The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 15 of the 2022/23 NBL season.
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Perth Wildcats vs New Zealand Breakers
Tuesday Jan 10, 9:30pm
Battling each other hard in New Plymouth last round, the home side only came out on top … just! In what was ultimately an exciting 87-84 victory in favour of the Breakers. And they did absolutely everything right, including scoring a combined 57PTS over Q’s 2 & 3 to really whisk away the match their way. Barry Brown Jr as per normal was his electric, rim defying self, as he scored 18PTS on 10/18 shooting from the floor for New Zealand + 6REB, 6AST, 1STL and 1BLK. Whilst Rayan Rupert was also something to behold off the bench via his 18:03 minutes of playing time, as he registered 14PTS, 3REB, 1STL and 1BLK. Whilst for Perth it was of course Bryce Cotton who left everything he had out on the court for his 10/15 shooting en route to 32PTS, as well as 2REB, 5AST and 1STL. And when you delve further into these two historically successful sides history against one another it continues to get more and more interesting, as 12 of their last 16 encounters versus each other has been decided by a mere nine-points or less. And when you throw a potential New Zealand first-place into the mix, as well as a Perth finals berth, the aura surrounding this clash just becomes that bit more intense.
In the Breakers latest efforts they came, they saw and they conquered, as they toppled the 36ers 85-83 away from home. Barry Brown Jr was once again up to his usual thing as he conjured up 16PTS on 6/9 shooting + 3AST. Whilst Jarrell Brantley closely followed him via his 15PTS, 5REB, 2AST and 2STL. Isiah Le’Afa also came up big with a 13-piece meal, while both of Derek Pardon and Will McDowell-White banged home 10PTS a piece. Le’Afa to his credit shot 55.6% from the floor alongside his 3REB, 2AST, 1STL and 2BLK. The thrilling victory holding New Zealand in great stead for this affair.
Meanwhile Perth were dominated from start to finish in their sorry 108-87 efforts in Homebush versus Sydney. Just one player, Michael Harris, shot 50% or above from deep (2/4), as the team collectively shot 10/36 from beyond the arc overall. Both Bryce Cotton and Corey Webster with 22PTS a piece were inspiring, as was TaShawn Thomas with 16PTS, 8REB and 3AST. Whilst Brady Manek did ok too with 10PTS, 7REB and 1BLK. However the Wildcats were pretty dismal and will sure as hell hope to recover in time for their Tuesday night showdown against the Breakers.
Bryce Cotton will always give you a reason to believe in Perth, even if he’s playing badly (an absolute rarity). However to me at this current point in time, this Wildcats team looks like it has run its course. There’s not enough rebounding ability surrounding Cotton and outside of Cotton himself, there’s not a whole heap of star-studded talent like there should be either. And as we witnessed last game it took a huge 32PTS from the ex-NBAer just to keep the affair close. Jarrell Brantley’s stats this season for New Zealand include 14.7PPG, 5.8RPG and 1.4SPG. Whilst Derek Pardon’s stats include 12.3PPG, 7.9RPG and 1.2BPG. Look for the former Utah Jazz man and the ex-Orlando Magic Summer League player respectively, to tear the Wildcats to absolute shreds in this heated encounter like the absolute fearsome front-court duo that they are!
Betting tips: Back the Breakers to win at $1.80 (UniBet)
Also look for the total combined points scored in Q4 to be at 40+ at $1.34 (UniBet)
Also back Barry Brown Jr to score 21+ PTS at $1.85 (Bet365)
The Bullets have been ‘firing’ blanks in Queensland this season, having lost six of their last nine home games. Meanwhile the Kings in stark contrast have been the complete opposite on the road, taking down everything in sight, having triumphed in 20 of their last 23 games away from the ever-packed out Qudos Bank Arena. Brisbane have also lost eight of their last nine games overall, thus making this matchup an extremely difficult proposition for them. Over Q’s 2 & 3 throughout the hosts latest dismal effort against Cairns, they leaked a combined 61PTS. Whilst Nathan Sobey & Aaron Baynes shot a sobering collective of just 2/9 from the floor! Despite using my wildest imagination for this, it’s incredibly difficult to envision anything other then a Kings smashing occurring right here! Sobey will need to turn into legendary Gold State Warrior Klay Thompson to make it anything but.
Brisbane’s latest efforts were nothing short of atrocious at Nissan Arena as they got pummelled in the ‘Sunshine Stoush’ against Cairns, going down 107-81. During Q2 they went down 31-19 and that far & away cost them the game. As they could never really peg back the score after that. Two players could hold their heads high after that encounter and one of them would be 4X NBA Playoffs and ex-Second-team All-MWC Guard Tyler Johnson who off the bench came up with a humungous 32PTS on 12/20 shooting! As if that wasn’t enough, he also helped carry the team on his back with 2REB, 4AST and 4STL! Whilst also coming off the pine, Kody Stattmann got 10PTS, 1REB, 1AST and 1STL, all on 3/6 shooting and in well under eight-minutes of game time. However for the most part every Brisbane supporter will have hoped that they put this result in the rear view mirror, in preparation ahead of their crucial matchup against Sydney.
Meanwhile Sydney themselves were incredibly dominant last round as they toppled Perth 108-87 at Qudos Bank Arena. Five Kings players scored in double-figures that clash led by Xavier Cooks who had a 24-piece meal, closely followed by Derrick Walton Jr who fashioned 16PTS. Angus Glover also scored 13PTS, Kouat Noi – 12PTS and Tim Soares – 10PTS. Cooks also ‘cooked up a feast’ on 8/10 shooting + 11REB, 4AST, 1STL and 3BLK. Whilst Walton Jr shot 4/5 from the floor, alongside his 2REB and 3AST. Glover was also very effective to going 5/8, in addition to his 3REB and 1AST. The Kings are on an absolute roll at the moment and it remains to be seen whether or not the Bullets can grind them and ‘that’ to a halt.
Maybe Brisbane have a chance here if Nathan Sobey or Jason Cadee can shoot lights out from the floor, but even then it’ll probably still be a crushing Kings win. I mean look at the Taipans, offensively speaking they’re a fairly fluctuating team, but even they murdered Brisbane last round despite Tyler Johnson’s heroic like efforts. I’d expect them (the Bullets) to maybe keep it close for perhaps a quarter and a half, but after that it’s impossible to see how Xavier Cooks & Co won’t not run away with it. The Bullets are in a bad state at the moment and Sydney will only make it worse, especially if Derrick Walton Jr and Dejan Vasiljevic hit their straps together (42PTS just two games ago for Vasiljevic and a 16-piece meal last match for Walton Jr).
Betting tips: Look for a colourful Sydney victory at $1.20 (TexBet)
Also look for them to win Q1 at $1.52 (TexBet)
And you can also look for the Kings to score 90 or over PTS at $1.43 (Bet365)