The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 11 of the 2023/24 NBL season.
|Cairns Taipans vs New Zealand Breakers
Friday December 15, 7:30pm
To start us off with on our Friday night we have the Cairns Taipans facing off against the New Zealand Breakers. And for these two rivals their current campaign prospects scream completely different things at the moment. As for Adam Forde’s Men their 6-8 record on the season means they still maintain hope of participating in Playoffs Basketball. However for the opposition, Mody Maor’s troops, at 4-9 on the season they look unlikely to be doing anything of note in the postseason and instead a trip to Bali or somewhere similar will be on the cards instead. So the major question here is, will Cairns continue their push for a postseason spot with another emphatic victory (beat Adelaide by 15-points and upset Melbourne in recent rounds), or will New Zealand spoil the party?
The Taipans latest result saw them smash the 36ers 116-101 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, as they played some hot, hot, hot Basketball on the oppositions team floor. And particularly in Q4 was where Cairns pulled the result away, proving triumphant 31-17 during that period of the game. Patrick Miller was massive with 26PTS, while Bobbi Klintman wasn’t far off him with a 22-piece meal of his own. There was also Tahjere McCall with 19PTS, Bul Kuol with 14PTS, whilst both Sam Waardenburg and Jonah Antonio secured 12PTS a piece. Miller shot a cool 10/18 from the floor, as he also had 5REB and 4AST. While Klintman went 7/14 as he locked down 3REB, 1STL and 1BLK. And McCall, BOY OH BOY, he also had 4REB, 15AST and 4STL! That as the former NBA G-League champion had himself one hell of a performance!
Unfortunately for the Breakers during their latest endeavours at Spark Arena they weren’t quite good enough, as they fell prey to the JackJumpers 97-80. Losing Q2 23-8 however is what really cost them the game, as every single other quarter was literally decided by just two-points each and every time. Mantas Rubstavicius and Izayah Le’Afa were both strong off the bench, each securing a 10-piece meal. Pierre Jackson-Cartwright was again a focal point for New Zealand as he shot 50% from the floor en route to 25PTS + 1REB + 6AST + 1STL + 2BLK. Anthony Lamb was also strong as he went 6/10 from the floor for 15PTS + 9REB + 3AST. And Mangok Mathiang went 4/8, good for 11PTS + 8REB + 1STL + 1BLK.
Did you know that seven of these two rivals last 11 matchups have been decided by just six-points or less. However their last pair of games have seen the Breakers prevail by 10 and 11-points respectively.
Given everything that is on the line here for Cairns. It’s impossible for me to not back them in here. Over the course of their two most recent performances they have shown the rest of the NBL what they can do when they are on their game. They tore the hapless 36ers to shreds and prior to that they absolutely pushed the back-to-back champions Sydney Kings all the way. When they are able to move freely out on the court, Adam Forde has them playing an exciting and exhilarating brand of Basketball that is extremely pretty on the eyes. They make deep threes and cut inside opposition defences like they are nothing but a sheet of paper. And given how disjointed New Zealand have looked this season defensively (especially last round against Tasmania), it looks highly likely that Cairns will be able to work their thing in this one. Sorry Breakers fans but I reckon this one could get really ugly really quickly.
Betting tips: Look for Cairns to win at $1.56 (BlueBet)
Also look for Cairns to win Q1 at $1.70 (BlueBet)
And look for the total points scored to be at 174+ at $1.85 (BlueBet)
|Perth Wildcats vs Tasmania JackJumpers
Friday December 15, 9:30pm
Our late matchup on Friday night is an absolute blockbuster as the Perth Wildcats host the Tasmania JackJumpers in what is sure to be one of the games of the season. Four of these teams last five games versus one another have been decided by just eight-points or less. Whist it is also the battle of 2nd versus 5th on the ladder. As the ‘Jackies’ currently reside one spot off the top with a 9-5 record. While just two games off in 5th is the Wildcats with a very formidable record themselves at 8-6. And of course their are the usual superstars that come to mind with these two rivals such as Bryce Cotton and Milton Doyle, or Keanu Pinder and Will Magnay. However have a look for the little guys to potentially cause the most ruckus here. Last week off the bench Jordan Usher had a big 17PTS for Perth, meanwhile last round Jordon Crawford poured in 30PTS for Tasmania. Which side will collect the humungous dub here and go one step closer to winning the Championship?
Perth’s most recent encounter was a shock loss at the WIN Entertainment Centre, as they fell prey to Illawarra by 18-points. Q1 and Q4 in particular did them no favours at all, as they went down in these two periods 38-18 and 27-17 respectively. Jordan Usher however was a massive plus for the visitors as he shot 2/3 from deep en route to his 17PTS + 4REB + 2AST + 1STL + 1BLK. That while both Alex Sarr and Jesse Wagstaff each secured themselves 13PTS. Sarr also locked down 5REB, 1AST, 1STL and 2BLK. That whilst Wagstaff got 4REB and 2AST. Kristian Doolittle also shot 5/10 as he scored 11PTS + 3REB + 2AST. And Keanu Pinder ended the affair with 9PTS, 10REB, 3AST, 1STL and 1BLK.
For Tasmania at Spark Arena, despite the absence of Milton Doyle, they pulled New Zealand a new one, as they were triumphant, crushing them by 17-points in the process. ‘Tassie’ winning Q2 23-8 really set them up nicely for the rest of the match. Jordon Crawford in particular was just a menace, as he went 6/14 from beyond the arc en route to 30PTS! Whilst he also secured 3REB, 3AST and 1STL. Jack McVeigh shot 6/12 as he was his usual reliable self with 20PTS, in addition to 7REB and 1AST. Majok Deng also played nicely as he went 6/8 for 14PTS + 4REB + 1STL + 1BLK. And Will Magnay went 5/8 as his overall stat line included 12PTS, 12REB, 1AST, 2STL and 1BLK. And a shoutout to Sean McDonald who had 9PTS, far above his season average of 6.2PPG + 5REB + 3AST + 1STL.
Did you know that Perth have won their last four straight home matchups, while Tasmania have won four of their last five out on the open road.
My best bet is that this will be an incredibly tight matchup and one where the result realistically shouldn’t be decided until very late on in Q4. For Perth they are known to play a very open brand of attacking Basketball, whilst ‘Tassie’ are a very resilient defensive unit under the guidance of Scott Roth. And perhaps that could be the deciding factor here, which style of play ultimately wins out? For myself I’ll have to back Perth to take home the goods here. Playing at home, in what should be a full or near-capacity RAC Arena, the home crowd won’t give the ‘Jackies’ a single damn inch of wriggling move. And as well as that, Bryce Cotton performs best when he’s playing in his beloved Western Australia. The superstar rarely has poor back-to-back performances so unfortunately Tasmania may well prove to be the victims of that in this top-of-the-table clash.
Betting tips: Back Perth to collect the dub at $1.72 (Bet365)
Also look for both Bryce Cotton and Jordon Crawford to score 15+ PTS each at $1.11 and $1.35 respectively (Bet365)
And back both teams to reach 18+ PTS in Q1 at $1.35 (Bet365)