The following are previews with betting tips for Round 6 of the 2021 NBL season.
Saturday, February 20
Cairns Taipans vs Illawarra Hawks
John Cain Arena
The Taipans are now in 8th spot with just 2 wins from 8 games so far. They seem to be a long, long way of where they were last season. However, at the Cairns Pop Up Arena in their latest game against the Breakers, did they show that they’ve turned a potential corner? This as they smashed them 84-69. Q1 saw them open up a 6-point lead, winning 22-16. That was just the start of the dominance for them. Deng led the way with 21PTS, Koi also had 18, Machado 13 and Oliver 8. While Blagojevic scored 10PTS of the pine. Deng shot 8/14, as he also got 3REB and 2BL. Koi pulled in 5 boards and had a ST. Machado had 4 boards and 11 dimes. Oliver pulled in 11REB among his other stats. And Blagojevic shot 4/7 from the floor, to go along with 3REB, 2ST and 1BL.
For the Hawks, their hot start has continued with their 2nd place looking fairly good above most other teams at the minute. They’ve won 5/7 so far and their latest victory was a thrilling back-and-forth 85-82 W over the Kings in Sydney. For the opposition, Newley missed a last second 3-point attempt, that if converted, would’ve sent the game into OT. Q1 was ultimately a big one for Illawarra, as they won 26-20. Harvey had 25PTS, Jessup 12, Adel 11, and Ogilvy 7. While of the pine, Bairstow produced 13PTS and Simon 12. Bairstow also had 10REB and a BL. Simon also had 7REB, 2AS and 2ST. Harvey hit 5 from deep as his other stats included 4REB, 1AS and 1BL. Jessup pulled in 6 boards and Froling 5.
The Hawks were struggling last year and now they’ve turned to gold. For Cairns, they were great and now they are struggling. The Hawks are what the Taipans were last year, a small club, with a small budget, punching far, far above their weight, and isn’t it simply great to see if you’re an Illawarra supporter?
The battle of Harvey, a strong MVP candidate vs Machado, the man who dished out 11, 12 and 10 dimes over his last three games, will make for one hell of a PG battle. I predict Harvey’s score first attitude will win out over Machado’s unselfishness, but this will be a quality game, that’s for sure!
Betting tips- Pick the Hawks to win at $1.61 (Sportsbet)
Also pick Cairns to be the first to 20 points at $2.10 (bet365)
Melbourne United vs Perth Wildcats
John Cain Arena
United are cruising along easily in 1st place currently, with a 6-0 record. Who can topple them? Will Bryce Cotton prove to be their kryptonite once again? It would appear difficult regardless as their latest W was at the WIN Entertainment Centre where they beat the Hawks 91-88. Q4 saw Melbourne win 18-16. Hopson shot 50% from the floor, en route to 21PTS. McCarron shot 6/9 en route to 17. And Baba hit 4/4 from the FT line, good for 13. Hopson also got 9REB, 3AS and 1ST. McCarron had 4REB, 7AS and a ST. Baba got a board and a dime as well. Outside of those three fellas, Landale had 10PTS and Barlow and Peatling 9 each. Landale had 4REB and 1AST. Barlow shot 3/6 from the floor, as his other stats included 2REB and 4AS. Finally, Peatling shot 80%, to go along with 5REB, 1AS and 1BL.
Could Perth be collapsing a bit, well it would certainly appear that way wouldn’t it? With a 2-3 record, they just got hammered 96-71 by the Phoenix at the State Basketball Centre. How will they respond in this one? In Q’s 2 and 3, they were kept to just 14 points each time. OUCH! Blanchfield shot 40%, Cotton 37.5%, Travers 25.0%, Britt 0.0%, Shervill 0.0%, Lo Buluk 25.0%, and White 33.3%! This was bad. Credit to Mooney however who shot 9/12 from the floor, good for 19PTS. As well as Wagstaff and Norton who scored 11 and 9, respectively. Each were good for 57.1% and 50.0% shooting each. Mooney also had 10 boards, a steal and a block. Wagstaff had a board, a dime, and a block. Whilst Norton got 3REB and 2AS.
With the harmful way in which Perth was bashed last round? How do they recover and come up with a game plan for Melbourne?
The short and long answers are both NO, they do not. This will be an exceedingly difficult game for Perth, make no mistakes about it. In order to win, they need Cotton to play well and they need Mooney to play well. Blanchfield also needs to be more impactful, as does Norton. And the likes of Wagstaff and Lo Buluk need to be more involved coming of the bench. Can it happen, yes? Is it also unlikely? Also, a fairly big yes.
Also pick them to be the first to 20 points at $1.65 (bet365)
Sunday, February 21
South East Melbourne Phoenix vs Brisbane Bullets
John Cain Arena
Ryan Broekhoff was just announced as a signing for South East Melbourne. The SG/SF brings a tonne of pedigree with him to Simon Mitchell’s team. He’s played for Dallas and was once a member of the 76ers as well. While he’s also won a Silver Medal with Australia and was once a member of the All-EuroCup First Team. This is a simply awesome signing for both the Phoenix and the NBL in general! Welcome to the league.
Just as good as that, the Phoenix’s latest W was a 96-71 demolition job of the toothless Wildcats at the State Basketball Centre. This has left them in 4th spot with a 4-4 record. And the commanding W shows that they want a Championship this season, not next year or the one after, THIS YEAR! Skyes had 24PTS and Creek 18. Te Rangi had 16PTS and Wetzell 11. Moore had 9PTS and Gliddon 8. Skyes shot a very impressive 10/14 from the floor, as he also got 5REB and 7AS. Creek shot 7/10, to go along with 6REB, 3AS and 1BL. Te Rangi hit 5/5 from the FT line as some of his other stats included 8REB, 1AS and 1ST.
At the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, the Bullets simply killed it. They proved to be no match for Adelaide winning by a massive 93-74 score-line. This has left them in 6th spot with a 3-4 record so far to start the season of with. They are just a single win of 4th spot though. Who didn’t star for Brisbane was the question as everybody on the team got points. Cadee might’ve only scored 6PTS, but he also had 3REB, 5AS and 2ST. Everybody got in on the action! Law scored 27PTS, Sobey 19, Johnson 15 and Hodgson 8. Law shot 11/16 as he also had 9REB, 1AS and 1BL. While Sobey had 5 boards, 5 dimes and a steal. Johnson also had 9REB and Hodgson 8.
Woah, boy howdy we are in for a shoot off and a half here? What an extremely thrilling game this should prove to be. Skyes, Creek and Te Rangi on one side. Facing off against the likes of Sobey, Law and Johnson, this’ll be fun. I shouldn’t forget to add in fellas such as Moore or Cadee either.
It’s gonna be high scoring, that much is guaranteed. And really, which ever team can organise themselves better defensively will be the winner here. But with S.E.M coming of a rampant win over last seasons champs, it’s hard to see them losing this one.
Betting tips- Pick S.E.M to be victorious at $1.58 (bet365)
Also pick them to be the first to 20 points at $1.70 (bet365)
Best Bets of the Round
Pick Perth to win Q4 vs MEL at odds of $2.00 or more when they become available
Also pick S.E.M to win Q4 vs BRI at odds of $1.70 or more when they become available