Sat, Mar 3, 1:38am by Staff Writer
The NBL finals series has arrived and we have two cracking series ahead of us.
It all kicks off this Saturday with a blockbuster double header which will see all four semi-finalists in action.
Melbourne United v New Zealand Breakers
The first game of Saturday’s double header sees minor premier Melbourne United host number four side the New Zealand Breakers at Hisense Arena with tipoff time at 5:30pm AEDT.
United have been clearly the benchmark in the competition and walk into the semi-finals with an exceptional 20-8 win-loss record during the home and away season.
The Breakers have been quite a consistent outfit through the season and their 15-13 record is three wins greater than the next best side in the competition, the Illawarra Hawks with 12-16 in fifth position.
With Game 1 scheduled for Saturday night, the series will quickly move to New Zealand with the Breakers set to host Game 2 on Monday night at Spark Arena.
Melbourne enter Saturday night’s contest an overwhelming $1.30 favourite with New Zealand a $3.60 chance to steal the game and have the opportunity to seal the series back home two days later.
Expect a contest early on with United to click into gear by half time.
Suggested Bet: Melbourne United by 11+ points (Big Win Little Win) @ $2.40
From a series perspective, taking Melbourne United for a 2-0 series win at $2.70 is well worth considering.
Adelaide 36ers v Perth Wildcats
The Adelaide 36ers will host the second game of Saturday’s double header where the second placed side will host reigning champions Perth Wildcats at Titanium Security Arena at 7:30pm AEDT.
The 36ers finished two games behind the Melbourne United after the home and away season sporting an 18-10 win-loss record. The third placed Wildcats’ 16-12 record may be inferior to the 36ers but they host a slender advantage in percentage which is a product of their league-leading points conceded per game record of 81.1 per game..
Saturday night’s fixture is mighty important for the Wildcats who are in contention to achieve a historic three-peat should they go on to win the NBL Championship this month.
With Bryce Cotton being crowned NBL MVP this week, Perth will be hoping to add an NBL title to the accolade by accounting for the 36ers.
The league’s highest scoring team with 94.8 points per game, Adelaide will be keen to get off to a winning start in front of their home fans to put one step closer to an NBL finals position.
Adelaide enter Saturday night’s contest a clear $1.42 favourite with Perth a $2.89 chance to claim their first victory of the season in Adelaide, the only location they have yet to win an away fixture.
Expect Perth to run this one down to the wire in a tight scoring game.
Suggested Bet: Perth Wildcats +4.5 / Under 180.5 (Line / Total Double) @ $3.60
In series betting, a Perth Wildcats 2-1 series win presents strong value at $4.33 as they will be tough to beat come game two at the Perth Arena on Monday night.
In other futures markets, if you are confident on which teams will progress to the NBL finals, you are able to now bet on who will be the NBL Finals Most Valuable Player.
United’s Casper Ware leads all contenders at $6.00 and is followed by Bryce Cotton at $7.00 with JP Tokoto of the Wildcats and United’s Casey Prather available at $8.00.
Mitch Creek and Daniel Johnson lead the 36ers chances at $11.00 each with Edgar Sosa leading the Breakers at $17.00.
Melbourne United $2.00
Adelaide 36ers $3.60
Perth Wildcats $5.00
New Zealand Breakers $7.00
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