One thing is clear after six weeks of the NBL – the New Zealand Breakers are the best team in the league.
The men from across the Tasman won both a home and away series against Perth and despite those two wins and sitting at the top of the premiership, the Breakers are not the favourites with bookmakers.
They look like a great futures bet with bookmakers and they have a light week with only one game against the Bullets.
There are numerous teams under pressure this week and two of them tip off this Thursday night at Illawarra.
7:30pm Illawarra Hawks vs. Sydney Kings
The Hawks seemingly found their groove when beating the 36ers last week, but consistency is something not attributed to their season to date.
Sitting at 4-5 on the season is not where the Hawks thought they would be, but their season should be helped by taking on the struggling Kings this Thursday night.
The Kings are 2-7 on the season after losing to Melbourne United last week and we’re not sure any new import could help their chances.
Bookmakers have underrated the Hawks in the betting and we’ll happily take advantage.
Betting tip: Hawks to win @ $1.65 (BET NOW)
Hawks by 10
7:30pm Brisbane Bullets vs. Perth Wildcats
The Bullets score just their third win of the season last week against the Taipans, but it was a hard-fought victory and they will take plenty from it.
This is the first game of two for the Bullets and playing a double header against the Wildcats and Breakers isn’t something any team wants. They’ll need to play well against Perth at home to have any chance of making a push for the playoffs.
That’s easier said than done against a Perth team which is hurting after dropping a rare home game to the Breakers last week.
Wildcats fans will be sitting a little uneasy at the moment, but the red and blacks have a good mental attitude and we’re expecting a bounce back performance.
Betting tip: Wildcats –3.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Wildcats by 7
5:30pm Adelaide 36ers vs. Sydney Kings
The 36ers were put under the pump by coach Joey Wright last week after losing to the Hawks in a game where they were out-hustled.
Redemption will be on the minds of the 36ers this week as they face the Kings, which are on the quick back up after playing the Hawks on Thursday night.
For the meantime, the 36ers are the $1.56 favourites to win, but we’re expecting that price to shorten, especially if the Kings are to lose on Thursday.
There’s some confidence in the market with the Kings this week, but the 36ers are a championship-ready team which should account for their inferior opposition here.
Betting tip: 36ers –3.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
36ers by 9
7:30pm Cairns Taipans vs. Illawarra Hawks
Cairns may have lost to the Bullets last week, but there was plenty to like about the performance away from home.
They always play much better at home, which could make it awkward for the Hawks in their second game of the week.
It’s tough to weigh this game up, not knowing if the Hawks were able to win their first game this week, but we’re confident the Taipans will win either way.
The big men down low in the post are getting the job done, but teams still need to respect the outside shooters.
It will be a grinding affair, like most games in Cairns, but the home side should be too good.
Betting tip: Taipans to win @ $1.67 (BET NOW)
Taipans by 3
1:00pm New Zealand Breakers vs. Brisbane Bullets
The Breakers are the shortest-price favourites of the week and it’s not hard to see why.
They have won their last eight games to sit at the top of the NBL ladder and they are showing no signs of slowing down.
Consecutive victories against the Wildcats last week have put them in the driver’s seat this season and there are no holes in what looks to be a complete side.
Facing the Bullets should be an easy task for the Breakers. They don’t bring anything that the Breakers haven’t seen this season and point guard Travis Trice looks second billing to Sosa.
Punters are expecting an easy win on home soil.
Betting tip: Breakers –7.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Breakers by 12
3:00pm Melbourne United vs. Perth Wildcats
This is the marquee game of the week as a top two position could be on the line for both sides.
United is coming off an indifferent week which included a 92-69 loss to the Taipans, but they rebounded with a 108-90 win over the Kings.
The problem is that they don’t play well against good defensive teams and the Wildcats love their defence.
Also struggling to show some consistency, the Wildcats’ season took a hit last week with losses to the Breakers and both games this week are coming away from home.
This should be a close game, but we can’t overlook the Wildcats’ ability to shut down good offences and Melbourne haven’t been playing overly well so far.
Betting tip: Wildcats to win @ $2.25 (BET NOW)
Wildcats by 5