After a rollercoaster regular season and two crazy semi-finals series, we’ve now reached the Grand Final’s in NBL 2021. Melbourne United and the Perth Wildcats have been the two best teams all year and will deserving get the opportunity to play for the NBL Championship.
We’re going to be bringing you our best betting tips for all games in this best-of-five series, starting with Game 1 on Friday night, which you can find below. Good luck to everyone following!
RAC Arena, Friday 8:30pm (AEST)
This exciting best-of-five series will get underway in Perth despite the Wildcats being the lower seed. Covid complications have resulted in the Wildcats playing the first two games at their home at RAC Arena, before the series heads to John Cain Arena in Melbourne for Games 3-5.
Perth Wildcats went into their semi-final best-of-three series with Illawarra as the favourites after finishing second on the ladder. They got punched in the mouth in Game 1 however, getting outplayed by the Hawks in the clutch to go down by two points at home. The champion Wildcats were able to bounce back in the road with an eight-point win in Game 2 before closing out the series 2-1 with another eight-point win in Game 3 back in Perth.
Melbourne United controlled the regular season from start to finish to end up as the minor premiers and book a semi-final series meeting with South-East Melbourne Phoenix. United went into that series as the overwhelming favourites and it looked justified after their easy win in Game 1; however, Phoenix were able to shock them in Game 2 with a 11-point win and proceeded to go up by as many as 17 points during the first half in the deciding Game 3, before United ramped up their defence in the second half and recorded a huge come-from-behind win to clinch the series two games to one.
Despite being the clear best two teams in the league this season, neither team was all that convincing with how they negotiated their semi-finals series wins. In saying that, both clubs showed their determination in their respective deciders to win their way through to the Grand Final. These two powerhouse teams played each other five times during the regular season, with Melbourne United taking the series honours 3-2 after winning the first, fourth and fifth meetings. Interestingly, neither team was able to win a single game on their home deck from four combined attempts, with the only ‘home’ win being secured by United in Bendigo on the 7th of February.
Game 1 of a series is always tricky to predict, particularly under these circumstances; however, the fact that Melbourne United are at full strength and won both of their games at RAC Arena this season by an average of 11 points does give them the edge here. With that said, we’ll be taking United to cover the small spread on Friday night.
We were profitable with our series predictions in the semi-finals and are quietly confident with our Grand Final prediction, which is that Melbourne United will win it in five games. United are the overwhelming favourites in the outright market at around $1.20, which is just too short for a futures pick, especially when you consider the Wildcats have won four of the past five championships.
Even without Bryce Cotton in this series, the Wildcats can still offer a stern test to United, particularly on their home floor where we can see them getting a split, probably by winning Game 2 after making some adjustments following Game 1. Then back in Melbourne for Games 3-5, it’ll just take the Wildcats to win one game to push this to a decider, where we’d be backing United’s superior talent to prevail. Simply put, we expect Melbourne United to win the championship, but for the Wildcats to push them all the way.
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