The National Basketball League (NBL) is the premier professional men’s basketball tournament held in Australasia. Inaugurated in 1979 the competition currently pits eight NBL teams against each other across the season for the Championship title.
The regular NBL season runs from October to February of the following calendar year across a 28 week regular season that sees each team have 14 home games and 14 away clashes. The NBL Finals take place from late February – March to decide the NBL Champions and are played between the top four teams on the NBL Ladder at the end of the regular season. Originally the NBL season ran during the winter, but since in the 1998-99 season it has run over the summer to avoid a clash with the famous Aussie football codes over the winter including the NRL and AFL whose Grand Finals are held in October.
This is a far cry from the NBL’s American counterpart – the NBA – which features a huge 82 round season and features the world’s premier pro-basketballers.
NBL Betting: Grand Final Series Result
The 2018 NBL Grand Final Series resulted in Melbourne United scoring their fifth NBL Championship title overall and first as the rebranded club, saluting in the Game 5 decider 100 – 82 over the Adelaide 36ers who were making their eighth finals appearance.
All five NBL Grand Final Series games were won by the home team and the Grand Final Series MVP was awarded to Melbourne United’s Chris Goulding.
- 2018 NBL Champions: Melbourne United
- Runners-Up: Adelaide 36ers
- Game 5 Result: Melbourne 100 defeated Adelaide 82
- NBL Grand Final Series Result: 3 – 2 in favour of Melbourne United
- Grand Final Series MVP: Chris Goulding
The current NBL Teams are the:
- Adelaide 36ers
- Brisbane Bullets
- Cairns Taipans
- Illawarra Hawks
- Melbourne United
- Perth Wildcats
- Sydney Kings
- New Zealand Breakers
The only one of these NBL clubs to have played every single season since 1979 is the Illawarra Hawks – formerly the Wollongong Hawks. The New Zealand Breakers are the sole NBL team based outside of Australia.
2017/18 NBL SEASON
The regular 2017/18 NBL Season kicked off from Thursday October 5 and was the 40th season of the competition. The Perth Wildcats were the defending NBL Champions and started third favourites in early 2017/18 NBL Championship betting markets to go back-to-back. Melbourne United were the 2017/18 NBL betting favourites to take out the tournament and saluted for the punters winning the NBL Grand Final Series 3 – 2 over the Adelaide 36ers.
The Perth Wildcats made it all the way through until the NBL 2017/18 Semi-Finals when they were knocked out by the Adelaide 36ers went on to finish runners-up to Melbourne United in the best-of-five NBL Grand Final Series.
2017/18 NBL Season highlights included an increased number weekend games, New Year’s Eve games and a special Heritage Month in January to mark the league’s 40th anniversary. The first ever NBL game on Christmas Eve drew plenty of attention between the Adelaide 36ers and Cairns Taipans, while the Brisbane Bullets played the Gold Coast “hosting” Melbourne United on October 28 – the same day Winx won her Ladbrokes Cox Plate. There was also a NBL Grand Final rematch slated between Perth and Illawarra at Perth Arena on October 13.
- 2017/18 NBL Season Dates: October 2017 – February 2018
- 2017/18 NBL Finals Dates: February – March 2018
- Defending NBL Champions: Perth Wildcats (2016/17)
- 2017/18 NBL Champions: Melbourne United
- 2017/18 NBL Runners-Up: Adelaide 36ers
Betting on the NBL is open right across the season with a range of top NBL odds on offer from head-to-head pricing on each game to futures markets on the NBL Championship Winners.
The NBL Finals are held from late February to early March each season. They are contested between the four highest-ranked teams on the season’s table and are made-up of two semi-finals series and the coveted NBL Grand Final series that decides the current Championship winners.
NBL Finals betting is open across the season on the teams most likely to be crowned the NBL Champions.
The NBL also awards a Most Valuable Player (MVP) each season who takes out the Andrew Gaze Trophy, named in honour of a former champion player in both Australia and America for such clubs as the San Antonio Spurs, Washington Bullets and Melbourne Tigers. Gaze is the current head coach of the Sydney Kings and won the MVP award seven times. This award is the NBL equivalent of the NRL’s Dally M and the AFL’s Brownlow Medal.
Odds are open each season on the NBL Most Valuable Player and are a great exotic basketball betting market to get involved in.
Other notable NBL awards given out each season include the:
- Larry Sengstock Medal for the Most Valuable Player in the Grand Final Series
- Lindsay Gaze Trophy for the NBL Coach of the Year
- NBL Rookie Of The Year
- Most Improved Player
- Best Defensive Player
- Best Sixth Man
NBL MVP AWARD WINNERS
Below are the NBL Most Valuable Player winners dating back to 1979.
|1979||Ken Richardson||Australia||West Adelaide Bearcats|
|1980||Rocky Smith||United States||St. Kilda Saints|
|1981||Mike Jones||Australia||Illawarra Hawks|
|1982||Al Green||United States||West Adelaide Bearcats|
|1983||Owen Wells||United States||Sydney Supersonics|
|1984||Leroy Loggins||United States||Brisbane Bullets|
|1985||Ray Borner||Australia||Coburg Giants|
|1986||Leroy Loggins||United States||Brisbane Bullets|
|1987||Leroy Loggins||United States||Brisbane Bullets|
|1988||Joe Hurst||United States||Hobart Devils|
|1989||Scott Fisher||United States||North Melbourne Giants|
|1990||Derek Rucker||United States||Brisbane Bullets|
|1991||Andrew Gaze||Australia||Melbourne Tigers|
|1992||Andrew Gaze||Australia||Melbourne Tigers|
|1993||Robert Rose||United States||South East Melbourne Magic|
|1994||Andrew Gaze||Australia||Melbourne Tigers|
|1995||Andrew Gaze||Australia||Melbourne Tigers|
|1996||Andrew Gaze||Australia||Melbourne Tigers|
|1997||Andrew Gaze||Australia||Melbourne Tigers|
|1998||Andrew Gaze||Australia||Melbourne Tigers|
|1998–99||Steve Woodberry||United States||Brisbane Bullets|
|1999–2000||Paul Rogers||Australia||Perth Wildcats|
|2000–01||Robert Rose||United States||Townsville Crocodiles|
|2001–02||Mark Bradtke||Australia||Melbourne Tigers|
|2002–03||Chris Williams||United States||Sydney Kings|
|2003–04||Matthew Nielsen||Australia||Sydney Kings|
|2004–05||Brian Wethers||United States||Hunter Pirates|
|2005–06||Chris Anstey||Australia||Melbourne Tigers|
|2006–07||Sam Mackinnon||Australia||Brisbane Bullets|
|2007–08||Chris Anstey||Australia||Melbourne Tigers|
|2008–09||Kirk Penney||New Zealand||New Zealand Breakers|
|2009–10||Corey Williams||United States||Townsville Crocodiles|
|2010–11||Gary Ervin||United States||Wollongong Hawks|
|2011–12||Kevin Lisch||United States||Perth Wildcats|
|2012–13||Cedric Jackson||United States||New Zealand Breakers|
|2013–14||Rotnei Clarke||United States||Wollongong Hawks|
|2014–15||Brian Conklin||United States||Townsville Crocodiles|
|2015–16||Kevin Lisch||United States||Illawarra Hawks|
|2016–17||Jerome Randle||US/Ukraine||Adelaide 36ers|
|2017–18||Bryce Cotton||United States||Perth Wildcats|
NBL Results & History
NBL results date back to the competition’s inaugural season in 1979 won by the St Kilda Saints. Of the current NBL Teams the most successful is the Perth Wildcats who have won eight NBL Grand Finals series to take out the Championship since they entered the league in 1982.
Two other current clubs boast an equal four Championship wins in NBL History with the Adelaide 36ers and New Zealand Breakers. Overall Melbourne United have enjoyed five NBL Championship titles, but their first as a rebranded outfit came in the 2018 NBL Grand Final Series.
Defunct NBL clubs to have won the Championship include the Canberra Cannons (1983, 1984, 1988) and the North Melbourne Giants (1989, 1994).
NBL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE WINS
|Perth Wildcats||8||1990, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2017|
|Adelaide 36ers||4||1986, 1998, 1999, 2002|
|Melbourne United||5||1993, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2018 (first as rebranded club)|
|New Zealand Breakers||4||2011, 2012, 2013, 2015|
|Canberra Cannons||3||1983, 1984, 1988|
|Sydney Kings||3||2003, 2004, 2005|
|Brisbane Bullets||3||1985, 1987, 2007|
|St. Kilda Saints||2||1979, 1980|
|North Melbourne Giants||2||1989, 1994|
|South East Melbourne Magic||2||1992, 1996|
|Launceston Casino City Tigers||1||1981|
|West Adelaide Bearcats||1||1982|
NBL Hall of Fame
The NBL Hall of Fame has been in place since 1998, which was the 20th NBL Season anniversary. It recognises outstanding service to the NBL from players, game officials and other pro-basketball contributors.
NBL Players need to have been retired from the game for at least four seasons and have played a minimum of 100 games to be eligible for induction into the National Basketball League Hall of Fame. Coaches have to have been retired for at least four seasons and been head coach of a NBL club for at least 10 seasons. There are also eligibility restrictions for NBL Referees and NBL Contributors.
NBL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
The Women’s National Basketball League (WMBL) is the women’s equivalent of the NBL and is the marquee pro-basketball competition for female players held in Australia. The tournament was formerly known as the Women’s Interstate Basketball Conference (WIBC) and was founded in 1981.
The league is currently comprised of eight WMBL Teams:
- Adelaide Lightning
- Bendigo Spirit
- Dandenong Rangers
- Melbourne Boomers
- Perth Lynx
- Sydney Uni Flames
- Townsville Fire
- University of Canberra Capitals.
A number of these WMBL clubs have NBL counterparts playing in the men’s league. A number of international players from America’s WNBA competition player during their off-season for the WMBL down under. And vice versa, the WMBL can be a major stepping stone for Aussie players looking to make it in the WMBL in the USA.
The WMBL runs across a 22-game regular season beginning in early October and the WMBL Grand Final to decide the WNBL Champion club.