The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 16 of the 2023/24 NBL season.
|Illawarra Hawks vs Cairns Taipans
Thursday January 18, 7:30pm
The equations are simple, a win for the hosting Hawks mean that they will maintain a finals spot for at least another week. Whilst a win for the visiting Taipans would see them jump into the Top Six at the expense of Illawarra. If this was any other ‘Aussie’ code it would be being billed as a four-pointer affair and you can most definitely expect this game to bring out one-hundred truck-tonnes of intensity. Justin Tatum’s Men to their credit have won four out of their last six games at the WIN Entertainment Centre. With their last encounter there being a 38-point drubbing of South East Melbourne, as they handed the Phoenix their worst-ever loss in franchise history. That as six Hawks produced double-figure points. Meanwhile for Cairns they poured in the points at home last start, claiming an exciting OT 111-101 dub over Adelaide. Tahjere McCall going a perfect 7/7 from the FT line en route to 30PTS + 9AST. Both these teams play an exciting, upbeat brand of Basketball and I wouldn’t expect this weekday matchup to be any different.
Illawarra were good, but not quite good enough during their latest outing in Brisbane, as they fell to the Bullets 110-103. Despite ultimately triumphing in Q4 23-20, it wasn’t quite enough in the end for them to get the job done. Whilst for Cairns they were all over the Adelaide 36ers at home, as they prevailed strongly, 111-101. The Taipans came home ‘venomously’ as well, winning Q4 22-12. And then in OT they absolutely blitzed it, proving triumphant 17-7.
For the Hawks each of Hyunjung Lee and Lachlan Olbrich had 8PTS and 2REB a piece. Whilst from their starting five Tyler Harvey was ABSOLUTELY ELECTRIC as the star Point Guard conjured up 29PTS on 11/19 shooting from the court + 6/11 from deep. As he also produced 3REB and 2AST. Both Justin Robinson and Sam Froling also secured 15PTS each. Robinson’s other stats included 3REB, 3AST and 2STL. While for Froling he had 7REB, 2AST, 1STL and 2BLK. And Gary Clark did a bit of most things as he ended the match with 13PTS, 8REB, 3AST and 1BLK. As for the Taipans, Akoldah Gak HAD HIMSELF A GAME AND A HALF, as he shot 9/11 from the floor for 21PTS + 14REB + 2STL. And coming off the bench also Josh Roberts stats included 12PTS and 4REB. Tahjerre McCall went 10/19 shooting from the floor en route to 30PTS + 8REB + 9AST + 2STL + 1BLK. Patrick Miller meanwhile also let the offence rain down on the 36ers with 25PTS to his name, in addition to 3REB, 8AST and 1STL.
Fun Illawarra fact; If Illawarra were to play finals Basketball this season then it would be the third time in four seasons that they have done so. Meanwhile the Hawks have improved ten-fold this campaign, as last season they won just three games and lost 25. Now they currently possess a 9-10 record. Meaning that they’ve already won 3X the amount of matches compared to that of last season!
Fun Cairns fact; If the Taipans were to collect the NBL Championship this season, then not only would it be Cairn’s exciting first ever one, but the Taipans would also represent a third different club that Adam Forde has won a Championship with as a coach.
Expect a tight, tight game, with lots and lots of twists and turns along the way. However it’s tough to see anybody but the Hawks taking this one out. Just two games ago under the guidance of Justin Tatum, they snatched a surefire win out from under the JackJumpers noses and put it into their own bag of goodies. That win took a lot of gusto and determination. And as for Cairns yes they look good, but one woeful performance from either Patrick Miller or Tahjere McCall and they are ‘gonski’. That whereas the Hawks are really sharing around the load at the moment. As mentioned previously in that thriller vs the ‘Jackies’, six-players scored in double-figure points. Whilst seven players collected four plus rebounds. And outside of that every Hawk that stepped out onto the court registered an assist or more, bar three players. Illawarra have it all going for them at the moment and I expect that to continue both swiftly and strongly into this encounter.
Betting tips: Look for a strong Hawks dub at $1.46 (BlueBet)
Also look for Q1 to belong to the Hawks at $1.62 (BlueBet)
And back the amount of points scored in H1 to be an even number at $1.88 (BlueBet)
|Tasmania JackJumpers vs Melbourne United
Friday January 19, 7:30pm
As Tasmania and Melbourne prepare to go to battle at MyState Bank Arena they do so with an incredibly feisty history against one another. This as seven of their last nine encounters have been decided by just ten-points or less. However both teams aren’t in real good stead at the moment, with the ‘Jackies’ having won just one of their last four home matchups. Whilst United have triumphed in just 50%, 2/4, last games overall. However given that Tasmania are currently 3rd on the ladder and Melbourne are up in 1st, even if this great battle starts off a little bit scratchy, I have no doubt in my mind that in the moments that matter there will be some absolutely clutch moments on display for all to see. In ‘Tassies’ latest one-point loss at home both Jordan Crawford and Milton Doyle hit four three-pointers a piece. Whilst for Melbourne in their latest one-point win away from home, Matthew Dellavedova hit a clutch FT with 00:02 left on the clock to deliver his side the dub, that being just one of 14PTS + 10AST he had on the day. Whilst Chris Goulding was back to his reliable usual self with a very handy 24PTS. This affair will have the silkiness of ex-NBA vet Doyle placed against the toughness of ex-NBA vet ‘Delly’. Whilst backcourt ‘freaks’ Crawford and Goulding will get to compete in a shootout against one another. So there is plenty to look forward to here.
The JackJumpers latest game was a tough pill to swallow, as they went down 108-107 against the Hawks at MyState Bank Arena. ‘Tassie’ did well to push the game even further, as they won Q4 36-30, however ultimately it wasn’t enough. Meanwhile for United they came home strong in New Zealand against the Breakers. As their dub can be heavily attributed to winning Q3 23-18 and prevailing in Q4 20-19.
For Scott Roth’s troops, Will Magnay was very effective coming off the pine as he poured in 13PTS, 7REB, 1AST, 1STL and 3BLK, whilst Sean McDonald pulled in 9REB. And of the starters, Jordan Crawford ended the game with 24PTS, 1REB, 4AST and 2STL. Milton Doyle also quickly followed him with 19PTS, 5REB, 6AST and 2STL of his own. And Jack McVeigh went 7/10 from the floor for 17PTS and 6REB. And as for Dean Vickerman’s side, Luke Travers caused havoc off the bench as he shot 5/8 for 13PTS + 11REB + 2AST + 2BLK. As for Chris Goulding he continued to push forward his MVP candidacy with 24PTS, 5REB, 3AST and 3STL. Matthew Dellavedova had 14PTS, 1REB, 10AST and 1STL. And Ariel Hukporti got himself a 12-piece meal.
Fun Tasmania fact; Throughout their first two seasons in the NBL, Tasmania have qualified for the playoffs on both occasions. And if they were to qualify for the semi-finals again this season, that would mark the third straight occasion in which they have reached the penultimate round of the campaign.
Fun Melbourne fact; If United win the Championship this season, then it will extremely impressively be their third Grand Final victory from their last seven campaigns.
Melbourne are almost assuredly guaranteed to finish first barring a catastrophic end to their season. So if the JackJumpers can get out to a double-digit lead at say three-quarter time, how much emphasis will United head coach Dean Vickerman put on playing the ‘Delly’s’, Goulding’s, Clark’s and so ons of the club in a match that could essentially be over, no matter how hard the visitors may try to come back? I do still envision United collecting a hard-earned dub here, however if Tasmania were to prevail then that’s exactly how I imagine them doing it. Further strengthening the case for a Melbourne win however is just how strong they’ve been all season long. They’ve rarely suffered blips this campaign and with the ‘Jackies’ struggling at home, United may well pounce.
Betting tips: Back a Melbourne win at $1.75 (Bet365)
Also back Melbourne to score 19+ PTS in Q1 at $1.22 (Bet365)
And you can also back Tasmania to have 17+ during the same period at $1.11 (Bet365)
Finally pick Melbourne to win the race to 40PTS first during H1 at $1.87 (Bet365)