The Hunter’s Weekend of Sports – 1 Mar

Tips, Tricks, Picks and Odds

Summer may be over, but the fun’s only just begun.

The beginning of March brings with it a certain melancholy for the conclusion of another summer. Soon the leaves will fall, the clouds will come, and everyone will be miserable. So, what better way to lift your spirits than with a full weekend of sporting action? Below, the Hunter gives his preview of the weekend ahead, along with tips he’s sure will brighten those autumn blues.

The Preview

The last week was certainly one for the fans. The Crusaders extended their insane win streak (off the back off this INSANE try assisted by Mataele), the EPL title and relegation battles got even tighter with crucial wins from Liverpool, City, Southampton and Newcastle, and who could forget Glenn Maxwell’s heroic effort to steer the Aussies to another win in the subcontinent? A crazy week of sports – to be followed by a crazier weekend.

As always, in this column, I’ll explore what Australians can look forward to in this weekend of sports – focusing on a different sport for each day – and provide the tips that I feel most confident in based on my research, analysis, and expert intuition.

Friday – NBA

Image via Ezra Shaw

Fridays go by so fast. But the NBA makes them pass just a little faster. Today I’ll concentrate my focus on just the one game, the Warriors v Magic in the late morning, in order to ensure my analysis and expectations are well-founded.

Golden State Warriors v Orlando Magic @11:00am AEDT

This game offers little value in and of itself, the Warriors are coming off an insane buzzer-beater upset against the heat on Thursday, but this has done little to harm the odds of them taking the victory here. They come into this game as 6-pt favourites and it’s easy to tell why. Having won their last 11 straight against the Magic, and averaging 120 ppg over their last ten games, the Warriors will have to perform shockingly to lose this. The real value here, therefore, lies in the player performance markets. Having trawled the markets, the player consistently being undervalued by the bookies is KD himself – the man scores. Consistently. He may be a ring-chaser, but in pursuit of that third ring he’s been putting up numbers, and I expect him to do the same again here.

The Hunter’s Hot Tip: KD 30+ points / GSW to win player performance double market

Saturday – EPL

Image via The Mirror

Early on Saturday morning, one of the biggest games in English football is taking place. 4th place Arsenal travel to Wembley to challenge 3rd place Tottenham in a North-London derby for the ages.

Tottenham v Arsenal @ Midnight AEDT

Tottenham will be looking for a win at home to keep themselves relevant in the title race, Arsenal will be hoping to take those three points for themselves in a bid to stave the top-4 approaches being made by Utd and Chelsea. Both teams have a lot to play for, and we should be in for a passionate, full-throttle game. Arsenal come into this game on a 3-game winning streak and have been first to score in 4/5 of their last matches, whereas Tottenham have been patchy at best in their recent performances. Manager Emery has a 5-1-3 record against Pochettino. He will be looking to extend that winning record come Saturday. All signs point towards a tantalisingly close game. In the end, I think it’ll go to the in-form team.

The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Arsenal to win

Sunday – NBL

Image via the Daily Telegraph

The NBL, regrettably, is winding down after one of the best seasons in recent memory. We currently sit in the semi-final stages, and we’ll know our champion as early as next week. But right now, it’s still the playoffs, so every game counts, and that makes it exciting as hell.

Sydney Kings v Melbourne Utd @ 2:20PM AEDT

Sydney looks to defend their pride and their season at home in a win-or-bust match at Qudos Bank on Sunday. After failing to perform in Melbourne, MVP Bogut and the rest of the Kings will have to perform on their home court to force a crucial game 3. Over their last ten games against each other, Melbourne has beaten Sydney by an average of 7 points, and they’ll be hoping to continue their dominance right into the NBL finals. Of course, Sydney will leave it all on the court, and with home, advantage could do well here. Unfortunately, the reigning champions have been pretty unstoppable all season, and I see them ending it for the Kings in a close game here.

The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Melbourne to Win