The following are previews with betting tips for Round 10 of the 2017/18 NBL season.
Thursday, December 14
Cairns Taipans v Brisbane Bullets
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Cairns while currently in 5th place, are on the same number as wins as 3rd placed Melbourne (7). A win for them here would be great in their strong pursuit of a playoffs spot. Last round they defeated Melbourne United 79-70, in what was a close game. They were already leading after Q1 after outscoring their opponents to the tune of 22-15. While they also kept Melbourne at bay in Q3, after they put up only 14 points during the period. The key performers for Cairns were Mitch McCarron who scored 13 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and got an assist. While Alex Loughton scored 11, grabbed 5 boards, dished out 2 assists and stole the ball twice. Of the bench for Cairns all of Jerry Evans Jr, Chris Patton and Jarrad Weeks, scored 10 points. Meanwhile for the Bullets, such is the closeness of this years competition, that while they currently reside second from last on the ladder, they are only 2 wins away from a finals position. However on a less positive note, the only team that’s been worse than them this year, has been the shockingly bad Sydney Kings. Last round Brisbane defeated those same Kings, 85-77, effectively killing of their playoffs hopes for this season. Q3 and Q4 were crucial ones for Brisbane as they outscored Sydney by 4 and 5 respectively during those periods as before Q3, they were down by 1. Travis Trice scored 19, going 6-13 from the court. He also had 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks in another great performance by him. Perrin Buford also scored 12, grabbed 9 boards, dished out an assist and got a steal. Of the pine, Reuben Te Rangi scored 11 points and got 5 rebounds. For whoever wins here, it’ll make it just a little easier for them in their push to make the finals.
What To Look Out For: A Brisbane side playing with some passion, skill and happiness that wasn’t apparent earlier during the season. The Bullets, to start their campaign, put up some pretty shocking Basketball to put it mildly. But now with their recent run of form, their resembling something closer to a finals bound team rather than a cellar-dwellar. With 2 wins from their past 3 macthes, look to see the likes of Trice and Bufford really take charge as they look to push Brisbane towards a Top Four spot. What Brisbane now possesses and how they are now playing should see them get the upset victory in their pursuit of a finals spot.
Betting tip: Pick Brisbane to get the win at $2.27 (PalmerBet)
Friday, December 15
New Zealand Breakers v Adelaide 36ers
Pre-Game Lead-Up: NZ are currently 2nd on the ladder while Adelaide are 4th. Both clubs have been tearing it up this campaign and this game should no doubt prove to be a great spectacle to watch. A win for the Breakers helps them go 1st again while a 36ers victory (provided with Melbourne’s result going their way), would see them go outright 3rd on the ladder. NZ will want revenge from their last game as it was to Adelaide, and they lost by only 3 points in what was a pulsating affair. Edgar Sosa had the chance to tie things up with not much left on the clock, but unfortunately he missed the three-pointer giving the 36ers the win. For the losing side the best were Sosa, who scored 26, going 8-20 from the court. He also got 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. While Mika Vukona went 4-7 from three-point range. He ended up with 11 points, a rebound, an assist and 3 massive steals. While Thomas Abercrombie scored 14, grabbed 6 rebounds, dished out 2 dimes, stole the ball once and had 2 blocks. Of the bench, Shea Ili scored 9, while Kirk Penney scored 7. For the 36ers their major players were Nathan Sobey who scored 22, Daniel Johnson with 17, J-Chill with 15 and of the pine, Anthony Drmic with 10. Sobey also grabbed 2 rebounds and dished out 6 assists. Johnson also grabbed 7 boards, got 2 assists and a steal. While J-Chill had 6 rebounds, an assist and a swat. A victory here for either side helps aid their cause (particularly more so for the Breakers), as to why they have been the best in Australian Basketball this season.
What To Look Out For: Defence from the Breakers and attack from the 36ers. Whenever DJ Newbill, Sosa or Vukona are guarding you, carefulness with the ball is your no.1 priority, as they’ll be able to take it from you and create in the process attacking opportunities for their own team. While you have to be smart when shooting around Abercrombie or Alex Pledger given their ability to swat shots away. All these players among others, help make the Breakers the crazy defensive force that they are. While for Adelaide anyone from Daniel Johnson right through to Josh Childress (who starts of the bench most of the time), are capable of having massive scoring nights and destroying anyone and anything in their path. When these 2 teams clash, that is what’ll be on show.
Betting tip: Pick the 36ers to have the hotter start and be the first to 10 points at $2.00 (William Hill)
Saturday, December 16
Perth Wildcats v Brisbane Bullets
Pre-Game Lead-Up: It’s the game that pits Australia’s best against one of its worst. The Wildcats currently reside in 1st position. This while their opponents in Brisbane, currently reside in 2nd last place on the competition table. A win for Perth helps them consolidate 1st place, while a win for the Bullets would get them one step closer to the most unlikeliest of finals appearances. Perth in their last game beat Illawarra in a high-scoring 99-91 affair. In Q1, the Wildcats conceded 24 points, then in Q4, they gave up 27 points. However they were able to counter the Hawks in both of those periods putting up 25 and 28 respectively. They also outscored the Hawks during all 4 of the periods. Bryce Cotton lit up the court scoring 36 points and going 12-23, while also shooting a massive 7-13 from behind the arc. He also had 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal in what was an obvious MOM performance. Jean-Pierre Tokoto also scored 13, grabbed 7 boards, dished out 3 dimes and got a steal. While of the pine, Derek Cooke Jr was an absolute monster, he scored 19, grabbed 7 boards, got an assist, and also blocked a shot. While for the Bullets, they are starting to make a legitimate run at a spot in the post-season. Led by Perrin Bufford (16.2ppg) and Travis Trice (5.3apg), they have won 2 of their past 3 games, sandwiched between a respectable 7 point loss to NZ. While only 4 games ago, they lost by a single point to Adelaide. This all after they started their campaign with 5 losses from their opening 6 games. Andrej Lemanis is making this team respectable once again. With every good result, they gain more traction and a win here against the ladder leading Wildcats, would absolutely blow up the NBL.
What To Look Out For: A closely contested game. Brisbane, while they have been strong as of late, should still fall to the defending champion Wildcats in what should be a match not decided by much. This campaign Perth have been involved in 8 games decided by 10 points or less, while that number for the Bullets is number is an extremely high 12. Both sides fight hard and have extremely talented individual scorers such as Cotton and Trice on their rosters. This game should prove to be great to watch.
Betting tip: Pick Perth to win by 1-10 points at $3.00 (Ladbrokes)
Illawarra Hawks v Melbourne United
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Times are desperate out in Woolongong as the Hawks are 2 wins of a finals spot and currently reside in 6th place, with a host of teams ahead of them battling for only the 4 playoffs spots that are available. While for Melbourne, they are behind only Perth and NZ in 3rd spot. The Hawks fought hard but in the end it wasn’t enough in their 8 point, 99-91 loss against Perth. They put up 24 points in Q1 and 27 points in Q4, but Perth found a way to retaliate to them. Demitrius Conger scored 30, grabbed 4 boards and got 2 assists. While Rotnei Clarke scored 12, got 2 rebounds and and 3 assists. Andrew Ogilvy also went a perfect 3-3 for 8 points, while he also grabbed in 8 boards, dished out 2 dimes and got a steal. Of the bench, Tim Coenraad scored 8 while Rhys Martin scored 6. For Melbourne, they easily disposed of Sydney coming out victors to the tune of 26 points in an absolute hammering. In Q2, they kept the kings to only 13 points, while in Q4, their defence was again strong as they kept Sydney to only 15 points. While in 3 out of the 4 periods they themselves put up either 24 or 25 points. Josh Boone had a monster game with 17 points, 17 rebounds and 2 blocks. While United’s backcourt of Casper Ware and Chris Goulding combined for 38 points, along with 9 rebounds, 10 assists and 2 steals. Casey Prather meanwhile had 21 points and 4 rebounds. Of the pine, Kyle Adnam dished out 4 assists. The Hawks are in dire need of a win here against Melbourne, for the sake of their fast dying season, especially considering the stars that are out injured for them.
What To Look Out For: Former New Jersey Net Josh Boone, who is now an absolute beast for the 3rd placed United. Last round he got 17 & 17. While for the season his averages are 13.2ppg and 10.2rpg. He is also getting just under a block per game. His inside game will prove to be a very valuable asset for Melbourne given the Hawks injury woes and particularly how that impacts them on the inside. Look for Melbourne to really exploit that and for Boone to have another massive game as United chase the win.
Betting tip: Pick Melbourne to win at $1.97 (CrownBet)
Also pick them to be the first to 10 points at $1.90 (William Hill)
Sunday, December 17
Sydney Kings v Cairns Taipans
Pre-Game Lead-Up: “I enjoy the battle. I enjoy the fight.”, was a recent quote from Andrew Gaze after their most recent, demoralizing loss to Melbourne. He also went on to talk about that while he accepts the season has not gone to plan, there’s always a chance that they could create some history and make the finals. To put it simply, with each loss, each round, their is more and more pressure heaped on Gaze and his players. Jason Cadee apparently is James Harden like on defence while Brad Newley is being made to look average most nights now. This while hardly anyone is playing team ball and Jerome Randle is being forced to do a lot on his own, because literally nobody else is helping him. The Kings season is over, it’s as simple as that. But how they play and present themselves for the remainder of the campaign, will impact them greatly in the next one. The Kings should really show us what they want to achieve and whether they’re weak or admirable, now that their season has pretty much been all but extinguished.
What To Look Out For: Jeremy Tyler. The man who was once a member of the Golden State Warriors and called Steph Curry his teammate is now a member of the Purple & Gold. Despite the Kings mounting losses, he is one of the few players who after each game can honestly say that they put 100% in. His campaign averages are 14.3ppg along with 6.5rpg and 1.5apg. He’s also getting just under a steal per game and just under 1.5 blocks per game as well. No matter how Sydney go against Cairns, at least you can bank on him having another admirable effort.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to be the first to 10 points and have the hotter start at $1.70 (William Hill)
Best Bet of the Round
Pick Perth to be the first to 10 points against the Bullets at $1.53 (William Hill)