We went 3-3 on our six tips for NBL Round 4, but still had another profitable week thanks to the Bullets getting it done for us on Thursday night at a tasty price ($2.75). We now shift our focus to the upcoming week and provide previews and betting tips for all seven games of NBL Round 5.
Illawarra Hawks vs Melbourne United (Thursday, 7:50pm AEDT)
The first game of Round 5 features the Illawarra Hawks hosting Melbourne United at home on Thursday night at 7:50pm (AEDT). The Hawks (2-4) are coming off a disappointing two-game road trip where they lost by six points to United and by seven points to the Kings. They now return home, where they’ll be looking to get some revenge on United, who have already beaten them twice this season. On the other hand, United (5-2) are coming off a round where they defeated the Taipans by 13 points on the road, before defeating title favourites the Kings by seven points at home.
After a shaky start to the season United have hit their straps and look like the team that won last season’s championship. Chris Goulding is set to miss, but like we saw against the Kings last round, Mitch McCarron can step in and is more than up to the task. United have already beaten the Hawks twice this season and we can see them making it a hattrick on Thursday night.
New Zealand Breakers vs Cairns Taipans (Friday, 5:50pm AEDT)
The first of two Friday night games will have the New Zealand Breakers hosting the Cairns Taipans at 5:50pm (AEDT). The Breakers (2-3) and Taipans (1-4) are the only two teams in the league to have played just five games so far, with other teams playing as many as eight through the first four rounds. Both teams are below .500 and will be looking to get some momentum going in their favour as they start to rack up some more games in the coming weeks.
We knew coming into the season that the new-look Breakers will struggle with consistency early on, but we feel that they’re ready to start winning. They’ve always been a tough team to beat at home and have the perfect opportunity to kickstart their season with a home win against the bottom-of-the-ladder Taipans here.
Perth Wildcats vs Brisbane Bullets (Friday, 9:50pm AEDT)
The late Friday night game is in Western Australia with the Perth Wildcats set to take on the Brisbane Bullets at 9:50pm (AEDT). The Wildcats (5-1) currently sit atop of the NBL ladder after an impressive start to the season. They’ve won all four home games so far in relatively comfortable fashion and will fancy their chances on Friday night. Meanwhile, the Bullets (4-3) have surprised a few people with their winning start and are coming off a great Round 4, where they defeated the 36ers both at home and on the road.
The Wildcats have been good to us this season and we’ll continue to back them in until they get the respect from the Bookies that they deserve. They should take care of a decent Bullets team at home on Friday, but we expect this one to be single digits.
Adelaide 36ers vs Sydney Kings (Saturday, 2:50pm AEDT)
This weekend’s Saturday afternoon fixture will have the Adelaide 36ers hosting the Sydney Kings at 2:50pm (AEDT). After a promising start to the season the 36ers (3-5) have found themselves in a bit of a form slump, losing three on the spin by an average margin of 11 points. Likewise, the Kings (3-3) have struggled with consistency in the early part of the season, especially on the road where they are 1-2 after three games.
This one looms as the match of the round and the Bookies see it that way as they’ve opened the odds at a coin toss. With the 36ers already beating the Kings twice this season, both at home and away, we see them as good value again.
Melbourne United vs Cairns Taipans (Sunday, 2:50pm AEDT)
Sunday’s first game of the day features Melbourne United taking on the Cairns Taipans at 2:50pm (AEDT). United will be playing their second game of the round and will be hoping that Goulding and Boone will be able to deal with the quick turnaround, after both have struggled with fitness so far this season. Likewise, the Taipans will be playing their second game of the round, but with one less day of rest than their opponents.
It’s hard to see the Taipans winning this, but we aren’t comfortable taking United at such low odds. For this reason, we’ve looked elsewhere for value and have taken a liking to the Unders for total points. These teams have only scored a combined 170+ in one of their last five meetings and both like to take their time running their sets in the half court. We expect this one to be around the 150-160 point range.
Illawarra Hawks vs Perth Wildcats (Sunday, 5:20pm AEDT)
The second Sunday game will see the Illawarra Hawks play hosts to the Perth Wildcats at 5:20pm (AEDT). The Hawks will be playing their second home game of the week in this one and will looking to build off a solid Thursday night performance. They’ve played just two home games in their campaign so far, splitting them at 1-1. If they’re going to have any chance of a finals appearance they will need to make their home court a fortress. Meanwhile, the Wildcats will most likely be coming off another win against the Bullets on Friday and will looking to extend their lead on the rest of the competition.
This is an interesting battle as we haven’t seen too much of the Hawks at home this season. In saying that, they’ve been good enough on the road to give us some faith in them putting in a good showing here. We can see them keeping this one close and potentially upsetting the Wildcats.
Brisbane Bullets vs New Zealand Breakers (Sunday, 7:50pm AEDT)
The final game of the round with be the Sunday night fixture between the Brisbane Bullets and the New Zealand Breakers at 7:50pm (AEDT). This one promises to be a great game between two sides we expect to be battling for one of the final places in the top four nearing the end of the regular season. Both the Breakers and the Bullets will be playing their second game of the round, with both team’s first game being on Friday.
The Bullets have been too strong for the Breakers on both occasions this season, although we feel the Breakers will improve on those games. We expect a close game, but the Breakers to be too good at home down the stretch.
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