The final round of the NBL season sees some tasty match ups! The final spot in the Top 4 comes down to the Saturday night double header and the Palmerbet Sports team are here with their Week 18 Tips & Preview.

NBL Tips – New Zealand Breakers V Illawarra Hawks

17:20 (AEDT), Thur 14th Feb @ Spark Arena, Auckland

Final Thoughts: The seasons over for both teams and this one has a feel of desperation to it. Sure the Hawks have had a good season and get to finish it off with some frequent flyer points and a Botswana Butchery dinner, but you’ve got to think careers are on the line. The likely retirement of Dave Andersen and questions around the under performance of Jordair Jett means its going to be a busy off-season for the Hawks back office staff.

It’s a similar story for the Breakers. With gun towers, Shane Long and Tai Wesley forming a stand out partnership, they need back up on the perimeter. With MVP candidate, Melo Trimble off contract with the Taipans, the Breakers should be throwing absolutely everything at the US import. There is plenty of dead wood to cut in their lineup and the break will show a lot about their aspirations for next season.

The Breakers took the Hawks to town last week with a 15 point away win. Wesley and Long dominating the out of touch Hawks big men. With the comfort of home, you’d have to say that the Breakers are going to take this one with ease.

Tip: H2H – Breakers @ $1.45

NBL Tips – Melbourne United V Cairns Taipans

19:50 (AEDT), Thur 14th Feb @ Melbourne Arena

Final Thoughts: The second game of the Thursday double header and this one should be a walk in the park for United as they search for top of the table

United’s mixed weekend saw a bad loss to the Kings before somehow leaving Adelaide with a 2 point win. Most impressive for United was their ability to turnaround their mistakes. 17 turnovers in Friday nights clash to the Kings turned into just 3 in Adelaide. That clinical nature to their game saw just 2 points from turnovers and dragged them over the line when the 36ers took every other important stat.

The Taipans season from hell can’t come to a close early enough. 5 win and 21 losses and the worst scoring average in the league. Save for out of contract superstar, Melo Trimble, there needs to be wholesale changes to their lineup. A ground up rebuild with a vision for 2022. They’ll be playing for pride in this one, but haven’t beaten United since 2017.

The champions vs to paupers seems an easy one, but don’t forget that the Snakes pushed United to over time in their last match up. Its a nice memory, but United should dispatch Cairns easily as they ramp up finals prep and try to lock in home court advantage.

Tip: H2H – United @ $1.21

NBL Tips – Perth Wildcats V Adelaide 36ers

21:50 (AEDT), Fri 15th Feb @ RAC Arena, Perth

Final Thoughts: This could be the fiercest contest of the year! The 36ers have to win to sure up there finals spot. The Wildcats to keep their home court advantage. There’s no secret these two teams don’t like each other and this could boil up big time!

The Wildcats sit top of the ladder with the best defensive record in the league. They own the most hostile court in the competition. They are one of the most successful sports franchises in the world. Adelaide certainly have their work cut out for them! MVP Candidate Bryce Cotton is the key. Shut him down and the Wildcats scoring potential decreases dramatically.

The 36ers Nathan Sobey will need to sacrifice his offensive game to take Cotton out of the contest and let their big men take the lead. Big man Daniel Johnson is the key to a 36ers win. They’ve developed a high scoring, inside the paint game that relies on quick ball movement and chaos for their opponents. High foul counts are a regular occurrence against the 36ers and this one looks to be the same.

There will be plenty of hustle and bustle in this one! The 36ers have no fear of the Perth cauldron winning 3 of their last 6 there. They’ve also won 5 of the last 7 over the Wildcats, but their form is just so inconsistent its hard to put our money on them.

Tip: H2H – Wildcats @ $1.89

NBL Tips – Sydney Kings V Cairns Taipans

14:50 (AEDT), Sat 16th Feb @ Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney

Final Thoughts: The bottom of the ladder Taipans head to Sydney for their last game of the season off the back of a 48 hour turnaround. This looks like a farewell game for superstar Melo Trimble and what a great place to come. Not for the basketball though. Sydney’s home court is drier than the Simpson desert!

The Kings are sitting third on the table and likely to not be able to improve unless United and the Wildcats lose both games for the weekend. Sydney’s lack of scoring potential has been covered by their immaculate defence which has got them into the finals, but their percentage is no good at all. This has effectively put them a game behind the top two and they’ll need to win by 30+ to be any chance to grab home court advantage.

The Snakes are the Melo Trimble show and he is still an outside chance for the league MVP. Wholesale changes need to come in the winter if they’re ever going to scrape themselves off the bottom of the ladder. Plenty talk up the skills of Nate Jawai, but he’s been outclassed in every match up against Andrew Bogut this season and big Boges is likely to get the job done again.

This one is a danger for punters. If United and the Cats win their games before this one is played, the Kings may rest their stars, so our tip is to leave your punting till late and pile in to the Kings IF they name a full strength lineup.

Tip: H2H – Kings @ $1.28

NBL Tips – Brisbane Bullets V New Zealand Breakers

19:50 (AEDT), Sat 16th Feb @ Brisbane Convention & Entertainment Centre

Final Thoughts: The season is over for the Breakers but its mathematically still alive for the Bullets. The Bullets have been a revelation this year. They’ve put together a great lineup and will be unlucky to miss out on the finals if Adelaide topple the Wildcats in Perth. If the 36ers lose, the Bullets can scrape into the final four with a win over the Breakers. Do they deserve to after a loss to the Taipans cost them their spot? Not sure, but what a tasty way to finish the season!

The Breakers away record sits at 5 from 13 this season. One of those five was a win in Brisbane as they went 2 from 3 against the Bullets this season.  Their usually dour encounters turned into a free wheeling score-athon in Auckland. There was an element of home court advantage as the Bullets copped almost double the foul count and well over double free throws conceded. Its clear the Breakers have a big man advantage over the Bullets. If they shut down the perimeter they win.

The Bullets are so impressive from the outside, it does tend to mask plenty of areas they need to improve to be title contenders. Their league leading 40% three point percentage has kept them in games, but the query around a lack of a dominant big man washes out their title contention.

The Breakers are a great match up for the Bullets and we’d usually be happy to take the $2.40 on offer, however the travel and second game for the round has to weigh against the kiwis. Add that they have nothing to play for and the Bullets possibly everything and we’ll lean back to the home team.

Tip: H2H – Bullets @ $1.58

NBL Tips – Melbourne United V Perth Wildcats

14:50 (AEDT), Sun 17th Feb @ Melbourne Arena

Final Thoughts: The schedulers at the NBL must be licking their lips at this one! The final game of the year being played by the likely top two and finalists! Talk about a Championship preview!

The Wildcats have been equally up and down this season. Dominant at the start of the year as they went 11 from 12 . Since then, the attacking side of the Wildcats hasn’t delivered the dominance we expect from such an amazing franchise and that leaves them susceptible to sides that can turn on big streaks. United are one of those.

The Wildcats took a super impressive win against the Kings last week as they completed 5 wins on the trot with 4 at home. But we can’t ignore they went 2 from their previous 7 away games. United meanwhile are just finding ways to win. 3 over time wins shows their championship qualities.

Such a tight one! The low scoring history of their match ups has the Over/Unders market set low, so we’re looking at the OVERs as both teams look to prove a point leading into finals.

Tip: TOTAL POINTS – OVER 172.5pts @ $1.89