The NBL’s best are set to take the court this week following the international break.
All eight teams are featured this week with league-leaders New Zealand stepping out twice and cellar-dwellers Sydney also playing two must-win games.
How will the break affect the teams? We’ll have to find out during what should be another exciting week of Australasia’s best basketball competition.
7:30pm Sydney Kings vs. Cairns Taipans
The bookmakers have the Kings as the demanding favourites despite sitting at 2-9 on the season.
Why are they the favourites? Jerome Randle is a big name in the NBL and he showed last round why he’s a force to be reckoned with.
The Kings did blow a big lead in his first game on the court, but drastic improvement is expected from the Kings now that he has settled.
The Taipans thrashed the Hawks in their last outing and they’re not getting much respect in the betting. They are the better side as their record suggests, but how will they handle the Randle?
That’s the big question and it starts the week off in tricky fashion.
Betting tip: Kings 1-10 @ $2.70 (BET NOW)
Kings by 5
5:30pm New Zealand Breakers vs. Perth Wildcats
The incredible roll of the Breakers continued before the break with consecutive wins over the Perth Wildcats and they play again this Friday evening.
Having scored nine consecutive wins after losing their opening game, the Breakers have picked apart the best teams in the league and defending home court this Friday is a must against the talented Wildcats.
The Wildcats are right on the Breakers’ tail with seven wins for the season – two clear of Adelaide, but a win here would see them edge closer to the league leaders.
Breakers hold favouritism, but this should be a great and close contest.
Betting tip: Breakers to win @ $1.69 (BET NOW)
Breakers by 4
7:30pm Adelaide 36ers vs. Brisbane Bullets
Adelaide has been one of the most inconsistent teams this season and punters have been perplexed by some of their performances.
On the other side of the coin, the Bullets have been trying their hardest to win, but the natural talent just isn’t at the level of the other sides.
Travis Trice has been leading the way for the 3-6 team which has played only nine games this season. He’s going to need to step up even further if the Bullets are going to contend for a playoff spot this season.
Adelaide comes into this game having beaten the Kings convincingly by 15 points and we’re expecting a solid victory in front of a home crowd on Friday night.
Betting tip: 36ers –7.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
36ers by 10
5:30pm Cairns Taipans vs. Sydney Kings
Much like the first game of the week between these two sides, the home side has been favoured, but the Taipans have been treated cautiously by bookmakers.
They are currently $1.65 to beat the Kings in the return visit and the odds will be affected by Thursday night’s game without any doubt.
We’re expecting the Kings to take the opening game which could see their odds shorten, but the Taipans are one of the best home sides in the NBL and we don’t think they would lose two on the bounce after a good rest.
They’re currently 5-6 on the season and they should end this week at 6-7 or better.
Betting tip: Taipans to win @ $1.65 (BET NOW)
Taipans by 7
3:00pm Brisbane Bullets vs. New Zealand Breakers
This is another game where the odds will change depending on the first game of the week, but there’s a distinct advantage with the Breakers regardless.
The New Zealand-based franchise has had no problems with travel this season and there doesn’t look to be a weak link in their team.
Packed with New Zealand international representatives and two exciting American imports, the Breakers don’t seemingly have any weaknesses and that’s a bad sign for every other team.
That includes the Bullets, which have looked good in patches, but the only player we’re impressed by is Travis Trice.
His point-guard play has been stellar, but he can’t carry the entire team and his mates will need to step up.
Betting tip: Breakers -2.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Breakers by 6
7:30pm Melbourne United vs. Illawarra Hawks
Melbourne United remain one of the premier favourites despite being embarrassed against Perth last time on the court.
United were beaten 59-91 in a one-sided display and for some reason the bookies still think the men from Melbourne are going to get the job done.
Expectation seems to be overriding actual court performance for the United squad, but they can make amends with a win over the Hawks in a rare Monday night game.
The Hawks themselves also need to find something on the court after losing 66-87 to the Taipans last time out. Sitting at 5-6 on the season isn’t where coach Rob Beveridge thought they’d would be at this point of the season and there will be pressure to start performing.
The three-point happy team is expected to lose on Monday, but they might go close.
Betting tip: Hawks +6.5 @ $1.92 (BET NOW)
United by 5