The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 19 of the 2023/24 NBL season.
|New Zealand Breakers vs Illawarra Hawks
Friday February 09, 5:30pm
Sitting precariously in 4th and 7th, with very similar records of 12-12 and 11-13, nothing is yet to be guaranteed for the Hawks and Breakers this campaign. However with that in mind everything is still far from over and a victory for Illawarra in a different country would almost assuredly guarantee them a home play-in game, something that would be a monumental advantage for the visitors at Spark Arena. Whilst New Zealand need all hands on deck after Anthony Lamb was recently ruled out for the season. Despite the absence of the crafty Forward, the hosts hopes of reaching back-to-back Grand Finals are still well and truly alive. A dub for Justin Tatum & Co will send them into delirium, whilst a win of any kind for Mody Maor’s troops keeps the dream alive for at least another game. Is new years eve here early? Because fireworks are guaranteed to go off in this ‘cracker’!
At the WIN Entertainment Centre last round the Hawks were just too classy for the Bullets, as they ‘diffused’ them by thirteen-points. Q4 was in all honesty what got the job done for the hosts, as they prevailed 27-10. Coming off the pine, Justin Robinson provided a hugeeeee spark, as he ended the clash with 16PTS, 4REB and 5AST next to his name. And starting the game, Gary Clark was also mental, with 19PTS, 10REB, 2AST, 1STL and 3BLK. Sam Froling also ended the game with 12PTS and Tyler Harvey 10. For the Breakers they pushed and pushed and pushed against the Wildcats at the RAC Arena as they got their due reward, winning by eleven-points. More important then any quarter victory was them forcing Bryce Cotton to have a horrible shooting night courtesy of their defensive tenacity. As the prime MVP candidate went 3/14 shooting-wise. For New Zealand Zylan Cheatham shot an impressive 58.3% from the floor for 24PTS, 8REB and 2AST. Parker Jackson-Cartwright also went 5/5 from the FT line, good for 19PTS overall. As he also contributed with 4REB and 5AST. Mangok Mathiang also locked down 11PTS, whilst Mantas Rubstavicius had 10.
The Hawks as things currently stand have somewhat of a sense of security, however for the Breakers they do not. New Zealand also have a hell of a lot more pressure on them compared to Illawarra. As they attempt to make back-to-back Grand Finals series and also in the process win their first title in eleven seasons. No Anthony Lamb will hurt them undoubtedly, as averaging 19.5PPG he was/is an integral part of their side. However there’s still Parker Jackson-Cartwright with 19.1PPG, alongside 5.8APG. Meanwhile big man Zyan Cheatham is getting 15.9PPG + 5.8RPG. Then leading the bench they have the likes of Will McDowell-White, a Gold Medal winner with Australia, as well as Izayah Le’afa, the 2020 NZNBL Defensive player of the Year. Those two can pour in the points in a hurry, but most important are their defensive attributes. They are not afraid to get their hands dirty and will take a hit for the team. The Breakers have enough star power here to get this one over the line. However they’ll need both their attack and their defence to be in point in order to make it work.
Betting tips: Back a tight New Zealand W at $1.69 (BlueBet)
Also back Q1 to end in NZ’s favour at $1.75 (BlueBet)
And also look for NZ to conquer the first half at $1.70 and for the first half total points to be odd at $1.89 (BlueBet)
|South East Melbourne Phoenix vs Tasmania JackJumpers
Saturday February 10, 5:30pm
For South East Melbourne a win is so desperately needed in the ‘Green Heartland’ as the viciously attempt to wriggle and shimmy away from what would be a franchise-crippling first ever Wooden Spoon. This represents the third straight playoff-less season for Mike Kelly’s Men and they all know it, so look for them to cause a bang against one of the NBL’s finest in the form of Tasmania. Tasmania who are currently situated in 3rd on the ladder will make things very, very tough for the hosts. However as their recent history has played witness to, the Phoenix are certainly that of a resolute unit versus the ‘Jackie’s’, with South East Melbourne having proven triumphant in four of their last six H2Hs against the opposition. Last time out it was Gary Browne, the ex-BSN MVP turned S.E.M superstar, who lit up Tasmania to the tune of 20PTS, 11REB and 6AST. As the Phoenix attempt to cause another upset, who will star for them here? Last but not least, they are guaranteed to fight, fight and fight in this spicy encounter!
The Phoenix played hard last round in the Melbourne Derby, although it wasn’t quite enough as they fell to United by sixteen-points. However an impressive 24-11 Q4 dub at John Cain Arena saw them install some respectability back onto the scoreline. Leading the way was Abdel Nader off the pine, who in 18:07-minutes of playing time shot 7/13 from the floor for 18PTS + 4REB. Whilst also featuring off the bench, Owen Foxwell scored 14PTS and Luke Rosendale scored 9PTS. Then of the starters Ben Are conjured up 13PTS, 4REB, 9AST and 3STL. That while Gorjok Gak secured a double-double with 10PTS & 11REB + 1AST. As for ‘Tassie’ playing on their home floor they trashed the 36ers by twenty-three points. They led from the get go as they blitzed Adelaide 31-21 in Q1 and never looked back from there on in. Sean McDonald was impressive with 14PTS off the bench, whilst Will Magnay locked down 11PTS, 12REB, 1STL and 1BLK. In addition Clint Steindl also got himself a nine-piece meal. Jack McVeigh was massively impressive however as the veteran shot 10/13 from the floor en route to 26PTS + 8REB + 1AST + 1BLK. Milton Doyle’s key stats also included 17PTS & 10AST, Jordon Crawford had 15PTS and Anthony Drmic got 9PTS.
Despite their insanely crazy injury list the Phoenix have displayed a hell of a lot of ticker as of late. Just three matches ago they toppled the Sydney Kings at home in what was an extremely entertaining display of Basketball. Whilst last time out in the Melbourne Derby they displayed a lot and I mean A LOT of heart, as they had just nine players who suited up for them. And prior to that they lost a close one against Perth, going down 103-91, as Mitch Creek led the way for South East Melbourne with a big 29PTS, 6REB, 1AST and 1BLK on 12/12 shooting from the floor. Now Tasmania similar to Perth can hit a lot of threes and quickly at that. Whilst Milton Doyle is similar to Bryce Cotton, he can shoot the lights out from anywhere. However if the Phoenix can hold their line and defend early on, as well as keep the score close at half time then crazier things have occurred this campaign. Look for this one to be a lot more closer than you expect it to be.
Betting tips: Back a Tasmania dub at $1.19 and for them to score 85+ PTS at $1.15 (Bet365)
However you can also look for South East Melbourne to score 73+ PTS at $1.10 (Bet365)
And look for ‘Tassie’ to reach 20PTS first at $1.48 (Bet365)