Wed, Nov 22, 6:08pm by Staff Writer
This week the NBL takes a break for FIBA World Cup qualifiers, with Australia hosting Japan on Friday night in Adelaide and New Zealand hosting Korea on Thursday night in Wellington.
After seven weeks of the 2017-18 NBL season, all teams have played at least 10 matches, except the Brisbane Bullets who have played nine.
At the top of the table, the New Zealand Breakers have a league best record of 9-1. Recent back-to-back wins against the Perth Wildcats has helped solidify the Breakers as a premiership contender once again.
The standout players so far for the Breakers have been imports Edgar Sosa and D.J. Newbill, as well as Kiwi-born revelation Shea Ili.
Despite their early season dominance, the Breakers are second favourites in the outright NBL market at Sportsbet.
The Breakers are paying $4.50 to win the 2017-18 competition, which would be their first since the 2014-15 season.
The reigning champion Perth Wildcats have had a solid start to the season after a disastrous beginning to their 2016-17 campaign.
The Wildcats are 7-3, with two of their three losses coming recently against the Breakers.
Import JP Tokoto has been a star for Perth at both ends of the floor so far this season. The Wildcats are favourites to make it back-to-back titles and are $3.60 favourites at Sportsbet.
After a much-hyped offseason where they were pre-competition favourites, Melbourne United have disappointed through 10 matches.
United are 5-5 and have not been able to find any consistency with their play. They have lost a number of games on the road, and their home form hasn’t been much better with double digit losses to New Zealand and Perth.
At $4.50 at Sportsbet to win the title, United will need a big surge in form to justify such a price.
The Adelaide 36ers sit third on the table at 5-5. After a blistering start to the season, the 36ers have slowed down offensively and will be looking to pick up their fast-paced tempo post international break.
The 36ers are $7 to win the 2017-18 title at Sportsbet, which would be their first since the 2001-02 season.
The Illawarra Hawks are the wildcard in this seasons title race with a long way still to go.
At 5-6, the Hawks started the season poorly and have been wildly inconsistent. If they can get regular production from their starters, then this team is a chance to beat anyone in the competition.
They are $10 at Sportsbet to add to their single NBL title from the 2000-01 season.
Despite owning a league-worst 2-9 record, the Sydney Kings are $18 at Sportsbet to win the title this season.
New imports Jerome Randle and Jeremy Tyler has given Kings fans a glimmer of hope that their season is salvageable, with coach Andrew Gaze clearly trying his hardest to get the most out of his charges.
The Queensland duo of Cairns and Brisbane are both $21 to win the title this season and are the two longest teams odd-wise to triumph.
Cairns have a 5-6 record and a strong home-court advantage. The Bullets have been disappointing at 3-6 and are more likely to win the wooden spoon than make the finals in all honesty.
2017-18 NBL outright odds
Perth Wildcats $3.60
New Zealand Breakers $4.50
Melbourne United $4.50
Adelaide 36ers $7
Illawarra Hawks $10
Sydney Kings $18
Cairns Taipans $21
Brisbane Bullets $21
*Odds provided by Sportsbet
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