Round 7 of the NBL represents a good opportunity for all teams to record wins and the action is underway from Thursday night when the Bullets host the Hawks in Brisbane
Friday afternoon’s meeting between the Breakers and Wildcats in New Zealand looks like being the game of the round, while there’s more than just bragging rights on offer when Melbourne and Sydney trade blows on Sunday.
The Bullets have been desperately unlucky to lose their three most-recent games and are offered a great opportunity to return to the winner’s stall against the Hawks on Thursday night.
Two agonizingly close losses to the Wildcats and Breakers in Round 5 were consolidated with another tough loss to the reigning champions last week. The score line at the end of that game did not reflect the Bullets’ overall performance and a repeat of that effort against the Hawks would see them tough to beat.
The Hawks are 3-6 leading into Round 7 and while they have managed a few credible performances of their own, they face another big task in overcoming Brisbane at home.
This looks to be the game of the round and we’re set for a thrilling contest across the ditch on Friday afternoon.
The Breakers enter this game fourth on the ladder and can even up their season to a 5-5 record if they win. They were unable to beat Melbourne and Sydney in Round 6, however and face an even tougher task in containing the current competition leaders.
The Wildcats have ultimately been the league’s benchmark for several seasons and they have absolutely flown the gates this season; recording an impressive eight wins from their first nine games. They are over the odds as outsiders here and are my best bet of the NBL weekend.
Adelaide will attempt to extend a winning run of form when they host the lowly Cairns Taipans on Friday night.
The 36ers recorded a much-needed win over the Hawks at home last weekend and have subsequently risen to fifth in overall standings. It hasn’t been an ideal start to the season for last year’s runners up, but this looms as another great opportunity at a win.
The Taipans have continued to struggle and were delivered another pretty comfortable defeat by the Wildcats in Round 6. The ledger reads 1-7 leading into Round 7 and things simply will not get any easier.
I can’t have the 36ers as short as they are in head-to-head betting, but I think they can cover a line currently set at 5.5 points.
Sparks always fly when a Melbourne team plays a Sydney team and that is sure to be the case at Hisense Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Both clubs have so-far suffered only three losses, but Melbourne have played three games more than the Kings and are second on the ladder as a result. It was business as usual for both in Round 6; two wins from as many games for Melbourne and one easy win for the Kings over the Breakers.
Betting suggests that Melbourne will win reasonably comfortably but I give the Kings a real chance of causing the upset. They can cover a line currently set at only 1.5 points.
Illawarra and Adelaide will square off in the return leg of last weekend’s comfortable 36ers victory, on Sunday afternoon.
This will be the second game for both clubs in Round 7 and obviously, we’ll have a better gauge on what to expect after each takes to the court for the first time.
The 36ers did easily account for the Hawks last weekend, however and it’s tough imagining the home side effectively turning around the 25-point deficit.
In the return leg of Friday afternoon’s game in New Zealand, the Wildcats will get their turn to host the Breakers in the nation’s west.
I’m anticipating the Wildcats will continue their outstanding run of form by winning in New Zealand first-up and if that does eventuate, it’s tough imagining them dropping all the points at home.
I’m happy to take the Wildcats at the line here, which is currently only set at 5.5 points.