With a game separating fourth from seventh on the NBL ladder and finals just around the corner, Round 17 of the NBL is one to really sink your teeth into.
Don’t worry about studying or doing the forensic analysis of every game though, we’ve done all the hard work for you and come up with our best bets ahead of another round of the NBL.
Sitting in fifth spot on the NBL ladder and currently on a three-game winning streak, the Brisbane Bullets are knocking on the top four’s door and face the South East Melbourne Phoenix who should be in the process of planning their end of season trip.
The Phoenix started off with a bang at the start of the season but have struggled in the second half and now sit eighth (second last) on the NBL ladder with 9 wins, 13 losses.
The Brisbane Bullets come off a 28 point win over a hapless Illawarra last weekend and are one of the in-form teams of the competition right now.
With the Brisbane Bullets in form, they need to keep on getting the wins to get into finals contention. Expect them to chalk up another win, but that’s not to say that the Phoenix won’t put up a fight.
The season could not end soon enough for the poor old Illawarra Hawks.
With only five wins and LaMelo Ball announcing he’s done with them, the Hawks go into this game coming off a 28 point belting from the Brisbane Bullets.
Facing the Sydney Kings at home gives them no advantage and the lack of LaMelo will bring down the crowds and morale especially when it’s a clash between the top of ladder v bottom of the ladder.
The Sydney Kings embarrassingly lost to the Hawks on New Year’s Eve and will be wanting to get some form of revenge going into this game.
The Kings also had a massive win over the Phoenix last Sunday and will want to continue the good form they are in being on top of the table.
The only thing getting in the way of the Kings is complacency, you’d expect them to win but perhaps taking the 1-10 market at the $3 if the Hawks can show a little ticker might be worth it.
If things go to script, you’d expect the Bullets to be backing it up from Thursday nights game with a win and potentially in the top four.
Heading to Adelaide to play the 36ers is always a tough task and factoring in the Brisbane Bullets coming off a quick turnaround will probably play in favor of the home team.
The 36ers go into this game coming off a 17 point loss to the Taipans last weekend and will welcome the break and a game on their home court.
I’m inclined to take the Bullets/36ers half time/full time in this one.
The Bullets are in-form but the 36ers have a good opportunity to get a solid win and perhaps the tired legs from Brisbane backing it up and the home crowd right behind them will get them home.
FACT: The underdog has won six of the New Zealand breakers last seven games.
The New Zealand Breakers go into this game in Perth the $4 outsider.
Sometimes you get a stat like that one and you think – why not!
Granted, the Wildcats are coming off a 26 point win at home over the Phoenix and are usually unbeatable at RAC Arena.
However, the Breakers beat the Sydney Kings and thumped Melbourne United last weekend.
The Breakers have won six of their last seven as well, all of which they’ve been the underdog.
The Wildcats will make finals yet again and probably finish second.
New Zealand has everything to play for.
Perth just needs to get the job done.
With the Breakers to win at $4, why wouldn’t you take it?
If you’ve had any association with Basketball in Melbourne and Victoria for that instance, you’ll know the State Basketball Centre in suburban Knox which plays host to the South East Melbourne Phoenix and Cairns Taipans this Sunday.
In fact, the South-East Melbourne Phoenix is actually playing in the proper heartland of South-East Melbourne for the very first time.
The Phoenix will go into this clash off a 48-hour break from playing in Brisbane (which if things go to script in our preview will be a loss) so the Taipans will have fresh legs going into this one.
Cairns are sitting third on the ladder, have won four out of their past five and will want to consolidate their position heading into the NBL finals.
Back the snakes to get the chocolates in Knox.
Melbourne United travel up to Sydney to take on arch-rivals and ladder leaders the Kings with four losses from their past five games.
United comes off a shocking loss to the New Zealand Breakers giving up more than 20 or more points in the game to the Breakers and produced a season-low score of just 68 points.
Can they bounce back against the Sydney Kings on the road this Sunday?
Melbourne United hasn’t won a game in Sydney since March 2019 and the back-to-back losses last weekend with three other teams tapping at the heels for the fourth spot on the NBL ladder is making life hard for last years Grand Finalists.
Backing Melbourne United has proven untrustworthy of recent, however, if they can put up a fight and take it up to the Sydney Kings the line of +5.5 is a good value bet.