Round 8 of the 2020-21 NBL season is another busy one with plenty of double-headers on the cards. The NBL Cup is also heating up and is still very much up for grabs for most teams, which should add some extra intensity into the upcoming matchups. Check out our best bets from some of the best Round 8 games below!
Friday 5th March, 7:30pm AEDT
New Zealand Breakers have revived their season with a couple of wins in a row in the NBL Cup. They’ve gotten off to absolute red-hot starts in both wins and a lot of that has to do with their effort on the defensive end, which has led to some great looks on offence for the Webster brothers.
Melbourne United responded from their first loss of the season against the Taipans in great style, reeling off three straight wins to start another impressive streak. United certainly talked the talk in the season build up, but they’ve more than delivered up until this point. They’re now at 9-1 and the scary things about that is they’ve still got Chris Goulding to come into the side once he recovers from injury.
These teams are yet to meet this season, but United have certainly had the wood over the Breakers in recent years and their current situation makes it all the more likely that it will continue. In front of their home fans, expect the ladder-leaders to extend their winning streak to four with a comfortable victory.
Saturday 6th March, 5:30pm AEDT
Adelaide 36ers season is in serious risk of derailment after such a promising start. They’ve lost five of their past six games and have given up 82+ points in each of their last six. To make matter worse, MVP candidate Isaac Humphries is set to miss at least four weeks through injury.
Cairns Taipans have been the most disappointing team this season considering they were a top two title fancy in the lead up to Round 1. In saying that, the season is still relatively young and the Snakes are coming off a gritty win over the Kings that brings them within just two wins of the top four.
Neither team has set the world on fire this season, but it’s hard to ignore the Taipans recent win over the Kings. Mike Kelly made a couple of adjustments to his offensive schemes, keeping Cam Oliver out of the pick-and-rolls and more around the rim and it really opened things up. If they can keep up their intensity in this matchup, then they should prove to be too strong against the undermanned and out-of-sorts 36ers.
Saturday 6th March, 8pm AEDT
SE Melbourne Phoenix made a huge comeback against the Wildcats last start, but their slow start ended up hurting them as they fell one point short in their efforts. Despite the loss, Phoenix’s fight was to be admired, particularly without their star point guard in Keifer Sykes. They dropped to 6-6 on the season but remain inside the top four.
Sydney Kings were down by double-digits at half time in their recent meeting with the Taipans, which proved to be too difficult to overcame as they went onto lose by four points. Casper Ware and Dejan Vasiljevic combined for 60 points, while the rest of the team managed just 32. Getting a good consistent spread of scorers has been a struggle for the Kings all season, which is why they’re on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.
Both teams are coming off narrow losses in their most recent outings and will be looking to bounce back, but it’s Phoenix who are clearly the more likely of the two. They’ve been in great form over their past five games and should be able to negotiate the win with the crowd on their side.
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