The NBL Cup is now in full swing and that means there are games being played on just about every day. Here, The Wolf takes you through some of his best bets for the key games on this weekend!
Brisbane Bullets vs Illawarra Hawks
Friday 26th Feb, 5pm AEDT
The Bullets have had a tough start to the season and come into this game having lost three of their past four by 13+ points. Defence is the main concern for them through eight games as they’ve only kept their opposition to less than 82 points on one occasion. Meanwhile, the Hawks haven’t been at their defensive best in their past two games, but they’ve made up for it on the offensive end where they’re firing on all cylinders. Tyler Harvey and Justinian Jessup are a lethal backcourt and have led their club to an impressive 6-3 start. These clubs have already met twice this season and the Hawks were victorious on both occasions by an average margin of seven points. The Wolf believes they simply have too much firepower for the Bullets and it would be a surprise if they don’t make it 3-0 against them this season with another win on Friday.
The Taipans looked on their way to knocking off Melbourne United in their first NBL Cup game, but a 19-30 last quarter saw them surrender their lead and go onto lose by seven points. Now at 3-7 on the season, every game is an important one for last season’s most improved club. The Wildcats are proving the doubters wrong yet again this season and come into this having knocked off the Kings and United in back-to-back games. John Mooney has been a tremendous find for the Wildcats and was huge last game with 30 points and 16 rebounds. The defending champs are now above .500 at 4-3 on the season and are building into the season nicely. The Taipans have burned The Wolf a few times already this season and it’s starting to look as though they just aren’t a legitimate title contender. They’ve missed DJ Newbill way more than everyone anticipated and his absence has placed even greater responsibility on Scott Machado, who is now their only reliable playmaker. It’s tough to see the Taipans taking down the champs on current form, so back the Wildcats to roll on with another great win.
For some value this round the Wolf is looking to oppose the Breakers on Saturday night. They were absolutely horrible against the Kings on Thursday, particularly in the second quarter where they managed to put just six points on the board. The 36ers are coming off a loss themselves, but at least they dug in against United and made it a respectable margin. Expect the Giddey and Humphries pick-and-roll to give the Breakers all sorts of issues here, leading to a comfortable win for the 36ers.
Leg 1: Illawarra Hawks H2H vs Bullets ($1.62)
Leg 2: Perth Wildcats H2H vs Taipans ($1.81)
Leg 3: Adelaide 36ers H2H vs Breakers ($3.28)