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Melbourne United vs Illawarra Hawks Game 2 Tips - Too much Melbourne momentum

Last updated: 08 Mar 2024
Jeremy Darke 08 Mar 2024
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  • Melbourne United at Illawarra Hawks Tips
  • Predictions have United scoring over 23.5 points in the first quarter.
  • United to cover the 0.5-point in the first term and the 2.5 points as favourites at the end of the game.
  • Preview, stats, head-to-head, team news & more
Matt Dellavedova
Matt Dellavedova had his best game in a Melbourne jersey in game 1 of the series. (Photo by Emily Barker/Getty Images)

Melbourne United vs Illawarra Hawks Game 2 Tips

The Hawks watched their opportunity in this series fly by them in game one and Melbourne United will now put them out of their misery with Illawarra’s confidence shot after letting a 16-point lead slip away in the final 6 minutes of the opening match of the series.

Melbourne haven't been too crash hot in the final stages of the season while playing on the road, however I don’t see the Hawks getting up as they did at John Cain Arena, despite their 4-0 record at home to close out the regular season.

I’m going against the trends here, which I don’t often do, but a loss like the Hawks took in game 1 of a final series is often detrimental and I FEEL that this game can be a catastrophe for Illawarra. 

We need to remember Melbourne hadn’t played in almost 3 weeks before game one and I expect that they will come out in the first quarter with the intensity they finished with in the overtime last match. I am therefore going to take United to score over 23.5 points in the first quarter and to cover the 0.5-point in the first term and the 2.5 points as favourites at the end of the game.

Head to Head 

2023/24 Match Results
Mar 07, 2024: (F) Melbourne 115-106 Illawarra (OT)

Feb 18, 2024: Melbourne 92-87 Illawarra
Oct 29, 2023: Melbourne 96-84 Illawarra
Oct 20, 2023: Illawarra 91-101 Melbourne

2022/23 Season Series
Melbourne won the series 2-1.

Melbourne United Form & Team News

Melbourne United went up a gear in the fourth quarter and overtime against the Hawks to escape a loss at home and need to chase victory in Illawarra to stay alive. Their offence was sharp for the majority of this game with both teams scoring 100. However the intensity of the United defence in the fourth quarter lifted them to victory.

Matt Dellavedova played his best game in a Melbourne United singlet, scoring 30 points along with 10 assists, 7 rebounds and even 4 steals. Luke Travers also shined with 24 points and 8 rebounds. 

Illawarra Hawks Form & Team News

Giving up a 16-point lead with 6 minutes left in a final could very well rank as one of the biggest chokes in NBL Finals history. The Hawks took full command of the match in what the AFL calls the championship quarter, going into the final term with a 10-point lead and extending it at the start of the fourth. However, the Hawks offence caved under the Melbourne press and let a golden opportunity slip.

Sam Froling was huge for the Hawks in the first half, leading the team with 21 points at the break but was slowed down from there on out, scoring just 5 points in the second half.

Gary Clark was a monster for the Hawks in game one with 12 rebounds and 22 points as Illawarra dominated the first 3 quarters in the paint with their one-two punch.


The puff has been blown out of the Hawks and Melbourne will put their foot on the throttle in the first quarter to ensure that the Hawks do not find any hope to begin game 2.

Melbourne will score more than 23 points in the first quarter while taking the lead into the second term. United will go on to win this game comfortably and cover the 2.5 points as favourites.
Best Bet1: Melbourne Over 23.5 first Quarter Team Total @7/8 at Betr - 2 Units
Best Bet2: Melbourne -0.5 First Quarter Handicap @17/20 at dabble - 2 Units
Best Bet3: Melbourne -2.5 Handicap/Line @7/8 at Topsport - 3 Units
Melbourne Over 23.5
first Quarter Team Total
@7/8 - 2 Units
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Melbourne -0.5
First Quarter Handicap
@17/20 - 2 Units
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Betting Slip | 10 Mar 2024

Illawarra Hawks v Melbourne United