After a round of upsets and only one month away from the finals, Round 16 of the NBL looks to be an intriguing one for fans and punters alike.
It’s literally a case of snakes and ladders this weekend as the Taipans and 36ers game has an impact on the top four and the ladder positions will keep chopping and changing depending on various outcomes.
How will it effect backing a winner this weekend?
We can’t predict the future (if we did we’d clean up Biff Tannen style) but we can find what could lead to a decent fill-up over the weekend of Aussie Hoops.
The NZ Breakers we knew and loved returned last weekend having their five-game winning streak snapped by the Cairns Taipans.
No surprises heading into this match that the Sydney Kings are the hot favourites but the bookies have set the line to -2.5 the King’s way.
The Kings are coming off a solid win over the Taipans by eight points and are now a game clear on top of the NBL ladder, but they’ll want to chalk up the wins to ensure they are top of the pops.
The only reason why the line is short is that this game is being played across the ditch, but the Sydney Kings have established themselves as an “anywhere, anytime” kind of team. Homesickness is not an issue for them.
Don’t fancy the upset in this one, play it safe and back the Kings.
They started their inaugural season in a Gold Coast Blaze of glory, but the South East Melbourne Phoenix sit seventh on the ladder with a record of 9-11 with only eight games remaining.
Time is running out.
The Phoenix got a much-needed win over Illawarra last weekend, but heading to Perth to face the Wildcats on their home court isn’t helping their plight.
Perth has met the Phoenix twice this season and handed them double-digit losses.
The only thing that will keep you watching this game (if it goes to script) is the battle between Mitch Creek and Bryce Cotton.
Wildcats will win and win this easy. Take the 10+ for some value.
Get your calculators out Bullets fans, you can still make the NBL finals if things go to plan.
Sitting sixth on the ladder with a 10-11 record, there are only two games between themselves and the Taipans anything can happen.
Playing the Illawarra Hawks at home will help this plight.
The Bullets are on a six-game winning streak against the Hawks and you should expect it to continue this Saturday afternoon at the venue fondly known as “The Armoury”
With Brisbane the $1.15 favourite in the head-to-head market, it’s best to back the Bullets on margin for value.
Did somebody say “Game of the Round?”
This clash between third (Cairns) and fifth (Adelaide) is set to be a ripper and it’ll be on for young and old at the Snakepit this Saturday night.
The Taipans have a solid record at home this season with only three losses at the Convention Centre.
They also won their most recent game against the 36ers 94-86 back in December, the Taipans go into this the favourite.
Cairns come off a loss to the league leaders the Kings last week, while Adelaide had back-to-back wins over Illawarra and Melbourne United.
The 36ers will take it up to the Taipans in this match but back the home team to get the job done.
Coming off a loss to the Adelaide 36ers last week, Melbourne United head across the ditch needing to win to ensure they remain in the top four.
The NZ Breakers will back it up from Friday night’s game against the Kings which if everything goes to plan will most likely be a loss.
Melbourne United is on a five-game winning streak against the Breakers and with finals hopes on the line, you would expect that to continue.
The Breakers are three games out of fourth place but like Fetch, it simply isn’t going to happen.
The bookies have the Breakers favourite at $1.80, that’s even more reason to back Melbourne United at the $2
If it was make or break time for the South East Melbourne Phoenix in their match on Friday night against the Wildcats, heading over to Sydney to finish the round against the Sydney Kings won’t help their plight either.
If they happen to win both games this weekend then lookout NBL, but to use one of the greatest phrases in the Australian vernacular “yeah, nah.”
The Kings belted them 110-98 when they last met and while it’s a tight turnaround for both teams, you’d expect the league leaders to get the job done in easy in this encounter.