The following are previews with betting tips for Game 5 the finals series between Melbourne United and the Adelaide 36ers in the 2017/18 NBL season.
Saturday, March 31
Melbourne United v Adelaide 36ers
Here we are, in the final game of the current NBL campaign. Both teams have fought tooth and nail to be here, but unfortunately for either side, there can only be one winner. Will it be the first-placed finishers of the regular season and the team that has managed somehow to cover the late-season loss of an ex-Cleveland Cavalier? Or will it be the injury threatened under-dogs that somehow despite their series ending injury to J-Chill, have somehow pushed the match-up between the two sides to a game 5? No matter who your backing and no matter who you want to see add yet another Championship to their trophy cabinet, this game promises to be one for the ages!!!
What’s Happened On The Court: Adelaide miraculously pushed the series into a Game 5 after their strong 9 point, 90-81 victory. By the end of Q1 the 36ers were well on top holding a 29-21 points advantage. And in Q2 they solidified that with a belter of a period, outscoring Melbourne by 16 points. Despite United’s second-half fightback in winning Q3 27-16 and Q4 23-19, it wasn’t quite enough as they were forced into a series deciding game.
For the victors, Daniel Johnson was strong with 21 points, 9 rebounds and a steal. While Nathan Sobey showed out with 16 points, 4 boards and 2 dimes. Shorter also scored 14, Moore 12 and Creek 10. While having his presence felt as a part of the 36ers second unit, Majok Deng poured in 13 points, grabbed 5 boards, dished out 2 assists and got a swat. For the losers, Casey Prather did his best Kobe impression taking 19 shots and in the process scored 23 points, along with getting 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. While Chris Goulding also tried hard scoring 15 to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Ware only scored 13, while hampered a little bit, Boone scored 10 and of the bench Moller got 9.
Key Players: Majok Deng (Adelaide) and Craig Moller (Melbourne)
These two men will be key to either sides hopes of clinching this seasons NBL Championship. Why you ask? They are the key bench players for their respective teams and with the scores very likely close when they get subbed on, it’ll be up to them to try and push their team ahead a little bit.
2x ABL Central Champion Deng is averaging just over 7 points pg this season and over his last 4 matches has boosted that number to an impressive 13.5 pg as he has proven to be an impressive contributor in Adelaide’s title charge. While for the former Australian Football Rules player converted Basketball SF/PF in Moller, he too has helped Melbourne greatly this season coming of the pine. He struggled at first scoring only 2 points in his first 3 finals games, but bounced back to score 9 in G4. That also coincided with his most minutes in a game vs Adelaide this series. If he gets more in a critical G5, then you can easily expect the man to reach double-digits.
What Should Occur: A fiery and intense battle that goes right down to the wire!!! Both sides have showed what they’re capable of this season and both desperately want another Championship. Defence should be key in this game, rather than attack. But whatever proves to be gold for each team, they’ll work with. Expect a great game and one that certainly shouldn’t disappoint.
Betting tip: Melbourne will be desperate to not be down after Q1 unlike their last game, as a result you can expect them to be the first to 10 points at $1.72 (William Hill)
However as the 36ers showed last match, they don’t care about their underdogs tag and have fought incredibly hard to make a G5 possible, even in the absence of Josh Childress, they’ll fight and fight in this game and win it and as a result you can pick them to be the newest NBL Champs at $2.90 (UniBet)