Melbourne United v S.E. Melbourne Phoenix – NBL

Melbourne United v S.E. Melbourne Phoenix - NBL Betting Preview and prediction

Melbourne United v S.E. Melbourne Phoenix - NBL Betting Preview and prediction

Melbourne United v S.E. Melbourne Phoenix – NBL Betting Preview and prediction

Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix will open the 2019/20 NBL season with a clash at Hisense Arena, which will prove to be the perfect match to kick off the 42nd NBL season.


Melbourne flexing their muscles in pre-season

Melbourne United clashed with Illawarra Hawks on September 22, when last year’s runner-ups won by 17 points (108:91), which they managed to achieve with superb scoring in all four quarters, putting up 31, 25, 29 and 23 points respectively. On the other side, we must also praise their defence, which kept Hawks at 25, 17, 26 and 23 points. On that day, C. Prather lead the scoring with 23 points to which he added three assists. Closely behind, we saw Barlow with 20 points, four rebounds and two blocks. While not as potent in scoring, Long put up 11 rebounds, two assists and a steal to go along with his 13 points. While we talk about solid performances, Lual-Acuil scored 17 from the bench. On the other side, the newly added Trimble scored just four points, which is not something Melbourne wanted to see.

The Illawarra Hawks fixture was a nice way to bounce back following their painful 76:97 defeat against Breakers two days earlier when Melbourne seemingly forgot how to play basketball in the last quarter (10-25), when they “threw away” the game. That being said, their 17-26 first quarter is also nothing to boast about, seeing how they scored only 17. On that day, Long scored 24 and added eight rebounds, an assist and steal, Trimble scored 22 points, put up three rebounds and added three assists.


South East Melbourne are ready for the city derby

S.E. Melbourne opened their pre-season with an impressive 96:87 win over Sydney Kings on September 20, 2019. On that night, Phoenix looked just phenomenal, scoring 26, 21, 26 and 23 points, while conceding 21, 18, 24 and 24. A lot of the credit for their impressive win is due to J. Robertson, who was simply incredible. A total of 31 points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal was enough to make him the MVP of the match. That being said, Wesley should not be forgotten, with his 20 points, three rebounds, a steal and an assist.

Following their superb show against Sydney Kings, South East Melbourne went on to defeat New Zealand Breakers (102:95) in a tense match that ended up favouring the NBL newcomers. SE Melbourne put up 23, 32, 23 and 24 points, while conceding 25, 22, 28 and 20 throughout the four quarters respectively. Unlike in Kings’ match where we saw Robertson dominating, their win over Breakers was a group effort, with five players ending the match with double digits in points. Wesley ended with 23, Adnam followed with 17, Robertson and Madgen had 16 and Stephens finished with 10. It’s also worth noting Madgen collected nine rebounds and three assists, whereas Robertson put up four rebounds, seven assists and six steals. All in all, it was a solid performance from the whole team and a well-deserved win which should give the newcomers a much-needed morale boost ahead of their derby.


Verdict & Prediction

Both teams looked very solid in their pre-season fixtures, leading us to believe this will be an intense and exciting first-ever derby, which will serve as a perfect opening match of the season. Seeing how this will be a city derby, we can expect both sides to be on top of their game to not only claim their first W of the season, but also the bragging rights that come with winning a match of this calibre. We have talked a lot about the scoring of the two sides in the preseason fixtures, even so much, some may miss out on the small hints that suggested both teams do boast with solid defence, which will come to the fore here. Derbies more times than not bring out the best out of both teams, which holds true for both sides of the court and that is exactly what we expect to see.

An exciting match is on the menu, that we are sure of, however, when it comes to the final score, we don’t see this one getting out of hand and reaching incredibly high numbers. Anywhere around 170 seems fair to us and with the line set at 173.5, we will gladly take the bet and say the opening fixture of 2019/20 NBL season will conclude with less than 173 points.

Prediction: Under 173.00 points
Odds: 2.00 Pinnacle