The NBL is in catchup mode after so many games were cancelled in recent weeks due to Covid. As a result, there are expected to be seven games played in Round 9 from Thursday through to Sunday. Catch our previews and best bets for all games right here!
NBL Round 9 Betting Tips
Illawarra Hawks vs Perth Wildcats
Thursday 7:30pm AEDT, WIN Entertainment Centre
Illawarra kicked off their campaign with three good wins on the spin and that had all the pundits touting them as a potential championship team. However, they’ve struggled for consistency since with only two wins from their last five games, with the bulk of their struggles coming on the defensive end. They’ve given up at least 88 points in each of their last six games, making it extremely difficult to win on a consistent basis.
Perth were on their home deck for each of their first five games this season and managed to take advantage of it by chalking up four wins. They’ve now been on the road for their last three games and have continued their good form, winning two of their three outings to date, which has helped them stay entrenched in the top four in the early part of the season.
What a match we have on our hands here to get Round 9 underway on Thursday night. The Hawks will have the advantage of home court on this occasion, but their form in recent games has left a lot to be desired and will give the Wildcats plenty of confidence. With that in mind, we’re keen to be on the Wildcats to get the job done and go up 2-0 in the season series against the Hawks.
Tasmania JackJumpers vs Adelaide 36ers
Friday 7:30pm AEDT, MyState Bank Arena
It was always going to be a tough debut season for the JackJumpers who enter Round 9 with a 2-6 record. They began life in the NBL with a thrilling win in OT against the Bullets, but have since lost six of their last seven and have averaged just 67.5 points in their last two. The good news for the JackJumpers is they’ll be at home for this fixture where they’ve had success twice to date.
Adelaide have shown glimpses of what they’re capable of this season, but unfortunately it just hasn’t been frequent enough. They lost both of their games by double figures in Round 8, giving up 97 and 100 points which just isn’t going to cut it in the NBL. The 36ers are now 3-5 on the season and need to find some form ASAP to avoid slipping further away from the top four.
The 36ers will be eyeing off their second win against the JackJumpers this season, but will have to do it on enemy turf once again. Their three-point win at the beginning of December sparked a four-game losing streak for the JackJumpers who have won just once since. Interestingly, the 36ers will start as the underdogs here, which we don’t agree with and are happy to attack.
Cairns Taipans vs Illawarra Hawks
Saturday 5:30pm AEDT, Cairns Convention Centre
The Taipans have played the fewest games of any team in the league due to Covid restrictions, but they were back in action in Round 8 against the Phoenix where they suffered a 10-point defeat. That took the Snakes season record to 2-3 as they continue to play without superstar Scott Machado, which has placed a lot of responsibility on their new star import in Tahjere McCall.
The Hawks got their season off to a flyer with four wins in five games, but have really struggled since with three losses in their last four, all of which have been on their home deck. Uncharacteristically for a Brian Goorjian coached team, the Hawks have been extremely poor on the defensive end in recent outings, giving up 96 points per game across their last three.
The Taipans and the Hawks will be meeting for the first time this season and both teams will be looking to put their best foot forward after some tough results in recent games. The Hawks will be looking to get their game going on the defensive end and it’s a good game to do just that against a Taipans outfit that struggles on offence at the best of times. Due to said struggles, none of their five games this season have gone over 167 points and we expect that trend to continue on Saturday.
Brisbane Bullets vs S.E. Melbourne Phoenix
Saturday 8pm AEDT, Nissan Arena
Brisbane were on the wrong end of a thrilling finish against Melbourne United most recently, going down by two points despite leading by double-figures at different stages. It was their third game in Round eight, so they could be excused for being the more sluggish team down the stretch, however that was their fifth loss from nine games and that’s a poor return considering the amount of star talent on their roster.
The Phoenix rebounded nicely in Round 8 after a couple of disappointing results. They kicked off the round with a comfortable win over the JackJumpers, before returning home for the first time since Round 2 to defeat the Snakes by 10 points. Those wins took the Phoenix to 5-2 on the season and more importantly, it puts them back inside the top four.
Meeting for the second time this month, the Bullets will be looking to go up 2-0 against the Phoenix on their home deck. They absolutely blew them off the court in their first matchup when leading by 25 points at quarter time and while we expect the Phoenix to be better prepared for their second clash, we still believe the Bullets should be too good at home on Saturday night.
Adelaide 36ers vs Melbourne United
Sunday 1pm AEDT, Adelaide Entertainment Centre
The 36ers looked in the mood against the JackJumpers when they led fairly comfortably through the first three quarters in the opening game of Round 9, but their scoring completely dried up and the JackJumpers took full advantage as they handed the 36ers their third straight loss. Now back on their home deck where they’re an even 2-2 on the season, Sunday’s game looms as a must-win for Adelaide.
Melbourne continues to pile on the wins and made it eight in a row when they came from behind against the Bullets last time out. Impressively, the defending champions have now been on the road for six straight outings and have won them all in what’s been a massive statement to the rest of the league, particularly to those who expected them to regress this season. Defence has been their calling card again this campaign, with United giving up just 71.1 points per game in their current win streak.
United will be looking for their second win over the 36ers in just over a week when they face them in Adelaide on Sunday. Their 19-point wire-to-wire job against the 36ers on the 22nd of January was nothing short of spectacular and will give them even more confidence ahead of their next matchup. With that said, we’ll be taking the champs to cover the spread once again.
Melbourne United -6.5
Sydney Kings vs Perth Wildcats
Sunday 3pm AEDT, Qudos Bank Arena
Sydney finally returned to the winners list with a big win over the Bullets in their most recent game. Their 97-73 victory snapped a four-game losing streak and improved their record to 4-6. Still with plenty of work to do to become relevant, the Kings will be keen to make good use of their games at home where they’re currently 4-3 on the season.
Many expected Perth to come back to reality when they hit the road for a lengthy spell after playing each of their first five games on their home deck; however, they’ve continued to chalk up victories and now have a fantastic 7-2 record. Most impressively, the Wildcats are the only team in the league who are yet to lose back-to-back games at any stage, which is a testament to their resilience.
These teams are yet to meet this season, but the Wildcats will start as favourites and deservingly so considering they’ve won each of their last six and 10 of their last 11 games against the Kings. The last time the Kings won at home against the Wildcats was way back in 2019 and with the form that Bryce Cotton and co. are in at the moment, we expect that form line to hold strong.
Perth Wildcats -2.5
New Zealand Breakers vs Tasmania JackJumpers
Sunday 5:30pm AEDT, MyState Bank Arena
New Zealand had an awful start to the season with losses in each of their first six games, but have found some form in recent weeks with two wins from their last three outings. They weren’t in action in Round 8, but featured twice in Round seven with their last clash being an impressive road victory against the Kings where they stormed home with a 30-18 final term.
Tasmania managed to solve the 36ers in a thrilling game to open Round 9 and boy did coach Scott Roth love it. It was the JackJumpers third win in their inaugural NBL campaign, all of which have come on their home deck. Unfortunately, they now hit the road where they’re winless from three attempts, as they search for back-to-back wins for the first time in franchise history.
As it stands, neither of these teams look likely to be contenders at the business end of NBL20; however, the Breakers are certainly the more talented roster of the two and look to be finding some of their better form in recent games. They now get the perfect opportunity to continue to build momentum with a win over the JackJumpers and we expect them to take advantage of it.
New Zealand Breakers -3.5