The following is a preview with betting tips for Game Three of the Grand Final series for the 2021 NBL season.
Friday, June 25
Melbourne United vs Perth Wildcats
John Cain Arena
Playing in Melbourne for the first time in well over a month or eleven games to be exact United can claim a 6th Championship if they beat the Wildcats in what is an extremely critical G3 matchup for the opposition hailing from WA. If they lose it’ll be all over for them and for the absolutely dominant franchise that claimed last season’s Grand Final series in decisive fashion it’ll be a far fall from grace for them.
With the ever-evolving minds of United head coach Dean Vickerman and Wildcats head honcho Trevor Gleeson going head-to-head on the sidelines, that in itself is just one critical aspect of this exciting affair. Vickerman has won an electric 6X Championships as an NBL HC/AC. As for Gleeson he’s won 5X Grand Finals as a HC + an NBL Cup as well. And you just know that neither man will be afraid to voice their opinion very openly in this one either.
They are just only part of the fun though. Looking to the on-court matchups there are plenty that catch my eye and that should catch your guy’s ones during the game as well. They are headed up by Will Magnay vs Jock Landale.
Despite formerly playing for New Orleans in the NBA Magnay has massively struggled this series. In G2 he put up just 9PTS and 3REB on 40.0% shooting from the floor. And during G1 he took just 3 shots, good for 5PTS, along with only 6REB. Since his heyday with the Brisbane Bullets he has struggled massively to acclimatise himself back into the environment of the NBL. But the 23-year-old needs a big game here to help give Perth some sort of formidable presence inside the paint. This series will be over unless he can start to help Todd Blanchfield and John Mooney pick up the slack scoring a little bit.
As for Landale he’s been the complete opposite to that of Magnay this series as a win here for United as well as another superior performance from the former LKL Champion should see him win the Finals MVP Award. Last time out he came up with 12PTS, 17REB, 3AS and 1BL. His 17 boards were the most in any GF match in the 40-minute era. While in G1 he had 17PTS, 7REB, 3AS, 2ST and 2BL. He’s also made 8/10 FT’s in total and has been a dominant force close to the basket. With Magnay it’s shakier what to expect from him but with Landale another big performance should be brewing from the Melbourne-born 25-year-old ex-Serbian Cup victor.
The big men won’t hog all the attention however as the two PG Mitch’s in the form of McCarron and Norton should also feature heavily in this encounter. McCarron, the former Gold Medallist for Australia, has come up with 7, 7 and 6 dimes over his last 3 games. The last two of which have been against Perth. His high-facilitating IQ opens up great looks for the likes of Chris Goulding as well as Landale. Running the point for United he should be a focal feature of this match for the Vickerman managed side.
As for Norton he has done incredibly well this series despite being banged up for the Wildcats. And boy oh boy hasn’t he stepped up admirably in the absence of superstar PG Bryce Cotton? His stats most recently included 12PTS and 3REB, while before that they included 6PTS, 2ST, as he also hit his only attempted shot from beyond the arc. The previous Townsville Crocodile brings a lot of toughness to any game that he participates in and Perth will need a massive amount of that on Melbourne’s home floor!
Overall I expect Perth to display a desperateness not seen before in this series as they attempt to avoid what would be an embarrassing sweep at the hands of one of their major rivals. It may not be pretty at times and in fact it may even get quite ugly quite quickly. But really the Wildcats need this and I expect them to get it done, it may be to late in the overall context of the series, but not when it comes to saving some face!
Betting tips: Pick the Wildcats to claim the upset win at $4.00 (Sportsbet)
Also pick them to come out on top in Q1 at $2.70 (UniBet)
Pick them to also prevail in Q4 at $2.38 (UniBet)
The Wildcats should also reach 20 points first at $2.50 (Bet365)
And pick the total points scored to be over $158.5 at $1.90 (Sportsbet)