The following are previews with betting tips for Round 9 of the 2017/18 NBL season.
Thursday, December 7
New Zealand Breakers v Brisbane Bullets
Pre-Game Lead-Up: The Breakers suffered only their 3rd loss of the season from 12 games in their last match, as they went down to their opponents for this game, Brisbane, 81-76. For NZ it was their 1st quarter that let them down as by the end of the period they had been kept to only 15 points and were already down by 5 on the scoreboard against a team that’s struggling to make any real impact on the league this season. However on a more positive note they did keep the Bullets to under 20 points in the 4th quarter as they attempted to bring back the game. DJ Newbill led NZ with a massive 21 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. While of the bench Shea Ili made his play felt with 11 points, 3 assists and a steal. Thomas Abercrombie also grabbed 11 boards while Edgar Sosa had 18 points on 42.9% shooting from the court. For Brisbane, their last game was also the one against NZ and it represented only their 4th victory of the campaign in what was an impressive effort from the cellar-dwellers. Their defence was strong as they kept the Breakers to only 76 points. While the third quarter was important for them as they kept NZ to only 16 total points during the period. That combined with the 1st period in which they scored 20 to NZ’s 15 is what essentially won them the game. Perrin Buford was a perfect 2 of 2 from behind the arc and had 18 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block in what was a very impressive game from him. Travis Trice also scored 17 along with 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. While of the pine for the Bullets, Reuben Te Rangi scored 11 points, grabbed 5 boards, dished out 2 assists and got a steal for his troubles.
What To Look Out For: The battle of the guards in DJ Newbill vs Perrin Bufford. Newbill is one of the major reasons as to why the Breakers occupy 1st position on the ladder so far this season. While if Bufford wasn’t on the Bullets roster, it’d be safe to say that they’d probably be in an even worse position than they are right now. He’s the guy that keeps them in games when things are getting to the pointy end of the match. Newbill for the season is averaging 14.9ppg, 3.9rpg and 2.9apg. While Bufford is averaging 16.8ppg, 7.6rpg and 1.7apg. Newbill is also getting just under 1.5 steals per game while Bufford is getting just under 3 steals/ blocks per game. This positional battle should have massive ramifications on dictating which way this match goes.
Betting tip: Pick the Breakers to claim the win at $1.39 (PalmerBet)
Also pick them to be the first to 10 points at $1.65 (William Hill)
Friday, December 8
Perth Wildcats v Adelaide 36ers
Pre-Game Lead-Up: The 2nd placed Wildcats really flexed their muscles in their last game as they beat the Breakers by a huge 16 points. In the 1st they kept them to 19, 2nd they kept them to 17 and in the 3rd it was 16. Against Perth, NZ only put up 73 points overall. It was a massive game for Perth who also put up 30 points in the 4th quarter. Jean-Pierre Tokoto lit up the court for 25 points on 64.3% shooting from the court. While he also grabbed 5 boards, dished out 9 assists, got a steal and swatted away 2 shots in what was a huge effort. While Lucas Walker also claimed a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Of the bench Jesse Wagstaff also contributed strongly with 19 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block. For the 36ers they have a late missed Te Rangi 3-pointer to thank for their 1 point win over the Bullets. He missed the attempt with 1 second left on the shot clock to give them the tense 84-83 victory. The 3rd quarter was a big one for Adelaide as despite only putting up 16 points during the period, they kept their opponents to 15. Mitch Creek and Nathan Sobey combined for a stat-line of 35 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in an impressive effort from the pair. Coming of the pine, J-Chill had his best game yet as a 36er pouring in 16 points, grabbing 5 boards, dishing out 2 assists and getting a steal in just over 25 minutes of play. Anthony Drmic also scored 9 of the bench.
What To Look Out For: Joshua Malik Childress. The same guy that used to call Steve Nash his teammate is now once again finding his own in the NBL as evident through his massive performance against Brisbane. The former All-NBL member is now averaging on the campaign 8.7 points per game. While that number isn’t particularly big he did put up 16 last round and has made 20 of his 36 field goal attempts to date, for an impressive 56% shooting form the court. He’s also grabbing 4.5 rebounds per game and assisting on just under 3 baskets per game as well. He’s also averaging a combined 1 steal/ block per match. J-Chill is the type of player that show up in the big matches and this should be no exception. Expect him to have a big game against Perth.
Betting tip: Pick the Wildcats to claim the victory at $1.42 (CrownBet)
However despite this, pick the 36ers to have the hotter start and be the first to 10 points at 2.12 (William Hill)
Saturday, December 9
Sydney Kings v Brisbane Bullets
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Who ever wins this game, will move one step closer to avoid finishing this NBL season in last position. However with each passing game the Kings seem like they couldn’t care less about where they finish. This was evident through their last round 9 point loss to the Taipans. They could only muster up 17 points to start the game of with in the 1st quarter, then in the 2nd period they again put up under 20 points. In the 3rd they reached 21 which was a small positive. Then in the 4th they completely lost the plot, they got outscored 29-14 in a quarter that lost the game for them and potentially their season. To give a more vivid description of this quarter, the Taipans literally strangled the Kings to death, although they didn’t have to work very hard to do it. Most of the work was done by the Kings imploding. Jerome Randle and Brad Newley, Sydney’s 2 best players without a doubt, combined to shoot 10 of 28 form the court in a poor effort from the pair. While Jason Cadee and Tommy Garlepp shot 4 of 13. The entire Sydney bench also put up a dismal 14 combined points. Jeremy Tyler was the only good performer for the Kings as he shot 9-15 and had 21 points, 9 rebounds, an assist and a massive 4 blocks in what was his best game in a purple outfit. Will the Kings claim a win or do the choking thing that they’ve done for so much of this campaign?
What To Look Out For: Regardless of how he performs, all eyes will be on Jason Cadee for this game. He needs to prove that he can be a legitimate 3rd star for the Kings behind both Randle and Newley and that he’s not just one of the many ‘dead-wood’ players on the roster. Tyler is their more for defensive purposes so against the Bullets it’ll be up for Cadee to shoulder the scoring load when Randle may be cold or having a rest while the same applies to Newley. How he handles this role will play a part in dictating which way the result goes and also which team can take one step closer to breathing a big sigh of relief.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to get a much needed win at $1.49 (CrownBet)
Also pick the 2nd quarter to be the highest scoring at $4.00 (William Hill)
Cairns Taipans v Melbourne United
Pre-Game Lead-Up: The Taipans won their last game by an 80-71 scoreline against the Kings. The 1st quarter couldn’t have gone any worse for them as they put up only 12 total points. However fast-forward to the 4th period and that’s where Cairns won the game. They put up a massive 29 points during the period and kept Sydney to only 14, destroying any hopes they had of getting a much needed victory. It was a team effort from Cairns as everyone who stepped foot onto the court, scored. Alex Loughton scored 25, while Cameron Gliddon got 12. Of the bench, Jerry Evans JR scored 15 and also grabbed 6 boards, got an assist and blocked 2 shots. Nnanna Egwu also scored 6 and pulled in 6 rebounds. While Mitch McCarron scored 8 and got 8 rebounds, he also got 3 steals and a block as well as dishing out 3 assists. For Melbourne, they posted an 18 point win over the Hawks. The 3rd period of the game was quite obviously the biggest for them as they kept the Hawks firmly locked up with only 8 points, while they themselves scored 22. That 14 point difference is what lost the Hawks the game and won it for Melbourne. As before that quarter Melbourne were only leading 46-42. Every starter scored in double-figures for United. Prather led the team with 18, while Boone scored 15, Goulding got 14, Wesley 13 and Ware 12. Ware also posted numbers of 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals, but shot a dismal 3-11. Boone and Wesley both shot over 50% going 7-9 and 4-6 respectively. Of the pine Majok Majok scored 8 to go along with 2 rebounds while David Andersen got 5 and 5.
What To Look Out For: Three-point shooting. Ware & Goulding, when they’re shooting accurately they are just like Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Everybody knows that. But probably getting less recognition than they deserve are guys like Cam Gliddon, Alex Loughton and Mitch McCarron. Respectively for the campaign they are shooting 42.0%, 37.0% and 38% from behind the arc. When all these dudes play on Saturday night, expect the game to be raining threes. The shooting of the three-ball will have a sizable impact on the outcome of this match.
Betting tip: Pick Melbourne to win at $1.82 (Bet365)
Also pick them to be the first to 10 points at $1.87 (William Hill)
Sunday, December 10
Illawarra Hawks v Perth Wildcats
Pre-Game Lead-Up: The Hawks looked more like turkeys in their embarrassing 91-73 loss to Melbourne. Simply put, it was the garbage they tossed up in the 3rd period that cost them the game. They were kept to a mere 8 points, while Melbourne posted 22 on them. Before that quarter the game was well and truly in the balance as United only led by 4. Rotnei Clarke was the leader for Illawarra with 24 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists. He also went for 4-7 from three-point range. Nicholas Kay also had 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. However both Tim Coenraad and Mitch Norton combined to go 5-18 severely hurting the team. Of the pine for Illawarra Cody Ellis was a strong performer with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. The result left Illawarra having never beaten Melbourne at Hisense Arena, but more importantly, 2 spots out of a playoff position. A win here would do wonders for the Hawks finals hopes, but they’ll have to get it done against the Wildcats, the 2nd best team in the NBL. Perth are also the best defensive team in the comp by a fair margin, having conceded only 860 points this season, the next best being NZ with 988 against them.
What To Look Out For: A desperate Hawks team. There are now 5 teams ahead of them and they all have more wins than them as well. While the Bullets are only a win behind them and the Kings 2 wins. So this match for Illawarra holds some very important potential ramifications in the context of their season. Look for Rotnei Clarke to have a massive game as he attempts to lead his side to a crucial victory. The 19.4 points per game scorer will be responsible for shouldering the scoring load for his team.
Betting tip: Pick the Hawks to claim a much needed victory at $2.25 (CrownBet)
Also pick the 1st quarter to be the highest scoring one at $2.75 (William Hill)
Adelaide 36ers v New Zealand Breakers
Pre-Game Lead-Up: For Adelaide, Josh Childress has been all the talk heading into their match against NZ. Childress feels comfortable within the team and no longer feels like “the new guy”. But 36ers coach Joey Wright went on to say that he’s not going to rush inserting him into their starting line-up. He also went on to talk about how its more important who finishes the game, rather than who starts it. This seems legitimate given that Childress would still be getting used to Wright’s systems of play, where to be positioned, etc. But he’s also a huge player when it comes to crunch time during matches. If Childress continues his form however, Wright might be left with no option but to put him where he belongs in the teams starting 5. While for NZ it’s been all about their 2 consecutive losses to both Perth (fair enough) and Brisbane (why and how?). The Breakers were ripped apart by the Wildcats then went on to lose to the 2nd last placed Bullets. Up against a strong 36ers side they’ll need to put in a much better effort, otherwise this match will represent their 3rd straight loss on the trot.
What To Look Out For: A tight, defensive affair. Adelaide this campaign are averaging a combined 9.5 steals/ blocks per game while that number for the Breakers is 9.3. Individually for Adelaide Mitch Creek, Nathan Sobey and Shannon Shorter are all threats and whoever they guard will have to be very wary of them and protect the ball properly. or be at a great risk of losing it. While for the Breakers DJ Newbill and his 1.4 steals per game will be of a great concern to the 36ers. While Thomas Abercrombie, Robert Loe and Alex Pledger all know how to block a shot or 2. Defence should be the main theme of this game.
Betting tip: Pick Adelaide to win by 1-10 points at $2.75 (William Hill)
Monday, December 11
Melbourne United v Sydney Kings
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Dane Pineau, the King’s young foward believes that Sydney can still make the finals this season despite their horrid 3-10 record, good for worst in the league. He went on to say that “there’s still a lot of energy and high spirits”, indicating that the team still believes in their cause for this season as well. The Kings players may be saying all the right things of the court, but the fact is that this season they have played horribly and to much as individuals and not nearly enough play as a coherent and functioning team. However if they can back up their off-court talk with some decent play on it, then there may be some hope yet for Sydney and their fast-faltering campaign. For United, their last round crushing of the Hawks means that if they can win this round and Adelaide lose, they’ll be in 3rd place and quickly catching up to the 2nd place Wildcats. A win would be simply awesome for Melbourne in this match, however given where they currently stand, a loss won’t do them a whole lot of damage either.
What To Look Out For: With every round that goes by, Sydney get more and more desperate to claim a vital win and help keep their season alive. Pineau has said it’s still possible and the maths back him up as well. But if Sydney can’t claim 2/2 this round then their season will be over, mathematics aside. Look for the Kings to try and outscore Melbourne from three-point land as well as really utilizing Jeremy Tyler on the interior. If they can do this, Sydney’s more than fair game against a finals aspiring United side.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to get a victory at $3.05 (Ladbrokes)
Also pick them to be the first to 10 points at $2.10 (William Hill)
Best Bet of the Round
Pick NZ to be the first to 10 points vs Adelaide at $1.95 (William Hill)
Pick the third quarter between MEL vs SYD to be the highest scoring at $4.50 (William Hill)