The NBL season took a surprising turn in round three with the New Zealand Breakers intently making their way to the top of the NBL ladder.
With wins over Sydney and Melbourne (as $4 underdogs) the men from across the Tasman have become the team to beat this season.
Melbourne United were title favourites prior to round three, but losses to the Wildcats and Breakers have put them and their punters on the back foot.
Perth looked good in beating Melbourne, but looked horrendous when losing to Cairns later that week.
It’s a wide-open competition this year and round four should provide more entertainment.
7:30pm Brisbane Bullets vs. New Zealand Breakers
The Bullets played twice last week for a win and a loss.
The win came against the Cairns Taipans at home where they held off a late charge to win by five points and they looked good in the process, but they had no such luck against the Hawks later that week.
The 96-105 defeat put the Bullets on the back foot heading into this week, but bookmakers are expecting them to come out firing against the in-form Breakers, which travel into Brisbane as the underdogs.
Breakers fans were concerned after they lost their opening game this season, but three solid victories later and they’re now at the top of the table.
Quality player from their imports and Tm Abercrombie knocking down the three pointers has been the key so far. The win over Melbourne continued the trend for the Breakers against United and another strong effort will be needed to keep the likes of Daniel Kickert and Travis Trice in check this Thursday night.
The Breakers are an improved team from last season and we’ll happily take the value on offer this week.
Betting tip: Breakers to win @ $2.55 – (BET NOW)
Breakers by 4
9:30pm Perth Wildcats vs. Illawarra Hawks
Having lost poorly to the Taipans on Sunday night, the Wildcats are hoping for a bounce-back performance back on home court.
Perth were handed a 69-90 thrashing at the hands of the Taipans, which was very unlike this Perth outfit. They are usually a top defensive team which uses various scorers to keep it ticking over, but none of that was scene last week.
Top import Bryce Cotton had only 12 points and considering he scored 40 points in the final last season, he’s capable of much better than that.
They come up against the Hawks which will be full of confidence after beating the Bullets on Sunday and they are a confidence team.
When the Hawks start filling up the bucket, they’re a tough team to stop, but will that translate into a win at Perth?
Perth is one of the hardest venues to get a road win and the bookmakers can’t see it happening.
They have the Wildcats as 7.5-point favourites, but this game might be closer than they expect.
Betting tip: Hawks +7.5 @1.87 – (BET NOW)
Wildcats by 5
7:30am Cairns Taipans vs. Adelaide 36ers
Despite losing to the Bullets to open round three, the Cairns Taipans find themselves in a top four spot after beating the Wildcats in emphatic fashion on Sunday.
The 90-69 win was one of the most dominant wins over the Wildcats in NBL history and the confidence levels must be sky high.
Top performances from Mitch McCarron, Michael Carrera and Dayshon Smith helped the Cairns side pull off the upset.
The game plan for the Taipans is to share the ball, which appears to be working, but the 36ers have explosive offensive talent and they’re coming off a 114-84 thrashing of the Kings.
Nathan Sobey scored 25 points and he got plenty of help from the likes of Shannon Shorter and Daniel Johnson.
If they 36ers can produce a repeat effort of that on the offensive end, Cairns’ lock-down defense will have a tough time stopping them.
This is the closest game according to bookmakers this week and we’d have to agree. Bookies are slightly favouring Adelaide, but beating Cairns at home isn’t easy.
Betting tip: Cairns to win @ $2 – (BET NOW)
Cairns 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
5:30pm Brisbane Bullets vs. Melbourne United
The Bullets get the advantage of two home games this round, but it’s not going to be easy against a Melbourne United side which is hurting.
United has one of the better teams on paper, but the results haven’t been happening on the court. Chris Goulding returned last week and had little impact on the court.
Casper Ware is a top import, but the inconsistent player was also unable to show his best stuff when it mattered most.
The senior players will have to step up if they’re going to beat the Bullets, which could be riding some momentum depending on Thursday’s result against the Breakers.
That performance will be key to assessing the chances of Brisbane, but either way, United should be rebounding to take this game.
Betting tip: United –3.5 @ $1.87 – (BET NOW)
United by 8
3:00pm Illawarra Hawks vs. Sydney Kings
The odds for the Hawks will change depending on how they play in Perth earlier this week, but the focus will firmly be on the Kings for this clash.
The Kings are sitting at one win and four losses on the season – a season which couldn’t have started any differently last year.
The Kings were riding a lengthy winning streak last season, but they haven’t clicked as a unit so far from the first five games. They have played poorly from the outset, but that could all change this week and one win will put them back into contention.
There’s no reason why the Kings haven’t flourished this season, but there’s a long way to go and we’re predicting a much-improved performance on Sunday.
Betting tip: Kings +4.5 @ $1.87 (BET NOW)
Kings by 1