NBL Round 20 – Selected Previews & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 20 of the 2023/24 NBL season.

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S.E. Melbourne Phoenix
South East Melbourne Phoenix vs Sydney Kings

Saturday February 17, 5:30pm
John Cain Arena

Sydney Kings

For the Phoenix this season has been a long slog and their 10-17 record, alongside their dragging injury list are two massive indicators of exactly that. And for the Kings, they too have been skidding a lot as of late, having lost seven of their last nine games, including a last-start 11-point loss to fellow NSW rivals the Illawarra Hawks at home. As the regular season draws to a close this rivalry represents a chance for South East Melbourne to restore some pride onto their crest in front of what should be a near-capacity crowd. Whilst a dub for Sydney would almost assuredly guarantee them a spot within the play-in tournament. So whilst the visitors definitely have more to play for here, don’t discount Mitch Creek and his men stealing away what would represent a fourth straight victory against the quickly flailing back-to-back champions.

Over the course of the latest NBL off-season one of the best kept secrets was the return of 2022 MVP Jaylen Adams after his stint over in China with the Qingdao Eagles. And although he hasn’t quite reached that level of form on a consistent basis this campaign, at 19.3PPG, 5.2APG, 3.2RPG and 1.1SPG he has still found a way to try and drag the Kings forward, that despite the teams glaringly obvious struggles. When he won MVP, he was cruelly injured for Sydney’s Grand Final heroics and as a result wasn’t able to register even a single second of playing time against Tasmania. Now he has a chance for redemption and being the superstar that he is, the former Milwaukee Buck, Portland Trailblazer and Atlanta Hawk will undoubtedly take on the pressure all himself to help deliver the Kings a piece of their broken crown. With South East Melbourne severely undermanned expect him to constantly take it to the rim as he should go off for 20+ PTS. The Phoenix need to have all eyes locked on him throughout the duration of this matchup.

The Phoenix have lost five of their last six home games on the trot. However the last time they tasted the sweet taste of victory in Victoria was a few weeks ago when they toppled the Kings themselves 104-98, thanks to a bloody fantastic 31PTS & 10REB from Mitch Creek. Whilst during their latest actual outing they were comprehensively beaten 94-67 against Tasmania. However S.E.M didn’t go down without a fight, winning Q4 23-20. That while Abdel Nader had himself a seasonal performance with 19PTS to his name. Meanwhile for Sydney losing 106-95 at Qudos Bank Arena versus Illawarra placed multiple bullet wounds in their campaign, as a disastrous 31-17 Q1 defeat set them on the road to defeat. With their little positives coming in the form of Denzel Valentine w 21PTS, Jaylen Adams w 18PTS and Jaylin Galloway who shot 5/8 off the pine for 15PTS.

Sydney need to win here, they don’t get to play stupid games anymore, this is it. Look for them to win, even if it’s ugly at times.

Betting tips: Pick Sydney to win at $1.25 (Bet365)

Also pick Sydney to score over 87.5PTS at $1.18 and for S.E.M to score over 75.5PTS at $1.071 (Bet365)

Also back the highest scoring half to be H1 at $1.71 and for the Kings to win Q1 at $1.52 (Bet365)


Tasmania JackJumpers
Tasmania JackJumpers vs Perth Wildcats

Saturday February 17, 8:00pm
My State Bank Arena

Perth Wildcats

‘Tassie’ and Perth going at it! This spicy affair is a mere formality as both franchises storm into the playoffs with commanding records and both also with legitimate Championship aspirations attached to their respective campaigns. For the hosting JackJumpers will this be the season that they finally win the Grand Final and cover themselves in glory? For so long throughout their existence they have come oh so close. Whilst for the Wildcats with perennial MVP candidate Bryce Cotton and projected NO.1 pick Alex Sarr leading the way, how far can they take a team that has already covered themselves in golden, golden glory ten damn times before? Barring a miracle the ‘Jackies’ are set for 3rd, whilst the visitors are locked in for 2nd, so players may be rested. However don’t think that for a single second we won’t see some highlight plays and some superstar moves in what is gearing up to be a great, great clash. Because if you ain’t got plans for Saturday night well now you do.

Hyrum Harris. Well the Tall Blacks Forward had himself one hell of a performance last time out in Wollongong didn’t he! Despite his Perth suffering a hefty blow against Illawarra, he put up a career best 15PTS, plus he also registered 7REB and 2AST as well. He put his body on the line multiple times throughout the affair and was a large part of the reason that it was kept so close for so long. And if coach John Rillie decides that maybe Cotton will see limited minutes in this one, then look for Harris to once again comfortably take the reigns and assume scoring responsibilities. Throughout Tasmania’s latest home clash, a win against the 36ers, they still leaked 86PTS, the majority of which came from Adelaide shooting over 50% from inside the arc, 27/51. And Harris just so happens to be shooting 64.1% close to the rim this season. If he uses the 36ers blueprint and similarly exploits the ‘Jackie’s’ from two-point range then we may well see a whole different type of superstar unearthed in this matchup.

Tasmania have won their last two home matches on the trot and by comprehensive margins at that! As they’ve most recently beaten the 36ers by 23PTS and Melbourne by 21PTS! Against Adelaide Jack McVeigh was monumental as the NBL veteran had himself a game with 26PTS & 8REB, that while Milton Doyle posted 17PTS & 10REB. Meanwhile against Melbourne Jordon Crawford and Jack McVeigh combined for a SPECIAL 48PTS & 7AST. Whilst the team also dominated, winning Q3 25-14. As for Perth, against the Hawks on Thursday night they went down 108-92, losing Q2 32-24. However prior to that they had triumphed in their last five consecutive away games. Scoring 100+ PTS on each and every occasion. 103 vs Phoenix, 104 vs Sydney, 108 vs Breakers, 100 vs Adelaide and 105 vs Taipans.

I mean what more could you possibly ask for on a Saturday night!!! Look for the hosts to claim a toughly contested dub here by 5-10 points.

Betting tips: Look for Tasmania to win at $1.52 (BlueBet)

Also back them to win the first half as well at $1.58 (BlueBet)

Additionally you can look for the last team to score a basket being Tasmania at $1.58 (BlueBet)


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