The following are previews with betting tips for Round 3 of the 2017/18 NBL season.
Thursday, October 19
New Zealand Breakers v Sydney Kings
Notable stat: The Breakers are shooting 35% from behind the arc to start the season while the Kings are shooting 39%.
Pre-game lead-up: This is the second game that these two teams will face off against each other in the space of as many rounds. Last round Sydney led by 3 at the end of quarter one before the Breakers outscored them by 16 in quarter two to take a 13 point lead into the half. At the end of the third it was only a six point New Zealand lead. Then with only around six seconds left on the clock DJ Newbill made the layup that gave the Breakers an 87-85 victory. Will Newbill bail his squad out again or will the Kings be too motivated?
Key player: In unfortunate news for Sydney last game against the Hawks Kevin Lisch tore his calf ruling him out for 8 weeks. This means that the man that lit Illawarra up in Perry Ellis (33pts) will now be the key player for the Kings. On a Sydney outfit that has seem disjointed offensively for periods throughout the season he will now have to shoulder much of the scoring load while Lisch is out. How he performs this game will go a long way to determining whether Sydney get the win or not.
What should happen: Jason Cadee stepping up for the Kings. With Lisch out, that no doubt means that Cadee will be inserted into the starting lne-up for Sydney. So far this season he is averaging 12.3ppg along with 2.3 assists and 2 rebounds. However last round against the Hawks was his bet output of the season as he scored 17 points along with hitting 3 three pointers. Expect him to have a good game in an effort to deliver the Kings their second win in a row.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney by 1-10 at $2.65 (Ladbrokes)
Friday, October 20
Brisbane Bullets v Cairns Taipans
Notable stat: Brisbane are averaging a very high 19 assists per game this season while Cairns are barely cracking double digits with 10 per game.
Pre-game lead-up: For Brisbane their only clash of the season is represented through a 10 point loss to the defending champion Wildcats. However in that game they still scored a wholly impressive 86 points as well as beating Perth in the third quarter. Within that clash the Bullets big three of Travis Trice, Daniel Kickert and Perrin Buford combined for 58 points, shouldering a lot of the scoring load for Brisbane. For the Taipans their last encounter was a blowout 26 point loss to Adelaide. Making the blow even worse is the fact that in the final two quarters of the game, they were kept to only 27 points. They’ll be looking to turn it around quick smart for this game.
Key player: Stephen Weigh. With Nate Jawai out through injury he is Cairn’s leading rebounder this year with 4.7 per game. What he does defensively will be especially important given the Bullets threats through the likes of Trice, Kickert and Buford. If he wants his side to win this game then he’ll have to be one of the major reasons ensuring that the Bullets don’t get as many second chance opportunities as they would like.
What should happen: Not a whole lot of defence. In their only clash of the season Brisbane conceded 96 points while in two of their three games this campaign Cairns have conceded 87 and 96 points. This issue of defence is compounded for Cairns by the fact that there is no Nate Jawai inside for rim protection. This while both sides possess individual attacking threats that can slash through defences as easily as a piece of paper can be torn in the likes of Trice and Dayshon Smith.
Betting tip: Pick Brisbane to be the first to 10 points at $1.85 (William Hill)
Perth Wildcats v Melbourne United
Notable stat: Kyle Adnam was the top point scorer of last weeks game between Melbourne and Adelaide despite coming of the bench. He had 23 in the 20 point Melbourne victory.
Pre-game lead-up: For Melbourne they come into this game off the back of their hard-fought loss to Phoenix over in America. Guard Devin Booker described them as both a tough and physical team to play against, positive words coming from one of the most talented young players in the world. Melbourne outscored the Suns over the final three quarters of the game and continued to help build the NBL’s reputation internationally. For Perth their third quarter against the Hawks best symbolises who they are. Despite only scoring 15, they kept the Hawks to 7, showing that even when they are bad, they can still drag down the opposition with their suffocating defence.
Key player: Angus Brandt. His opposition knows how to put up points, while his own team can certainly save them. He’ll be the last line of defence against a Melbourne team that features players that can score prominently inside such as back court duo Casper Ware and Chris Goulding as well as the likes of Adnam and Craig Moller. How he prevents players from scoring inside could very well dictate who wins the game.
What should happen: A very tightly contested encounter. As it remains these two teams are the only undefeated ones left to start the season. They are both 2-0 and playing some excellent Basketball to open their respective campaigns. Also backing this up is that both of Perth’s victories have only been by 10 points and the result not all that clear until late in the game while one of Melbourne’s wins was only by a basket.
Betting tip: Pick Melbourne to win by 1-10 at $2.90 (Ladbrokes)
Saturday, October 21
Adelaide 36ers v Sydney Kings
Notable stat: Adelaide are averaging 94.3ppg, good for third in the league. However their three point percentage of 30% is low.
Pre-game lead-up: For Adelaide they are coming of a disappointing 20 point loss to Melbourne. This an encounter where they could only muster up a pathetic 9 points in the fourth quarter. However given their dominance over Sydney in both teams season opener, they will be fairly confident of turning their most recent result right around. This so especially given that the Kings best player in Kevin Lisch, will now be watching from the sidelines for a while. For Sydney this will be their second game in three days and without the previously mentioned Lisch, winning this game will be a tall task for the men from Sydney.
Key player: Isaac Humphries. With Lisch out for the next 8 weeks or so, Humphries will be among the players relied upon to step up in his absence. The 19 year old has shown flashes of his potential this season along with some poor errors. But now he’ll really have to put it all together to give the Kings a shot at this game, but also in the longer term, their season. Trust him to be able to shoulder a little more of the scoring load as well as bring down the boards that he usually does.
What should happen: A defiant Sydney win. In last rounds big win over the Hawks, it was clear that things were finally clicking into gear for the Sydneysiders. They were scoring more freely, Perry Ellis was looking more comfortable and the score-line ended up resembling something of a blowout. It really was a statement win. Now despite the obstacles in their way for this game, Sydney should really be able to show up and give Adelaide a run for their money.
Sunday, October 22
Melbourne United v New Zealand Breakers
Notable stat: Melbourne are averaging just under 100 points per game while the Breakers are averaging 20 less at just under 80 per game.
Pre-game lead-up: For Melbourne this represents their second encounter in three days after they will have previously played the Wildcats. While for New Zealand it’s only slightly better than them as this will be their second clash in only four days. Because the game is at Hisense Arena that gives Melbourne the home advantage. For Melbourne their last result (excluding the game yet to be played) was a comfortable 20 point win over the 36ers. While for New Zealand it was a tense 87-85 victory over the Kings.
Key player: Josh Boone. For Melbourne this campaign his is averaging double digit rebounds per game. He is grabbing four offensive rebounds and six defensive rebounds every outing. His ability to grab defensive boards will be especially crucial this game due to the various offensive threats that the Breakers posses. It will be up to him (in large part) to ensure that New Zealand don’t get the follow up opportunities that they would like. How this goes will be one of the deciding factors in the game,
What should happen: A close clash. Many expect Melbourne to win this game comfortably, however as the Breakers have proven at different points throughout the season, they are a tough team to come up against. Their most recent victims, the Kings, learnt this the hard way after thinking they would just be able to out shoot the Breakers on their way to a win. This’ll be a good game to watch.
Betting tip: Pick the second quarter to be the highest scoring at $4.00 (William Hill)
Illawarra Hawks v Brisbane Bullets
Notable stat: The Hawks are averaging 6.7 steals this campaign while the Bullets only 2.
Pre-game lead-up: Illawarra’s last game was a disappointing 16 point defeat to Sydney. The loss to the Kings exposed some serous flaws in their game play as well as some uncharacteristic errors. However coming up against a Bullets side that are yet to register a win for the season presents the perfect opportunity for the Hawks to turn their form right around. While for Brisbane they have only played Perth this season and that was shown through a 96-86 loss. While they’ll be no doubt angry with that loss their is reason for excitement given that they did pile on 86 points against the defending champions.
Key player: Kevin White. He put up a pathetic four points in the loss to the Kings last week. However signaling him out isn’t fair given that most of the Hawks players put in a below par effort that game. Coming up against a Bullets squad that conceded 96 in their only game of the season will give him the perfect opportunity to atone for his errors of last week and help lead his team to victory.
What should happen: A battle from behind the arc. Despite losing to Sydney last round the Hawks still attempted 28 three point shots while Brisbane went for 18 in their only game of the season. As well as this both clubs posses three point threats in the likes of Rontei Clarke, Travis Trice and Daniel Kickert. This game might not be the most defensively based one, but it’ll still sure be fun to watch.
Betting tip: Pick the second quarter to be the highest scoring at $4.00 (William Hill)
Cairns Taipans v Perth Wildcats
Notable stat: The Taipans are grabbing 34.3 rebounds per game while the Wildcats are grabbing only a slightly less 31.5.
Pre-game lead-up: Cairns so far this season are two from three while the Wildcats are undefeated with two wins.This encounter presents itself as an early top of the table clash. For Carins their last encounter was a below par effort in a 96-70 loss to the 36ers. As for Perth it was a tight 10 point win over the Hawks. In typical Wildcats fashion during that game they kept the Hawks to 7 points during the third quarter despite only scoring 15 themselves. This game promises to be an exciting match up.
Key player:Despite playing over 26 minutes last week, last seasons Finals MVP Bryce Cotton put up only three points in his sides win over Illawarra. He made a very poor 1 of 5 field goals that he attempted. Against a Cairns side that’s also looking to redeem themselves for their last result, Cotton will have to play a lot better in an effort to help earn his team a win.
What should happen: Redemption for Cotton and Damian Martin. Last week despite their side winning, the back court duo combined for only eight points. Now they’ll know they have to put in a much better effort against a side that is significantly better than the Hawks. They could either choke on the big stage or redeem themselves and claim the win. There’s a reason as to why they were crucial pieces in a Perth championship win last season. Expect nothing less than an awesome performance from both players in helping their side earn the victory.
Betting tip: Pick the Wildcats to win at $1.62 (UniBet)
Best Bet of the Round
Pick the fourth quarter between Perth and Cairns to be the highest scoring at $3.25 (William Hill)