The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 15 of the 2021/22 NBL season.
Melbourne United vs Perth Wildcats
Thursday Mar 10, 7:30pm
Melbourne up against Perth – last seasons Championship victors versus last season’s Runner Ups and six Championships vs ten – 1st vs 3rd – Matthew Dellavedova challenging Bryce Cotton – Chris Goulding contesting Vic Law and so, so, so much more! This matchup will bring the talent, the intensity, and the fire in the belly that you would witness in an NBL Grand Finals Series. With so much on the line at John Cain Arena, this weeknight clash isn’t for the faint hearted, nor is it to be missed!
When United and the Wildcats last met in Victoria earlier this season it was Melbourne who etched out a 93-87 victory. However, typically as usual it was Bryce Cotton who stole the show as he led all scorers with 31PTS on 10/20 shooting from the floor along with four three-pointers. That day he also fashioned 5REB, 4AST, 2STL and 1BLK. The 5X NBL/GF MVP is an absolute menace no matter who he’s facing off against. However, he breaks the ceiling whenever he’s placed against Melbourne given what these clashes mean and given all the hype that surrounds them. He’s also more prominent than ever now given the Wildcats are playing with a somewhat weakened squad under the guidance of first time NBL coach Scott Morrison. Melbourne is tough to beat anywhere and especially at home! But if anyone can get Perth firing and give them a fighter’s chance of winning this clash then it’ll be Cotton!
Betting tips: Look for Melbourne to claim a nervy win at $1.51 (Sportsbet)
Also look for the total points scored to be over 171.0 at $1.89 (Sportsbet)
While you can also back Melbourne to reach all of 10, 15 and 20 points first at $1.71, $1.71 and $1.87 (Bet365)
And look for Melbourne to produce the games highest scoring quarter at $1.83 (Bet365)
Cairns Taipans vs Tasmania JackJumpers
Friday Mar 11, 7:30pm
As the Taipans prepare to play the role of hosts against the illusive JackJumpers they do so having lost 11 of their past 14 games at the Cairns Convention Centre. Their home record is so atrocious that current Cairns import, and ex-Brooklyn Net and NBA G League champion Tajhere McCall called out himself and his teammates for their dreary form not that long ago as per the NBL’s Instagram. Key amongst what he said being “There’s no sugar coating it. We look bad, we’re playing bad, our record is bad.” In an extremely stark contrast, Tasmania have triumphed in three of their last five contests on the road. This has the potential to be an incredibly difficult matchup for Adam Forde and his men.
Funnily enough when these two teams met back in Round 2 of this season it was Cairns who prevailed in a low-scoring affair to the tune of 69 points to 62. It was a concise team effort that day as McCall poured in 20PTS, in part due to his 8/8 FT shooting. While Kouat Noi fashioned 17PTS and Jarrod Kenny 8PTS, 5REB and 1AST off the bench. Meanwhile Majok Deng’s stats included 6PTS and 6REB, while former South Bay Laker Stephen Zimmerman pulled in 12 boards. Another team first approach + some more shooting and playmaking from another former LA man in the form of Scott Machado (1/2 shooting and 2AST that game) will at the very least allow the Taipans to keep this affair close. On a depth basis they’ve already lost the game before a balls even been tossed, but on a heart-to-heart basis they’re more then capable of competing.
New Zealand Breakers vs Adelaide 36ers
Saturday Mar 12, 8:00pm
New Zealand’s latest match on Monday saw them go down to Brisbane by 18-points. Two games prior to that it was a 15-point loss to Illawarra. And before that it was a heavy, with an extreme emphasis on the word heavy 35-point thrashing at the hands of Melbourne. One of the only constants they’ve had throughout this dark period of play has been Washington-born Guard Peyton Siva. Against the Bullets he registered 12PTS, 1REB, 6AST and 5STL. Against the Hawks he bagged 12PTS, 1REB, 8AST and 4STL. Whist against United he was commanding as he locked in with 17PTS, 2REB, 5AST and 2STL despite the heavy nature of the defeat. If anyone can help outclass and outscore the 36ers, then it’ll be the former EuroCup Top Scorer and 2X Big East Tournament MVP. He is one of the few Breakers who can attack with a strong consistency night in, night out.
Meanwhile for the 36ers there have been rumours circulating recently that Casper Ware could be joining the fold for the second half of the season, especially so given the precarious position he is in currently plying his trade in Russia at the moment. And what an acquisition the 3X All-NBL First Team player would be! But until/if that happens, they’ve still got to compete, with the Breakers next on the list. Given the oppositions lack of scoring prowess bar Siva and two or three others, Adelaide just has to get their timing right and they should topple this game with relative ease. That includes feeding the ball to Daniel Johnson (19PTS against Perth last round) inside/close to the paint, as he shot 4/11 inside the arc, as well as going 5/6 from the FT line. The same can be said for Sunday Dech who is averaging 11.4PPG this season, with the Guard having his best ever NBL scoring season to date (his previous best was 9.2PPG with the Hawks back in 2019). Meanwhile they need to allow others such as Mitch McCarron 2/4 from deep during their last home win + Tad Dufelmeier 3/6 to shoot to their strengths. Follow that gameplan and it’ll be victory NO.6 of the season for the 36ers.
Betting tips: When the odds become available look for Adelaide to win, but for New Zealand to prevail in Q4 and for the Breakers to reach 10 points first.
Best Bets of the Round – Melbourne United vs Perth Wildcats
You can back Melbourne to reach all of 10, 15 and 20 points first at $1.71, $1.71 and $1.87 (Bet365)