The following are previews with betting tips for Round 2 of the 2017/18 NBL season.
Thursday, October 12
Cairns Taipans v Adelaide 36ers
General Statistic: The last time these two teams met was in the final regular season round of last season. In that encounter Cairns came away with a tight 89-85 victory.
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Cairns are 2-0 to start the season after a close one point victory over Illawarra and an eleven point win over the Breakers. In the Breakers game, which was their most recent, they kept them to a very impressive eleven point quarter. Beating Adelaide would show the NBL community that the Taipans are deadly serous this year about becoming the champions of the league. While for Adelaide themselves they are coming of an impressive nine point victory against the Kings away from home. Despite Kevin Lisch and Brad Newley combining for 40, Adelaide countered that with an equally as impressive 31 from Daniel Johnson and Mitchell Creek. Who ever wins this clash, will have to do so by outscoring the other team.
While in injury news Nate Jawai is expected to be out for 12 weeks due to a foot injury. The former Raptor/ Timberwolve is a massive inside presence for Cairns and will be sorely missed. Others will now have to step up for the squad to replace both his scoring and defense close to the rim.
What Should Happen: The game going down to the wire in the fourth quarter. For Cairns this season they have won one of their games by a single point, while Adelaide have lost one of theirs by only a basket. Both of these teams have a tendency to play in tight affairs and this clash should prove no different. For the Taipans down the stretch they’ll be relying on the likes of Alex Loughton and Dayshon Smith while for the likes of Adelaide it’ll be Nathan Sobey and Ramone Moore.
Our Tip: Cairns to win.
Friday, October 13
New Zealand Breakers v Sydney Kings
General Statistic: Despite playing on the losing side last game Tom Abercrombie scored 23 points, grabbed 7 boards, swatted 3 shots and had an assist. Look for him to continue this form against the Kings, who defensively struggled against Adelaide in their last game.
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Last start the Breakers went down to the Taipans. Compounding this loss is the fact that in the third quarter they were held to a measly eleven points. They actually led by four at the half, but from their it was all down hill. While Sydney played their opening game at the Qudos Bank Arena going down to Adelaide 105-96. This score line doesn’t however do Adelaide justice given that if late in the game Jason Cadee hadn’t gotten hot from deep, the margin would’ve been significantly bigger. However on a positive note for Sydney they had five players score in double-digits. These were Brad Newley (24), Kevin Lisch (16), Jason Cadee (16), Perry Ellis (13) and Travis Leslie (12).
What Should Happen: Defence, defence and more defence. For the Breakers they are averaging a combined seven steals/ blocks per game which is better than the likes of Brisbane and Melbourne while more blocks than the defending champions Perth. While for Sydney they’re averaging five blocks per game along with three steals. Their block numbers are good for second in the league. Combined with big men such as Mika Vukona (9.0rbg) and Travis Leslie (7.0rbg) roaming in and out of the paint, defending will be the first order of the day.
Our Tip: Sydney to win.
Betting tip: Bet on Sydney to win by 1-10 at $1.80 (William Hill)
Perth Wildcats v Illawarra Hawks
General Statistic: The last time these two teams met was last season to decide who would be the champions of the 39th NBL season. Perth swept aside Illawarra three games to zero to win the trophy.
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Perth opened their season with a comfortable 96-86 win over Brisbane. One of the stand out performers in this game was new singing and small foward Jean-Pierre Tokoto who had 16 points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal. Bryce Cotton also scored 24 points opening his season with a bang. While for the Hawks they lost by one to the Taipans due to a made Alex Loughton free throw with less than five seconds remaining. These two teams are undeniably the best in the NBL and will be looking to put on a show come Friday night.
What Should Happen: Raining three pointers. Steph Curry does it and so does his buddy Klay while the likes of Ray Allen and Larry Bird are some of the greatest ever to shoot the deep ball. It seems that their is a bit of these players skills and mentality within both the Wildcats and Hawks due to how they’ve opened the season with their ability from deep. For Perth they made 12 three pointers in their last clash from 25 attempts, not at all a bad conversion rate. While for Illawarra this season they have hit 8 in only one encounter from 13 attempts. That truely is a Curry like percentage. Expect the Wildcats to hit a few and for the Hawks to be accurate from beyond the arc.
Our Tip: Perth to win.
Betting tip: Perth to win by 1-10 at $2.75 (Sportsbet)
Saturday, October 14
Adelaide 36ers v Melbourne United
General Statistic: Adelaide’s leading rebounder is Nathan Sobey with 6.5 per game while Melbourne’s is Josh Boone with 10 per game.
Pre-Game Lead-Up: “I ain’t expecting s**t” was the major and most scrutinized quote in the lead up to Melbourne’s clash with Oklahoma City. That was from the current NBA MVP and 6x All-Star Russell Westbrook. Westbrook himself along with newly acquired team mates Paul George and Carmelo Anthony played around a combined 90 minutes. OKC won by a point. Not only did Melbourne do the whole of Australia proud but they showed ‘Beastbrook’ what the NBL is all about and how tough it really is. While for Adelaide this is their second game in four days. They’ll be coming into this off the back of a game with Cairn’s so there’s the possibility for Melbourne to really ram home a big win in this game due to the circumstances in which its being played.
What Should Happen: Casper Ware gets 30 or more points. For the season he is averaging 23ppg but against what should be a tired Adelaide defence combined with his stellar 55.03pt% he should be able to outgun and outblaze them on his way to some cool baskets. Adelaide has a strong defensive unit but Ware as always should be able to pull something out of his bag of tricks.
Our Tip: Melbourne to win.
Sunday, October 15
Sydney Kings v Illawarra Hawks
General Statistic: Kevin Lisch who is currently a King and an ex-Hawk is a two-time NBL MVP winner and a one-time NBL Grand Final MVP winner.
Pre-Game Lead-Up: For Sydney this will be their second clash in three days as is the same for Illawarra. It’s poor scheduling but at least they’ll be even in regards to this. An interesting battle to watch here will be Perry Ellis vs Nicholas Kay. Both players can get inside with relative ease. Whoever wins this battle could go a long way to getting the desired result for their team. For Sydney its all about stopping the inside shots while the Hawks will have to minimize the threat of the three headed Kings trio (Kevin Lisch, Jason Cadee and Travis Leslie).
What Should Happen: A battle from beyond the arc. Against Adelaide, Sydney went 11 of 28. While the Hawks in their opener hit a very efficient 8 of 13. And with threats everywhere from behind for both teams, this will be another crucial battle in deciding the outcome of the game. This should prove to be a very entertaining game and one that is well worth watching. However expect the likes of Cadee and Kevin White to be among the major beneficiaries from this battle given their shooting abilities.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to win by 1-10 at $2.65 (Ladbrokes)
Best Bet of the Round
Melbourne at a handicap of -1.5 at $1.90 (Ladbrokes)