2017 NBL Grand Final Betting Tips

February 24, 2017 by Posted in Betting Tips

For all the hype surrounding some of the bigger market teams throughout the year, it ended up being the most successful franchise in NBL history in the Perth Wildcats who find themselves in the 2016-17 Finals Series along with a surprise packet joining them.

The Illawarra Hawks scraped through to the big dance with a thrilling 106-98 victory over the 36ers in game three of their semi-final series. After losing the first game fairly comfortably, the Hawks rallied to take the next two games, both by single digit margins.

Game one of the Finals series will be played in Perth on Sunday, the 25th of February and the series will wrap up with a game five (if needed) in Perth on the 12th of March.

It will be just the 4th time the Hawks have played off for the Championship, with their only win coming back in 2001 when they were named the Wollongong Hawks and were led by Australian basketball legend Glen Saville.

It’s a different story for the Wildcats, however, who punched their ticket to the finals with two easy wins over the Cairns Taipans. The Queensland side just didn’t have enough firepower to go with the Wildcats, who won the two games by an aggregate of 30 points.

Perth are no strangers to playing at this time of year, with this campaign marking the 13th time they have played off for the main prize and with seven Championships under their belt, it’ll be hard to bet against them here.


Looking at the team’s histories and form on paper, you’d think it was Perth’s to lose, however, anything can happen in the NBL Finals and this series could be a long one.

For the first half of the season the Wildcats offence was led by American star Casey Prather, but since January, mid-season recruit Bryce Cotton has taken the league by storm. With stints at the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies under his belt, Cotton was a massive pickup for Perth and has proved his worth by finishing second in the season’s scoring averages.

TIP: Bryce Cotton most series points – $2.25 at Sportsbet

The one two punch that the wildcats possess in Prather and Cotton is lethal, combine them with defensive juggernauts Matt Knight and Jameel McKay in the paint and it spells out a very daunting prospect for the Hawks. Possibly the most important player on the Wildcats roster, however, is 3 time Champion and 5-time Defensive Player of the Year Damian Martin. The crafty veteran is the quarterback of the team and his defensive pressure is usually a good barometer as to how the team is playing.

TIP: Jameel McKay most series rebounds – $3.20

It’s been offence by committee for Illawarra this year, with American point guard Rontei Clarke their highest scorer at 17 points per game. With six players scoring in double digits in their game three win over the 36ers, the Hawks will be hoping they can take the same consistency and unselfishness into this matchup.

Marvelle Harris and Michael Holyfield have relished roles off the bench in the later part of the season, bringing athleticism and scoring to the second unit.

It’s a tough series to pick. On form, you’d have to say the Wildcats, but their semi-final opponent was arguably a lot easier than the Hawks. However, I think the Wildcats have the depth to outlast the Hawks in the best of five game series. It’s a testament to the sheer amount of firepower they have that NBL legend Shawn Redhage struggles to see game time. On that basis, I’ll have to go with the Wildcats to win the series.

TIP: Perth to lift the trophy – $1.40 at Sportsbet

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