We made a great start to the 2017-18 NBL season with all 4 of our Round 1 tips getting up. We’ll look to carry the momentum forward as we preview NBL Round 2 and give our betting tips below!
Cairns Taipans Vs Adelaide 36ers (Thursday, 12th October 7:30pm AEST)
After grinding out wins in both of their Round 1 matches, the Cairns Taipans come into this one as favourites as they sit alone at the top of the Ladder. Alex Loughton was the hero in their 1-point comeback win over the Hawks in game 1, and new import Scoochie Smith claimed best-on-court honours in their impressive road win over the Breakers in their second game. However, the Taipans will face a completely different proposition in this encounter, with the 36ers playing at a frenetic pace that is unrivalled in the NBL. It’s likely that the Taipans defence will need to be on their A-game once again if they’re to get the job done in this one.
The Adelaide 36ers come into this fixture with a 1-1 W/L record after falling short by 2 points to Melbourne United in their first game, quickly followed by an impressive road win against the Kings in their second match. Both were high scoring encounters with the 36ers scoring 97 and 105, respectively. They look to have put together another great roster with import point guard Shannon Shorter impressing in his first two games, and Ramone Moore lighting it up with 22 points off the bench against the kings. If they continue to push the ball and get Sobey and Creek out on the fast breaks, then the Adelaide 36ers offense might prove to be too potent for the Taipans here.
This one promises to be a tight encounter, and although the Taipans come in as favourites, we think the 36ers have a slight edge with their superior roster. However, the real value in this match looks to be in the over/under market, where we are expecting another high scoring match to follow on from the scoring frenzy in the opening round.
Perth Wildcats Vs Illawarra Hawks (Friday, 13th October 9:30pm AEST)
The 2016-17 Champions, Perth Wildcats, started exactly how they finished last season with a controlled 96-86 home win over the Bullets in their season opening game. On Friday they will look to back it up at home again in a grand final rematch against the Hawks. As expected, Bryce Cotton was extremely impressive against the Bullets, where he scored 24 points on 5/8 shooting from beyond the arc. He had plenty of friends on the night, as backcourt partner Damian Martin was as ferocious as ever on defence, and import JP Tokoto looked the goods as he finished up with 16 points.
The Illawarra Hawks lead for most of the night in their season opener against the Taipans, where they ended up going down by 1 point in a thriller. After getting swept in the playoff finals by the Wildcats last season, it’s hard to see where the improvement will come from in this one. Import Demitrius Conger had a reasonable debut for the Hawks (16 points), and usual suspects Rotnei Clarke (23 points) and AJ Ogilvy (22 points, 11 rebounds) performed well.
It will take a special performance from some of the Hawks role players if they are to get the win in Perth, as we think Cotton and the Perth Wildcats will be too strong at home in this one.
Adelaide 36ers Vs Melbourne United (Saturday, 14th October 5:30pm AEST)
Like in Round 1, the Adelaide 36ers will again play two games in Round 2. This will mean 4 games in 10 days to start the season for Joey Wright’s men, who also happen to play the game at the highest pace in the league. They will face off against Melbourne United at home once again, as they look to go one better (or 3 better) after their 97-99 loss in the season opener. Their first clash saw the 36ers get out to a 13-point lead midway through the second quarter, where they were troubling United with their fast paced transition offense. However, once United were able to make a few baskets and get them in the half court, the 36ers failed to find consistent avenues to score and eventually fell to a spirited and rejuvenated Melbourne outfit.
Melbourne United come into this matchup as favourites and it’s not hard to see why. After their gritty comeback win against the 36ers without skipper Chris Goulding (who was a late out due to illness), they travelled to Oklahoma where they surprised everyone (including reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, who “didn’t expect sh*t”) to fall 1-point short in an absolute belter of a performance from the whole roster. United will travel to Adelaide filled with confidence and will look to go up 2-0 in the season series against the 36ers.
As it’s still early in the season and bookmakers are trying to get a read on certain teams, there’s still plenty of value for Melbourne in this one. We think they should get the job done again here and cover the line.
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