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United vs Hawks Prediction & Tips: NBL24 Semi-Finals Game 3

March 13th 2024, 9:46am, By: Jake Smit

NBL24 Betting Tips

Both NBL24 semi-finals series have been thrilling and both will be decided on Wednesday night with a pair of Game 3’s! First up on the schedule is Melbourne United vs Illawarra Hawks at John Cain Arena, and we have our full preview and best bet for the clash below!

Also, we’re providing previews and expert betting tips for every game of the NBL24 playoffs, so make sure to head over to our NBL Tips regularly to keep up to date with all of our content. 

Dabble

NBL24 Semi-Finals Preview & Betting Tips

Melbourne United vs Illawarra Hawks (Game 3)

Wednesday 7:30pm AEDT, March 13th, John Cain Arena

What an epic semi-final’s series this has been to date! Both games have required overtime to determine the outcome and both have yielded a different winner. That brings us to Wednesday night’s decider which will of course be played at John Cain Arena in Melbourne due to Melbourne United finisher higher on the ladder in the regular season.

Game 1 went the way of United after they pulled back a 16-point fourth quarter deficit to win by nine in the extra period (115-106), while Game 2 went the way of the Hawks after they too trailed leading into the last quarter only to come away with a five-point win in overtime (113-108).

Gary Clark was dominant all the way through for the Hawks most recently, putting up 31 points to go along with 16 rebounds. Also putting up a huge double-double for the victors was Sam Froling with 19 points and 13 rebounds. However, the heartbeat for the Hawks on the night and the guy that really got the arena rocking was Will Hickey who scored 18 crucial points, which included a basket right on the fourth quarter buzzer to force an extra five minutes.

For United, veteran guard Matthew Dellavedova led the way again with 20 points and eight assists, including a number of key buckets down the stretch. That backed up his historical 30-point 10-assist performance in Game 1. Ian Clark was the next best with 17 points and three triples in 30 minutes off the United bench.

Match prediction: After two thrilling games in this series to date, what can we expect in the all-important Game 3? The bookies have priced United as the overwhelming favourites to win their way through to the Grand Final’s series. They’re currently trading at around $1.25 at most bookies compared to the Hawks at the underdog quote at around $3.75.

However, I’m expecting another close one. These clubs have now met five times in NBL24 and all five have been decided by 12 or less points. On top of that, the last two have gone to overtime and the two before that the loser had held the lead at some stage during the fourth quarter. 

All in all, I’m surprised to see the Hawks at huge 8.5-point underdogs, especially considering how resilient they’ve been under coach Justin Tatum. They may not win, but they certainly won’t go down without a fight. Take them to cover the big spread here.

Illawarra Hawks +8.5

$1.80 (1 Unit)

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