The following are selected previews with betting tips for Round 18 of the 2021 NBL season.
Tuesday, May 18
Illawarra Hawks vs Melbourne United
WIN Entertainment Centre
The Hawks moved into the Top Four during this past round with two exceptional wins which have helped them garner up a 15-14 record. And now perhaps even more impressively they sit just two wins off second place. With both wins coming at home, they gave their home fans what they wanted to see, beating Adelaide 71-66 and then NZ 73-71. Each victory was close, but they displayed the killer mentality needed to get through in the end.
Against the 36ers Harvey poured in six three-pointers en route to 23PTS. He also had 4REB, 7AS and 3ST. Then against the Breakers he went 4/4 from the FT line as he ended up with 24PTS. On that occasion he also got 3REB, 1AS and 2ST. Froling was also incredibly influential during that clash as he had 12PTS, 12REB, 5BL and 1ST! Simon’s stats included 11PTS, 11REB, 1AS, 2ST and 1BL. And Jessup was another commanding starter as he ended up with 12PTS, 1REB, 1AS and 2ST. And linking back to the 36ers clash Simon was also strong there with 12PTS, while Deng chipped in with 10PTS off the bench.
For Melbourne their first game of the round was a well-deserved 99-91 away victory at Perth. That was a clash which saw Goulding light up the Wildcats with six three-pointers, as he had 26PTS overall. However, coming back to Victoria was pretty bang average for them, if not worse, as they went down 94-83 to S.E.M. Skyes and Creek combining for 40PTS proved to be too much for them in the end. However it isn’t all worries for United as they still sit comfortably at the top of the ladder with a 23-7 record.
Vs the Phoenix Landale, Goulding and Hopson were all above the rest of their teammates as they had 19, 13 and 11PTS respectively. That while McCarron and McDaniel had 9PTS a piece. Landale shot 8/13 as he also got 3REB, 3AS and 2ST. While Goulding shot 50% from the floor as he pulled in 2 boards and dished out 2 dimes. Hopson made himself felt off the bench as well with 6REB, 2AS and 1ST.
Only two matches ago Goulding went 6/16 from deep vs Perth. Prior to that he was 3/7 against S.E.M. Then two and three clashes before that he was 4/12 and 5/8 vs the Kings and Breakers respectively. The former Melbourne Tiger and 2X NBL Champion can be a bit streaky with his ability to hit shots from beyond the arc, but when he’s on, he’s like a James Harden or a Klay Thompson, he gets to be simply unstoppable! And given Melbourne’s need to rebound against the Hawks here he’ll be a big part of that with what he can do from deep. And Illawarra might just struggle to stop him.
Also pick them to have a handicap of -6.5 at $1.92 (BlueBet)
And pick the total points scored during the match to be over 163.5 at $1.90 (Sportsbet)
Thursday, May 20
New Zealand Breakers vs Sydney Kings
The Trusts Arena
NZ fought and fought and fought this past round until the very end but it wasn’t enough as they first went down 91-82 to S.E.M at the John Cain Arena, then 73-71 to Illawarra at the WIN Entertainment Centre. Against the Phoenix it was Delany and Loe who were huge with 32 and 19PTS to their names. Whilst against the Hawks it was Delany again who turned it on with 20PTS and 11REB. And ultimately it’s those two past results that paint the picture of the Breakers entire season. Having to travel from different locations to more different locations, they’ve stayed in games until the very last moments only then to become undone. But from a passionate NBL supporter thankyou for your countless sacrifices and hard work to ensure that this season was able to go ahead/is still currently happening. Every single person within the Breakers franchise is a deadest legend.
Outside of Delany against Illawarra, McDowell-White was also convincing as he shot 60% from the floor, good for 14PTS. He also had 7REB and 9AS for good measure. Whilst Bach shot 5/10 from the court good for 13PTS as he also got 4REB, 3AS and 1BL in just under 29 minutes of playing time off the pine. T. Webster also had 9PTS and 6REB and Loe 8PTS and 7REB among their other stats.
For the Kings their round started with a shocking 23-point defeat to the Bullets in Brisbane. A game in which they scored just 10PTS in Q2 and one in which they also allowed Drmic to go all vintage form on them as he produced 28PTS. However it ended with a 10-point win vs Adelaide at Qudos Bank Arena. Now Sydney has a 15-15 record and sit just one victory outside of the Top Four. Having announced last week that head-coach Adam Forde and the side had agreed to ‘mutually depart’ at the end of the season would’ve certainly done the players no favours leading up to their clash against Adelaide as well, despite the fact they got the win.
Against Adelaide both Kickert and Moller had 12PTS each off the pine. Kickert also shot an incredibly effective 5/6, as he pulled in 3 boards. Whilst Moller did a bit of everything with 11REB, 2AS and 2BL to his name. And of the starters Martin produced 20PTS, Hunter 15PTS and Ware 13PTS. Martin also had 9REB and 3AS, while Hunter shot 6/9 and had 2REB and 1 swat. As for Ware his shot selection was poor and that reflects upon him shooting just 18.2% from the floor. But he more then made up for it with his 8/9 FT shooting, 3REB, 12AS and the 1ST that he got.
You gotta give it to Craig Moller! The former Fremantle Docker turned Sydney King turned Melbourne United turned King … again has proven to be a great team asset for Sydney this season and a simply phenomenal ‘glue guy’ for the finals aspiring franchise. The 2X All-SEABL First Team player has put in some great performances over the campaign. That includes his 12PTS and 11REB vs Adelaide last time out. Whilst he also got those same stats vs Melbourne United last month. Whether starting or coming off the bench, he does whatever he has to for his team. Against the struggling Breakers he’ll look to cause some trouble and could be in for another big game.
With this match being played at the Trusts Arena in NZ it’s guaranteed to be a packed-out house for the Breakers first game at home this season. With their fans ready to show their support and wanting and willing their Breakers to an attempted victory the Kings certainly have no easy task ahead of them. Regardless of who takes this one out it’s sure to be a hell of a match!
Betting tips: Pick Sydney to win at $1.84+
And pick the total points scored to be over 168.50 at $1.90+
Friday, May 21
Adelaide 36ers vs Illawarra Hawks
Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Tony Crocker came up with 16PTS vs the Hawks but it wasn’t enough as they went down 71-66 in Wollongong. Then travelling to Sydney against the Kings, the former Hungarian All-Star and Slam Dunk Champion was deadest terrible scoring just 6PTS after making only 2 of his attempted 7 shots from the floor. He needed to be more like how he was against Illawarra vs Sydney and it showed both in his stats column and in the W/L column. With it being announced today also that Josh Giddey has been released from the active playing roster by Adelaide in order to prepare for the NBA Draft, it hasn’t exactly been inspiring times for the struggling 36ers lately. And while there’s the slim chance they could still feature in the finals, the rest of this season for them is more about putting some respect back on the badge and building towards the future, nothing more and nothing less.
Vs Sydney Johnson, Paul and McVeigh starred as they scored 23, 21 and 12PTS each. Johnson hit 8 of his 16 shots, as he also got 7 boards and 1 swat to his name. While for Paul he hit three from beyond the arc, in addition to his 4REB, 2AS and 2ST. And McVeigh was incredibly effective off the pine as he hit 4/4 from the FT line. While he also had 5REB and 1AS.
When you asses the Hawks outside of Harvey of course, it’s impossible to ignore the red-hot form of 2020 Warriors draft pick Justinian Jessup. The Colardo-born 22-year-old SG has been one of the key reasons Illawarra have been significantly punching above their weight this year. A throwback to the 18th of April where against Melbourne no less he scored 19PTS without going to the FT line once. He also had 5REB, 3AS and 2ST. He can literally do it all! And coming up against Melbourne here he’ll need another sublime performance to keep his side with an earshot of winning the encounter.
Betting tips: Pick the 36ers to eventually prevail and win at $1.73+
Also pick them to have a handicap of -3.5 at $1.90+
And pick the total points scored to be over 165.50 at $1.90+