The following are previews with betting tips for Round 7 of the 2017/18 NBL season.
Thursday, November 16
Illawarra Hawks v Sydney Kings
Pre-game Lead-up: The Hawks currently sit one position out of a finals spot with a 4-5 record. This while their rivals and opponents for this round, the Kings, currently are dead last with a 2-7 record. Illawarra’s last game was a 96-87 victory over Adelaide, a win that saw them more than double the 36ers points total in the 4th quarter. The 4th quarter proved to be vital for the Hawks in their win, as by the end of the 3rd quarter, Adelaide had a nine point lead over them. Rotnei Clarke and Demitrius Conger combined for an incredible 50 points, to go along with 18 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals, in what was a simply awesome performance from the two starters. Nicholas Kay also grabbed 10 rebounds, while of the bench Delvon Johnson grabbed 6 of the board. The Kings in their game, gave it their best effort but came up short as Melbourne beat them, 108-90. The Kings won the 1st quarter, 23-21, but in every other quarter United outscored them. The final quarter was the worst one for Sydney as Melbourne beat them by 11 points during that period. Ex-NBA big man Jeremy Tyler had a solid debut for Sydney. He ended up with 8 points, 4 rebounds and a steal in only around 10 and a half minutes of playing time. Jason Cadee and Brad Newley also each put up 17 points for the Kings. Cadee shot 7 of 13 from the court, while Newley went 5 of 10. This should prove to be a good game as Illawarra are in the hunt for a playoff spot, while the Hawks are the only team Sydney has won against this season (and done so twice).
What To Look Out For: Last seasons NBL MVP Jerome Randle. Randle is once again back in the league after singing a one year deal with the Sydney Kings (with a player option for the season after). He will be making his debut for the Kings and his return to the NBL against the Hawks on Thursday night. Despite not playing in a while, he could prove to be the difference for Sydney. Whenever he’s on the court he will command the defence to be on him at all times, which in turn will free up looks for the likes of Jason Cadee and Jeremy Kendle. In addition to that, last campaign he averaged 21.3 ppg. His impact through his scoring and what he does on the court should prove to be big for the Kings, if he gets meaningful playing time.
Betting tip: Tip the Jerome Randle effect to get Sydney the victory at $2.33 (PalmerBet)
Friday, November 17
Brisbane Bullets v Perth Wildcats
Pre-game Lead-up: The Bullets sit in 3rd last place on the competition ladder with a 3-4 record. While for the Wildcats, they are in 2nd place with five wins and three losses, after their two consecutive losses to the Breakers. 82-74 was the final scoreline as Brisbane beat Cairns in their last game. The second quarter was a massive one for Brisbane as despite their own shooting limitations (scored only 15 points), they managed to keep their opponents to 9 in a massive defensive effort. The third quarter saw the Bullets get outscored by 9 points before they came home strong in the fourth to pick up the victory. For the victors, Travis Trice bagged 17 points to go along with 3 rebounds and 8 assists on 50% shooting from the court. While Tom Jervis also peformed strongly with 14 points, 7 rebounds and a block on a highly impressive 62.5% shooting. Their leading bench scorer was Reuben Te Rangi with 8. Perth head into this match on the back of a tightly contested six point loss to New Zealand, 88-82 was the final score. Despite the loss, Jean-Pierre Tokoto still went of for 30 points on 10-18 shooting. While he also grabbed 7 boards, an assist and a steal. Bryce Cotton also had 19 points on 8-14 shooting, while of the bench, Jarrod Kenny, Greg Hire and Derek Cooke JR all had 5 points. The Bullets opened their season with a 10 point loss to Perth. Will this game prove to be closer or will Perth show their Championship credentials in a blowout win?
What To Look Out For: The battle of the guards. One is Travis Trice, a man who has fought back from a potentially life threatening disease to have a very credible Basketball career to date. This season he is avergaing 13.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 5.4apg. He has only failed to not score in double-figures once this season, and even then he still bagged 6 rebounds and 6 assists. The other is Bryce Cotton, last years finals MVP. A man who is averaging 17.8 ppg for the second seeded team in the NBL. This while in the last game against the Bullets, he went of for 24 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Given that both sides have a certain dependence on their guards, this battle will prove to be a defining factor in who can come away with the win.
Betting tip: Pick Perth to get the win at $1.67 (Ladbrokes)
Also pick them to be the first to 10 points at $1.80 (William Hill)
Saturday, November 18
Adelaide 36ers v Sydney Kings
Pre-game Lead-up: The last game the 36ers played was in their 96-87 loss to the Hawks. At the end of the third quarter they held a 9 point lead. But in the fourth period they imploded as they were outscored 33-15 on the way to Illawarra claiming their comeback victory. At the end of the half, they held a comfortable 11 point lead, but it all unraveled from there. Mitch Creek had 14 points, Shannon Shorter bagged 13 while Nathan Sobey scored 11. Creek also grabbed 9 boards, while of the bench, Josh Childress bought in 6. However Ramone Moore coming of the bench for the 36ers was an absolute beast in this encounter. He ended up with 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 assist, while shooting 11-15 from the court. For the Kings they suffered a 108-90 loss to Melbourne away from home. In quarters two, three and four they conceded 29 points each period. This highlighted the major defensive issues the Kings currently have. They scored enough in each of those quarters, so had their defence been a little bit tighter, they could have possibly gotten the win. Todd Blanchfield came away from the match with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists on 5-9 shooting. Perry Ellis also had 12 points while Tom Garlepp finally got some well deserved playing time. He finished the game with 8 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists, tying Jeremy Tyler for being the Kings leading bench scorer. Adelaide are currently just inside the Top Four with a 4-5 record, while the Kings (a poor name at this point in time) are dead last and two wins behind the next worst team in Cairns. How will Jerome Randle perform against his former team? Especially now after his infamous claim that he’d never play for an NBL club other than the 36ers.
What To Look Out For: Randle against Adelaide and Childress against Sydney. Jerome Randle had so much success in Adelaide being one of the leagues leading scorers last campaign, along with winning the regular season MVP award and helping the 36ers finish the season as the top seeded team. While former NBA player J Chill made an All-NBL First Team during his time at the Kings and was one of the best scorers in the league during his initial stint in the NBL. How will they perform against their former employers. Randle will no doubt perform will being one of the leagues best players, but he will also no doubt cop a serving from the home crowd. Meanwhile Childress should be able to make his impact felt of the bench in the way that he normally does. This should prove to be a pretty awesome game to watch.
Betting tip: Pick the 36ers to have the hotter start and be the first to 10 points at $1.78 (William Hill)
Cairns Taipans v Illawarra Hawks
Pre-game Lead-up: If it wasn’t for the slightly more horrible Sydney Kings, Cairns would be in last place, they currently hold a 4-6 record for the season. The Hawks meanwhile are in amongst it battling for a playoff spot. Through nine games this campaign, they hold a 4-5 record. For Cairns their last game was an 82-74 loss against Brisbane. They had already blown the game by the end of the second quarter, where they were held to only 9 points in a dismal effort. However in the third quarter they did bounce back, outscoring their opponents by 9, before they officially had lost by the end of the fourth period. Nnanna Egwu scored only 1 point in around 16 and a half minutes of play, while Damon Heuir and Chris Patton combined to go 0-5 of the bench. However Cameron Gliddon did score 15, to go along with 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. While Mitch McCarron also had a strong performance with 12 points, 6 rebounds, an assist and a steal. For Illawarra they came away with a hard-fought 96-87 win against Adelaide. Rotnei Clarke and Demitrius Conger combined to shoot 14-31 and score over half of their teams points (they had 50). Andrew Ogilvy also chimed in with 3 swats. This while Mitch Norton scored 11 points. Can the Taipans get a victory that would do them the world of good or will the Hawks continue their fight for a finals spot?
What To Look Out For: These teams on their day shoot the three ball as well as the likes of Curry, Harden and Irving. Mitch McCarron has shot 41% on triples this year and is like Klay Thompson from distance. While they also boast Cam Gliddon and Jarrad Weeks on the squad among others. While for Illawarra, Rotnei Clarke could keep up with the best three-point shooters in the NBA with his ability from behind the arc. He’s made 29 of the 63 he’s attempted this season for a very impressive 46.0%. While Mitch Norton and Oscar Forman are among the other threats on the team. If you want to see superb shooting from long distance, then this is the game to watch.
Betting tip: Pick Illawarra to get the victory at $2.23 (PalmerBet)
Also pick them to have the better start and get to 10 points first at $1.90 (William Hill)
Sunday, November 19
New Zealand Breakers v Brisbane Bullets
Pre-game Lead-up: After two straight wins over the defending champion Wildcats, the Breakers are in 1st place with a 8-1 record. Brisbane meanwhile have rebounded from their poor start to the season and are now fighting for a finals spot along with the likes of Illawarra and Adelaide. 88-82 was the final score as New Zealand beat Perth for the second consecutive time. Despite being kept to 16 points in the second quarter, the Breakers rebounded to outscore Perth by 8 over the final two quarters, resulting in the 6 point win. DJ Newbill racked up only 1 assist, but he did also have 20 points, to go along with three rebounds and 2 steals. Alex Pledger chipped in with 15 points, going 6-9 from the court, while Kirk Penney had 17 of the bench in an impressive performance. Shea Ili also had 11 points of the bench to go along with 3 assists. He also had a steal and grabbed 5 boards. For Brisbane, their last game was an 82-74 victory over Cairns. In the first three quarters they scored only 18,15 and 16 points. But it was the final frame that mattered the most as they outscored the Taipans 33-25, on their way to the win. The second quarter was also huge in the context of the game as the Bullets kept Cairns to only 9 points. Perrin Bufford had 2 blocks for the Bullets while Shaun Bruce had 2 steals. Stephen Holt also had a nice game with 14 combined points/rebounds to go along with an assist and a steal. Of the bench Mitchell Young had 6 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
What To Look Out For: A strong offensive effort from the Bullets. NZ are top of the NBL having scored 778 points while conceding only 736 (second best in the league). The Breakers are going to put up points fine, while their defence will be on point. If Brisbane want a chance to get the victory against NZ then they’ll have to find ways through the defence. The likes of Buford, Kickert and Trice will really have to step up their game if they want to beat the league leaders. It will be crucial that Brisbane convert a high number of their chances from behind the arc while they’ll have to really try and bully the Breakers inside as well. Watch for those two things as Brisbane chase a victory.
Betting tip: Pick the Breakers to be the first to 10 points at $1.58 (William Hill)
However also pick the Bullets to cause a massive upset and hand NZ only their second loss of the season at $4.00 (William Hill)
Melbourne United v Perth Wildcats
Pre-game Lead-up: For Melbourne their last game was a relatively easy 108-90 victory over the last placed Kings. They were down by 2 at the end of quarter one, but a massive fourth quarter that saw them outscore 29-18 resulted in the strong victory for the home side. Prather had 22 points, Boone 19, Ware 14 and Goudling 11. Ware also had 9 assists while Boone grabbed 13 boards. Of the bench for United, Tai Wesley had 21 points on 9-11 shooting while Majok Majok chipped in with 12 points, 3 rebounds and a steal. Perth lost their game against the Breakers, 88-82. They kept New Zealand to only 16 points in the second quarter, but that was the only period that they outscored them in. For Perth as a result of their loss, it puts them into 2nd place. However in some positives, Damian Martin dished out 7 assists while Jean-Pierre Tokoto and Lucas Walker combined for 14 rebounds. Poor shooting of the bench however damaged Perth’s chances of winning the game as every player either shot 33.3% of 25.0% in a bad effort from the reserves. Will Perth move a step closer to reclaiming top spot or will Melbourne continue to cement their status as an NBL big gun?
What To Look Out For: Shooting, shooting and more shooting. For Melbourne Josh Boone has shot 55-90 from inside the arc this season while Majok Majok has shot 50% and Casey Prather 48-93. While Ware and Goulding on their day are like the Splash Brothers from deep. Jean-Pierre Tokoto has shot just under 50% on two-point attempts for Perth this campaign while Jesse Wagstaff, Lucas Walker, Angus Brandt and Derek Cooke JR all all making over half their two point attmepts this season. Meanwhile Bryce Cotton and Wagstaff are no strangers to shooting and making the three ball. Expect this to be a high-scoring affair with many different players to score in double figures.
Best Bet of the Round
Pick the Kings to be the first to 10 points vs the Hawks at $1.95 (William Hill)