We’ve finally reached the playoffs of the 2017/18 NBL season and we couldn’t be more excited about the matchups we’ve been gifted in the first week of the finals. Melbourne United, Adelaide 36ers, Perth Wildcats, and the New Zealand Breakers are the remaining teams who are set to fight it out for the 2 spots in this year’s Grand Final. We’ve analyzed the two upcoming matchups, which are a best-of-3 format and provided our NBL betting tips for the Semi Finals
Melbourne United (1) Vs New Zealand Breakers (2)
The first Semi Final is to be decided between the minor premiers Melbourne United and the New Zealand Breakers. As mentioned above, each Semi Final is decided in a best-out-of-three game series, and since United finished higher than the Breakers in the regular season ladder, they will have the home-court advantage in the first and third (if required) games between the two sides.
Melbourne finished the season in stellar form, dropping just 2 of their last 15 games, while, New Zealand weren’t so impressive, splitting their last 10 and dropping to the fourth seed. The season series between the two sides was split at 2-2, with New Zealand winning the first 2 encounters and Melbourne taking the points in the last 2.
In terms of playoff experience and success, Melbourne United are at a loss. They have never made it to the big dance in their time as Melbourne ‘United’, but had multiple titles as the Melbourne ‘Tigers’ in the late 2000’s. On the other hand, New Zealand Breakers have a wealth of experience and success in the playoffs. Along with Perth, New Zealand has been the most successful team over the last 10 years. They have been in 5 of the last 7 Grand Finals, winning 4 and losing just 1.
Although history is not on Melbourne’s side we believe they are ready to take the next step and make it to the final 2. They were by far the best team in the regular season and we are expecting them to come out firing and take the Breakers to task.
Adelaide 36ers (2) Vs Perth Wildcats (3)
The second Semi Final is to be decided between the Adelaide 36ers and the defending champion Perth Wildcats. Adelaide narrowly finished above Perth in the regular season and will have home-court advantage in their series tie.
The 36ers made an extremely impressive run home in the regular season to snag the second seed in the playoffs, whereas the Wildcats were relatively consistent throughout the entire season and deserved their position in the standings. Adelaide and Perth split their season series at 2-2, with both teams comfortably taking care of business at home in each game.
The 36ers have been one of the worst performing playoff teams in recent NBL history, making the Grand Final on just 1 occasion in the last 15 years, where they lost to the Wildcats 2-1. In Contrast, Perth have enjoyed the most success of anyone, making 5 of the last 6 Grand Finals and winning 3 of the last 4, including the past 2.
We are taking the Wildcats in this series tie, despite the 36ers having home-court advantage. The Wildcats are a well oiled machine and simply know how to get it done in the post-season.
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