The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 6 of the 2023/24 NBL season.
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Brisbane Bullets vs South East Melbourne Phoenix
Thursday November 02, 7:30pm
Can the travel weary Phoenix break their away curse?
As the South East Melbourne prepare to help open RD6 by traveling away to face the Bullets at Nissan Arena on Thursday night, they do so with the ‘cursed’ knowledge that all three of their defeats this season have been dealt to them away from their cushy comforts of Victoria + the Melbourne Derby in which they were the ‘visiting’ team. They lost away to Illawarra by seven-points, ditto to Cairns in Cairns by the same margin. And additionally they opened their campaign with a 15-point loss to Melbourne United. In fact the Bullets have ‘pepper sprayed’ all over South East Melbourne lately, having proven triumphant in five of their last eight home matchups against Mike Kelly’s Men. The most recent of those being a 16-point victorious margin in which Nathan Sobey poured in 18PTS, whilst in the dub prior to that he collected a double-double with 16PTS & 11REB to his name. If South East Melbourne are to put a stop to this then they’ll need all their troops on deck in what should be an undoubtedly tough and competitive encounter. Especially so given the visitors are currently 2nd at 5-3, while Brisbane aren’t far off with a 4-4 record for the campaign thus far.
An extremely well-earned Brisbane win was their potion last round, as they topped Tasmania 90-87 at Nissan Arena. Scoring 24, 21 and 24-points over the first three quarters saw them sail by, as in particular Nathan Sobey was strong, shooting 4/7 from deep for 28PTS, 3REB, 2AST and 2STL. Chris Smith also had a pleasant match off the bench, as in just over 27-minutes of playing time he chipped in with 11PTS, 4REB and 3AST. Meanwhile Josh Bannan had a double-double with 10PTS & 10REB, And Tyrell Harrison, as well as Isaac White both had 10PTS a piece.
For South East Melbourne they survived a late New Zealand fightback at John Cain Arena, triumphing eventually 103-100 in what was a NERVY game of Basketball. Despite losing Q4 32-19 they still got the job done. That as Alan Williams was tremendous with 21PTS, 13REB, 4AST and 1BLK, as he shot 52.9% from the floor. And Mitch Creek was right there with him putting in 20PTS, 6REB, 2AST, 2STL and 2BLK of his own. Gary Browne procured 18PTS, 4REB, 8AST and 1STL. Will Cummings had 16PTS and off the pine Ben Are scored 10PTS + had 1AST.
Alan Williams has scored 21PTS a piece over the course of his last two matches, whilst also shooting 17/30 from inside the arc. Meanwhile prior to that, in what was a 17-point dub over Adelaide at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, the Big Man had an emphatic double-double with 13PTS & 15REB to his name. Since returning from injury the former CBA leading rebounder (2016) has been an absolute menace for opposition teams to have to face off against. And the Phoenix have been all the better off for it, as their poor start to the season is now a distant memory of the past, as they are high, high and high up on the table. With no Aaron Baynes to help guard the rim due to suspension, look for Williams to have a field day with at least 16 + PTS and 11 + REB to his name in what should be a WILD, WILD Phoenix victory.
Betting tips: Look for a Phoenix dub to be the final result on the night at $1.57 (BlueBet)
Also look for them to win Q1 at $1.68 (BlueBet)
And pick the total points scored throughout the match to be at 181+ at $1.86 (BlueBet)
New Zealand Breakers vs Cairns Taipans
Friday November 03, 5:30pm
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. Time is ticking for the Breakers!
Before the ‘Wahs’ captured New Zealander’s hearts all over, it was in fact the Breakers who got New Zealander’s pumped up as they pushed the Kings to their absolute limits in last seasons thrilling Grand Final series. A defensively resolute Breakers side was again expected to be up there with the upper echelon of teams this season, however to put it bluntly they have flopped. With the way the ladder currently is they are dead last with a 1-5 record. As they even sit below the likes of Adelaide and Illawarra, YIKES! Their latest performance or lack there of being pretty indicative of that, as they went down to South East Melbourne 103-100 at the John Cain Arena. Their first three quarters being shun particularly bight under the microscope as they lost Q1 31-31, lost Q2 29-27 and also lost Q3 24-20 for a combined margin of 16-points. Meanwhile their latest home affair at Spark Arena saw them capitulate pretty poorly as they went down at the hands of Adelaide 97-85. That as they lost Q4 by a particularly harsh and ‘game throwing’ scoreline of 27-14! The ‘Kiwis’ haven’t posted back-to-back dubs since the 3rd of March this year. And post those games they have collected a grand total of three wins from 15 affairs. Mody Maor sure as hell has his work cut out for him at the moment as he attempts to rectify his teams ever dwindling playoffs hopes.
The Breakers three-point loss to the Phoenix last round SIMPLY WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH, that despite them winning Q4 32-19, they still were handed their fifth loss of the campaign at the John Cain Arena. A shining light undoubtedly for the visitors however was Parker-Jackson Cartwright who shot the lights out for 33PTS, including going ballistic from the FT line, 14/16. Plus he also had 1REB, 8AST and 1STL. Finn Delany was also very efficient with 21PTS, 4REB, 2AST and 1STL. Will McDowell-White’s stats included 14PTS and 3AST, while with 15:43-minuntes off the bench Izayah Le’Afa locked down 10PTS, 2REB, 2AST and 1STL.
For the Taipans their latest affair certainly was a tasty one as they topped the Kings 87-80 at the Cairns Convention Centre. Their opening quarter effort proving vital in the scheme of things, as they scored 26-points to 20 throughout Q1. Bul Kuol was extremely influential as he led the charge with 24PTS, while Sam Waardenburg had 22PTS and Bobi Klintman got himself a 17-piece meal. Kuol went 4/7 from beyond the arc in addition to his 5REB, 2AST and 1STL. Waardenburg just like his partner in crime was also lethal from deep shooting 2/4 + 6REB + 3AST. And Klintman’s other stats included 8REB, 3AST and 3STL. All of those statistics being well above his season averages, as the young Swedish Forward had a five-star performance.
Both teams haven’t hit the heights that they would’ve liked to so far this season. Because whilst New Zealand made the final two last season, Cairns similarly to their opposition also left the Kings fighting for life during their opening few matchups in Week One of the finals. But perhaps somewhat working against both sides favour is that they’ve had to contend with hectic mid-season NBAxNBL matchups which may have messed up their rhythm a bit. The Breakers unfortunately seem to be ‘breaking’ a bit at the moment. So you can look for Patrick Miller, the seasoned veteran and booming Point Guard averaging 18.2PPG & 5.8APG to cook a severely wounded New Zealand team.
Betting tips: Back the Taipans to win at $2.60 and for both sides to score 18+ PTS during Q1 at $1.30 (Bet365)
Also pick the second half to be the highest scoring of the two, ie H1 or H2, at $2.00 (Bet365)