The following are previews with betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 7 of the 2023/24 NBL season.
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Perth Wildcats vs New Zealand Breakers
Friday November 10, 9:30pm
To open up Round Seven we have the resurgent Perth Wildcats taking on a desperately unlucky New Zealand Breakers outfit who have gone down in seven of their last nine defeats against fellow NBL opposition by single-digit points (nine or less). On the complete opposite hand however Bryce Cotton & Co are loving life right now, as his outfit currently sit just two wins off of 2nd place, having proven triumphant in their last two clashes on the trot, including a last-start 102-95 victory over Melbourne United at John Cain Arena. For the hosts the big question is whether or not they can sustain their current hot momentum, whilst for the visitors whether or not they can break out of their undesirable slump? Regardless this should be one hell of a thriller to start us off with.
To Perth’s credit they now have a 4-5 record on the season after their seven-point away win over Melbourne. Jordan Usher hit a huge late three to help push the game into OT (although he crucially missed two FTs shortly after that would’ve iced him/them the game). The incoming OT period saw them dominate, winning 13-6. Usher himself had 12PTS and 2REB off the bench. Whilst Alex Sarr was a menace from the same position with 17PTS, 6REB, 1STL and 1BLK. Meanwhile for the starters Bryce Cotton ended the affair with a tasty 24PTS, 6REB and 3AST to his name. Whilst Kristian Doolittle had an 18-piece meal and Keanu Pinder an 11-piece one.
As for New Zealand at Qudos Bank Arena they went down to Sydney 87-85 in what was an extremely entertaining game of Basketball. Unfortunately for them their 18-15 Q4 effort wasn’t enough to get the job done and nor was Anthony Lamb’s game-high 29PTS. That as he shot 9/18 from the floor and also locked down 7REB, 3STL and 3BLK! Will McDowell-White who also was a focal point off the pine ended the game with 11PTS, 8REB, 2AST and 2STL. That whilst starters Parker Jackson-Cartwright got himself 18PTS, 4REB, 5AST and 2STL, alongside Finn Delany who had 10PTS. Despite all their best efforts though, they are now 2-5 for the season.
Jordan Usher is the Man in question for this spicy affair as his huge three being guarded by multiple opposition players late on against Melbourne really and truly was something else! The former ACC Tournament winning Small Forward undoubtedly has ice in his veins! Now can he back it up? Previous to his performance against United, coming up against the 36ers in Western Australia he produced 17PTS, 4REB, 2AST and 2STL, shooting 60% from inside the arc, as his Wildcats won by 11-points. He’s a bloke who isn’t afraid to be thrown under the spotlight, having also previously represented Beskistas in Turkey throughout his professional career. His last two games have been nothing short of phenomenal, however his campaign on the whole has been a bit shaky and now it’s time for him to continue to show both the NBL and the rest of the world who the real Jordan Usher is. He can hit a lethal mid-range shot and can slice through defences like they are nothing. He gets to prove himself against an entire team who are also trying to prove themselves, making for an interesting clash to say the least!
Betting tips: Look for a sneaky Perth dub at $1.58 (BlueBet)
Also look for Perth to win Q1 at $1.68 (BlueBet)
And look for the total points to be at 180PTS or under at $1.81 (BlueBet)
Cairns Taipans vs Illawarra Hawks
Saturday November 11, 5:30pm
Cairns Convention Centre
Just a few seasons ago you would’ve gotten the popcorn ready to watch a Cairns vs Illawarra clash. Now watching paint dry may well be a more appealing option! The Taipans have lost five of their last six affairs and during their latest away outing against South East Melbourne they only mustered up 78-points. Their lowest total in twelve games. For the Hawks they’ve won just two of eight, as they unsurprisingly are anchored to the bottom of the ladder this campaign with a paltry win percentage of just 25%. Their most recent matchup being a 20-point home drubbing at the hands of the Kings, a severely one-sided matchup which saw them down by the mid-30s at one stage. However on a positive note both sides should head into this one thinking they can take it out, so hopefully some spirited Basketball with some highlight plays thrown in there will ensue.
The Taipans hammering away from home vs the Phoenix should’ve come as no surprise, as Cairns were toasted at the self-named ‘Fire Pitt’. The Taipans lost every quarter bar the first, which ended in a spirited 23-23 stalemate. Sam Waardenburg and Taran Armstrong each put up 12PTS for the visitors. That while Bul Kuol had 11PTS, Bobi Klintman 10PTS and Tajhere McCall pulled in ten boards. Waardenburg also had 2REB and 2AST, whilst Armstrong’s other stats included shooting 4/5 from the floor and pulling in four boards. And coming off the bench with 22:15 minutes of playing time Lat Mayen did his thing with 12PTS, 6REB and 1AST.
For the Hawks their home defeat against Sydney, 103-83, saw their supporters rightfully upset and irate. As social media saw one follower comment “I’m sick of this”. Whilst another proclaimed, “I can’t bring myself to watch this season”. All of those comments were fairly justified as Illawarra lost Q1 20-17 and went on to conceded 32-points a piece in the next two. Gary Clark put in a strong shift however, as his impressive 8/13 shooting saw him end the Derby with 23PTS + 7REB + 2AST + 2STL. Sam Froling also tried his best to backup Clark with a nice double-double of 13PTS & 11REB + 3AST + 1STL. Wani Swaka Lo Buluk also chipped in with 10PTS and two boards, whilst Justin Robinson also found himself with double-digit points, 10.
In his sides dismal 13-point defeat at the hands of South East Melbourne last round, Tahjere Mcall registered just eight-points through his 33:15 minutes of playing time, as he went a dismal 1/8 from the floor. For the ex-Brooklyn Net and electric SG, that type of display just simply isn’t the type of stuff he’s used to putting up. In fact that eight-points falls way below his previous two season averages in Cairns of 16.2PPG and 16.1PPG. However with it being one of his first games back post-injury he deserves a pass on that basis. But now that he has been pitted against a side that has leaked 103, 96, 83, 101, 89, 103, 106, 96 and 90PTS over their last nine games, he could have a ‘Kobe’ like performance where he just simply shoots his way into form. If Adam Forde affords the former NBA G League victor time, which I believe he will, then look for Mcall to power/shoot his way to an enjoyable Taipans triumph.
Betting tips: Bet on Cairns to prove triumphant at $1.47 (Bet365)
Also look for them to reach 10, 15 and 20 points first at $1.71, $1.66 and $1.77 during Q1 (Bet365)
And back Illawarra to score 80+ PTS at $1.37 (Bet365)