned things around.
South East Melbourne, on the other hand, continues to flounder with only three wins from their last 10-games. The Phoenix have slipped into second-last on the ladder, while their 3-8 mark on the road this year also leaves a lot to be desired.
Andrej Lemanis’ side will be hungry for revenge after losing their previous two meetings to the Phoenix. On both occasions the Bullets lost by double-digits, however four wins from their last five home games makes it almost impossible to back against Brisbane.
Unfortunately, you will need to be creative in the market with the Bullets at such a short price. The previous two games between these sides have gone Over the Total, so take a Same Game Multi.
Tip: Back the Bullets to Win & Over the Points Total
Friday, January, 24, WIN Entertainment Centre, 7:30pm
First and last get together on Friday night in a game full of importance.
Sydney find themselves only a game clear atop the ladder after losing to the Breakers in New Zealand last week. The Kings did respond nicely with a double-digit win over the Phoenix at home, but they’ll need to keep their foot on the gas if they wish to hold off the red-hot Wildcats.
Illawarra, meanwhile, has finally hit rock bottom after suffering their fifth consecutive loss last week to the Bullets. The biggest defeat of all though comes in the form of LaMelo Ball, who has announced he’ll skip the remainder of the season.
The absence of Ball is obviously welcome news to the Kings as they look for some revenge on their New Year’s Eve loss. Sydney fell by five to Illawarra on the road, which was surprisingly the third time the Kings have lost to the Hawks in their last five meetings.
With that in mind, it’s a little difficult to back the Kings and this very long line. Instead, it’s worth noting the last three times the Hawks have played the Kings at home the Total has gone Under, so play it safe here.
Tip: Under the Points Total
Saturday, January, 25, Adelaide Entertainment Centre, 5:30pm
The market reflects two things: Brisbane playing on short rest, and the 36ers holding home-court advantage.
This is a big ask for the Bullets following a tough Thursday night game against the Phoenix, and just like every other game this weekend, the stakes are high.
Adelaide found themselves in Brisbane’s position a week ago before losing a blowout to Cairns. Consequently, the 36ers have slipped down to seventh in the standings, but with only a game separating themselves and the Bullets at time of publish, there’s still plenty of time for Adelaide to rejoin the top four.
Brisbane can take confidence away from their narrow two-point win over the 36ers back in November, while Bullets fans can also rest easy knowing their side has won three of the last five meetings against Adelaide.
Speaking of the last five games, the Total has gone Over in four. So, instead of risking it head-to-head, take this one to be high scoring.
Tip: Over the Points Total
New Zealand Breakers
Saturday, January, 25, RAC Arena, 8pm
You wouldn’t go as far as calling this a must-win game for the Wildcats, but it’s still pretty important if Perth holds any hope of catching the Kings atop the table.
The good news is the Wildcats have won back-to-back games leading into Saturday’s home clash against the Breakers. The Wildcats have played to a 7-3 record at home so far this season, while the Kiwis are 4-7 on the road.
This is also an equally important game for the Breakers as they look to make a surprise push for a top four spot. New Zealand improved to 11-12 last week with back-to-back wins over Sydney and Melbourne – reminding the rest of the league they aren’t to be taken lightly.
Winning against two of the NBL’s top teams at home was a big achievement for the Breakers, but it’s difficult to see them knocking off another top four side on the road.
New Zealand hasn’t won in Perth since 2017, so it’s worth backing the Wildcats to win this one comfortably.
Tip: Back the Wildcats to Cover the Line (-8.5 Points) @ $1.90
S.E. Melbourne Phoenix
Sunday, January, 26, State Basketball Centre, 3pm
The Taipans will be looking to pick up where they left off against the Phoenix on New Year’s Eve.
Cairns won their last meeting against South East Melbourne 92-84, a result the bookies are clearly factoring in by listing the Taipans as narrow head-to-head favourites.
The Phoenix, much like the Bullets, face a huge weekend on short rest. South East Melbourne returns home after their trip to Brisbane on Thursday night, and although their 6-5 record at home suggests the Phoenix could cause an upset here, it’s still tough to back them on recent form.
We’ll likely know a little more about the Phoenix following Thursday’s game, but at time of publish, South East Melbourne has failed to score 90-points or more in three of their last five games.
The Taipans, meanwhile, have played to an impressive 6-2 record as the favourite this season and also lead the league in field-goal percentage.
Considering these two sides are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum (and the ladder), take the well-rested Taipans to strengthen their spot inside the top four.
Tip: Back the Taipans to Win @ $1.80
Sunday, January, 26, Qudos Bank Arena, 5pm
The Sydney Kings-Melbourne United rivalry has provided plenty of entertainment so far this season and we should be treated to another classic on Sunday.
These two sides have met three times already this year with the Kings holding a 2-1 series advantage. Sydney got the upper hand with a blowout 104-81 victory in Melbourne last month, leaving the Kings as firm favourites this time around.
Andrew Gaze’s side will be hoping to improve on their 10-2 mark at home whilst also keeping a buffer between themselves and the second-place Wildcats. United hasn’t won in Sydney since March last year, while a pair of back-to-back losses last week leaves Melbourne in danger of dropping out of the top four.
It’s difficult to trust Melbourne on the heels of two blowout losses to the 36ers and Breakers, but it’s also hard to back the Kings at their current price.
Fortunately, there is one trend worth paying attention to. The Total has gone Over in 11 of Melbourne’s last 15 games following a previous loss, so it’s worth pairing a high-scoring game with a Kings win.
Tip: Back the Kings to Win & Over the Points Total
It’s a tight race to the finish, and with just two rounds remaining, the season is coming down to the wire for the NBL’s top four sides.
It’s another double-trouble weekend for the likes of Melbourne and Sydney, both of which square off on Friday night. The weekend closes with another blockbuster between the Kings and the Wildcats, but not before the up and about Adelaide 36ers take on Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.
This might just be the biggest round of hard-court action we’ve seen all season, so be sure to check out all of our NBL Round 17 tips in our Preview below!
New Zealand Breakers
Thursday February 7, 5:20pm, Spark Arena
Not for the first time this season, it was yet another heartbreaking overtime loss for the Breakers going down 111-102 against Melbourne United last week.
The 36ers came good in a close one of their own against Cairns, holding on for a nine-point win on the road. The victory sees Adelaide into the finals conversation thanks to a handy pair of losses from the Bullets, but they’ll need to be at their best ahead of this weekend’s road trip to Auckland.
Having not won a game at Spark Arena since 2017, Adelaide come into this one at the wider price. The 36ers are 6-12 as the away underdog against the Breakers, while New Zealand hold a steady 7-6 record as the line favourite against Adelaide.
The Breakers are always a tough play at home, but considering the 36ers have won six of their last 10, you have to take a chance at this price.
Tip: Back the 36ers To Win @ $2.30
Thursday February 7, 7:50pm, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
The Bullets find themselves on the outside looking in after back-to-back losses last weekend. Brisbane can still make the finals from here, but they’ll need to make full use of home-court advantage, something they’ve failed to do in recent weeks.
Illawarra also have plenty on the line this week now tied on percentage-points with the Bullets. A win would see the Hawks leapfrog Brisbane for fifth on the ladder, making them an intriguing dark horse to potentially sneak into the finals.
The last time these sides met, Brisbane walked away with a commanding 100-74 victory on the road. The Bullets have now won two-straight over the Hawks, including an equally impressive 19-point blowout in Brisbane back in November.
Despite their success though, it’s surprising to see the Bullets at such a short price. The three-point line looks about right, but it’s worth keeping in mind the Hawks are 3-1 as the spread underdog against Brisbane. We’re backing this one to be a little closer than recent history suggests.
Tip: Back the Hawks at the Line (+3.5 Points) @ $1.95
Friday February 8, 7:50pm, Qudos Bank Arena
The NBL schedule has left us with another beauty as the first-place Melbourne United travel to face the third-place Sydney Kings on Friday night. It’s huge as far as the hosts are concerned – a win for the Kings could not only see them leapfrog the Wildcats for second, but also tie them on percentage-points with Melbourne atop the ladder.
United have now won four-straight thanks to two brilliant victories over the Breakers last week. Likewise, the Kings have also got their season back on track riding a two-game winning streak after making short work of the Bullets.
So who should you side with?
If recent history is anything to go by, you should expect this one to be close. The last three meetings between these two have been decided by seven-points or less, but it is worth nothing Melbourne have won all three of those games.
United also hold a handy 24-0-11 away record over the last 12-months, and with some fairly even odds on offer, you have to like Melbourne to further cement themselves as the NBL’s number one team.
Tip: Back Melbourne To Win @ $1.85
Saturday February 9, 2:50pm, Cairns Convention Centre
Cairns slumped to a fourth-straight loss last week losing to the Hawks in blowout fashion, but the same also goes for the Bullets, who ride into their second game of the weekend with so much on the line.
It might appear as though this could be a cakewalk for Brisbane, but their recent visits to Cairns suggest otherwise. The Bullets lost by 29-points at the Convention Centre last month, while their 3-6 record as the favourite over the last 12-months isn’t quite so convincing.
The Taipans have shown very little form however, especially after shooting just 46% from the field against the Hawks last week. Given Cairns are also just 3-3 as the underdog against Brisbane, this shapes up as a market you’re probably best off avoiding.
Tip: No Bet
New Zealand Breakers
Saturday February 9, 7:50pm, WIN Entertainment Centre
The Hawks must be licking their lips knowing they face a traveling Breakers side on just a day’s rest. If you’ll recall, Illawarra tore apart New Zealand 107-96 when these two met last month, and with a sudden spot in the finals up for grabs, this couldn’t be any more in favour of the Hawks.
To their credit, New Zealand have won three of their last five meetings against Illawarra, although their form on the road makes an upset pretty unlikely. The Breakers short just 34% from three-point range in Melbourne last week, and they’ll need every point they can get against a Hawks side that leads the league in steals.
Illawarra are 5-3 as the spread favourite against New Zealand and it’s surprising to see them only favoured by three-points. Take the line and run with it.
Tip: Back the Hawks to Cover The Line (-2.5 Points) @ $1.90
Sunday February 10, 2:50pm, Titanium Security Arena
This game shapes up as the perfect test for the 36ers if they are indeed destined for the finals.
Backing up from Thursday night’s road game against the Breakers will be tricky, but if Adelaide could somehow pull off back-to-back wins this weekend, they’d further widen the gap between themselves and the fifth-place Bullets.
The last time Adelaide met Melbourne back in January they fell by as many as 23-points. Last December’s meeting was also telling, as the two combined for 204 total points in the 36ers’ two-point victory.
It’s rare to find the 36ers as the underdog at home, a scenario that hasn’t happened at all over the last 12-months. In this scenario against Melbourne, Adelaide are 1-3, but you have to factor in United’s crucial game against the Kings only two days prior.
With the 36ers earning an extra day of rest, an upset is certainly on the cards.
Tip: Back Adelaide To Win @ $2.00
Sunday February 10, 5:20pm, RAC Arena
Perth enjoy a one-game schedule this week, but it’s certainly no walk in the park. For the fourth time in the last three months the Wildcats come face-to-face with the Kings to close out Round 17, and after their 20-point loss a fortnight ago, you have to question if Perth are up to the challenge.
Fortunately, the Wildcats do have home-court advantage in their favour, although it may count for very little considering Sydney have won their last two visits to Perth. The most recent came last December in a one-point win, but it appears even the bookies aren’t entirely convinced Sydney can make it three in a row.
As the home favourite the Wildcats are a crazy 13-2 against the Kings, while Sydney have gone 5-3 as the away underdog over the last 12-months. This is the kind of game Perth desperately need to get up for if they wish to hold on to second on the ladder, and with an extra few days of rest, they should take it in a close one.
Tip: Back Perth 1-10 @ $2.65
There are only three weeks left in the NBL regular season and the top four sides in the competition are set in stone, but there is still plenty of jostling for positions within that top four.
Melbourne United are now two games on top of the NBL Ladder and they can extend that lead with a win over the Brisbane Bullets, while the Perth Wildcats and Adelaide 36ers meet in two massive games that could determine who finishes the season in second.
We have analysed every game set to take place this weekend and our complete NBL Round 17 tips can be found below.
New Zealand Breakers
Friday February 2, 7:30pm, WIN Entertainment Centre
The New Zealand Breakers have won only one of their past four games and it is the Illawarra Hawks that will start this clash as favourites.
Illawarra returned to winning form with a strong victory over the Cairns Taipans and they are always a tough team to beat in front of their home fans.
The Hawks have won nine of their past 13 games as home favourites for a profit and they are 8-5 against the line in this scenario.
It has been a tough month for the Breakers and they really need to win this game if they hope to finish any higher than fourth.
The Breakers have won five of their past ten games as away underdogs for a big profit and they have beaten the Hawks in Illawarra this season.
This is a game that the market does look to have gotten just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Friday February 2, 9:30pm, Perth Arena
This will likely be a replay of a series that we see during the NBL Playoffs.
The Perth Wildcats ended their losing streak with a dominant win over the New Zealand Breakers and they have an excellent record at Perth Arena.
They have won 12 of their past 16 games as home favourites for a clear profit and even more impressive is the fact they have beaten the line in each of these wins.
The Adelaide 36ers had their winning streak ended by the Brisbane Bullets and they are a side that is capable of stringing together some defeats.
Adelaide have won five of their past ten games as away underdogs for a profit, but their record against the line is no better.
The home team has won seven of the past eight games played between these two sides and the Wildcats are a great bet to cover the line.
Back Perth To Beat The Line (-5.5 Points)
Saturday February 3, 5:30pm, Hisense Arena
Melbourne United have won 10 of their past 11 games and they will start this clash with the Brisbane Bullets as dominant favourites.
Melbourne have been close to flawless over the past couple of months and their record at home is outstanding – they have won nine of their past 12 games as home favourites and they are 8-4 against the line in this scenario.
The Brisbane Bullets ended their losing streak with an upset win over the Adelaide 36ers, but they face a tougher challenge against Melbourne United.
Brisbane have won three of their past 12 games as away underdogs for a clear loss and they are 6-2-4 against the line in this situation.
This is a game that Melbourne United should be able to win comfortably and the line of 7.5 points will not be enough.
Back Melbourne United To Beat The Line (-7.5 Points)
Saturday February 3, 7:30pm, Cairns Convention Centre
The Cairns Taipans have won only one of their past five games, but they will still start this game as favourites.
Cairns have won seven of their past 11 games for a profit, but they are only 5-6 against the line in this scenario.
The Sydney Kings have show some levels of improvement in the second half of the season however they are still a tough side to trust from a betting perspective.
Sydney have won only three of their past 12 games as away underdogs and their record against the line is not much better.
It is impossible to back either of these teams with any real confidence.
New Zealand Breakers
Sunday February 4, 1:00pm, Spark Arena
This is the second meeting between these two teams this weekend.
The New Zealand Breakers have struggled on the road in recent weeks, but their form at home has been excellent and they have won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites, while they are 6-2-3 against the line in this situation.
Winning away from home continues to be an issue for the Illawarra Hawks and they have not done so in several months.
The Hawks have won four of their past 15 games as away underdogs and their record against the line is not much better.
New Zealand are one of the safest bets of the week and they can cover the line comfortably.
Back New Zealand To Beat The Line (-5.5 Points)
Sunday February 4, 3:00pm, North Shore Events Centre
This another rematch between two sides that have already met this week.
As I said earlier, the home side has seven of the past eight games played between these two teams and that gives the Adelaide 36ers the clear edge, but the Perth Wildcats can’t be ruled out.
Adelaide have won eight of their past 12 games as home favourites for a loss and they are 7-5 against the line in this scenario.
Winning on the road has not been an issue for the Wildcats this season and they have won five of their past seven games as away underdogs for a huge profit.
Perth are more than capable of recording an upset win and they are juicy value at their current price of $2.35.
Back Perth Wildcats To Win @ $2.35
There are now only three weeks left in the 2016/2017 NBL season and the race for positions in the NBL Playoffs is getting very intense.
The Brisbane Bullets and Sydney Kings do battle in a crucial clash for both sides on Friday night, while there are two massive games on Saturday and the highlight is the top of the table clash between the Illawarra Hawks and the Adelaide 36ers.
The round finishes on Sunday night when Cairns host Brisbane and you can find our thoughts on every single game below.
New Zealand Breakers
Thursday January 26, 7:30pm, North Shore Events Centre
The New Zealand Breakers have got themselves right into NBL Playoffs contention and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
New Zealand have produced a strong defensive effort to record four wins on the trot and they have now won 12 of their past 16 games as home favourites, while they are 10-6 against the line in this scenario.
Cairns scored a fighting win over the Illawarra Hawks on Sunday and they will take confidence from the fact that they have won their past three games against New Zealand.
The Taipans have won just three of their past 12 games as away underdogs for a clear loss and they have also been a losing betting proposition against the line.
New Zealand should be able to get the job done comfortably and the line of 3.5 points will not be enough.
Back New Zealand To Beat The Line (-3.5 Points)
Friday January 27, 7:30pm, Brisbane Convention Centre
This is set to be one of the most competitive games of the weekend and the market has been unable to separate the two sides.
The Brisbane Bullets ended their losing streak with an outstanding team effort against Melbourne United and they have the chance to win again in their last home game of the season.
Brisbane have been a losing betting proposition at home this season, but they have won all four of their previous games as home underdogs.
Sydney have won just one of their past eight games and they were no match for the Adelaide 36ers last weekend.
The Kings have won only five of their past 15 games away from home and it is tough to trust them on their recent form.
These are two teams that are hard to have any faith in whatsoever and I am happy to stay out of this clash from a betting standpoint.
Saturday January 28, 7:30pm, Win Entertainment Centre
The Adelaide 36ers remain the form team in the NBL and they are set to claim the minor premiership comfortably.
This will be the first time that Adelaide have started an away game as favourites this season, but they have a strong record away from home – they have won eight of their past 15 games on the road for a big profit.
Illawarra have suffered two losses on the trot, but they have won their only two games as home underdogs this season and they are always tough to beat in front of their home fans.
Adelaide have lost their past three games at Win Entertainment Centre and it really is the Hawks that represent value in this clash.
Back Illawarra To Win @ $2.15
Saturday January 28, 9:30pm, Perth Arena
This is a crucial game for both sides as they battle for the final positions in the NBL Playoffs.
Perth lost to New Zealand last week, but they will still start this clash as clear favourites.
Perth Arena is not the fortress that it once was and Perth have actually been a losing betting play at home this season – they have won 11 of their 16 games at the venue for a loss and they are 7-1-8 against the line.
Melbourne United suffered a disappointing loss at the hands of the Brisbane Bullets and they have now lost three of their past four games.
They have actually won three of their past seven games as away underdogs for a profit and if they play at their best they are more than capable of producing an upset at a juicy price.
Back Melbourne United To Win @ $2.35
New Zealand Breakers
Sunday January 29, 3:00pm, Qudos Bank Arena
The Sydney Kings and New Zealand Breakers are both on the quick back-up after playing earlier this round.
Sydney will start this clash as favourites, but their record as the punter’s elect has gone to pieces in the past month – they have won just seven of their past 13 games as home favourites and they are 5-8 against the line.
New Zealand have won seven of their past 17 games as away underdogs for a clear profit and they have an impressive record of 10-1-6 against the line in this scenario.
I am keen to oppose the Sydney Kings in their current form and New Zealand are a great value bet to get the job done.
Back New Zealand To Win @ $2.25
Sunday January 29, 7:00pm, Cairns Convention Centre
This is a key game for the Cairns Taipans as they look to keep their season alive.
Cairns will start this clash as clear favourites and they have won five of their past eight games in this scenario, while they are 4-4 against the line.
Brisbane have struggled badly away from home in the past month and they have won just four of their past 11 games as away underdogs.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out of this clash from a betting standpoint.