We had a disappointing Round 2 of the new NBL season with a few upsets making it a hard weekend all around. Despite that, we’re still up on the season and will look to build on our profits this weekend as we present our 2018-19 NBL Round 3 Preview and Betting Tips.
Brisbane Bullets vs Perth Wildcats (Thursday 7:50pm AEDT)
The first match of the round features the Brisbane Bullets taking on the Perth Wildcats. These teams met each other last weekend in the reverse fixture which saw the Wildcats cruise to a 15-point victory in front of their home fans. The Bullets fell to 1-2 after the loss, while the Wildcats moved to a perfect 3-0 on the season, making them the only undefeated team in the league after two rounds.
The wildcats backcourt tandem of Damian Martin and Bryce Cotton exposed the Bullets poor guard defence in their recent meeting, combining for 40 points on 14 of 25 shooting. We see them putting in a similar performance on Thursday as they carry the Wildcats to a 4-0 start to the season.
Cairns Taipans vs Adelaide 36ers (Friday 7:50pm AEDT)
Round 3’s Friday night fixture sees the Cairns Taipans host the Adelaide 36ers. Both teams have had inconsistent starts to their 2018-19 campaigns, with the Taipans holding a 1-1 record, while the 36ers are at 2-2. Both teams will be desperate to secure a win and stay above .500 to avoid playing catch-up early on in the season.
We were really disappointed with the Taipans performance on the road against the Hawks last weekend. They came in with the attitude that it would be an easy win, which proved to be costly as the Hawks hit a few clutch shots in the second half to put the game to bed. Despite that performance, Cairns is always a tough place for opposition teams to win and we expect the Taipans to bounce back at home.
Perth Wildcats vs Melbourne United (Saturday 3pm AEDT)
In our opinion, the match of the round takes place on Saturday afternoon with the defending champions traveling to Western Australia to take on the undefeated* Perth Wildcats. On paper, this one looks like an epic waiting to unfold and anything less will be a disappointment.
United were able to grind out a win last weekend, but still don’t look at their devastating best just yet. Meanwhile, the Wildcats have been ruthless so far with 2017-18 MVP Bryce Cotton leading the way. We can see the Wildcats being too strong for the Champs at home in this one, making themselves the early favourites for this year’s title.
Illawarra Hawks vs Brisbane Bullets (Saturday 7:50pm AEDT)
Round 3 action continue on Saturday night with the Illawarra Hawks hosting the Brisbane Bullets. The Hawks were able to take care of the Taipans on their home deck in Round 2 and will be looking to defend it once more when the Bullets come to town. Meanwhile, the Bullets will be playing their second game in three days after they take on the undefeated Wildcats on Thursday night.
We were really impressed with the heart and determination showed by the Hawks in their most recent game. They were gritty on defence and potent on offence, especially Todd Blanchfield who has been absolutely lights out so far this season. We’re expecting the Hawks to bring the same intensity again on Saturday night and take care of the weaker Bullets outfit.
New Zealand Breakers vs Adelaide 36ers (Sunday 12:20pm AEDT)
The first time we see the Breakers in Round 3 is on Sunday afternoon when they host the Adelaide 36ers. The breakers let us down last weekend when they got embarrassed by the then 0-2 Kings on their home deck. The loss to Sydney took the Breakers to the bottom of the ladder at 1-2. On the other hand, the 36ers will be playing their second game of the weekend and will be faced with the tough task of travelling to Auckland on a quick two-day turnaround.
We’re happy to give the Breakers a chance to redeem themselves this weekend against the 36ers. The talented Sydney Kings were bound to get a win sooner rather than later, so we’re prepared to give the Breakers the benefit of the doubt. They should be too strong for the tired 36ers here.
Sydney Kings vs Cairns Taipans (Sunday 2:50pm AEDT)
We’ve got another intriguing match-up on our hands on Sunday with the Sydney Kings taking on the Cairns Taipans. The Kings will be in high spirits after getting their first win of the season last weekend when they defeated the Breakers in New Zealand. Meanwhile, the Taipans are coming off a quick two day turnaround after their home game against the Bullets.
As mentioned above, the Kings roster is too talented to keep losing in this league. Led by Aussie big man Andrew Bogut and 2017-18 scoring champion Jerome Randle, we have the Kings keeping that winning feeling going with their first home victory of the season coming against the Snakes on Sunday.
Melbourne United vs Illawarra Hawks (Monday 7:50pm AEDT)
Round 3 wraps up with Melbourne United hosting the Illawarra Hawks at Hisense Arena. This will be both teams second game for the round, so there’s no excuses for fatigue, unless of course one of their games goes to four over times like we saw when United and the Hawks met in Round 1.
Unfortunately for Hawks fans, we can’t see them being very successful on the road this season. They have arguably the thinnest roster in the league and come up against one of the deepest on this occasion. United should be far too strong here.
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