The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 4 of the 2023/24 NBL season.
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Melbourne United vs New Zealand Breakers
Sunday October 22, 2:00pm
John Cain Arena
It’s a battle of the heavyweights to help conclude Round Four with as early pacesetters Melbourne United prepare to host last seasons runner ups the New Zealand Breakers. And both rivals will rightfully head into this affair full of confidence after the ‘Melbournenians’ posted a last start 11-point home win over the Bullets, a victory that was heavily inspired by a cool 18PTS and five-threes from club leader and star Guard Chris Goulding. For the New Zealanders they too were boosted by their respective superstars in the form of their lethal Guard and Forward combo via LA-born Parker Jackson Cartwright and NY-born Anthony Lamb who conjured up 19 and 22PTS respectively in their sides friendly loss to the Jazz in Salt Lake City. This as New Zealand went down by an incredibly respectable scoreline of 114-94. And with 11 of these two competitors last 16 H2Hs having been decided by just 11-points or less, this game is well and truly anyones for the taking. As a win for Melbourne would help them further consolidate 1st-spot on the ladder and a win for New Zealand would help their pursuit of a Top Two spot indefinitely.
For United their 11-point home win over the Bullets was aided by a huge Q2 effort, one which saw them fashion 29PTS and leak only 14. Chris Goulding shot 54.5% from the floor for 18PTS, 3REB, 2AST and 1STL. Whilst Shea Ili closely followed him with 14PTS, 1REB, 8AST and 1STL of his own. And it wasn’t just the Guards doing crazy things out on the court either, as Ariel Hukporti posted a double-double with 11PTS and 12REB + he also had one swat. And Luke Travers also continues to impress as the former Perth Wildcat ended the game with 10PTS, 5REB, 2AST, 1STL and 1BLK. Ian Clark also posted double-digit points off the pine with 10 and Rob Loe was also very solid with it as he garnered up 8PTS, 7REB, 2AST and 2STL.
Meanwhile for the Breakers, despite having to fly all the way to Utah to face the Jazz (11,345KMS), they still fashioned 94PTS in what was a 20-point margin of defeat. And to their credit New Zealand actually came away with the win in Q2, getting up 32-28. Anthony Lamb led the way for all scorers with 23PTS, 7REB and 1AST as his major stats. Meanwhile Parker Jackson Cartwright wasn’t far behind, as he ranked 2nd on the list, with 19PTS, 5REB and 6AST. There was also Izayah Le’Afa who performed strongly with 12PTS, 2REB and 1AST, as well as Zylan Cheatham via his 11PTS, 1REB and 1AST. To do what they did against a quality NBA side will no doubt carry over into their hotly anticipated clash against Melbourne.
How much can the travel weary Breakers cope with before they eventually break down? Despite some of Melbourne’s rather glaring inconsistencies this season, they are still 1st for a reason with a lethal 4-1 record. For example in their latest home stand against the Bullets, United had five players score in double-figure points, while Rob Loe with 8PTS was just two off making that number six. Even if New Zealand manage to go ‘shot-for-shot’ with Melbourne for a while, when they get tired and jaded at some point (an unfortunate probability), Dean Vickerman will just have somebody else to throw at the visitors. For example the previously talked about ‘six’ players, Matthew Dellavedova, the scrappy ‘Aussie’ superstar Guard was not a part of that conversation. And just two matches ago in his sides seven-point win against the Wildcats at the RAC Arena he fashioned 11PTS, 6REB and 6AST. United will ultimately just have way, way, way too much firepower for the Breakers to contend with in this should-be heated matchup. So while the scores may be close or locked up headed into the halftime break, expect the hosts to run away with it in the end.
Betting tips: Look for United to come away with the dub, win the opening quarter and score 85+ PTS. And when the odds become available they will be updated right here.
Sydney Kings vs Tasmania JackJumpers
Sunday October 22, 4:00pm
Qudos Bank Arena
To date the Kings have lost just one singular game throughout the entirety of the still relatively new NBL campaign. When did that one loss occur you ask? We’ll I’ll tell you. It was formulated back in Round 2 as playing in front of a packed out crowd at the MyState Bank Arena in Hobart, Sydney were ultimately crushed 80-72 by a resurgent JackJumpers side. As they were led incredibly impressively by early season MVP candidate Milton Doyle as he fashioned 21PTS, including going 75% within the arc, alongside 1REB, 3AST and 1STL. As the reigning All-NBL First Team Guard hit some humungous shots down the stretch to help ice the result and send the adoring home supporters into absolute raptures. And that is who Sydney must face off against to help conclude Round 4 with. However as the rest of the league knows visiting Qudos Bank Arena is certainly not an easy task. This as they have prevailed in 15 of their last 18 games there. So that hosting advantage that the ‘Jackies’ procured earlier on in the campaign has now been completely switched around and will work heavily against them. So who wins out here is the real question. The Kings in their fortress, or Doyle bulldozing his way through the opposition? Either way this should be one hell of a matchup!
Throughout the Kings latest clash they decided to turn it on late, as a 29-24 Q4 effort helped them squeeze by the Wildcats at Olympic Park, to the tune of a 99-86 scoreline. And former Philadelphia 76er Jonah Bolden was all the rage as the ‘Big Man’ produced by far his best effort in a Sydney uniform to date as he ended up with 13PTS, 15REB, 2AST and 1STL next to his name. Meanwhile starting Center Jordan Hunter also produced the goods with 20PTS, 9REB and 1STL, as he shot 8/11 from the floor. Outside of those two Jaylen Adams also was up to his usual no good best with 18PTS, 4REB, 6AST and 1BLK. Whilst Denzel Valentine got 13PTS, Alex Toohey 12 and off the bench Kouat Noi was sneakily crafty with seven boards to his name.
A missed FT attempt by Majok Deng with just over three-seconds left in the game saw his JackJumpers fall agonisingly close versus the Phoenix at the John Cain Arena last round, as they went down 86-85. That as a 21-18 Q4 job wasn’t quite enough to see the visitors out with a victory. However it wasn’t all down and blueness for Scott Roth’s Men, as Jordon Crawford exploded for 27PTS on 57.9% shooting from the floor + 3REB + 6AST + 1STL! While Jack McVeigh was also his usual experienced and sharpshooting self as he had 19PTS on 7/12 shooting, alongside 9REB and 1BLK. And unusually Milton Doyle was kept a bit quiet, although he still had 14PTS, 4REB, 4AST and 1STL. As he is primed for a comeback effort against Sydney on Sunday afternoon.
In recent history it is VERY SAFE to say that the ‘Jackies’ have proved to be a real thorn in the Kings constant quest for success. Despite always being the underdogs Tasmania never seemingly relent against the much more fancied opposition and this H2H should prove no different. Because whilst on paper there may seemingly be a bit of a difference in the talent levels on board the two rivals, you actually have to produce on the court to win games. And Tasmania have been doing that a hell of a lot lately, having procured victories in seven out of their last 11 clashes on the road and in eight of their last 10 affairs overall. If Milton Doyle can overcome the defensive prowess of NO.1 Jordan Hunter and NO.2 Jonah Bolden then it is GAME FREAKING ON, however if not then Sydney may just have their number in this highly likely closely contested encounter.
Betting tips: Back the Kings to win at $1.50 (Bet365) and also back only them to score 22+ PTS in Q1 at $1.47 (Bet365)
Meanwhile you can also look for Sydney to win the race to 20PTS first at $1.65 (Bet365)