The Hunter’s Weekend of Sports – 18 Oct
Tips, Tricks, Picks and Odds.
It’s time for the weekend of sports.
After a week of intense sporting goodness where we saw the big four American leagues (NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA) play in unison along with Bathurst, F1, A-League and countless other excellent spectacles, it’s about time the weekend rolled around – and it’s bound to be a good one.
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 – NBL
What better way to kick off the weekend than with a basketball match between two of the comps best teams? The Sydney Kings host the New Zealand Breakers on Friday, for a game that (if results this season so far are anything to go by) will go right to the wire.
Sydney Kings v New Zealand Breakers
The Breakers are a team who had an offseason for the history books. With this being their first game of the season, they’ll be eager to show off their new rookie RJ Hampton – an acquisition that sent shockwaves through the basketball community. For those unfamiliar with the story, the NBA’s one-and-done rule requires players to spend one year out of high school before they’re eligible to declare for the NBA draft. Now RJ, a projected number one pick, dissatisfied with the idea of putting his body and career on the line for zero compensation in an NCAA college, decided he’d take his talents down under – a move that potentially changes the game for the NBL and NCAA. By playing for the Breakers, RJ can now access professional strength and conditioning, training, and sponsorships that would be otherwise unavailable in college. This is a big deal and could be the start of a wave of top NBA prospects to follow (LaMelo already has).
All that aside, RJ will get to show off on the court for the first time in Sydney. It should be a great game with Lisch and Ware already having seasons to remember. Ultimately, I see the Breakers as a team that could take it all this season and I think that’ll start with a win in Sydney.
The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Breakers to Win
SATURDAY – Racing
The richest race on turf is back again and punters around Sydney (and Australia) will be tuning in on Saturday 19 October to watch it run. The barriers have been drawn and the 12 horses prepped – all that’s left to do is open the gates. Will Redzel make it a three-peat, or will another horse take out the multimillion dollar prize pool?
The Everest is notoriously hard to predict, with the best of the best racehorses all competing for the biggest reward in the sport. Nature Strip (4) is looking like the horse to beat, after a favourable barrier draw on the outside. With that being said, Redzel (3) and Sunlight’s (9) early speed could give them the advantage out of the gate.
Ultimately, The Everest is a race that’s won or lost on the straight – and I’m yet to see a horse finish better than Redzel. I can genuinely see the horse claim another on Saturday and make its owners some of the richest in the sport.
The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Redzel E.w.
SUNDAY – Rugby World Cup
Is it time for the Brighton Miracle’s second-coming? The brave-blossoms have been the absolute standout team this tournament and they’ll have the support of the entire nation behind them when they face the Springboks on Sunday 20 October. This is shaping up to be one of the games of the tournament and I’m more than keen to see how it goes.
Japan v South Africa
This is going to be the most confident the Springboks have ever felt about a campaign for a while. With (arguably) the easiest run into the finals, the South African outfit will be feeling good and ready to show the world what they’re made of. But, of course, they would have felt equally as confident four years ago in Brighton (and we all know how that ended). This time, Japan will have the entire stadium (and the rest of the world) behind them, it’s not going to be as straightforward as some think.
Japan’s World Cup this year has exceeded all of my expectations. Beating both Scotland and Ireland to claim top of the group and their first ever QF appearance is enough for them to be chuffed with their tournament – regardless of which way the result goes on Sunday. With that being said, I can seriously see them winning here. There’s just something special about this team – and in front of their passionate fans, maybe a miracle will happen again
The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Japan to Win
Gamble Responsibly. Hunter and Bligh do not take any responsibility for any losses incurred.
Feature image: Image via Shutterstock.