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: Round 19 Preview
The regular 2017/18 NBL Season comes to a close this weekend with Round 19 and there is an increased seven matches for punters to sink their teeth into. The NBL Minor Premiership has been wrapped-up by Melbourne United after they beat the New Zealand Breakers twice last round to finish on top of the table. Minor Premiers Melbourne are on show on Friday hosting the fourth-ranked Perth Wildcats before a second home game on Sunday against the Hawks. Melbourne have saluted in eight of their past 12 games has home favourites in NBL betting and their first of the round against the defending NBL Champions Perth, where they chase a seventh win on the trot, should be a beauty.
Perth also play Cairns as hot favourites on Sunday at home, despite the big upset the Taipans enjoyed when these two met last weekend. The Breakers may have suffered back-to-back Round 18 losses, but they can secure their second spot on the NBL Ladder when they host the Hawks across the Tasman on Friday before their road trip to Sydney to take on the Kings who are favourites despite looking likely of ending up with the Wooden Spoon.
The Adelaide 36ers take on the Bullets on Saturday, the third-ranked home squad playing in just one game this weekend and looking hard-to-beat favourites against Brisbane who have struggled to win away from home this season and who will be in a Wooden Spoon fight in Thursday Night Basketball at home against the Kings.
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 kicks off from Thursday October 5 and is the 40th season of the competition. The Perth Wildcats are the defending NBL Champions and are third favourites in early 2017/18 NBL Championship betting markets to go back-to-back. Melbourne United are the 2017/18 NBL betting favourites to take out the tournament.
2017/18 NBL Season highlights include increased 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 should draw plenty of attention between the Adelaide 36ers and Cairns Taipans, while the Brisbane Bullets will play at the Gold Coast “hosting” Melbourne United on October 28 – the same day Winx races in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate. There’s 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)
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|
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.
Three other current clubs boast an equal four Championship wins in NBL History: the Adelaide 36ers, Melbourne United and New Zealand Breakers.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||4||1993, 1997, 2006, 2008|
|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.