NBL Grand Final Game One – Preview and Betting Tips

The following is a preview with betting tips for Game One of the Grand Final series for the 2021 NBL season.

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Friday, June 18

Perth Wildcats

Perth Wildcats vs Melbourne United

RAC Arena

8:30pm AEDT

Melbourne United

Welcome to the 2021 NBL Grand Final series being contested between the commanding Melbourne United led by Dean Vickerman and the willing Perth Wildcats headed up by Trevor Gleeson. For United this is the third time over the past four campaigns that they have reached the pinnacle end of the Australian Basketball season. As for the Wildcats they continue to smash Aussie sporting records with this being their eighth Grand Final appearance in 10 years.

And if that’s not enough to entice you by seeing two historical teams go head-to-head over at least three games then there’s a few other quite enthralling storylines attached to this should be hotly contested series that should keep you interested. Chris Goulding (2008-09) is coming up against his former team in Perth as he attempts to rectify his recent three-point shooting woes. The same goes for Todd Blanchfield (2015-17) against Melbourne. Blanchfield however has been in form and somehow dragged his depleted Wildcats over the line against the Hawks in G3 with 4 threes and 24PTS. The two-star SG’s will be uniquely positioned to light up G1, as well as the series.

However, one other star player who simply just doesn’t get enough praise is Jock Landale. During Melbourne’s 2-1 series victory over South East Melbourne G3 saw the lethal C come up with 27PTS on 11/13 shooting from the floor! While in G1 it was 26PTS on 10/14 shooting. In the most recent clash he also had 8REB, 3AS and 2BL. Backing him up capably throughout the entire three games was former Dallas Maverick and Cleveland Cavalier in the form of electric 6th man Scotty Hopson. He produced 9, 19 and 22PTS. While he also got 6REB, 2AS and 1ST in their most recent 10-point victory.

In the absence of Bryce Cotton that key player and go-to-guy for Perth has been the previously mentioned Blanchfield as he lit up one of his former sides in their 2-1 series win. Over the course of three games he had 24, 11 and then 24PTS again. He also had 6, 5 and 3REB included in his stats-sheets, as well as 3ST in the Wildcats G3 8-point win. And another has been the ever-productive Florida born PF John Mooney. Most recently in G3 he came up with 16PTS, 14REB, 2AS and 1BL. Basketball is of course 100% a team game but when the game is tight and the ball has to be in someone’s hands, well these are the guys the supporters of each side will be counting on to deliver them the W.

Due to Melbourne’s ongoing COVID crisis this match will be contested at the RAC Arena in Perth to start us off with. And with the Red Army no doubt packing the house that should make things extremely tough for United. Only piling it on for them is the Wildcats insane home record this campaign. During the regular season they won 13/18 games played inside their venue, while they also snatched the decisive G3 win against Illawarra there as well.

United’s key to shutting all of that off is getting Goulding to catch fire. In what was his 350TH NBL match against the Phoenix he shot just 2/7 from beyond the arc. Yet he’s the type of player who can either win you a game or lose it. Now the situation facing Melbourne’s captain and 2X NBL Champion in this one is his side have being given a great chance to claim a potential 6th Championship against the Cotton-less Wildcats. But if he hinders his side with some poor shooting then their chances of winning will drop dramatically. This affair right here away from Victoria will really test the ex-Melbourne Tigers nerves and show us what he’s currently made of and very somewhat coincidently connected is the overall result of the match. Strap yourselves in for one wild ride!

Betting tips: Pick Melbourne to prevail at $1.62 (Sportsbet, BlueBet, UniBet)

Also pick the game total to produce over 154.50 points at $1.54 (UniBet)

And linking back to Melbourne also pick them to win Q1 at $1.78 (UniBet)


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