The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 10 of the 2023/24 NBL season.
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Cairns Taipans vs Sydney Kings
Thursday December 07, 7:30pm
Cairns Convention Centre
As the Taipans prepare to play hosts to the back-to-back championship winning Kings, they do so with the playoffs firmly in their sight and being well within their reach. Because for Adam Forde’s Men they have shone large as of late, winning six of their last nine affairs at the Cairns Convention Centre. However tackling the once infamously nicknamed ‘Road Dawgs’ Sydney, will be far from an easy task. Because they have still won two of their last five games away from Homebush. With two of those losses being by single-digit points. So with things pretty even headed into this tasty matchup it may well prove to be veteran Kouat Noi making the difference. With the Forward having previously represented the Taipans over the space of three-years (2019-22) he knows exactly what will make his old employers tick. And there was no more hardcore proof of exactly that compared to when the two sides last met earlier on in the season in a Taipans home game. Despite his side losing by seven-points, Noi still put up 18PTS, far and away besting his campaign average of 10.8PPG. As he also secured 3REB and 2STL, as he shot 50% from the floor. Can his bullseye like shooting and raucous energy bring it home for Sydney in this one?
At the John Cain Arena last time out Cairns put in their most complete display off the season, as they turned on the motors, dismantling Melbourne 115-103. And they just blitzed the first two quarters, prevailing 31-17 and 36-34 respectively! Leading the way was Patrick Miller who made the away court his own personal one, as he shot 12/16 en route to 32PTS! That alongside 3REB, 10AST and 2STL, as he was SIMPLY MONSTROUS! Tajhere McCall was also very influential as he went 13/16 from the FT line, contributing strongly to his 23PTS. Whilst he also had 4REB, 6AST, 4STL and 1BLK. Josh Roberts was also just one-point behind him with 22, as he shot 10/11 from the court + 5REB, 1AST and 3BLK. Whilst off the bench Taran Armstrong had 10PTS and Bobi Klintman an eight-piece meal.
The Kings tried hard last round in Western Australia, but ultimately came up nought, as they were defeated by the Wildcats 114-105. Tried as they might, Bryce Cotton lighting them up for 41PTS + losing Q3 33-26 certainly did them no favours. However one massive positive was Jonah Bolden, whom in a career night in a Kings uniform posted 28PTS off the bench, on 10/12 shooting + 5REB + 1BLK. And a shoutout to Shaun Bruce as well, who in his 300th NBL game showed he’s still extremely capable, as he chipped in with 3PTS, 2REB, 2AST and 1STL off the pine. Jaylen Adams also had 21PTS, 6REB, 8AST and 1STL as he put in a ‘vintage’ MVP-like performance. While DJ Hogg scored 20PTS, Denzel Valentine 13PTS, 9REB and 1AST. And Alex Toohey also scored 9PTS.
Did you know that when Cairns last played Sydney, they won, 87-80. Whilst they’ve also won three of their previous six games against them prior to that. A particularly impressive feat given the MAJOR differences between the two teams budgets.
Did you know the Kings have lost back-to-back games against Perth and Melbourne respectively. Ironically these are the two teams that thwarted Sydney during the early beginnings of their most recent legacy. Not that long before winning their first Championship in many years, Perth defeated Sydney in the infamous ‘COVID riddled’ Grand Final series. Whilst in the first week of the playoffs a few seasons prior, Melbourne eliminated the Kings from contention.
This game will certainly be a whirlwind that can go either way. Expect the result to not be decided until late on in the fourth quarter and potentially overtime.
Betting tips: Look for Sydney to pull this one out at $1.63 (BlueBet)
Also look for them to pull out Q1 at $1.75 (BlueBet)
And don’t be afraid to back the total points scored to be odd at $1.87 and for Sydney to score the last basket at $1.86 (BlueBet)
Illawarra Hawks vs Perth Wildcats
Friday December 08, 7:30pm
WIN Entertainment Centre
We have a Friday night blockbuster on our hands as Illawarra prepare to take on Perth. Blockbuster you say, laughing out loud? The Hawks have a fiery new attitude under the guidance of Justin Tatum (Jayson’s Father) and as a result have won 1/2 games under his tutelage, whilst pushing the Bullets to their absolute brink in the other. And as for the Wildcats they have pounced on the opposition lately and are in the midst of a sterling run of form which sees them sit in equal 2nd-place on the NBL ladder. Bryce Cotton is hot off the press having just dropped 41PTS on the Sydney Kings in a recent dominant home victory last round. For the Hawks their new look has them grinding down teams into submission. And with seven out of the two rivals last 10 matchups having been decided by less then 10PTS, you can definitely expect the fireworks to go off in Wollongong. Will Cotton put the hosts to the sword, or can the Hawks collectively ensure he leaves empty handed with nothing but his bruised and bang up body headed back to Western Australia?
The Wildcats stormed home last round at the RAC Arena, winning Q4 31-22, which heavily contributed overall to their high-scoring 114-105 win. And as mentioned before Bryce Cotton was the Man as he viciously attacked the visitors to the tune of 41PTS, thanks in large part to 9/14 2PM. Keanu Pinder was also a damaging force with 18PTS on 7/10 shooting + 9REB + 5AST + 2BLK. Alex Sarr chipped in with 15PTS, 5REB, 1AST and 2STL off the pine. As did Jesse Wagstaff with 14PTS and 4REB. And Kristian Doolittle did a bit of everything with 9PTS, 7REB, 3AST and 2STL.
As for the Hawks they were just outdone ever so slightly at the Nissan Arena in their most recent affair, as they went down to Brisbane 78-77. Despite doing their best to pull the game back by winning Q4 16-13, it unfortunately just wasn’t enough to help the visitors push through. Both Justin Robinson and Gary Clark were strong however, as they each secured a 13-piece meal. Robinson also secured 3REB, 4AST and 1STL. That while Clark got 9REB, 1AST and 1STL. Sam Froling also did his thing with 11PTS and three-boards. And Mason Peatling scored 8PTS on 3/5 shooting, far and above his season averages of 2.8PGG and 28.6% shooting, as he was quietly impressive. And coming off the bench Hyunjung Lee had 10PTS, 6REB, 1STL and 1BLK.
Did you know that despite having had an off-season offensively, in two of the Hawks last three home wins, they have scored 113 and 108PTS respectively versus South East Melbourne and Cairns. The home sides leading scorer in the most recent one was Tyler Harvey with 20PTS.
Did you know that Perth have won their last six games on the trot. And amongst those they have broken the 99+ point barrier on four of those occasions.
The Hawks should continue to flex their well-earned improvement in this affair. But ultimately back the Wildcats to take this one home by around 5-15 points.
Betting tips: Back Perth to win at $1.38 (Bet365)
Also back Perth to reach 10, 15 and 20PTS first in Q1 at $1.66, $1.62 and $1.70 (Bet365)
And look for both teams to score 72+ PTS, Illawarra at $1.09 and Perth at $1.025 (Bet365)