We’re a month into the new NBL season and the ladder has started to take shape leading into Round 4.
The action is underway in Brisbane on Thursday night and the Bullets will host the 36ers in the first of two games between the clubs in Round 4. The final game of the round also looks like being the best, and Melbourne and Sydney will trade blows on Sunday evening.
Round 4 is underway in Brisbane on Thursday night when the Bullets attempt to pull off another upset over the Adelaide 36ers.
The Bullets snatched arguably the upset of the season so far when they held on to beat the Perth Wildcats in Brisbane last week. It was a terrific performance from the league’s battlers and a repeat of that would be good enough to secure another home win.
The 36ers recorded another smart win on the road over the Cairns Taipans in Round 3, but they were brought back to earth by the Breakers most recently and will be eager to respond to the twenty-point defeat.
At their best, Adelaide really is the better side and they can cover a line currently set at only 3.5 points.
Betting suggests that Friday’s game between the Kings and Hawks in Sydney will be heavy skewed towards the home side.
The Kings have steadily built to the task through the first three weeks of the competition and they sit third in overall standings, with a 2-2 record. A smart win over the Taipans last weekend was probably their best performance to date and with more improvement, they’ll be a real handful for the hit-and-miss Hawks.
Illawarra are still favourites for the spoon this season and their inconsistency is probably what is going to cost them a finals berth, though there is still plenty of regular season remaining. They recorded a smart win over the Bullets last weekend and went within six of the reigning champions Melbourne, most-recently.
I give the Hawks a better chance in this than head-to-head betting does, and I think that they can finish within a six-point line.
The Wildcats will look to extend their lead in overall standings at the expense of the Breakers on Saturday.
Perth have been in particularly devastating form through the first three weeks of the new NBL season, but suffered their first, perhaps shock defeat to the Bullets in Brisbane last Thursday. They responded with a smart win over Melbourne United at home and are justifiable favourites for a repeat of that performance.
The Breakers have notched two wins and as many losses so far this season and remain comfortably in touch with the top four. They are generally far more effective at home than on the road, and they enter this game off the back of a smart win over the 36ers in New Zealand.
I think that Perth will be winning but regardless, both teams are prolific points scorers and a big total looks likely.
Melbourne United are offered another great opportunity at points when they travel to the Snake Pit on Saturday evening. The reigning champions have well and truly warmed to the task and they enter Round 4 second overall, with a 3-2 record.
The Taipans are yet to make much of an impression and they are languishing in last place heading into this game. They were comfortably defeated by both Adelaide and Sydney last week and face another big task in the form of Melbourne.
Melbourne really should be winning this one and a line set at only three points looks very achievable.
In a reverse of Thursday night’s round-opener, the 36ers will host the Bullets on Sunday afternoon.
We’ll obviously have a better gauge on what to expect here after their first meeting, but it’s difficult imagining the 36ers struggling too much at home, and against a reasonably lowly opponent. The line is currently set at 5.5 points and I am happy to take that early.
This could be the game of the round and all focus will be on Hisense Arena on Sunday evening when Melbourne square off with Sydney. Both clubs have live claims on this season’s championship and there’s always a bit of extra ‘feel’ involved when Sydney and Melbourne clubs meet.
Both United and the Kings will be in action earlier in the round and I’m happy to watch both games before settling on my bets, but the Kings do look over the odds in head-to-head betting.