The following are selected previews with betting tips for Round 20 of the 2021 NBL season.
Wednesday, May 26
Cairns Taipans vs Brisbane Bullets
Cairns Pop Up Arena
The Taipans suffered two heavy losses during the past round. First they went down 100-79 against the Wildcats in Perth, then 93-81 vs the Hawks in Wollongong. They are currently dead-last with a 7-25 record. While equally if not more concerning then that is that they are showing no obvious improvements which would at least give them something to attempt to build on headed into next season. Losing Cam Oliver as he headed to the NBA late season certainly hurt as well.
Against Perth losing Q3 30-14 did them a whole world of damage. Whilst their star at the RAC Arena was Djeric off the bench as he shot 5/9 from the floor for 15PTS + he had 3REB as well. Against Illawarra it was also Q3 where they lost the match as they were smashed 21-6! Lighting up the WIN Entertainment Centre was again Djeric off the pine shooting 3/6 from deep for 11PTS. He also had 2REB and 4AS. While of the starters Machado had 17PTS, Deng – 16PTS and King – 12PTS. Machado also got 4REB and 9AS, while Deng pulled in 3REB. And King also had 3REB. And linking back to the bench Jois put up 8PTS.
For Brisbane they started the round with a massive upset win over Perth, 91-88 at Nissan Arena. And they somehow came back despite their Q1 deficit, this as they lost 33-19. Then they had their finals momentum well and truly halted with two sour defeats as they lost 95-66 vs S.E.M at home, then 99-88 vs Melbourne also at home. This has left them with an undesirable 14-17 record through 31 games played as they currently occupy 6th spot.
Against Perth the stars included Patterson with 23PTS and Hodgson with 16PTS and 12REB. Wigness also produced 4ST. Then against South East Melbourne Drmic shot 50% from the floor for 20PTS, to go along with 5REB and 3ST. Then during their latest hit out it was Sobey with 20PTS and Patterson with 19PTS as they led from in front against the leagues premier team. Sobey shot 6/12 as he also got 4REB and 1AS. While Patterson hit two threes from deep along with 3REB, 4AS and 2ST. And off the pine Froling and Harrison combined for 19PTS and 12REB.
Another chapter is about to be written in the ‘Sunshine Stoush’ and it should be one hell of a match! Brisbane is far and away better than the Taipans this season, make no two guesses about it, however when two rivals play each other form goes out the window and it’s all about who wants it more. When these two teams first met this year the Bullets just edged it 105-103. That was a gripping clash that went into OT and was thrillingly won with a Law dunk with just under 2 seconds left on the shot clock. Then in the second game Brisbane may have won by 20, but that didn’t stop Machado and Oliver combining for just under 50PTS for Cairns. Then again it was the Bullets who just edged it by nine points in the most recent affair. This as Sobey was electric for 25PTS. The Taipans will want to get one back from them while Brisbane are playing for their lives.
Betting tips: Pick Brisbane to win at $1.40 (Bet365)
Also pick the Bullets to have a handicap of -6.5 at $1.96 (BlueBet)
And pick the game total to be over 175.50 at $1.91 (Bet365)
Thursday, May 27
Perth Wildcats vs Sydney Kings
Perth’s three games this past round saw them go down to Brisbane by three points at Nissan Arena, beat Cairns by 21 points at home (RAC Arena) and beat Adelaide by eight at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Mooney led the way with 18PTS vs the Bullets, while both Cotton and Blanchfield put up 19PTS each vs the Taipans. And against the 36ers it was Norton doing his thing with 19PTS, 4REB and 2AS as he shot 54.5% from the floor. The Wildcats still sit extremely comfortably in 2nd place with a 24-9 record so far.
In their latest outing against Adelaide winning Q’s 3 and 4 20-17 each time helped them ice the result. For a long time it was an extremely competitive matchup and one in which either team could have claimed the W from. Outside of the man Norton and with no Cotton due to injury multiple other players stepped up big time to the plate and delivered. Mooney had 15PTS, Blanchfield with 14PTS and off the bench Steindl with 11PTS. Mooney shot 7/10 as he also got 12REB, 5AS and 1ST. While Blanchfield grabbed 5REB, 1AS and 1ST. And Steindl also had 3REB to his name.
While for the Kings they started the round off in NZ as the Breakers claimed a well-deserved 89-81 win. Then Sydney turned it around in the second of their two matchups against them as they played solid with an 81-76 victory to keep their finals hopes alive. They are currently in 5th with a 16-16 record and just one win back off the 4th placed Hawks.
In their opening game against NZ despite winning Q4 27-15 it wasn’t enough to complete the miracle comeback victory. Ware 20PTS, Martin 18PTS and Cooks 15PTS all strongly led the way for the Kings in that exciting clash. Whilst in the second match it was again Q4 that did it for the Kings or kept it close as they won 25-15. Martin was HUGE with 29PTS! He also had 9 boards as he shot 12/21 from the court. While Ware also had 15PTS as he shot 9/11 from the FT line. His other stats included 2REB and 2AS. While Hunter had 14PTS as he went 10/11 from the FT line. He wasn’t afraid to get physical! He also got 7REB and 1BL. Moller also came up with 5PTS, 8 REB, 1AS and 1BL off the pine.
Ain’t no Cotton anymore to cover up Ware! Excuse the pun but if Ware were to ever do well against Perth then them minus Bryce Cotton would seem about the right time to explode, especially given the delicate nature of Sydney’s finals equation at the moment. But the home crowd won’t make it easy for him, nor will A+++ Defenders such as Norton and Mooney. And as well as that there’s also players such as Blanchfield who has put up 14, 19, 11 and 31PTS over his last four games that can easily cover the relentless attacking and scoring abilities that Cotton brings to the floor. And as Blanchfield’s teammates displayed against Adelaide, Cotton or no Cotton they are still a force to be reckoned with. Travers is also potent off the bench as well, in recent performances he put up 9PTS against both BRI and CNS and before that 8 vs MEL. Either side could take this one out and I’d say it’s about 50/50 as to who will claim it.
Betting tips: Pick Sydney to win at odds of $1.99, win Q1 at odds of $1.49 and for the game total to be over 174.50 at odds of $1.49 or more when they each become available.
Other betting tips for tonight’s game between NZ and Adelaide:
Pick NZ to be victorious at $1.43 (BlueBet)
Also pick the Breakers to reach 20 points first at $1.60 (Bet365)
Pick both Finn Delany at $1.08 and Levi Randolph at $1.45 to each score 15+ points (Sportsbet)
And finally pick the Breakers to have a handicap of -6.5 at $1.90 (Bet365)