Two months in, and we’re starting to gain a firm idea of who the favourites are.
Round 8 of the NBL tips off on Friday with a must-win game between two 4-5 teams. The headline act comes on Saturday though, as the Phoenix and the Kings square off in a potential finals preview.
It’s almost make-or-break time for several teams sitting towards the bottom of the ladder, but there’s still plenty of value to be had this weekend. Be sure to read our entire NBL Round 8 Preview below.
Friday, November 22, 7:30pm, Queensland State Netball Centre
The Bullets will be hoping to make up for lost time this week at home after losing by nine-points to the Taipans last week.
Brisbane has now slumped to fifth on the ladder after back-to-back losses, which spells bad news against a 36ers side beaming with confidence after handing the Phoenix a double-digit defeat last week.
Adelaide has plenty of work to do if they wish to improve on their 4-5 record, but they can find confidence in the fact they’ve won two of their last three games over the Bullets.
From a punting perspective though, it’s extremely difficult to find faith in either of these two teams.
Despite the 36ers’ big win last week, Adelaide lost their previous four games. Meanwhile, the Bullets are 0-4 as the home favourite against the 36ers.
The safest play between these two question marks is probably the Total. The last three games played in Brisbane between these two teams have gone Over, so with the 36ers averaging the third-most points in the league, take this one to be high scoring.
Tip: Over the Points Total
South East Melbourne Phoenix
Saturday, November 23, 5:30pm, Melbourne Arena
This should be a telling game on Saturday between two serious finals contenders.
After their exciting start to the season, South East Melbourne has now lost two games on the trot to fall to fourth on the ladder. The Kings, on the other hand, remain firmly on top with nine wins and only one loss to their name.
These two sides haven’t met yet, which makes finding a betting play a little more difficult. That said, both teams rank top four in points-per-game, which might make the Overs a worthwhile play.
Sydney’s last three road games have all gone Over the Total as they’ve managed to put up 95-points or more in each.
The Phoenix, meanwhile, have put up 100-points or more in four of their six home games this year, so instead of risking it at the line, stick with the Total.
Tip: Over the Points Total
Saturday, November 23, 8pm, Cairns Convention Centre
The Wildcats have an easy strength of schedule since their loss to the Kings a fortnight ago.
Perth picked up a pair of wins over the 36ers and the Breakers last week to improve to 8-3, and with a trip to Cairns now on the cards, things look likely to improve even more.
The Taipans snapped their two-game losing skid last week with a big win over Brisbane, but Mike Kelly’s team will need more of that if they wish to turn their 3-6 record around.
Home-court advantage is a big factor in this game, especially for a team like Perth who has to travel across the country. The Wildcats have won three-straight games over the Taipans in Perth, but considering Cairns has covered the line in five of their nine games so far this season, it’s worth taking the Taipans to keep this game close.
Tip: Back the Taipans to Cover the Line (+3.5 Points) @ $1.90
Sunday, November 24, 3pm, Melbourne Arena
There’s no rest for the wicked this week as the Bullets travel to Melbourne on Sunday fresh from a Friday night home game against the Bullets.
United have improved drastically on the court following their 0-3 start. Melbourne has now won five games in a row, including a narrow one-point victory over the Phoenix last week in Throwdown 3.
We’ll know more about the Bullets following Friday’s game, but from a trend’s perspective, it’s worth noting Brisbane has won three straight over Melbourne dating back to last season.
With that in mind, it’s certainly tempting to back the Bullets outright, but it’s a very risky play with United coming in well-rested. Instead, it’s probably worth siding with the bookies on this one and, although the line looks long, taking Melbourne to Cover.
Tip: Back Melbourne to Cover the Line (-7.5 Points) @ $1.90
New Zealand Breakers
Sunday, November 24, 5pm, Adelaide Entertainment Centre
It’s still early, but this shapes up as a big weekend for the 36ers if they hope to stop their season from slipping away.
Adelaide backs up on short rest in this one after Friday’s game in Brisbane. The 36ers have won two games during the same weekend once already this year, but a lot has changed since October.
Fortunately for the 36ers though, the Breakers are coming to town. New Zealand find themselves in the midst of a serious four-game skid, and most importantly, with zero wins on the road to their name.
The bookmakers are clearly factoring in the Breakers’ lousy road record, but the line still looks very short. Adelaide is 6-1-4 against the line in home games against New Zealand, so take the 36ers to Cover.
Tip: Back the 36ers to Cover the Line (-4.5 Points) @ $1.90
Monday, November 25, 7:30pm, WIN Entertainment Centre
This is far from the most exciting game of the season, let alone the round – but it just so happens to be the most value-packed from a betting perspective.
Still on the bottom of the ladder, the Hawks are going nowhere fast. The Taipans might join them if they fail to pick up a win this weekend though, which is easier said than done with little rest following Saturday’s home game against Perth.
Our bookies are all over the Hawks in this one listing them as $1.70 favourites at time of publish. Illawarra is 4-3 straight-up as the home favourite over the last 12 months, and perhaps more impressively, 9-6 as the home favourite against Cairns.
These two teams both rank bottom three in points-per-game, so this mightn’t be an easy game on the eye. Considering the Hawks have won eight straight games over Cairns dating back to 2017 however, stick with the favourites at a handy price.
Tip: Back the Hawks to Win @ $1.70
The NBL returns after a week off for the international break and we are set for a number of big games.
The action begins with a genuine blockbuster between the Sydney Kings and the Perth Wildcats on Thursday night and continues right throughout the weekend.
We have analysed every game set to take place this weekend and our complete 2018/2019 NBL Round 8 tips can be found below.
Thursday December 6, 7:50pm, Qudos Bank Arena
The Sydney Kings have won five of their past seven games, their two defeats came at the hands of Melbourne United, and they will start this clash as favourites.
There is no doubt that the Kings have improved substantially over the past couple of months and they have now won six of their past eight games as home favourites.
The Perth Wildcats still only lost a single game this season and winning on the road has not been an issue for this side.
Perth have won four of their past seven games as away underdogs for a clear profit and they have a proven ability to close out tight games.
I really don’t think that Perth should be going into any game as underdogs at the moment and they are great value to record an upset win.
Back Perth Wildcats To Win @ $2.30
Friday December 7, 7:50pm, Cairns Convention Centre
It has been a shocking start to the NBL season for the Cairns Taipans, but they will still start this clash with the Illawarra Hawks as clear favourites.
Cairns have not won a game since they beat the Brisbane Bullets in their season opener and they have been particularly poor in front of their home fans.
They are yet to win a game at home this season and they are a very poor 3-4 as home favourites over the past 12 months.
Illawarra ended their losing streak with a big win over the Adelaide 36ers, but defence continues to be an issue and they have conceded over 100 points in their last three games.
The Hawks have won three of their past 10 games as away underdogs for a minor profit and they have won their past three games against Cairns.
Betting against Cairns has been a profitable betting play all season long and there is no reason to change that strategy for this clash.
Back Illawarra Hawks To Win @ $2.20
Saturday December 8, 2:50pm, Brisbane Convention Centre
Melbourne United have an excellent record against the Brisbane Bullets and they will start this clash as clear favourites.
Melbourne have won seven of their past eight games and they have won the past four fixtures between these two sides.
They are an outstanding 6-1 as away favourites and they have covered the line in five of those wins.
Brisbane ended a losing run with a big win over the Illawarra Hawks and they are a side that is definitely better than their current record suggests.
Whether they are good enough to beat Melbourne United is debatable, but they have won four of their past seven games as home underdogs for a clear profit.
This is a game that the market does look to have just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
New Zealand Breakers
Sunday December 9, 12:20pm, Spark Arena
There is no much in betting between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings.
The Breakers have lost their past four games and they desperately need another win following a couple of close losses.
Spark Arena is no longer the fortress that it once was and they have lost eight of their past 13 games at the venue.
Winning away from home has not been an issue for the Kings this season and they have won and covered the line in both their games as away favourites this season.
They have also won their past three games against the Breakers and they are a good bet to continue that winning run.
Back Sydney Kings To Win @ $1.80
Sunday December 9, 2:50pm, Titanium Security Arena
This is the second meeting between these two sides in as many rounds following Illawarra’s win over their rivals before the international break.
The Adelaide 36ers will go into this clash as clear favourites and they are always tough to beat in front of their home fans.
They have won 12 of their past 16 games as home favourites and they have covered the line in every single one of those wins.
The Hawks did win the last game played between these two sides, but Adelaide did win their four meetings before that and it has been a while since they won at Titanium Security Arena.
Adelaide are one of the safest bets of the weekend and they can cover the line in the process.
Back Adelaide 36ers To Cover The Line (-6.5 Points)
Sunday December 9, 5:20pm, Perth Arena
It shouldn’t come as any real surprise that the Perth Wildcats are the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend.
Cairns were able to beat Perth in Perth last season, but a repeat of that looks extremely likely based on the recent form of both teams.
The Wildcats have covered the line in eight of his past 14 games as home favourites, while the Taipans are just 5-9 against the line as away underdogs.
Cairns have lost six of their past seven games by seven points or more and the line of 7.5 points does not seem like enough.
Back Perth Wildcats To Cover The Line (-7.5 Points)
We are set for another top-of-the-table clash in the NBL this weekend as the New Zealand Breakers face the Perth Wildcats in a genuine Friday afternoon blockbuster.
The Sydney Kings and Cairns Taipans will do battle on two occasions in three days, while it is also a big weekend for the Brisbane Bullets and their finals chances.
We have analysed every game set to take place this weekend and our complete NBL Round 8 tips can be found below!
Thursday November 30, 7:30pm, Qudos Bank Arena
The Sydney Kings have still won just one game this season, but they will still start this clash with the Cairns Taipans as clear favourites.
Jerome Randle is yet to be the difference maker that Sydney need him to be and they really have struggled across the board this season.
Sydney have won only three of their past 10 games as home favourites and they are 2-8 against the line against the line in this scenario.
The Cairns Taipans beat the Illawarra Hawks last weekend and they have found a semblance of their best form over the past fortnight.
Cairns have won four of their past 11 games as away underdogs for a narrow profit and their record against Sydney in this scenario is strong.
Taking on Sydney as favourites has been a highly profitable play in the NBL over the past 12 months and there is no reason to change that strategy in this clash.
Back Cairns To Win @ $2.80
New Zealand Breakers
Friday December 1, 5:30pm, North Shore Events Centre
The New Zealand Breakers have already beaten the Perth Wildcats twice this month and they will start this clash as favourites.
New Zealand have won 10 games on the trot and they have won their past five matches against Perth.
The Breakers have won nine of their past 13 games as home favourites and their record against the line is just as strong.
New Zealand and Cairns are the only teams that Perth have lost to this season and they were nothing short of dominant against Melbourne United.
Perth have won seven of their past 13 games as away underdogs for a big profit and they are 8-5 against the line in this scenario.
This should be an outstanding clash, but there is no value from a betting perspective and I am happy to stay out.
Friday December 1, 7:30pm, Titanium Security Arena
The Adelaide 36ers are the shortest-priced favourites in the NBL this weekend.
Adelaide ended their losing streak with a big win over the Sydney Kings and they are one of the most reliable teams in the NBL from a betting perspective.
They have won ten of their past 14 games as home favourites and their record against the line in this scenario is just as strong.
Winning on the road continues to be an issue for the Brisbane Bullets and they have now lost their past ten games as away underdogs.
Even worse is the fact that they have covered the line in only one of their past ten games in this scenario.
Adelaide are the safest bet in the NBL this weekend and they can cover the line comfortably.
Back Adelaide To Beat The Line (-7.5 Points)
Saturday December 2, 5:30pm, Cairns Convention Centre
This will be the second meeting between these two sides in three days.
Cairns will start this clash as favourites, but they have been slightly disappointing at home this season.
The Taipans have won seven of their past 12 games as home favourites for a clear loss and they are 5-7 against the line in this scenario.
Winning on the road has been no easier for Sydney than winning at home has been and they are impossible to trust from a betting perspective.
This is another clash that I am more than happy to stay out of.
New Zealand Breakers
Sunday December 3, 3:00pm, Brisbane Convention Centre
This Brisbane Bullets may have the homecourt advantage, but it is the New Zealand Breakers that will start this game as favourites.
Both these teams will be on the quick back-up after playing on Friday.
New Zealand’s record away from home has been surprisingly strong and they have covered the line in nine of their past 12 games as away underdogs.
Brisbane have lost their past five games against the New Zealand Breakers, but away underdogs is one scenario in which they have thrived.
They have won four of their past six games as home underdogs for a big profit, but it is tough to discount their poor record against the Breakers.
This is another game that the market has got just about right and I will be staying out.
Thursday November 24, 7:30pm, Hisense Arena
Melbourne United will go into this clash with the Illawarra Hawks as clear favourites.
Melbourne have struggled for consistency again this season and they were particularly poor against the Perth Wildcats last weekend.
They have still won seven of their past ten games as home favourites and their record against the line in this scenario is just as strong.
Illawarra had their winning streak ended by the Cairns Taipans last weekend, but they have still gotten themselves well and truly back into finals contention.
The Hawks have won seven of their past 19 games as away underdogs for a clear loss and they are 8-11 against the line in this situation.
This is a game that Melbourne United should win and they can cover the line of 5.5 points.
Back Melbourne United To Beat The Line (-5.5 Points)
The Brisbane Bullets return to their original home at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre for their round 8 clash with the Adelaide 36ers on Thursday night.
Melbourne United host the Sydney Kings in the only game on Saturday night before a crucial fixture between the Perth Wildcats and Illawarra Hawks is the feature of the Sunday double-header.
The round concludes on Monday when the Sydney Kings take on the Adelaide 36ers and you can find our recommended betting plays for every single game of the round below.
Thursday November 24, 7:30pm, Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Brisbane 83 - Adelaide 36ers 101
This will be the second meeting between these two teams in less than a week after the Bullets accounted for Adelaide handily last Saturday night.
Brisbane are arguably the form team in the NBL and they will go into this clash as very short-priced favourites.
The Bullets have won three of their four games in front of their home fans this season and they are 3-1 against the line in this scenario.
Adelaide have now lost four games on the trot and they were simply no match for the Bullets last weekend.
The 36ers have won four of their past 13 games as away underdogs for a narrow profit, while they are 6-7 against the line in this situation.
A repeat of Brisbane’s last start effort would see them produce another comfortable win and they should be able to cover what is a fairly sizeable line.
Back Brisbane To Beat The Line (-8.5 Points)
Saturday November 26, 7:30pm, Hisense Arena
Melbourne United 95 - Sydney Kings 92
Melbourne United finally ended their losing streak when they beat Cairns and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
Melbourne United have been a very tough side to trust from a betting perspective so far this season and they have won seven of their past 13 games as home favourites for a loss, while they are 5-8 against the line.
The Sydney Kings have been a touch inconsistent in the past couple of weeks, but they were excellent against the Perth Wildcats last weekend.
Sydney have won three of their past 12 games as away underdogs for a narrow profit, while they are 8-4 against the line.
I am always keen to bet against Melbourne United and the Sydney Kings are a good bet to cover the line with a start of 3.5 points.
Back Sydney To Beat The Line (+3.5 Points)
New Zealand Breakers
Sunday November 27, 3:00pm, Cairns Convention Centre
Cairns Taipans 91 - New Zealand Breakers 80
This is a crucial game for the Cairns Taipans, who have won just one of their past four games.
Cairns did beat New Zealand when they did battle across the Tasman and they will start this clash as clear favourites.
The Taipans have won six of their past eight games as home favourites for a clear profit and they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario.
New Zealand have flown under the radar in the NBL this season, but they have won five of their past seven games and are playing quality basketball.
The Breakers have won five of their past 12 games as away underdogs for a clear profit and they are 6-1-5 against the line.
This is one game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am more than happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Sunday November 27, 7:00pm, Perth Arena
Perth Wildcats 85 - Illawarra Hawks 89
The Perth Wildcats have been a touch inconsistent this season, but they will still go into this clash with the Illawarra Hawks as clear favourites.
Perth continue to be extremely tough to beat in front of their home fans and they have won 15 of their past 17 games as home favourites, while they are 10-1-6 against the line in this situation.
Illawarra have won three of their past four games in fairly impressive fashion, but winning away from home has proven to be an issue.
The Hawks have won just two of their past 12 games as away underdogs for a clear loss, while they are a very poor 3-9 against the line.
Perth are the safest bet of the weekend and they should be able to cover the line comfortably.
Back Perth To Beat The Line (-5.5 Points)
Monday November 28, 7:30pm, Qudos Bank Arena
Sydney Kings 85 - Adelaide 36ers 91
The Sydney Kings are the shortest-priced favourites of the week and they are incredibly short-priced favourites to beat the Adelaide 36ers.
Sydney have struggled to string together back-to-back wins in recent weeks, but they have won six of their past seven games as home favourites and they are 5-2 against the line in this scenario.
Adelaide have spent the weekend on the road following their clash with the Brisbane Bullets on Thursday night.
The 36ers have won four of their past 13 games as away underdogs for a narrow profit, but taking on a firing Sydney Kings at home is a very tough assignment.
Sydney are deserving of their status as short-priced favourites and should to record another comfortable victory.
Back Sydney To Beat The Line (-10.5 Points)