The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 3 of the 2023/24 NBL season.
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Brisbane Bullets vs Sydney Kings
Friday October 13, 7:30pm
As early Championship smokeys the Bullets prepare to take on the back-to-back champion Kings they do so with the weight of history pulling them deep into the depths of the Brisbane River. That is because they have won just three of their last 11 clashes against Mahmoud Abdelfattah’s troops. And the last time they faced off at Nissan Arena over 4000 spectators witnessed a murder in broad daylight as the visitors absolutely without a shred of a single doubt trounced the hosts to the tune of a 116-67 scoreline. On that infamous occasion Brisbane’s highest scorer was Nathan Sobey with just 14PTS to his name. In order for the former All-NBL First Team member to help even the court up so to speak, he’ll need the full backing of his teammates in what should be a can’t miss and testy encounter between two of the early 1st-placed franchises.
Aron Baynes is a name that all the focus will be on come Friday night, this as the former NBA big man was heavily embroiled in controversy following his sides tight three-point loss in the ‘Sunshine Stoush’ against Cairns at Nissan Arena. Him lashing out means that he may well have a target on his head in this affair. In the nine-minutes in which he was on the court, he still posted six-rebounds and will undoubtedly look to pummel opposing Centre Jordan Hunter into submission. There’s also Nathan Sobey who as mentioned before is expected to stake his claim in this clash, as he conjured up 31PTS including 12/12 FTs against the Taipans + 2REB, 1AST and 1STL. The one-two punch of Sobey & Baynes should definitely create enough attack to trouble a Kings side who over the course of their last three matches have given up 100, 80 and 81PTS respectively. That being a far cry from their defensive and Championship winning heroics of the previous two campaigns.
Meanwhile Sydney got it done, JUST, as they prevailed 109-100 over a pesky Adelaide side at Olympic Park. Jaylen Adams, the returning MVP, was of course the main to bail the home side out of jail as he hit some BIG late shots en route to 16PTS, 2REB, 8AST and 1STL. And a massive shoutout also needs to go to Jordan Hunter who was an absolute beast close to the rim as he fashioned 22PTS on 8/10 shooting, alongside 8REB, 1AST, 1STL and 2BLK. It was partly touched on briefly before, but these four after mentioned players will decide the result of this game. Sobey and Adams shooting often carries their respective sides when it matters the most. Meanwhile Baynes is averaging 7.3RPG this season, as well as just under one block. As for Hunter he is on 6RPG and just under two blocks per match. It also helps that at 118KGS (Baynes) and 109KGS (Hunter), both Men can definitely in one way or another make their presence felt in the paint.
Fun trivia: Did you know that Jaylen Adams former Chinese team the Qingdao Eagles won 18 games last season, just one less (19) then the ex-MVP picked up during his first campaign at the Kings.
I’m going to back the Kings here in a tight one to the tune of a 5-10 point win and look for the former Qingdao Eagle to show he can still soar with a 15+ PTS and 5+ AST performance.
Betting tips: Lookout for a Sydney victory at $1.70 and for the Kings to also reach 40+ PTS first in Half One at $1.83 (Bet365)
Also back both sides to have 16+ PTS a piece in Quarter One at $1.04 (Brisbane) and $1.05 (Sydney) (Bet365)
And look for the Kings to have the edge also in Quarter One by winning that period at $1.80 (BlueBet)
Perth Wildcats vs Melbourne United
Friday October 13, 9:30pm
The Wildcats head into their matchup against United having shown their mettle late on at home, as they just edged the 36ers out 82-75. As their 18-15 Q4 efforts saw them ‘claw and scratch’ their way past the finish line. Bryce Cotton being his usual do it all self with 19PTS, 2REB, 5AST and 2STL all on his stuffed stat-sheet. Meanwhile for Melbourne at the John Cain Arena they were blown out of the water late on against a never-say-die Tasmania side, as United committed a 27-14 bottle job in Quarter Four to go down 80-75. That as Ariel Hukporti, the big German Centre, did his best to keep things close as he posted 15PTS on 7/8 shooting from the floor + 7REB, 2AST and 1BLK. Alongside Perth’s most recent affair having been decided by just seven-points and Melbourne only five, eight of these two sides last 12 H2H’s have been decided by just a 10-piece meal or less. They always fight and fight and fight whenever they verse one another and this fiery encounter should prove no different from it’s predecessors. Strap yourselves in Ladies and Gentleman because we are in for a good one!
Outside of Bryce Cotton for Perth plenty of other players put their hands up for recognition with note-worthy performances including from the starters Jordan Usher with 16PTS, Corey Webster with 11PTS and Keanu Binder with 10PTS. However perhaps the most influential of them all was the ever electric Bordeaux-raised and powerful Centre Alexandre Sarr who in under 21-minutes of playing time off the bench came up with 16PTS, 6REB, 1AST and 2BLK. With the two-time medal victor with France having made quite the start to life in Western Australia. Usher was also vital as he went 5/7 from inside the arc and also chipped in with 5REB, 1AST and 1STL. As the 25-year-old much like his counterpart in the form of Sarr has done amazing things so far. They are both proving to be two very reliable teammates for Cotton in his pursuit of another Perth championship. Playing against Melbourne is a big time game and it’s simply perfect for these two big time players.
As for Melbourne their choke job versus the JackJumpers was their first loss of the campaign, as they sit equal first with a host of teams, Perth included. Besides the trying, trying efforts of Ariel Hukporti there was also Chris Goulding with 12PTS, Ian Clark with 11PTS, Rob Loe with 10PTS and Shea Ili with eight-points. Goulding only managed to get up eight shots throughout the course of the match, as he went 4/8 from deep. His shooting whilst statistically awesome, is also undoubtedly a contributing factor to their defeat as when he tallies up the points, Melbourne are normally in a pretty good winning position. As evidence, United have won six of their last seven games and prior to their loss, Goulding had put up 19PTS in an eight-point win over Adelaide. Meanwhile two affairs before that he registered 20PTS in a thoroughly convincing 18-point victory over Sydney. And before that it was 14PTS on 4/8 shooting from deep (again) + 2REB, 1AST, 1STL and 2BLK in a low-scoring 85-71 win over the Hawks. The pattern that has emerged is pretty damn clear, if Melbourne’s powerful leader and strong Guard is allowed to shoot at will then he may just give his side a fighters chance in this heavily anticipated matchup.
Fun trivia: Did you know that Bryce Cotton’s best NBA PPG average came with Utah back in the 2014-15 season when he put up 5.3PPG. In comparison his WORST season at Perth still witnessed him nearly do four times that at 19.4PPG throughout the 2017-18 campaign.
The Wildcats have this affair for me here, just, as I’ll put them through here to win by 5-10 points. And of course look for Bryce Cotton to do his thing with at least 18+ PTS and 4+ AST next to his shiny, star stuffed name.
Betting tips: Back a Wildcats triumph at $1.61 (BlueBet)
Also back Perth to win Qs 1 and 2 at $1.79 and $1.80 (UniBet)
And you can also pick the total points scored to be over 175.5 at $1.90 and for the Wildcats to reach 10PTS first at $1.77 (PlayUp)