Wed, Nov 23, 2:11pm by Jake Equid
Week Seven proved yet again just how even this edition of the National Basketball League is with the two home and away series ending 1-1 and the home team coming out on top on all four occasions.
Sydney losing to Perth in Perth, then beating the Wildcats in Sydney was one. The ladder-leaders head to Melbourne on Friday to face United in a match that the bookmakers are expecting to be closer than the teams win-loss record suggests.
United are 4-7 but defeated Cairns last weekend mainly due to the long-awaited return of Rio Olympian and 2015-16 MVP runner-up Chris Goulding. He certainly wasn’t showing any signs of rust in his 30-point return which included 8-of-12 threes.
Melbourne United are $2 with the Kings at $1.72 for what should be an entertaining contest on Saturday night.
Last weekend’s series between New Zealand and Illawarra was also split between the teams with the Breakers winning in Auckland and the Hawks reversing that in Wollongong, once again pounding home the value of home court advantage.
The Breakers will not have the luxury of a home court this round though as they head to the tropics to face the Cairns Taipans on Sunday.
The home side are a good chance of causing an upset here at $2, they pushed United all the way on Sunday before going down 84-79 while the Breakers ($1.72) were blown off the court by the Hawks (109-78) in their last start.
Next up, the Hawks face the toughest road trip in the league when they head West to take on the reigning vhampions. As discussed, the Wildcats split their series with the ladder-leading Kings last week and their home court form this season has been excellent, winning five of six games.
The Wildcats are $1.53 to keep their home court form going with the Hawks at $2.37. The home side are expected to replace centre Matt Knight with Lucas Walker after the in-form big man seriously injured his shoulder against Sydney.
In a season this even, where any team can beat any other, the home court is proving to be crucial, with Brisbane’s win in Adelaide the only away win last round. In fact across the 42 games so far this season, the home team has won 27 to the away team’s 15.
Those two teams meet again in the opening fixture of this round, where the Bullets ($1.30) are red-hot favourites to make it two wins in a row against the 36ers ($3.20).
If the Sixers are any chance of causing an upset, they’ll have to pay much closer attention to Torrey Craig than they did on Saturday. The 25-year old American had a career-high 34 points.
I’m sticking with the strong home court results, taking Perth to beat Illawarra in front of the red army on Sunday.
Suggested Bet: Perth to beat Illawarra: $1.53
Brisbane Bullets ($1.30) v Adelaide 36ers ($3.20), Brisbane Entertainment Centre, 7:30pm, Thursday 24 November
Melbourne United ($2) v Sydney Kings ($1.72), Hisense Arena, 7:30pm, Saturday 26 November
Cairns Taipans ($2) v New Zealand Breakers ($1.72), Cairns Convention Centre, 3:00pm, Sunday 27 November
Perth Wildcats ($1.53) v Illawarra Hawks ($2.37), Perth Arena, 7:00pm, Sunday 27 November
Sydney Kings ($1.20) v Adelaide 36ers ($4), Qudos Bank Arena, Monday 28 November
All times are Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time*
Odds were sourced by Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
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