The following are previews with betting tips for Round 8 of the 2019/20 NBL season.
Friday, November 22
Brisbane Bullets v Adelaide 36ers
Brisbane are now only one win of a finals spot, that despite their last start 94-85, nine point shock defeat to Cairns. The Bullets lost every single quarter bar the 4th as they went down 24-20, 25-19 and 27-18 respectively. The score-line in their favor was 28-18. Of the bench, Cadee posted an impressive 13 points. While of the starters, Sobey scored 20, Patterson 17 and Hodgson 12. Cadee had four threes as he also got four boards, one dime and a steal. Patterson had a nice seven rebounds and six assists. While Sobey, despite shooting 7/21 from the court, also had six boards, seven dimes and a steal. Adelaide, just like their opponents, are also only one win of a Top Four spot after their impressive 12 point victory over South East Melbourne on Monday night, the score-line being 103-91. The 36ers only lost Q3 in what was probably their best effort of the season so far as they snapped a four game losing streak in style. Q1 was 26-24, Q2 was 24-14 and Q4 was 32-25. Q3 ended 28-21 in the oppositions favor. Randle was hot, hot, hot as he scored a season high 27 points. Drmic scored 21, while of the pine, Griffin had 17 and Dillon 14. Randle also got three boards, four dimes and a steal as he hit five from deep. Drmic had eight rebounds and three assists. While Griffin’s other stats included seven boards, five dimes and two steals.
In his sides nine point loss to the Taipans, Nathan Sobey shot just 7/21 from the court. He made 5/12 attempted twos, 41.7%. And he was a terrible 2/9 from three-point range, 22.2%. Outside of Patterson, he is the only other real consistent attacker on Brisbane’s roster. Which could make Friday nights game a real struggle if he can’t shoot the ball a hell of a lot better than that of his last game. Adelaide are on fire after their most recent commanding 12 point victory over SEM last round. Sobey must fix his shooting woes ASAP or have his side be subject to a Randle & Johnson show and it won’t end prettily.
Betting tip: Pick Adelaide to win at $2.30 (Bet365)
Saturday, November 23
S.E. Melbourne Phoenix v Sydney Kings
SEM are ever so slightly hanging onto the fourth and final finals spot, with all of Brisbane, Adelaide and Cairns closely chasing them. And if results go the way they should this round, then they will no longer be in the Top Four by the end of it. Their last game was a disappointing 103-91, 12 point defeat to Adelaide. Q3 was the only one in which they won, it ended 28-21 in their favor. All the other Q’s they lost, 26-24, 24-14 and 32-25. Creek did his usual great work with 22 points, while Roberson had 21. Madgen scored 14 and of the bench, Crockett scored 13. Creek also had 11 boards, five dimes and three steals. Roberson had four threes, along with his one rebound and six assists. Madgen had four boards, five dimes and a steal and a block each. Crockett got three boards and a steal. In front of an NBL record crowd of over 17,000 people, the Kings just squeezed by the Hawks, 92-87. Q1 ended 28-24 in the Hawks favor. Q2 ended 27-17 in the Kings favor. Q3 the Hawks just won, 20-19. And Q4 ended in a 22-all draw. Despite LaMelo Ball scoring 16 points, Sydney were just to good for the underdogs in the end. Tate scored 24 points and Ware had 21. And in his 150th NBL game, Kickert scored 10 of the bench. Tate also had six boards, two dimes and three steals next to his name. Ware had one rebound, six assists and two steals. And ‘Kicks’ had two threes, along with five boards and a steal. The Kings are still sitting comfortably in 1st on the NBL ladder.
Interestingly to note, both Kyle Adnam and Deng Acouth will be coming up against their former team, the Kings, for the first time this season. Acouth is highly unlikely to feature against Sydney, but he’ll sure as hell want to be vocal of the bench wherever/whenever he can be. Acouth can feel slightly hard done by under the previous Andrew Gaze regime of the Kings as he was never played or only played very, very sporadically. As for Adnam, he was a vital piece to the puzzle for the Kings as they made the finals for the first time in a long while last season. As most players do, expect him to put in a solid shift against his ex-side.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to win at $1.70 (Unibet)
Cairns Taipans v Perth Wildcats
The Taipans are now only two wins of a finals spot after their 94-85 win over Brisbane last round. Although barring a shock upset, it’ll be three after this match is done and dusted with. They won every Q bar the 4th in the nine point victory. Q1 ended 24-20 in their favor. Q2 ended 25-19 in their favor. Q3 ended 27-18 in their favor. And the 4th ended 28-18 in the Bullets favor. Koi scored 20, Jawai and Newbill had 14 each. Deng and Oliver scored 13 each. And Machado scored 12. Koi also had 10 boards, two dimes and a swat. Jawai had seven rebounds, three assists and a block. Newbill had five boards, three dimes and a steal. And the impressive Deng in his strong cameo appearance of the pine got an assist and a block, as he hit four of his seven shots, as well as 1/1 from beyond the arc. Perth are 2nd and only one win of the Kings (although they have played one more then them as well), after their 88-77, 11 point win over the in-turmoil Breakers. Hampton scored just four points as they kept him to 2/10 shooting. While Wagstaff was great of the bench for Perth with a solid 14 points and three boards, as he shot 55.6% from the court. Cotton lit NZ up for 34 points, as he also had two rebounds, four assists and a steal, in addition to his simply awesome six three-pointers. Both Hunt and White also scored 10 points each.
He’s talked about so much, but Bryce Cotton is they key to this game for both sides. Cotton is so good, that despite Perth winning the Championship last campaign, if he plays badly, it sets the entire team of. Hence, the Taipans will want to do literally everything in their power to make him have a bad game. They gotta double-team him. They gotta make him work really hard for his shots. They gotta strangle him inside (figuratively). If they can mitigate the former NBL MVP’s impact on the game, then the rising Cairns side might have a slim chance at stealing this one away from under the Wildcats noses. But good luck, especially when he scored a crazy 34 points last round.
Betting tip: Pick the Wildcats to win at $1.58 (Bet365)
Sunday, November 24
Melbourne United v Brisbane Bullets
Brisbane played just the solitary game last round, which was their previously analysed 94-85 defeat to Cairns. Despite the loss, the Bullets are now only a single win of SEM for 4th spot/ an NBL finals position. This means I’ll be able to take an in-depth look into Melbourne’s last encounter. United are currently 3rd with six wins from 10 matches so far. And they just escaped their rivals the Phoenix with a one-point, 96-95 controversial victory last round. Gibson was called for a personal foul with five seconds left in the game. That sent Trimble to the FT line where he proceeded to make the first, but miss the second. His controversially made FT delivered his side the one point, tight derby win. It’s safe to say Melo is now doing what Melbourne is paying him to do, being one of their marquee players. United lost the first two quarters, but won the second two. The scores against them were 31-26 and 22-21. The scores for them were 21-19 and 28-23. Melo had 22 points, Ili had 16 and both Barlow and Goulding scored 13 each. Melo also had four boards, three dimes and three steals. Ili had two rebounds, four assists and two steals next to his name. Barlow got four boards and a dime. And Goulding had a steal as he went 3/6, 50%, from beyond the perimeter.
Melbourne should win this one and with relative ease at that. They started of their season with a close loss to SEM. They then lost to tight games to Perth in a row by one and two points respectively. They beat the Breakers, then lost to Cairns. They beat SEM by 12 points in the re-match of the Melbourne Derby and have been on a roll ever since, winning vs Sydney, NZ, Adelaide and SEM again. They can’t be stopped, not even Will Weaver’s Sydney men could do it. How can Brisbane possibly win this one? They can’t really. Melo & Goulding should light them up from the perimeter and that will be that. Best of luck to Brisbane in this one, but they’ve got a hugeeeee battle/test ahead of them.
Adelaide 36ers v New Zealand Breakers
Adelaide’s first game this round was a close 99-95, four-point loss to the Wildcats. The 36ers currently have four wins from nine matches as they remain in the hunt for a finals spot under the guidance of Wright, Randle and Johnson. Adelaide won Q’s 1 and 4, 25-22 and 24-23 respectively. Q’s 2 and 3 they lost, they were 23-21 and 31-25 respectively. Randle and Johnson, the dynamic duo, scored 23 points each, while Girrfin had 18. Randle got three boards, six dimes and a steal. Johnson got 13 rebounds and three assists. And Griffin had three boards and a block, as he shot an impressive 6/9 from the field, 66.7%. Games and results aside for NZ, it’s been pretty shocking of the court for them recently. Glen Rice JR, their new import, was charged with assault after reportedly hitting a man inside a NZ bar. The former Washington Wizard arrived at the Breakers with a lengthy rap sheet and Matt Walsh reportedly thought he could change that. However, that appears to not be the case if he is found guilty. Walsh is now paying for him to get help, a kind offer which Rice has accepted. He is also paying for his accommodation while he settles his affairs in the country. He had an impact on the court, but it was a short-lived one. And ESPN reported earlier today that he will be sacked, no matter the outcome of his trial. Tom Vodanovich added to the Breakers of-the-court woes when police were waiting for him at the conclusion of a team flight, after he supposedly mixed alcohol and sleeping pills together. There was also supposedly player misbehavior. This club at the moment is just lurching it’s way from one controversy to the next.
Glen Rice JR is gone. The former NBA hard-man is suspended and soon to be sacked. His lengthy rap sheet meaning that this will come as no surprise to most Basketball fans with a decent general knowledge of the game. Whether he’s actually guilty or not guilty, it doesn’t really matter. Matt Walsh said it best when he described Rice as having let the entire organisation down. In the short time he was in NZ, I think it’s fairly safe to say he was their best player on the court. He scored 26 and 19 points in just the two matches he played. And he gave the Breakers a real offensive spark plug that could be heavily relied upon. The Breakers don’t have a whole lot of talent left now and I see this effecting them in a very, very bad way. They’re not good enough to overcome this. Adelaide should smash them in what should be a pretty one-sided encounter.
Betting tip: Pick the 36ers to be victorious at $1.47 (Sportsbet)
Monday, November 25
Illawarra Hawks v Cairns Taipans
Cairns are now in the hunt for a playoffs spot after their last-round, nine-point win over Brisbane. It was a great team effort by them, as all five of their starting players scored in double-figures. That match was previously analysed, meaning we can get a better look into Illawarra’s most recent 92-87 heart-breaking defeat to the 1st placed Sydney Kings. The fans turned out to see LaMelo in droves as he balled out in front of a record 17,000+ NBL crowd. The future possible NO.1 pick lit up the Kings on their home floor to the tune of 16 points, eight boards, six dimes and a steal. Blanchfield was also stellar against his former club as he scored 22, along with six rebounds, two assists and a steal. Dech scored 14 points along with six boards, two dimes and three steals. And both Boone and Ogilvy scored 12 points a piece. Ogilvy also had 13 rebounds, an assist and both a steal and a block each. Boone had six rebounds and two nice blocks. The Hawks won Q1, 28-24. They lost Q2, 27-17. They won Q3, 20-19. And Q4 was a 22-22 draw. The Hawks only have two wins so far, but a few more and they’ll be in and about a finals spot and that must start right here with Cairns, no questions asked for Ball & Co.
Ball, Ball, Ball. We saw the Hawks beat the Taipans not that long ago in Canberra, as LaMelo had his best performance in an Illawarra uniform to date as he posted 24 points in the Hawks victory. And most recently, despite eventually fouling out against the Kings, he scored 16 massive points for his side which kept them in the contest. The 18 year old showed out against stars such as former NBA players Casper Ware and Andrew Bogut. And with the Taipans most recently positing an amazing team effort/win on the board. The youngest Ball brother will have to be at his very, very best to get his side a W in this one.
Best Bet of the Round
Pick Sydney to win at $1.70 (Unibet) vs SEM