Another jam-packed week of NBL is upon us with games stretching from Tuesday right through to the following Monday.
Key highlights this week include a top of the table clash between the Wildcats and Melbourne on Thursday night, followed by another edition of the ‘Throwdown’ on Sunday.
We’ve officially reached the pointy end of the season with only four rounds remaining, and you can find our best bets for all 10 games in our 2021 NBL Round 18 Preview here.
Thursday, May, 13, Nissan Arena, 7:30pm
Another crucial game between the Bullets and Kings is in store on Thursday as both sides look to move a step closer to qualifying for the finals.
A win for the Kings would go a long way to ensuring a top-four spot, while the Bullets are left with work to do still sitting sixth behind the Hawks.
Brisbane comes into this game having just knocked off the Taipans in Perth, but it is a little surprising to find them as the favourite after they lost by double-digits to Sydney just over a month ago.
The Kings, meanwhile, are looking to snap their two-game skid after suffering an agonizing overtime loss last week to Adelaide.
The Bullets haven’t played at Nissan Arena since late March, so a return home should have them beaming with confidence this week.
That said, this game really is a coin flip, so I’m happy to side with the Under here.
Brisbane’s last two home games against the Kings have gone Under the Total, and I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams take a conservative approach against one another with so much on the line.
Tip: Under 178.5 Total Points @ $1.90
Thursday, May, 13, RAC Arena, 9:30pm
The two championship favourites square off on Thursday night in another crucial game between the first and second on the ladder.
United will be out for revenge after coming up well short of this same Wildcats team last week at home, but they do have their work cut out playing on the road for the first time in just over a month.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, remain at home following a win over the Breakers last week.
Like always, Perth has been almost unbeatable at RAC Arena, especially against Melbourne where they’ve gone 14-6 as the home favourite.
There’s some good value here head-to-head, but the Wildcats should win this one comfortably if they can force United into a handful of costly turnovers like they did last week.
Tip: Back the Wildcats to Cover the Line (-4.5 Points) @ $1.95
South East Melbourne Phoenix
Friday, May, 14, John Cain Arena, 7:30pm
The Phoenix are looking to make it three in a row over the Taipans on Saturday night.
South East Melbourne made short work of Cairns when they met two weeks ago winning by 20 points, while they were also super impressive during Wednesday’s nine-point win over the Breakers.
A win for the Phoenix would go a long way to ensuring a spot in the top four and they have to feel good about the fact they’ve won three of their five games against the Taipans since entering the competition.
This is basically a matchup between the league’s highest scoring offence and the league’s worst, so if recent history is anything to go by, the Phoenix should be winning this comfortably.
Tip: Back the Phoenix to Cover the Line (-11.5 Points) @ $1.90
Saturday, May, 15, Nissan Arena, 5:30pm
The Bullets are determined to keep things interesting over the remaining weeks.
Brisbane blew the Kings right out of the water on Thursday night at Nissan Arena thanks to a 28-point game from Anthony Drmic as they look to make a late push for a finals spot.
Knocking off another top contender only two days later won’t be easy, but there is a bit to like about the Bullets here with Perth coming off a shock loss at home to Melbourne United.
The Wildcats rarely lose back-to-back games, but the fact the Bullets are 5-2 as the home underdog at the line against Perth makes them a worthwhile play to cover.
Tip: Back the Bullets to Cover the Line
New Zealand Breakers
Saturday, May, 15, WIN Entertainment Centre, 8:00pm
This shapes as a key game for the Hawks as they look to move one step closer to securing a top four spot.
Illawarra helped its cause on Tuesday with a five-point win over Adelaide, and they do look a good bet to make it three in a row after defeating this same Breakers side only a week ago in Auckland.
The Hawks weren’t anything special that day, but they did manage to force New Zealand into 15 turnovers.
When the Hawks are hot they’re always worth betting on, and with a chance to improve on their steady 7-5 record at home, I’m finding it tough to fade them.
Tip: Back the Hawks 1-10
South East Melbourne Phoenix
Sunday, May, 16, John Cain Arena, 3:00pm
Melbourne United will roll into the fifth ‘Throwdown’ of the season with all the momentum after defeating the Phoenix by 11 points when they met last week.
Since then, United has gone on to record what could be a season-defining victory over the Wildcats in Perth as they return home to John Cain Arena to face their rivals.
The Phoenix are at a bit of a disadvantage here after facing the Taipans only two days earlier, so it’s especially hard to fade United in this spot after they’ve won three of the previous four Throwdown’s this season.
Last week Melbourne dominated the glass to win comfortably, and if they can continue to play lights out defence, they should add to their record atop the table.
Tip: Back Melbourne to Cover the Line
Sunday, May, 16, QUDOS Bank Arena, 5:00pm
The Kings should have a real point to prove on Sunday after coming up well short to the Bullets on Thursday night.
The loss leaves Sydney with plenty of work to do if they wish to secure a finals spot, and this game is far from a guarantee against a 36ers side that has been playing some good ball of late.
Adelaide rattled off three consecutive victories prior to last week’s loss to the Hawks, one of which came against this same Kings team in overtime.
Offensively, the 36ers have been playing some good ball of late, but perhaps the most impressive part of their game has been the fact they’ve held three of their last four opponents to less than 80 points.
With a little more rest on their side and a decent 8-6 record at the line as the away underdog against the Kings, I like Adelaide to keep this tight.
Tip: Back the 36ers to Cover the Line
Monday, May, 17, Cairns Pop Up Arena, 7:30pm
The season could be decided this weekend as the race for a top four spot continues.
Beginning early on Wednesday night, Melbourne and Perth tip things off in a potential finals preview, followed by another mammoth game between the Breakers and the 36ers on Friday.
As if that wasn’t enough, first and second are also in action on Saturday with a Grand Final rematch between the Wildcats and Kings that could determine the playoff seeding.
This has been one of the wildest NBL seasons to date, so if you’re looking for some winning plays, be sure to read our Round 18 Preview below.
Wednesday, January, 29, Melbourne Arena, 7:30pm
The Wildcats will be licking their lips at the thought of potentially ending Melbourne’s season on Wednesday night.
Three consecutive losses leaves United sitting fifth on the ladder at 11-12, making this a make-or-break game with only three rounds remaining.
This isn’t a must-win game for Perth, but a victory would go a long way to ensuring the Wildcats keep in touch with the Kings. Unlike Melbourne, Trevor Gleeson’s side has won three on the trot following Saturday’s one-point scare against the Breakers, leaving the visitors as slight favourites on the road.
Perth has won four of the last five meetings between these two including a famous 3-1 series win in last year’s Grand Final. The Wildcats will also be hoping for revenge on their loss to United at home last month that saw them fall by double-digits.
Wildcats fans can rest easy knowing their side has played to a near-perfect 6-1 record as the away underdog against Melbourne. With that in mind, Perth looks well over the odds here.
Tip: Back the Wildcats to Win @ $1.85
New Zealand Breakers
Friday, January, 31, Spark Arena, 5:30pm
Two 11-13 teams meet on Friday night in what many are calling the game of the round.
New Zealand’s rise up the ladder has caught everyone off guard as the Breakers suddenly find themselves sitting two games out of fourth place.
As for Adelaide, the 36ers also have plenty to play for – although last week’s nine-point loss to the Bullets left plenty to be desired.
The market is well in favour of the Breakers at home, however Joey Wright’s side can find confidence in the fact they’ve won their last two games against across the ditch.
Both sides are coming off a loss and neither has particularly strong form in this situation. If there is one trend to hang your hat on though, it’s probably the Total going Under in the last seven meetings between these two teams.
Tip: Under the Points Total
Friday, January, 31, Cairns Convention Centre, 8pm
If you’re a Snakes fan, the math is simple: win out.
Cairns sits third on the ladder at 14-10, but the Taipans are in a precarious position only a game clear from the Bullets. Mike Kelly’s side is also a chance at snatching the second spot away from the Wildcats, making this somewhat easy game against the Hawks a must-win.
Illawarra has lost six in a row, but there isn’t as much between these two sides as the market suggests. The Hawks have quietly won nine games over the Taipans dating back to 2017, making this one of the best upset bets of the entire weekend if you’re looking for some hard-earned value.
Tip: Back the Hawks to Win @ $5.00
Saturday, February, 1 ,Queensland State Netball Centre , 5:30pm
Brisbane’s return to the top four has been nothing short of remarkable as the Bullets now look to extend their winning streak to six on Saturday.
The Bullets need to keep up the good work with United breathing down their neck, making this another all-important game with serious finals implications on the line.
Melbourne will also need to be at their best following a tough Wednesday night game against the Wildcats. Dean Vickerman’s side can rest easy however knowing they’ve won their last two trips to Brisbane.
These two sides are both averaging around 94 points-per-game, meaning we should see plenty of scoring in this one. It helps knowing the Total has gone Over in their last three meetings, so instead of risking it head-to-head, take this one to be a high scoring.
Tip: Over the Points Total
Saturday, February, 1 ,RAC Arena , 8pm
Perth and Sydney get together for the fourth time on Saturday with the ledger sitting 2-1 in favour of the Wildcats.
Trevor Gleeson’s side holds home-court advantage here and as the odds suggest, it could be the deciding factor.
The Wildcats have played to a strong 8-3 record at RAC Arena this season, while Sydney’s growing 7-5 record on the road leaves the ladder leaders as firm outsiders.
You have to rewind back to 2018 to find Sydney’s last win in Perth, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any value to be had on the Kings.
Andrew Gaze’s men come in well-rested, while the Wildcats have a much taller task ahead of them following a tough game against Melbourne on Wednesday night.
The Kings have been the second-best team to play on at the line this year covering in 15 of their 25 games. Sydney is laying a generous +2.5 spread, so take the Kings to keep this close.
Tip: Back the Kings to Cover the Line (+2.5 Points) @ $1.90
New Zealand Breakers
Sunday, February, 2,WIN Entertainment Centre, 3pm
Boy how things have changed.
The Hawks and the Breakers were neck-and-neck in the wooden spoon race only a month ago, but eight wins from their last 12 games now sees New Zealand well in the thick of the finals conversation.
Illawarra has nothing left to play for other than the chance to spoil the Breakers’ season. The Hawks will have their work cut out though considering they haven’t beaten the Kiwis since this time last year.
The Breakers are always a risky play on the road but their recent form suggests this is a game they should get up for. Four of New Zealand’s last five games against the Hawks have been decided by double digits, so take the value on offer in the margin market.
Tip: Back the Breakers 11+
S.E. Melbourne Phoenix
Sunday, February, 2,Adelaide Entertainment Centre, 5pm
Adelaide will be hoping to end Round 18 on a high note with a big home win over the struggling Phoenix.
South East Melbourne has slumped all the way down to second-last on the ladder at 9-15 and, with only one win from their last five games, it looks almost impossible to back a Phoenix upset here.
We’ll know a little more about the 36ers following their Friday night game against the Breakers, however for the time being, the trends suggest the margin is again the safest play.
The previous three games between these two sides have been decided by 10-points or less, so with Adelaide playing on short rest, don’t be surprised if this one turns out close.
Tip: Back the 36ers 1-10
The twists and turns of the NBL season have left us with one huge cliffhanger – who’s finishing on top of the ladder?
It’s a razor tight Top 4, and it all boils down to a regular season finale between Melbourne and Perth on Sunday afternoon.
There’s also plenty on the line for the likes of the 36ers and Bullets, both of which are facing a “do or die” type scenario for a spot in the Top 4.
So who should you be backing in this chaotic round of hoops? Be sure to check out our entire 2018/19 NBL Round 18 Preview below.
New Zealand Breakers
Thursday February 14, 5:20pm, TSB Arena
The Breakers meet the Hawks for the second week in a row following last week’s impressive 96-81 win on the road. The loss put a fork in Illawarra’s remaining finals hopes, but at least there’s a chance to end the season on a high note.
With home-court advantage this time around, the Breakers enter as the rightful favourites. New Zealand are 11-5 against the Hawks in this scenario, with their last home game against Illawarra resulting in a 96-79 blowout win back in December.
The Hawks didn’t do a whole lot wrong last week, they just couldn’t hit a three-point shot. Illawarra finished the game a measly 26% from beyond the arc, while the Breakers were spectacular shooting 54% from the field. Since New Zealand have looked tough to beat at home this year, it’s tough to see the Hawks’ fortunes changing.
Tip: Back the Breakers to Cover The Line (-5.5 Points) @ $1.90
Thursday February 14, 7:50pm, Melbourne Arena
Even after holding on for a two-point win over the 36ers, Melbourne’s 12-point loss to the Kings last week ultimately cost them the top spot on the ladder. United now find themselves tied on percentage points with the Wildcats, setting up a pivotal home game against this year’s wooden spooners.
Cairns snapped their five-game losing streak last week in a nine-point win over the Bullets at home. Melo Trimble’s 23-point effort proved the difference, but it’s worth noting Cairns still struggled from beyond the three-point line.
United have won four straight over Cairns dating back to last season, although they did need an extra quarter of overtime to walk away with a 10-point win last month. Even so, there’s too much on the line for United to let this slip, and with a 16-1 record as the home favourite against the Taipans, they should have no trouble putting the pressure back on Perth.
Tip: Back Melbourne To Win By 11+ @ $2.25
Friday February 15, 9:50pm, RAC Arena
There’s so much on the line for both of these sides. A win for Perth would guarantee top spot on the ladder heading into the finals, while a victory for the 36ers would also secure fourth-place and a date with either the Wildcats or Melbourne next week.
After a late season hump, Perth have bounced back strongly to win five straight games, the most recent of which being a 95-86 win over the Kings in overtime. The Wildcats have also won four-straight home games, but there’s reason to suggest the 36ers could spoil the party.
Adelaide lost to Melbourne last week in a closely fought two-point game. It’s been an up and down season for the 36ers, but keep in mind, they have won three of their last five over Perth – including a one-point road win at RAC Arena back in September..
Points have proven hard to come by when these two teams meet. The points tally has failed to go over 200 in their last five games, but the question is, can Adelaide handle the pressure with their season on the line?
With five wins in their last six road games, the answer most certainly is yes.
Tip: Back the 36ers To Win @ $2.35
Saturday February 16, 2:50pm, Qudos Bank Arena
The Kings have really received the luck of the draw this week. Now sitting third on the ladder following last week’s overtime loss to Perth, Sydney have a chance to make up ground with a game in hand against the NBL’s worst side.
Cairns last beat the Kings back in 2017, but since then have lost five straight. Even more alarming, the Taipans have also lost their last five trips to Sydney, with the most recent coming in an eight-point overtime loss back in October.
The Kings have opened as eight-point favourites, which seems a little generous considering the disparity between the two sides. With Cairns backing up on a day’s rest following Thursday’s game meeting with Melbourne, this looks a safe bet.
Tip: Back the Kings to Cover The Line (-7.5 Points) @ $1.85
New Zealand Breakers
Saturday February 16, 7:50pm, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
The Bullets’ path to the finals is pretty simple. The Wildcats need to beat Adelaide in Perth on Friday night for Brisbane to face a “win and you’re in” type scenario on Saturday night against the Breakers.
Nothing about the task ahead is easy for Brisbane, although they do have to feel pretty confident with a traveling Breakers side coming to town. New Zealand beat Brisbane at home back in November by a point, but on such short rest following Thursday’s home game against the Hawks, it’s not surprising to see the Bullets as favourites.
Brisbane only have themselves to blame if they fail to make the Top 4. The Bullets’ 11-point loss to Cairns last week was a low point in what has otherwise been a very up and down season, and since they’ve won only two of their last four home games, it’s hard to find any confidence in Brisbane with their season on the line.
The Breakers might be on short rest, but as we saw last week in Sydney, they are capable of winning big road games. With a 3-1 record against the spread as the road underdog vs. Brisbane, this should be a nail-biter.
Tip: Back the Breakers at the Line (+4.5 Points) @ $1.85
Sunday February 17, 2:50pm, Melbourne Arena
Not for the first time this year, the NBL schedule has saved the best ’till last.
Depending on prior results, this could be a battle for outright first on the ladder, and if it’s anything like January’s meeting, this game might come down to the wire.
Melbourne enter as the favourites at home in front of what should be a raucous crowd. United haven’t lost at home to Perth since 2016, and are an impressive 13-4 as the home favourite over the last 12-months.
With that in mind, the Wildcats have won five-straight games entering Round 18, but they’ll face a tough rebound following Friday’s game against the 36ers.
Tip: Back Melbourne To Win By 1-10 @ $2.60
It is the penultimate weekend of the NBL regular season and we are set for not one, but two top-of-the-table clashes this weekend.
Melbourne United can secure the minor premiership with a pair of wins over the New Zealand Breakers, while the Adelaide 36ers and Perth Wildcats also remain in the hunt for the minor premiership.
We have analysed every game set to take place in the NBL this weekend and our complete NBL Round 18 tips can be found below.
Thursday February 8, 7:30pm, Brisbane Convention Centre
The Brisbane Bullets have the home-court advantage, but it is the Illawarra Hawks that will start this clash as favourites.
Brisbane parted company with key import Perrin Buford during the week and they will go into this clash with a very young side.
The Bullets have won only one of their past nine games and they have not beaten the Hawks since their return to the NBL.
Illawarra have won only one of their past five games and they quickly slipped out of finals contention in the second half of the season.
The Hawks don’t have a great record on the road, but they have won their past three games at the Brisbane Convention Centre and they should prove too strong for an under-strength Bullets outfit.
Back Illawarra Hawks To Win @ $1.80
New Zealand Breakers
Friday February 9, 7:30pm, Hisense Arena
This is a potential Grand Final Preview and it is Melbourne United that will start this clash as clear favourites.
Melboure United have won 11 of their past 12 games and they have clearly been the benchmark in the second half of the season.
They have won nine of their past 12 games as home favourites and they are 7-5 against the line in this scenario.
The New Zealand Breakers recorded a pair of wins over the Illawarra Hawks last weekend, but this is a much tougher challenge.
New Zealand have won five of their past ten games as away underdogs for a big profit and they have won six of their past nine games against Melbourne United in this scenario.
There is not as much between these two sides as the current market suggests and New Zealand really do appeal at their current price of $2.80.
Friday February 9, 9:30pm, Perth Arena
The Perth Wildcats are the shortest-priced favourites in the NBL this weekend.
Perth split a series with the Adelaide 36ers last weekend and they really should prove too strong for the Cairns Taipans.
The Wildcats have won 12 of their past 16 games as home favourites and they have covered the line in each of these wins.
The Cairns Taipans have won only one of their past six games and they have struggled in the second half of the season.
Cairns have won only three of their past 14 games and their record against the line is no better.
The line is big, but Perth should be far too strong for their rivals.
Back Perth Wildcats To Beat The Line (-10.5 Points)
Saturday February 10, 5:30pm, Qudos Bank Arena
The wooden spoon could well be on the line in this clash between the Sydney Kings and the Brisbane Bullets.
It is Sydney that will start this clash as favourites and they have shown some promising signs over the past fortnight – Jerome Randle in particular has come into his own.
The Kings have still only won three of their past six games as home favourites and are a tough team to trust from a betting standpoint.
Brisbane have won only three of their past 13 games as away underdogs, but they are 7-2-4 against the line in this scenario.
There is not as much between these two teams as the current market suggests and the Bullets can cover the line with a start.
Back Brisbane To Beat The Line (+5.5 Points)
New Zealand Breakers
Sunday February 11, 1:00pm, Spark Arena
This is the second game between the New Zealand Breakers and Melbourne United this weekend.
New Zealand are always a tough side to beat in front of their home fans and they have won eight of their past 11 games as home favourites, while they have been a profitable betting play against the line in this scenario.
Melbourne United have won only two of their past five games as away underdogs and they have covered the line in just one of their past 12 games against New Zealand in New Zealand.
The Breakers to cover the line is one of the best betting plays of the weekend.
Back New Zealand To Beat The Line (-3.5 Points)
Sunday February 11, 3:00pm, Win Entertainment Centre
The Adelaide 36ers recorded two big wins over the Illawarra Hawks a fortnight ago and they are favourites to win this clash.
Winning away from home has not been an issue and they have won two of their past three games as away favourites, but they are only 6-8 against the line in this scenario.
Illawarra have won one of their past three games as home underdogs and backing them against the line in front of their home fans has been a losing betting play this season.
This is a game that the market looks to have just about right and I will be staying out from a betting perspective.
This is the penultimate round of the NBL season and we are set for a number of big games this weekend.
The Sydney Kings host Melbourne United on Saturday night in a crucial clash for both sides and there is always plenty of tension when these teams do battle.
Melbourne will be in action against on Monday against the Illawarra Hawks in a clash that is likely to be a Playoffs preview.
There is plenty of the line in every single clash this weekend and you can find our tips for each below.
Friday February 3, 7:30pm, Win Entertainment Centre
The Illawarra Hawks and the Cairns Taipans both currently sit inside the top four and this is a crucial clash for both sides.
Illawarra will go into this clash as favourites following their narrow victory over Adelaide last weekend, but their record as home favourites is not particularly strong – they have won just seven of their past 13 games in this scenario and they are 4-9 against the line.
Cairns leaped into playoffs contention with three straight victories and they will go into this clash with plenty of confidence.
While their recent form has been good, Cairns have only won four of their past 13 games as away underdogs and they are 5-8 against the line in this scenario.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.
Friday February 3, 9:30pm, Perth Arena
This is just about a must-win clash for both sides.
The Perth Wildcats are the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend and they head into this clash on the back of a tough effort against Melbourne United.
Perth have won 12 of their past 16 games as home favourites for a narrow profit, but they are 7-1-8 against the line in this scenario.
Brisbane have lost six of their past seven games and they have won just four of their past 12 games as away underdogs.
The Bullets are 5-7 against the line in this scenario and they have really been tough to trust from a betting standpoint.
This is another game that I am happy to stay out and there really is no value on offer.
New Zealand Breakers
Saturday February 4, 5:30pm, Titanium Security Arena
The Adelaide 36ers had their winning streak snapped by the Illawarra Hawks, but they will still go into this clash as clear favourites.
Adelaide have been the safest betting team in the NBL this season and they have won eight of their past nine games as home favourites, while they are 7-2 against the line in this scenario.
New Zealand dropped out of the top four following back-to-back losses at the hands of the Cairns Taipans and the Sydney Kings.
The Breakers have won six of their past 17 games as away underdogs for a clear loss, but they are 9-1-7 against the line in this situation.
There is no team in the NBL that can match it with Adelaide on their day and the 36ers should be able to cover the line comfortably.
Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-6.5 Points)
Saturday February 4, 7:30pm, Qudos Bank Arena
Melbourne United have dropped back to seventh position on the NBL Ladder and desperately need to return to winning form against the Sydney Kings.
The Kings have won two games on the trot and they will go into this clash as home favourites, but they haven’t really thrived in this scenario – they have won just eight of their past 14 games as home favourites and are 6-8 against the line.
Melbourne United have struggled badly away from home this season and they have won just one of their past six games as away underdogs for a clear loss.
Both these teams are tough to trust from a betting standpoint, but the homecourt advantage and their recent form should give the Kings the edge.
Back Sydney Kings To Beat The Line (-3.5 Points)
Sunday February 5, 3:00pm, Cairns Convention Centre
Both these teams are on the quick back-up after playing earlier in the week.
Cairns are one of the form teams in the NBL and they have won five of their past eight games as home favourites for a narrow profit, while they are 4-4 against the line in this scenario.
The Perth Wildcats have struggled to win away from home, but they are 7-6 against the line as away underdogs and they have won three of the past four games played between these teams.
This should be a very tight clash and I am keen to back the Wildcats with a start of 2.5 points.
Back Perth Wildcats To Beat The Line (+2.5 Points)
Monday February 6, 7:30pm, Hisense Arena
Melbourne United will go into this clash as home favourites, but they continue to be a tough team to trust from a betting perspective.
They have won only eight of their past 13 games as home favourites, but they do have the same record against the line – when they win, they win big.
Consistency has been the issue for the Illawarra Hawks this season and their record as away underdogs is 5-9 in both head-to-head and line betting markets,
Melbourne United can be a tough team to trust, but they do look well-placed to cover the line of 3.5 points.
Back Melbourne United To Beat The Line (-3.5 Points)