The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 15 of the 2023/24 NBL season.
|New Zealand Breakers vs Melbourne United
Friday January 05, 5:30pm
At first glance Friday evenings clash between New Zealand and Melbourne might not garner too much attention. However any avid NBL supporter should have their eyes glued to this zesty affair as a win would place the Breakers on the edge of a play-in berth. Whilst if United were to emerge victorious between the battle of last seasons Grand Finalists and this seasons Championship favourites it would be win NO.16 for them and almost assuredly assure them 1st-place and in-turn home ground advantage throughout the playoffs. Both teams should feel confident of collecting the dub, however the duel that should unfold between ex-Golden State Warrior Anthony Lamb and rival Big Man Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. will be tantalisingly tasty. With both Men weighing in at 103kgs a piece they are pretty evenly matched physicality wise. Whilst they have both been bringing the heat for their two franchises this campaign respectively. Lamb is on 20.6PPG, alongside 6.5RPG. Lual-Acuil Jr. is at 15PPG + 8.4RPG and 1.8BPG. Both Men shoot their shot close to the basket so to speak, so the ferocity that follows near the rim will undoubtedly have a massive impact within this affair.
Lamb to his credit wasn’t afraid to lead the line last round for New Zealand as their latest encounter saw them just edged out by Perth to the tune of six-points at home. He had 27PTS on the night as he shot 6/7 from inside the arc + 8REB + 6AST + 2STL + 1BLK. Zylan Cheatham wasn’t far off his fellow Big either as he fashioned 25PTS on 9/13 shooting from the floor alongside 6REB and 1AST. Parker Jackson-Cartwright also made a bit of an impact with 11PTS, 4REB, 9AST and 3STL. That whilst meanwhile both of Cam Gliddon and Izayah Le’Afa registered a 9-piece meal each.
Melbourne too suffered an excruciatingly close defeat last time out, as they lost by four-points to Adelaide at the Adelaide Entertainment Center. Lual-Acuil Jr. set the tone for his team with a humungous 17REB, as he was a constant bundle of energy. Whilst his other stats included 7PTS, 1AST and 1BLK. Tanner Krebs however was a ‘Mad Man’ off the bench as he shot 9/12 from the court en route to 23PTS + 6REB, 1AST, 2STL and 1BLK. Coming off the bench also Ariel Hukporti ended the match with 10PTS, 4REB, 2AST, 1STL and 3BLK. And of the starters, Chris Goulding chipped in with 13PTS and 1STL, while Matthew Dellavedova contributed 11PTS, 4REB and 9AST. Other mentions go to Shea Ili who had 12PTS and Kyle Bowen who locked down 10PTS.
New Zealand did you know? The Breakers have been ‘breaking’ at home lately, having gone down in five of the last eight encounters in which they’ve hosted.
Melbourne did you know? United on the other hand are absolute ‘Road Warriors’, having won eight out of their last 10 away matchups.
There’s absolutely no denying that the Breakers will push their very hardest in this one. Because if they want any chance of winning then their defence will be a BIG, BIG, BIG part of it. Against Adelaide last round Chris Goulding only scored 13PTS in Melbourne’s loss. And throughout the sparse times that United have looked shaky this campaign, a sub-par Goulding performance usually has something to do with it given how much Dean Vickerman’s Men rely on him offensively. So if they double-team him and try to suffocate him defensively, then New Zealand definitely have a fighters chance here. Looking to frustrate ex-player turned United starter Shea Ili, a Man who repped the Breakers for many years as well, would also greatly aid their chances of a fantastically fantastic dub. It’ll take a lot, but if the Breakers can be stingy on the les glamorous side of things then there’s no reason they can’t get something out of this one.
Betting tips: Pick a Melbourne win at $2.20 (Bet365)
Also pick Chris Goulding to score 18+ PTS at $1.90 and for Matthew Dellavedova to have six assists or under at $1.80 (Bet365)
And finally pick Half One to be the highest scoring half at $1.71 (Bet365)
|Perth Wildcats vs South East Melbourne Phoenix
Saturday January 13, 8:00pm
The South East Melbourne Phoenix don’t mind a game or two against the Perth Wildcats, having prevailed in five out of their last eight encounters versus them. One of the picks of the bunch being earlier this year when a 38-points to 12 Q3 effort from the ‘Green side of Melbourne’, as well as 46-combined points and 19-collective rebounds from Tyler Cook & Mitch Creek saw them dominate in what was a 110-99 win. However getting even a slender one-point margin of victory this time around looks incredibly unlikely, as Mike Kelly’s troops have a ridiculous injury list. One which includes Alan Williams (knee) and Abdel Nader (hand). Gary Browne, the star Guard, is also battling some issues at the moment. Related both to his groin issue, as well as his recent suspension for striking Aaron Baynes. The injuries are on display for all to see, as last round Anzac Rissetto started for the club. Whilst development players saw game time. Perth on the other hand are firing in 2nd-place, as in particular Bryce Cotton is looking as deadly as ever, as he poured in 31PTS last time out against New Zealand, whilst also going a sensational 16/17 from the FT line. Suffice to say that the Phoenix well and truly have their work cut out for them in this matchup.
During South East Melbourne’s latest matchup they were absolutely torn to shreds by Illawarra, as their depleted team suffered their worst loss in franchise history via their 38-point hammering. Mitch Creek tried his best to lift up the team, going 9/16 for 24PTS + 7REB + 4AST and 1STL, however for obvious reasons it was far from enough for the no doubt disheartened visitors. Ben Ayre also laid it on a little bit with 10PTS, 1REB and 3AST next to his name. And coming off the bench Kody Stattmann also performed impressively, as in 19:35-minutes of playing time he shot 4/6 from two-point range en route to 11PTS alongside his 2REB, 1AST and 2STL. And both of Owen Foxwell and Luke Rosendale secured 7PTS each.
For Perth they came, they saw and they conquered, as they edged out New Zealand by six-points inside of Spark Arena last round. Cotton as mentioned before had 31PTS, as he shot 50% from inside the arc too. Plus he locked down 3REB, 2AST and 1STL. Keanu Pinder was also lethal shooting 6/7 from the floor for 18PTS + 3REB + 1STL and 2BLK. Meanwhile all of Tai Webster, Hyum Harris, Kristian Doolittle and Jesse Wagstaff produced 11PTS each. Webster was strong as he also procured 7REB, 6AST and 2STL. Harris had 8REB and 1AST + Doolittle secured 6REB, 5AST and 1BLK. And off the bench Jordan Usher also did a bit of everything with 9PTS, 6REB, 2AST and 2STL.
South East Melbourne did you know? Currently in 7th-spot the Phoenix sit just one-win outside of a play-in berth. However their points-conceded at 1859 is the fourth worst in the league.
Perth did you know? A win here for Perth would put them five-matches clear of 3rd-placed Tasmania. And that’s something that if it holds until the end of the regular season would see them avoid the play-ins and go straight to the semi-finals as the NO.2 ranked team in the NBL.
Phoenix fans might want to avert their eyes for this one. It won’t be 38-points bad! But it sure as hell has the potential to be close. Perth have not been afraid to pile on lately and have absolutely everything to play for. They’re coming off scoring 108PTS vs New Zealand. Prior to that they beat Adelaide by 18PTS. Before that they conjured up 105PTS in a dub vs Cairns. I mean the list goes on and on and on! With no Williams protecting the paint, Bryce Cotton may well get loose and ‘jiggy with it’. He will terrorise the Phoenix’s defence and shoot massive bullet holes in them. Keanu Pinder has the potential to do the exact same thing, as you can look for him to go coast-to-coast a few times throughout the encounter. The Wildcats should win this one pretty easily and that’s that.
Betting tips: Back the Wildcats to emerge victorious at $1.24 (BlueBet)
Also back the Q1 spread to belong to the Wildcats -2.5 at $1.87 (BlueBet)
And pick the total points scored to be under 189.5 at $1.89 (BlueBet)