NBL Playoffs – Previews & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for the best-of-three semifinals in the 2022/23 NBL season. The games covered are Game 1 of the Sydney Kings vs. Cairns Taipans series and Game 2 of the New Zealand Breakers vs. Tasmania JackJumpers series.

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Sydney Kings

Sydney Kings vs Cairns Taipans

Wednesday Feb 15, 7:30pm
Qudos Bank Arena

Cairns Taipans

Game One of the Playoffs series on Wednesday night sees the 1st-placed Sydney Kings pitted against the 3rd-seeded Cairns Taipans in a battle that isn’t to be missed. Whilst only adding further intrigue surrounding this matchup is that ‘The Tatted Genius’ in the form of ex-Kings coach, turned head Taipan Adam Forde, will be facing his old employers in what is a must win affair for both sides. The one-campaign gaffer for the Kings has led their Far North Queensland rivals to a very impressive 19-wins all up this season. And to add further flames to the fire, earlier this week he was quoted saying this per SEN. “If you make it through to the other end and you’re not the team responsible for eliminating Sydney, I don’t feel like it’s going to have that full satisfaction.” It’s abundantly clear that the Taipans will be attacking the jugular of the Kings in this clash. But will Sydney be able to stop them and pull out some of their own ferocious moves?

The answer in both short and long form is yes and that is due to the ridiculous form of this seasons NBL MVP, Xavier Cooks. The reigning champion Power Forward is averaging 16.2PPG on 59.6% shooting from the floor this season, whilst he’s also pulling down a handy 7.8RPG as well. Not to mention his 4.2APG, 0.6BPG and 0.5SPG. During his latest home outing, which was of course a Kings dub versus the Phoenix, he registered a first-ever domestic triple-double on 7/13 shooting from the floor en route to 16PTS, alongside 10REB and 10AST. He literally has the perfect form headed into a game that will see Cairns without their defensive mastermind in the form of Keanu Pinder. Whilst Tahjere McCall if he A; Plays, will be under significant duress, something that Cooks will look to isolate and take advantage of 1-on-1, or B; Entirely absent, this could potentially see Cooks run amok at Olympic Park. Ultimately his leadership, his ability to contort his body out on the floor and the fearless way in which he shoots the ball all have the potential to undo Cairns greatly here.

However the Taipans are far from a side that can be dismissed all that easily, with their latest matchup being a season-eliminating win over the bewildered Wildcats, as they triumphed by 13-points at the Cairns Convention Centre. During Q1 the hosts started on fire, winning that period 25-19, something which left Perth constantly on the back foot for the remainder of the clash. D.J. Hogg put in a monstrous performance and the most ever points by a Cairns player in a Playoffs game, as he shot 11/19 from the court for 32PTS! Whilst he also bagged 9REB, 4AST and 2BLK to his name. And there was also Bul Kuol with an impressive 23PTS, 8REB and 7AST. + Sam Waardenburg also chipped in with 15PTS, 10REB, 1AST and 1BLK. Lat Mayen also secured himself an eight-piece meal and Shannon Scott got a seven-piece on for himself. Cairns proving beyond any reasonable doubt that they are far from the finished article!

The recent wood belongs to Sydney, as they have prevailed in 16 of their last 21 matches against Cairns. However, interestingly enough the Taipans have won two of their last three matchups against Chase Buford’s Men, with their one loss that was sandwiched between their two dubs coming by just three-points. D.J. Hogg had 20PTS in their most recent win over Sydney, whilst the Forward also had a stat line of 15, 5 and 5 in their other victory against last seasons Grand Final winners. So his interior battle against Xavier Cooks will ultimately go a long way in deciding the overall outcome of this Playoffs affair. However as ‘Cooksy’ was recently quoted as saying via the NBL, “Who doesn’t like playing at the Q.” A packed out home court advantage might be in all honesty what potentially swings the match in the Kings favour here. Because it is going to be an absolute thriller!

Betting tips: Back Sydney to come through and win at $1.36 (BoomBet)

Also look for Q1 to be theirs at $1.60 (Unibet)

As well as that you can look for Sydney to score over 83.5PTS at $1.16 and for Xavier Cooks to register over 8.5REB at $1.75 (Bet365)


Tasmania JackJumpers

Tasmania JackJumpers vs New Zealand Breakers

Thursday Feb 16, 7:30pm
MyState Bank Arena

New Zealand Breakers

To begin G1 of their Playoffs series versus one another it was not pretty, as the Breakers comfortably claimed a 20-point victory to start off with over the JackJumpers. From the get go at Spark Arena the Breakers were completely and utterly dominant over the helpless opposition, as they roared off to a 19-12 Q1 victory and from there on in, the dub was in the bag for the hosts. However no Josh Magette and the absence of Clint Steindl certainly did Scott Roth’s visiting troops no favours at all. And New Zealand took full advantage as Derek Pardon had a near-perfect shooting performance, as he fashioned 15PTS on 6/8 shooting + 9REB, 1STL and 2BLK. Whilst Will McDowell White was also extremely commanding as he conjured up 13PTS, 6REB, 7AST and 1BLK, all the while going 5/8 shooting from the court. Meanwhile Rayan Rupert did a bit of everything as he played his part with 10PTS, 5REB, 2AST and 2STL next to his name. And of the other starters both Tom Abercrombie and Jamal Brantley had 8PTS a piece. While off the bench Barry Brown Jr came up with an 11-piece meal. If the ‘Jackies’ don’t turn up for Game Two then it will be over before it even started!

For the JackJumpers young Guard (24) Isaac White needs to do more. Against the Breakers he was stifled as in just over 19-minutes of playing time, he scored just 6PTS, going 1/5 from the floor. And to add insult to injury the South Australian also gave up three fouls too. The ex-Illawarra Hawk was far from himself and the player that Corey ‘Homocide’ Williams declared needed to be given a ‘new deal’, as just days prior in a do-or-die away clash against Cairns, he was massive as he produced 18PTS off the pine, on 7/10 shooting! While he also secured 4REB and 2STL. If he had put in a better shift, it would’ve had the potential to lift the entire team. And with his ‘said’ team facing multiple injuries at the moment some players need to step up and as previously highlighted, he is more than capable of doing so. He got hot quickly against the Taipans and that would benefit Tasmania massively if it were to happen again against a notoriously stingy Breakers side. Because for better or worse the ‘erratic’ Guard will be heavily relied upon by his team here!

In all fairness to the JackJumpers they are a different kind of beast when playing at home this campaign. having won five of their last seven clashes at MyState Bank Arena. And when at home the bank, no pun intended, has clearly been open, as they’ve scored 102, 98, 99, 93 and 87PTS over that winning span! Their home fans get behind them raucously and it works a treat! Milton Doyle won’t shoot 3/9 again, while Rashard Kelly won’t go 2/10 again. Jack McVeigh will also be a lot better than his previous 2/8. This trio of veterans know how to perform at the highest level, however they were abjectly depressing in their latest defeat. Doyle has played for the Nets, a franchise that is widely regarded as a cut-throat NBA franchise. Whilst Kelly has been an All-Star amongst his peers playing in a predominantly Russian league, certainly no mean feat. And McVeigh, well he is such a decorated NBL player. Look to all three Players/Men to turn it around in this affair and in-turn force a Game Three back in New Zealand.

Betting tips: Look for an upset ‘Tassie’ win to force a Game 3 at $1.96 (Unibet)

Also back them to win Q4 at $1.96 (Unibet)

And finally you can back them to produce over 70.5PTS at $1.13 (Bet365)


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