7 wins from 7 tops for the Palmerbet Sports Team last week and with just two rounds of the regular season left, we’re looking to finish strong. With another 7 games in this weeks Round 17, here’s the team’s NBL Tips & Preview of Thursday nights double header.

NBL Tips – New Zealand Breakers V Adelaide 36ers

17:20 (AEDT), Thur 7th Feb @ Spark Arena, Auckland

Final Thoughts: Do or Die for the Breakers! Win this and the mathematics still stack up. Lose and its time to plan the players trip.

The 36ers are the gate keeper of the last available spot in this years Top 4. With four teams fighting for that one spot, the 36ers need to find form and quickly. Its been a year of ups and down from the Adelaide boys and you’ve got to say they’ve under performed. They were one win away from the championship last year, whilst this year, they’re sitting at 13 and 12 with a negative home record.

The Breakers were taken to the cleaners at home last week. United were up by 25 points at half time and were shown up in every facet. There’s no shame in being destroyed from the outside with Goulding and Barlow going berserk, but to concede 50 rebounds when your game is based on dominating the paint is unforgivable. They almost made up for it two night later in Melbourne, bouncing to a 15 point lead after 11 minutes, but a 14 -34 point run in the following 12 shut the door on their finals hopes. A story of so close but yet so far.

In their three match ups this season, the Breakers have taken two of the three, with all three being shootouts, averaging 205 points total. The Breakers managed to get the last one in Adelaide. It was the big men, Shane Long and Tai Wesley, combining for 47 points and 31 rebounds, that left the 36ers big men scratching their heads.

The do or die nature of the clash will mean things should be tight. Traditionally these match ups are high scoring which has pushed up the line. With so much pressure and so little difference between the two sides lineups, we’re headed for the Unders market.

Tip: TOTAL POINTS – UNDER 199.5 pts @ $1.89

NBL Tips – Brisbane Bullets V Illawarra Hawks

19:50 (AEDT), Thur 7th Feb @ Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

Final Thoughts: The second game of the Thursday double header could not have been scheduled better!

The last two of the four sides battling for the last spot meet in Brisbane and its goodnight for the loser! The home side will be looking in every nook and cranny as they tried to find their festive season form. Losing four on the trot, including three to the Kings, the Bullets will be praying for a turnaround.

In their last match up, the Bullets destroyed the Hawks on New Years Eve. Shooting just 31% at home, the Hawks just never got it together. A defensive master class from the Bullets saw the Hawks head into 3 quarter time with just 45 points. The margin shortened as the Bullets eased into the new year.

The recent form of the Hawks isn’t much better, with 3 losses from their last 4. They own the second worst away record with just 4 wins from 12. A win isn’t just what the Hawks need. With a 0.95 percentage, they are effectively two wins out of the finals. They’ll have to attack at all costs. The Hawks just don’t have the personal to get the job done and we expect them to get opened up by the Bullets outside shooters.

Tip: H2H – Bullets @ $1.54

NBL Tips – Sydney Kings V Melbourne United

19:50 (AEDT), Fri 8th Feb @ Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney

Final Thoughts: Top of the table is on the line as the Kings voodoo team hits Sydney looking to lock away a home final advantage.

The Kings season has been one of distinction. Star signing Andrew Bogut has sured up their leaky defence, which has allowed the starting five to concentrate on sharing the ball around and create multiple scoring options. Jerome Randle sits 4th in the list of the leagues top scorers, but all five including Bogut, Newley, Kickert and Lisch are all average over 10 and capable to dominating a game. Bogut will be looking to put big Josh Boone back in his box and dominate the rebounds and blocks, keeping United to under 85 points. If they can do that, they’ll be right in the mix for a home win.

There’s no doubt that United have the best starting 5. Boone, Ware, McCarron, Kennedy and Barlow are all class. Add in Australia’s best guard in Chris Goulding as the 6th man and you’ve got one hell of a team. Ware sits 3rd in average points in the league, and United showed their versatility against the Breakers last week. On Friday night, Goulding hit form with 9 from 13 and 24 points, whilst Mitch McCarron stepped up on Sunday with another 9 from 13 and 25 points. How does Sydney guard all of these stars?

The Kings broke a messy run of 1 from 3 with two straight wins against the mis-firing Bullets last weekend whilst United took both against the Breakers. Whats bad news for the Kings is their record against the Melbournians. They’ve not beaten last years title holders since November. November 2016 that is! Whilst this one is at home, the Kings need United’s fire power to fizzle to be a chance. United for us as they look to stamp their authority.

Tip: HANDICAP – United -1.5 pts @ $1.89

NBL Tips – Cairns Taipans V Brisbane Bullets

14:50 (AEDT), Sat 9th Feb @ Cairns Convention Centre

Final Thoughts: The Bullets are still a mathematical chance to reach the final four, although this is harder after the 36ers win over the Breakers on Thursday night. The Taipans have two things to play for: Melo Trimble’s MVP chances and highlights to talk about on the players trip!

The Snakes season from hell can’t come to an end quick enough. They started the season with a dominating win over the Bullets but didn’t win again for 14 games. Somehow in that time Trimble kept scoring and scoring and scoring. No one else did as the Taipans became suppliers of wins and frequent flyer points to their rival. A brief respite after the New Year, but just like their season, the Taipans are winless in their last four and are lucky not to be relegated. With Trimble likely to be poached at seasons end, its a long road ahead.

The Bullets meanwhile have been on an equally horrid run that’s put their post season in danger. Sitting pretty in the top two half way through January, the Brisbane boys fell apart amid as the Kings ruined their season dealing 3 of their 4 straight losses. A season saving over time win over the Hawks kept the mathematics alive, but Cadee, Hodgson & Gliddon have to fire.

You’ve got to wonder if the Taipans are playing for careers, let alone the win, whilst the Bullets have to win to keep their season alive. For us, papers are sealed for several Taipans and the home court will be enough for the Bullets.

Tip: HANDICAP – Bullets -2.5pts @ $1.87

NBL Tips – Illawarra Hawks V New Zealand Breakers

19:50 (AEDT), Sat 9th Feb @ WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong

Final Thoughts: The season is over for the Breakers. A story of two stars not being enough to drag a poor off season of recruiting into the finals. A busy off-season for the back office staff looms. The Hawks meanwhile are also planning their down time after Thursday nights loss to the Bullets ended their season early.

The Breakers recruitment of Tai Wesley from United was a masterstroke. Its bought the very best out in Shane Long and they’re now as formidable a pair of talls as any in the league. Unfortunately the rest of the lineup just isn’t going to help the NZ side get into the finals let alone challenge. No other side has a big man leading their scoring or assists. The Breakers have both. Thats both a story of the quality of their big men, but a shocking indictment on their outside men.

The Hawks have performed better than the Palmerbet team expected. We had them deep on the table and for them to be in the running for finals is a testament to their fight. For their lack of superstars, its that South Coast grit that’s key them going. The contributions from the likes of Blanchfield, Conklin and Ogilvy lays a solid foundation in most games for the Hawks. Its the lack of an outside superstar that is the missing piece and has to be solved in the off season.

Neither side have anything to play for except pride. The Breakers twin towers are as good as any duo and should do enough to get the Breakers an away win at good odds.

Tip: H2H – Breakers @ $2.23

NBL Tips – Adelaide 36ers V Melbourne United

14:50 (AEDT), Sun 10th Feb @ Titanium Security Arena, Adelaide

Final Thoughts: Last years finalist meet in Adelaide for their second game of the weekend with the 36ers in a must win position. With the Bullets a game behind but with a game against cellar dweller, Cairns Taipans, a position in the finals could come down to percentage!

The 36ers took a big away win in Auckland on Thursday night, free throwing their way to a 7 point win. Talk about crafty! 31 free throws to 18 as the umpires got whistle happy in the New Zealand capital. The 36ers composure and experience was the key in this win, after they stretched a lead and the Breakers were forced to brick up 36 three pointers to bridge the gap.

United were right in the contest against the Kings on Friday night. A superbly even contest between the two title favourites but for two minutes at the end of the half where the Kings took a 9-0 run and never surrendered. A double double from Andrew Bogut towelled up Josh Boone and he’ll have to improve dramatically against the 36ers star big man, Daniel Johnson for United to be a chance. A win for United and its back to first place. A loss and they’ll lose home ground advantage.

The 36ers have had 224 more free throws than United. Thats a ridiculous stat that should start the #FREETHROW36ers meme! United have had the second least. The 36ers play the percentages better and they’re at home on healthy odds.

Tip: H2H – 36ers @ $2.08

NBL Tips – Perth Wildcats V Sydney Kings

17:20 (AEDT), Sat 10th Feb @ RAC Arena, Perth

Final Thoughts: The match of the round and the battle for top spot. Which ever team wins gets home court advantage come finals week.

The Wildcats will be playing their first game for the weekend which will have allowed them to take a great look at the Kings. They’ll be looking to Angus Brandt to shut down Andrew Bogut, whilst lock down star Damian Martin will have his eyes on Jerome Randle big time! This leaves Bryce Cotton. He’s the MVP in waiting and an absolute jet. We expect him to tear this one up, particularly late in the game as the Kings tire from the short turnaround and travel.

We love the Kings! They play a dour, grinding game with the speed of continental drift, but they get the job done. Sure they rely on Bogut, but the bloke is 20% better than any other big man in the NBL. His double double from Friday night showed his quality. It also stops the outside men from driving the lane which forces the opposition to take lower percentage outside jumpers. He’s also in the MVP running and should be the favourite.

The Wildcats record at home makes this trip a nightmare for most, however the Kings have won the last two away which tightens things up. The home court and rest has us leaning to the Cats.

Tip: HANDICAP – Wildcats -2.5pts @ $1.89