Wed, Nov 29, 3:35pm by Staff Writer
The NBL took a week off last week for FIBA 2019 World Cup qualifiers, with the Australian Boomers securing victories over Chinese Taipei and Japan over the past week.
The NBL returns with six matches spread across five days. The Sydney Kings will be desperate for a victory on Thursday night against Cairns, while Perth will be looking for their first win against the New Zealand Breakers after losing both of their matches so far this season.
On Monday night, Melbourne United will be hoping for consistency after a poor start to the season, where their best performances have been followed by their worst.
Sydney Kings versus Cairns Taipans
Thursday, 30 November 2017 at 7.40pm AEDST
High-profile new recruits Jerome Randle and Jeremy Tyler have done little to catapult the Sydney Kings into contention this NBL season.
The Kings sit at the bottom of the standings and are in desperate need of a moral-boosting win for coach Andrew Gaze and their fans.
With only one win so far in season 2017-18, the Kings will start as $1.38 favourites at Sportsbet, which is bizarre to say the least.
The Taipans beat the Illawarra Hawks last round convincingly and play their best basketball at the Snake Pit in Cairns. Coach Aaron Fearne will be hoping for an away win against the league’s worst team to spark his side who sit mid-table.
Fading the Kings as favourites has been a profitable business for punters over the past season and at such short odds, they offer no value or no appeal to us this week.
A more conservative option would be to take the Taipans +5.5 at $1.90 at Sportsbet, but we are confident the Snakes can win this one outright.
Best bet- Cairns Taipans to win at $3.07 at Sportsbet
New Zealand Breakers versus Perth Wildcats
Friday, 1 December 2017 at 5.40pm AEDST
Two teams at the top of the NBL ladder clash for the first time in three weeks, when the Perth Wildcats visit Auckland to take on the Breakers.
New Zealand got the better of Perth in both of their recent clashes, recording wins in Auckland and in Perth.
The Breakers were propelled in those matches by imports Edgar Sosa and DJ Newbill, as well as New Zealand born revelation Shea Ili.
A host of Breakers players took part in the recent FIBA 2019 World Cup qualifiers and have to travel from New Zealand to Hong Kong and back in the space of a week.
Fatigue could play a big role in this match, with some players from both teams playing three matches in the space of a week.
Perth had less international representatives play last week and will be desperate to atone for their two most recent losses to the Breakers.
In their most recent outing, the Wildcats held Melbourne United to 59 points in Melbourne, testament to their suffocating defence.
This match should be closer to a pick-em, but instead we have the Wildcats as clear underdogs.
They are a great value and situational bet this weekend.
Best bet- Perth Wildcats to win at $2.25 at Sportsbet
Melbourne United versus Illawarra Hawks
Monday, 4 December 2017 at 7.40pm AEDST
Monday night hoops returns in Melbourne with United hosting the Hawks. Illawarra have had an up-and-down season so far, earning some impressive wins as well as some 20-point plus defeats.
The story is similar for Melbourne United, who are the most unpredictable team in the league.
Their last performance against the Perth Wildcats where they were beaten 91-59 was atrocious from United, with all of their stars failing to fire. Casper Ware, Casey Prather and Chris Goulding have yet to work out a game style that suits their styles of play and United are poorer for it.
Hopefully the week off has settled this team and allowed coach Dean Vickerman to try some new offensive and defensive sets in practice.
Given the unpredictable nature of both sides, taking Illawarra with a 6.5-point start appears the best play here.
Best bet- Illawarra Hawks +6.5-point handicap at $1.90 at Sportsbet
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