NBL Grand Final series Game One – Preview & Betting Tips

The following is a preview with betting tips for Game One of the Grand Final series for the 2023/24 NBL season.

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Melbourne United
Melbourne United vs Tasmania JackJumpers

Sunday March 17, 4:00pm
John Cain Arena

Tasmania JackJumpers

Chris’s comeback or Milton’s magic, which will reign supreme come Sunday afternoon?

Chris Goulding and his Melbourne United superstars enter the deciding series after their tightly-fought 100-94 victory over Illawarra at John Cain Arena last Wednesday evening. An exciting affair which was perhaps anything but for the ever-illusive Guard, as he scored just 14PTS on 4/12 shooting from the floor + 2TO and 3PF. Meanwhile for the electric Milton Doyle and his team of non-stop fighting and tussling Tasmania JackJumpers, they procured what was ultimately an easy 100-84 win over Perth at RAC Arena, not too long after the previous game had finished. As Doyle came up humungous with 24PTS, 4REB, 9AST and 2STL to his name, as he carried the ‘Jackies’ on his back via their way to collecting the dub and furthering their campaign in the process. So the big question that now remains headed into the opening matchup of this Grand Final series is will Goulding have a comeback game, one that we are so used to seeing from the 3X NBL champion and 3X Australian medalist, or will a mean, mean Doyle, a multiple-time All-NBL recipient and 10X NBA game veteran continue to light up the floor with his silky handles and hot passing? Only time will tell, but strap yourselves in because this series and this Game One right here is about to explode!

For Chris Goulding, despite having the likes of high-profile shooters around him such as Ian Clark – 13.8ppg this season, Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. – 14.9ppg this season and Luke Travers – 12.5ppg this campaign, a fair portion of responsibility offensively still rests on his shoulders. That’s because 3X NBL Grand Final winning head coach and Melbourne United main honcho Dean Vickerman knows and trusts that the 35-year-old Goulding still has what it takes to crumple opposing defences into a heap and largely he does. For the campaign he is averaging 16.7ppg, whilst shooting 38.8% from beyond the arc. And throughout the course of his last game against Tasmania, he fashioned a fine 16PTS. Now after his disastrous performance last time out versus the Hawks, he now has a chance to redeem himself in front of his adoring home supporters, ones that love him so  very much. He can shoot the ball with ease from deep, whilst also penetrate inside, getting around opposition defenders in the process. So with the arsenal of skills that Goulding has at his disposal, it’s incredibly difficult to see him playing badly two matches in a row, as one of Melbourne’s leaders will be well and truly looking to redeem himself at John Cain Arena.

As for Milton Doyle, what more can you say, the stats speak for themselves. There was his previously mentioned Game Three clinching performance against the Wildcats in Western Australia and before that in a Game Two Tasmanian home 102-94 victory, he hit four threes en route to 24PTS + 6REB + 2AST + 1STL. And even in his sides 16-point seeding victory over Illawarra at MyState Bank Arena, he conjured up 8REB and 10AST. Similarly to his counterpart Goulding, Doyle is able to pull up from anywhere on the court with ease as well. Doyle is also a Man who once scored 42PTS in a G-League head-to-head, that representing an unbelievably tough competition. So he sure as hell isn’t afraid to burst out against anyone or any team! And despite ‘Tassie’ crushing Perth by 16-points last Wednesday, they still had some struggles as Jordon Crawford went just 1/6 from the floor and Sean McDonald went 1/4 from beyond the arc. So when you take a deeper dive into just how well Scott Roth’s Men competed last Wednesday evening, you’ll see even more so just how paramount Doyle is to his much-loved franchise. He’s on a roll at the moment and I don’t think even the regular-season champions in the form of Melbourne will be able to put much of a dent in his hot, hot streak.

Did you know that Tasmania have won 10 out of their last 14 head-to-heads against Melbourne. That including a last start 107-86 walloping in their favour at MyState Bank Arena. A one-sided affair which saw them win the opening three quarters (and tie the fourth), as well as Jordon Crawford and Jack McVeigh combining for just shy of 50PTS, ending with 48PTS for the game and 7AST.

Did you also know that over the course of Tasmania’s four seasons of existence in the NBL, 50% of the time they have made the Grand Final series, 2/4. Whilst they have a 100% record when playing any form of finals series against Melbourne United. As in the one series they faced off against each other back in the 2021/22 semifinals, Tasmania edged them out 2-1. 

Picking a winner is just so damn, damn, damn difficult here. Scott Roth’s ‘Jackies’ however look to be world beaters at the moment and so I’ll back them to edge out this affair by 1-5 points, just …

Betting tips: Look for Tasmania to win Game One at $2.35 (BlueBet)

Also look for Tasmania to score 81 or more points at $1.30 and for Melbourne to produce 78 or more points at $1.11 (Bet365)

However you can pick Q1 to end in Melbourne’s favour at $1.70 (BlueBet)


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