Cairns Taipans v New Zealand Breakers – NBL Betting Preview and Prediction
After sorting out their off-court issues, New Zealand Breakers are set to make waves in NBL and start their climb to the top of the standings. That said, they still have a long and tough road ahead of them with their first real test will coming this Friday, when they take a trip to Cairns Convention Centre to clash with Cairns Taipans for the second time this season.
New Zealand Breakers woes
New Zealand Breakers will come into this fixture following a convincing win against Illawarra Hawks, which ended their five-game losing streak. Prior to their win against Hawks last week, Breakers lost all three of their road games against Adelaide (100:117), Perth (77:88) and South East Melbourne (78:101). That said, their home record does not show much stronger numbers, seeing how Breakers lost to Melbourne United (101:104) and Perth (79:84) at the start of November. It goes without saying, Breakers failed to look as strong as they had hoped ahead of this season, but their ambitions to finish top four are still very much alive, seeing how they are four wins short of reaching Melbourne United. Their climb to the top will start this Friday when they reunite with Cairns, who they already defeated at the end of October (93:85).
In regards to Breakers’ most recent fixture against Hawks, the whole Breakers’ squad delivered to secure a much-needed win which returned them on track after a less-than-impressive streak of five consecutive defeats. The said fixture started off with Breakers taking the reins in their own hands as they outscored hawks 28:19 in the first quarter with an impressive 63.2% FG as compared to 40 FG% of Hawks. The second quarter was not much different in terms of which side showed more, as Breakers managed to extend their lead by an additional three points (22:19), meaning they were heading into the second half with a 12-point lead. The balance of power shifted into the other side in Q3, where Hawks managed to reduce the deficit to 10 points (21:19), but fell short in Q4, where Breakers once more came out on top (22:20), thus securing a very confident 91:79 win to re-launch their season.
The top scorer of the night was Henry Sek with 25 points, to which he added one rebound and three assists. For Hawks, it was once again the future superstar LaMelo Ball who impressed by almost finishing the match with a triple-double. He scored 25 points, had 12 rebounds and nine assists. Finn Delany ended the match with a double-double, by scoring 20 points and adding 10 rebounds on top of producing one assist.
Cairns one win short of a playoffs spot
Cairns are entering Friday’s bout with a 5-7 record on the year and 3-2 in their last five. Looking back at last five fixtures, Cairns lost to Hawks (91:101), defeated both Brisbane Bullets (94:85) and Perth (91:84), lost the next one against Hawks in overtime (106:114) and won their last weeks’ bout with Melbourne United (93:86). While it’s safe to say Cairns are not seen as one of the top teams in the league, we can’t help but praise them for their results so far. As a team that does not have the finances like some stronger teams, Cairns are holding on very well and are now only one win short of reaching a playoff spot. That said, they still need to avenge their defeat against Breakers this Friday after losing 85:93 at the end of October at Spark Arena.
Cairns’ most recent fixture came last Friday when they met with Melbourne United in what was expected to be a fairly easy win for United, yet Cairns had other plans. The fixture started as expected, with United claiming a six-point lead by the end of the first quarter (26:20), but fell short in the second when Cairns put up a show, shot with 58.8 FG% and outscored Melbourne United by nine points (27:18). The third quarter continued in the same fashion, with Cairns adding nine more points to their lead (22:13) with yet another strong display in the attack (47.1 FG%) and even better display in the defense, by keeping United at only 26.3 FG%. In the fourth and last quarter, United turned on their jets and reduced the gap to single digits, but ran out of time to claim a win. The match ended with the final score showing 93:86, which was a well-deserved win for Cairns, who will look to keep their flame going heading into Friday’s bout.
Cameron Oliver was the man of the match with 26 points, 13 rebounds and one assist to his name. This teammate, D.J. Newbill scored 19 points, to which he added three rebounds and two assists, which was just as much as Melbourne United SG Chris Goulding who added three rebounds and four assists to his 19 points. Other notable performances came from Shawn Long who ended the match with a double-double with 16 points, 14 rebounds and two assists and Manny Machado who scored 17 points, added four rebounds and 10 assists.
Verdict & Prediction
Last time Cairns met with Breakers, they suffered a crushing defeat (85:93), yet things are expected to change here. Not only will Cairns play this match on their home court, but they have also shown much more in recent weeks as compared to Breakers. While New Zealanders finally fixed their internal issue, which sparked a slight improvement in their on-court performances, they will in our eyes still need some more time to get the wheels going after suffering six consecutive defeats prior to their win against the struggling Hawks.
Cairns really showed up in their clash with Melbourne United, where the whole team played very well, seeing how four out of their five starters ended the match with double figures. If Cairns can put up a similar display here, there is no reason to believe they can’t defeat Breakers. Neither team have reported any new absentees for this match, so expect them both to be in full strength.
Prediction: Cairns Taipans -4.50 Points
Odds: 1.93 SBOBET