NBL Grand Final Series – Games 3 and 4: Preview and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for the finals series of the 2017/18 NBL season.

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Friday, March 23

Melbourne United

Melbourne United v Adelaide 36ers

7:30pm AEDT
View a detailed form guide for Melbourne v Adelaide

Adelaide 36ers

What’s Happened On The Court: Game One saw Melbourne claim a crucial first up victory, winning 107-96. Then Adelaide clapped back in the second match of the series, coming out victorious 110-95. In G1 United started and finished the game strong putting up 29 points in Q1 and 28 in Q4. While the 36ers started of strong as well scoring 28 in the 1st, but then degraded a little bit producing only 19 in the 2nd. In the second match-up of the series, the 36ers combined to score 57 points over the first two quarters. While Melbourne could only muster up 19 in the 1st and 22 in the 2nd.

In the first game, Chris Goulding put up 26 points to go along with 4 boards, a dime and a steal. While Casper Ware scored 20 and Josh Boone got 17 & 7. While on the losing side, it was a well-balanced team effort, but not enough to claim the victory. The 36ers were led by Johnson with 18 and Shorter with 16. Shorter also had an on fire 4 steals next to his name. While both Moore and Hodgson scored 10 points apiece of the bench. While in the second game it was down to Mitch Creek who ended up with 17, 9 and 3 in a very good stat-line. While Johnson scored 15 and Sobey 14. However coming of the pine, Majok Deng made his presence felt with 18 points and 6 rebounds in only around 16.5 minutes of play. For United the stars were Casey Prather who had 20, 7 and 2. While Goulding hit 4 3-pointers on his way to 19 points, 3 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals. Barlow also put up a more than respectable 13 coming of the bench.

While of the court, Josh Boone is currently battling an injury problem that noticeably affected him during Game 2. However he should still face the 36ers during the remainder of the games barring anything drastIc happening. Much worse though is Josh Chidress’s injury that has ruled him out of the remainder of the series. It is a shoulder injury and is very unfortunate for the veteran baller. He will be sorely missed by Adelaide. Compounding this was the 25k fine given to Adelaide for coach Joey Wright’s comments about the officials after G1. This was quite harsh given the relative soft nature of what he was talking about.

What Should Occur: If Josh Boone plays, then Boone goes the dynamite. And you can expect it to blow right up in the 36ers faces. Barring anything going wrong between now and the start of Game 3, he’ll no doubt be starting for United and he’ll have a point to prove. They’ll (the 36ers), target the former NBA man and make him really work hard on both the offensive end and the defensive end. He’ll want to show that he’s completely fine and not affected by it. And for the bloke who has a combined 23 points & 11 rebounds over the opening two games, expect him to do just that. Side note: He played only just over 19 minutes of Game Two action.

Betting tip: Pick Melbourne to win at $1.45 (CrownBet, UniBet)

Also pick them to be the first to 10 points at $1.70 (William Hill)


Sunday, March 25

Adelaide 36ers

Adelaide 36ers v Melbourne United

View a detailed form guide for Adelaide v Melbourne

Melbourne United

One team in this game will be only 48 minutes of action away (+ potential ET) from claiming the NBL Championship. Casper Ware or Casey Prather loom as the likely options to lead the NO.1 regular season team to glory. While with no Josh Childress on the court, the likes of Mitch Creek and Daniel Johnson will be the ones tasked with the responsibility of leading their team to the promised land. This game promises to be an absolute belter!!!

Key Battles:

Shannon Shorter vs Casper Ware;

One has been an Israeli League All-Star MVP, while the other has made 2x All-NBL First Teams. However what they both have in common is their strong shooting percentages 44.0% and strong scoring abilities 13.3 ppg vs 37.0% and 16.3ppg. And they’ll both be needed by their teams on Sunday to try and claim a potential Championship victory. In G2 Shorter only scored 10 points and will be desperately needed to score more in G4 if Adelaide wish to score another upset victory. However, he did his best to make up for it by grabbing 5 boards. Not bad at all for a Guard!!! While Ware scored only 6 and shot 2/5 from the court and frankly didn’t do much else. Both players will no doubt want to have redeeming performances in this game adding onto what will hopefully be strong G3 efforts, thus making this a crucial player match-up.

Dean Vickerman vs the entire 36ers squad;

This could very well prove to be the match that clinches another Melbourne Championship, so tactically he’ll have to be prepared. Priority NO.1, exploit the J-Chill less 36ers. Despite only arriving roughly mid-season for Adelaide, he’s without a doubt been one of their top players and one to watch. Now that he’s out, lead by the master-mind Vickerman, United need to exploit that all that they possibly can. Defensively Childress is very good 1 on 1. Now that he’s gone, Melbourne can force the 36ers into more uncomfortable defensive positions and make them work harder to create their own shots on the offensive side of things. How Melbourne force the 36ers to play without one of their men men will play a large part in dictating the result of the game.

What Should Occur: The series entering a 5th and final game. Whoever loses G3 will go onto win G4. It’s as simple as that. Both matches so far were supposed to be close, neither were. Adelaide have already sprung a surprise by being in the finals, and they did it again when they comfortably disposed of their opponents in G2. They might lose G3, but in G4 it’ll be revenge on their agenda, with or without the help of the refs. Don’t look now, but this’ll be yet another NBL Championship decided by a final game. Adelaide to win G4.

Betting tip: Pick Adelaide to be the first to 10 points at 1.83 (William Hill) and also to come out victorious at 1.69 (Sportsbet)

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