Thu, Dec 14, 10:25am by Staff Writer
The Perth Wildcats and New Zealand Breakers continue to be the pace setters in the 2017-18 NBL season. The Wildcats recorded two wins last weekend, while the Breakers had one win and a narrow loss to Adelaide on Sunday night.
Melbourne United continue to produce erratic basketball, getting blown out my Cairns on Saturday night, before a dominant win over the Sydney Kings on Monday night.
The Kings are clearly the league’s poorest performing team, losing both of their matches last weekend, including to the lowly Brisbane Bullets.
The Adelaide 36ers and Cairns Taipans continue to put pressure on the top two teams, while the Illawarra Hawks are ravaged by injury and looking to grind out a win any way they can.
Cairns Taipans versus Brisbane Bullets
Thursday, 14 December 2017 at 7.40pm AEDST
The Cairns Taipans will be seeking revenge on their intra-state rival after the Bullets have beaten the Taipans twice already this season in Brisbane.
Playing at the Snake Pit in Cairns will be a completely different proposition for the Bullets, as the Taipans have shown they can beat anyone on their home court this season.
They already boast wins against Melbourne United and the Perth Wildcats at home, as well as a narrow, buzzer-beating loss to the New Zealand Breakers.
The Bullets are in the midst of a long stretch of road games, where they will play eight of their next 10 fixtures on the road, including last weekend’s two road games in New Zealand and Sydney.
With a trip to Perth also on the fixture list for this weekend, the Bullets will do well to hang in this contest. Cairns’ defence and three-point shooting should be too much for the Bullets to overcome.
The current handicap on offer for Cairns is very generous and we will be taking it in spades.
Best bet- Cairns Taipans to cover the 2.5-point handicap (-2.5) at $1.90
Illawarra Hawks versus Melbourne United
Saturday, 16 December 2017 at 7.40pm AEDST
The Illawarra Hawks have been beset by injuries, particularly in their forwards and centres. Demitrius Conger and A.J. Ogilvy have both missed time over the past three weeks, shifting the bulk of the scoring load onto guard Rotnei Clarke.
The Hawks were gallant in their most recent performance against the Perth Wildcats, but import Bryce Cotton put on a show, scoring 38 points to dominate the contest.
It has been the same story for Melbourne United all season. A win has been followed by an awful loss, and then another win.
Consistency is what Melbourne United fans are seeking and the team has the perfect opportunity to string together consecutive wins against an undermanned Hawks team.
Chris Goulding was coming off a dreadful 0/6 performance against Cairns before turning it on against the Sydney Kings. The challenge is for United to perform against a higher-calibre team.
We believe that they will, given the Hawks’ lack of depth in this match.
Best bet- Melbourne United to win at $1.90
Sydney Kings versus Cairns Taipans
Sunday, 17 December 2017 at 3.10pm AEDST
The Sydney Kings have another chance to salvage their season on Sunday afternoon when they host the Cairns Taipans.
The Kings are priced at a ridiculously low $1.37 for this clash against a Cairns team that is more than capable of knocking off the bottom placed Kings.
Sydney has shown an inability to defend with any sort of intensity this season, allowing opposition teams to dictate the pace of play at the offensive end.
New imports Jerome Randle and Jeremy Tyler have added offense to this team, but have done little defensively.
This is a value play based on the fact that Cairns did beat Sydney just a fortnight ago and narrowly lost to a red-hot shooting Kings at this same arena three weeks ago.
Cairns will keep it close so a play on the handicap is there for conservative bettors, but we believe Cairns have what it takes to make it two from two this weekend.
Best bet- Cairns Taipans to win at $3.07
NBL week 10 odds
Cairns $1.65 Brisbane $2.25
New Zealand $1.56 Adelaide $2.44
Perth $1.18 Brisbane $4.95
Illawarra $1.90 Melbourne $1.90
Sydney $1.38 Cairns $3.07
*Odds at Sportsbet
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