Two teams stepped up in round 2 of the NBL as the teams to watch this season, but only one will remain unbeaten come the end of this week.
The Perth Wildcats and Melbourne United have won both games to date and Friday’s clash is going to be one of the most-watched NBL games in history.
There are seven great games this week in an extended edition of the NBL and it all tips off when the Breakers play the Kings on Thursday night.
5:30pm New Zealand Breakers vs. Sydney Kings
The New Zealand Breakers got their season back on track with a win against the Sydney Kings last week.
The Breakers looked average to open the season, but a polished performance against the Kings holds them in good stead against that very team this Thursday.
Kings fans have every reason to be disappointed this season – their team is 1-2 and all-star Kevin Lisch won’t be playing any time soon.
That makes it awfully tough for the Kings to get a road win and the Breakers have been smashed in the betting from $2.10 into $1.80.
That’s smart money following the injury report and the Breakers look likely winners to open their round 3 account.
Betting tip: Breakers to win @ $1.80 – (BET NOW)
Breakers by 10
7:30pm Brisbane Bullets vs. Cairns Taipans
The Bullets have played only one game this season, fewer than any other team in the NBL.
The revitalised franchise lost by 10 points to the Perth Wildcats in Perth, which wasn’t exactly a bad performance.
Losing in Perth is the norm for most NBL teams and the Bullets showed good fight up until the fourth quarter where they got blown out of the water.
Coming up against the Taipans this week puts the Bullets in a good spot after the Taipans lost heavily to the 36ers 96-70 last week.
The Taipans will be hurting following that performance, but a well-rested Bullets side should come out strong and be good enough to hold out the Taipans late in the game.
Betting tip: Bullets to win @ $1.65 (BET NOW)
Bullets by 8
9:30pm Perth Wildcats vs. Melbourne United
It’s the same we’ve all been waiting for and it should be a cracking contest between two finals-bound teams.
The Wildcats enter this game 2-0 having beaten the Brisbane Bullets by 10 and the Illawarra Hawks by 10. Both wins showed why they’re the team to beat this season and despite losing Casey Prather to United, the imports have stepped up in his absence.
Playing in Perth adds another dimension to the game as the crowd is tough to cope with for younger players. That could have an effect on the United players, which also enter this 2-0.
The current premiership favourites scored a narrow win on opening night over the 36ers and they looked outstanding in the return game against the 36ers when winning by 20 points.
The 99-79 win showed how much offensive power they possess and even the Perth defense might have a tough time stopping the likes of Casper Ware.
Betting tip: United to win @ $2.25 (BET NOW)
United by 3
7:30pm Adelaide 36ers vs. Sydney Kings
The 36ers are desperately seeking a bounce back performance after getting embarrassed by Melbourne United.
They have played a total of four games already this season for two wins and two losses. The team as a whole looks impressive on paper, but they’re not always the most consistent team and that has frustrated punters in the past.
The Kings play their second game of the week and their performance against the Breakers will affect the line for this game, but we’d need to see something better from the Kings on Thursday night to change out pick here.
The 36ers will be able to take advantage of the Kings injury and import troubles to seal their third win of the season.
Betting tip: 36ers –3.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
36ers by 10
5:00pm Melbourne United vs. New Zealand Breakers
We understand why the bookmakers have United at such short odds ($1.20), but they never play well against the New Zealand Breakers.
The Breakers easily have the advantage over United over the last few years, but the two teams are trending in opposite directions.
United are 2-0 and could well be 3-0 by the time they play the Breakers on Sunday. The Breakers did well to win against the Kings, but this is another task altogether and we’re unsure how the Breakers can stop the offense of United.
Despite their domination of United of late, especially in playoff games, the Breakers are likely to struggle to win this game, but don’t sleep on them. The bookies are giving punters a handy points start in favour of the visiting team and it’s worth looking at.
Betting tip: Breakers +8.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
United by 6
7.00pm Illawarra Hawks vs. Brisbane Bullets
The Hawks suffered an absolute drubbing at the hands of the Sydney Kings last week and it was easily the worse Hawks performance in recent history.
Not one player got going on either offense or defense, which wouldn’t have left their coach very happy. Punters should expect a more polished performance this Sunday, but the Bullets could have plenty to play for.
The Bullets could find themselves shooting up the leaderboard with wins against the Taipans and Hawks this week, but they have been undervalued by bookmakers.
The Bullets are currently $3.05 to win which will likely shorten significantly if they are to beat the Taipans on Friday night.
We’re expecting the Hawks to be better prepared this week, but we can’t pass up the value with the Bullets so get in now.
Betting tip: Bullets +5.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Bullets by 1
9:00pm Cairns Taipans vs. Perth Wildcats
This week could be very costly for the Taipans, which started the season on fire.
Cairns started 2-0 at sat at the top of the table, but an indifferent round 2 has put them on the back foot and playing the Bullets and Wildcats this week won’t make it any easier.
We see this game going one of two ways. Either the Wildcats win on Friday night and bring in plenty of momentum, or the Wildcats lose on Friday night and are seeking a redemption win.
That doesn’t bode well for the Taipans, which are tough to beat at home, but Aaron Ferne has plenty of work to do with his team and finding those secrets to success is almost impossible to do when playing Perth.
It’s no surprise to see bookies frame this market in favour of Perth and we’d have to agree.
Betting tip: Wildcats to win @ $1.56 (BET NOW)
Wildcats by 6