Round 8 of the NBL spans five days and seven games in total and is underway in Sydney on Thursday night when the Kings lock horns with the league-leading Wildcats.
There’s plenty of good opportunities for all eight clubs in Round 8 and there’s plenty of value to be found in betting for all seven fixtures.
SYDNEY KINGS VS PERTH WILDCATS
Round 8 is underway with a bang when the Kings host the Wildcats in Sydney on Thursday night. This is first versus third and the result could play a key role in who plays who come regular season’s end.
The Kings were desperately unlucky not to take the win away from Melbourne in their solitary Round 7 game, but they are still well and truly in striking range of top spot after a glittering few weeks.
The Wildcats have still suffered only one defeat all season and enter Round 7 with an outstanding 10-1 record. A win in New Zealand on Friday was franked when they returned home and turned around a 15-point third-quarter deficit the again beat the Breakers by five points.
I can’t see why the Wildcats have been priced as outsiders and I am more than happy to continue riding their wave of form.
CAIRNS TAIPANS VS ILLAWARRA HAWKS
It’s a battle of the cellar-dwellers when Cairns host Illawarra at the Snake Pit on Friday evening and it looms as a terrific opportunity for both teams to record a rare win.
Things have gone from bad to worse for the Taipans, who have still managed only one win from their first nine games. They were easily accounted for by the 36ers in Adelaide last week and face another big task in the Hawks.
The Hawks were easily beaten by the Bullets in Brisbane last week, but they’ve managed a few good performances in recent weeks and are probably unlucky not to be sporting a better record than 4-7. Their most-recent win over Adelaide was outstanding and a repeat of that performance would see them winning this game. I think they are a better team than Cairns and I am happy to take the $2.25 currently on offer in head-to-head betting.
BRISBANE BULLETS VS MELBOURNE UNITED
One of the better games in Round 8 looks like materialising when the Bullets host Melbourne United in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon.
The Bullets resurgence has been outstanding, and they have climbed into the top four for the first time in a long time. The absolutely dismantled the Hawks at home in last week’s opener and they were desperately unlucky not to win any of their three prior games.
Melbourne snuck away with all the points with a close win over the Kings last weekend and have consolidated their position second in overall standings. That was their fourth-consecutive win and they will be confident of continuing that run of form past the league’s newest club.
In Brisbane I give the Bullets a real chance of winning, and they can certainly cover a line currently set at 4 points.
NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS VS SYDNEY KINGS
We’re set for a terrific contest early on Sunday afternoon when the in-form Kings travel to New Zealand to take on the Breakers.
It was a tough weekend for the Breakers in Round 7 as they were ultimately outclassed on two occasions by this outstanding Perth Wildcats team. What was particularly demoralising for the Breakers was that they let slip a 15-point lead in the second half of the return leg to lose by five. They return home with their tails between their legs but will need to find a good performance if they are to beat the Kings.
Sydney were unlucky to drop their only game of Round 7 to Melbourne, but they remain third in overall standings and with plenty of scope to climb back up the ladder.
This is yet another occasion this week that I am happy to back the away side as outsiders.
ADELAIDE 36ERS VS ILLAWARRA HAWKS
The 36ers and Hawks will square off for the second time in as many weeks in Adelaide on Sunday afternoon.
The Hawks produced arguably their best performance of the season to comfortably put away the 36ers last week and they will be confident of repeating that result here. This will be their second appearance in Round 7 and I am confident that they will be looking down the barrel of three on the trot when they step out here.
Adelaide were impressive winners over Cairns in Round 7 but simply could not keep up with the Hawks. They result saw them leapfrogged by the Bullets and they will be eager to respond with a win and return to the top four.
This 36ers side has been pretty inconsistent so far and I’m not sure they’re good enough to turn around an eleven-point deficit on the Hawks. The line looks an extremely manageable feat for the road team.
PERTH WILDCATS VS CAIRNS TAIPANS
It will be first versus last when the high-flying Wildcats host the struggling Taipans in the nation’s west on Sunday evening.
There is daylight between these two clubs this season and it could prove to be an extremely long night at the office for the North Queensland side.
This will be the second game for both clubs in Round 8 and I think that they line, currently set at 7.5 points still looks a pretty easy task for Perth.
In the return leg of Saturday night’s fixture in Brisbane, the Bullets will travel south to face Melbourne on Monday, which looms as a far tougher task.
Obviously, plenty will hinge on Saturday’s result and if the Bullets can take the points, there might be a case to be made for them in head-to-head betting here.
The Bullets have been pretty competitive recently and the line does look pretty generous at 7 points.