Round 18 in NBL24 begins on Thursday night with the Cairns Taipans vs Tasmania JackJumpers. With the competition being so tight as we enter the last couple of rounds, both clubs will be desperate to secure the win. We bring you our full game preview and best bet below!
Also, we’re providing previews and expert betting tips for every game of the NBL24 season, so make sure to head over to our NBL Tips page regularly to keep up to date with all of our content.
NBL24 Round 18 Preview & Betting Tips
Cairns Taipans vs Tasmania JackJumpers
Thursday 7:30pm AEDT, February 1st, Cairns Convention Centre
The Cairns Taipans enter Round 18 outside the top six on the back of a couple of poor performances in recent weeks. They were thoroughly outplayed by the more determined 36ers in their only game last weekend, going down by 17 points in Adelaide. The Snakes have now lost two in a row and five of their past eight games.
A big reason for their lack of success of the last five rounds has been due to injuries in the big man department. This has forced Akoldah Gak to be thrown into the starting lineup as the centre and while he’s shown some great signs as a player for the future, his lack of physicality in the paint has made it tough to get consistent stops.
Similarly, the Tasmania JackJumpers have had their fair share of injuries to frontcourt players this season, with star centre Will Magnay missing a large chunk of NBL24. He’s been unable to play big minutes in recent weeks and that has caused some issues for the JackJumpers in defending the paint. It was evident last outing against the Breakers where they just couldn’t buy a stop in the first half, and while they rallied home admirably in the second half as they always do, the damage had already been done.
Last weekend’s six-point loss to the Breakers made it seven losses from their past 10 games, which is one of the worst 10-game stretches they’ve had as an organisation since their inception a couple of seasons ago. Still, the JackJumpers remain in third spot on the ladder and potentially need just one more min to secure another finals berth.
Match prediction: Although there’s only one win separating these sides on the ladder, the JackJumpers have had their way with the Snakes in recent times. They’ve won each of the past four matchups including a 103-86 win in their most recent clash which was on January 6th.
The contrasting styles of play these teams employ seems to suit the JackJumpers well and I’m somewhat surprised that they’re not shorter in the H2H market here, regardless of their subpar form of late. With that said, I’m happy to take the JackJumpers to win by 3+ points which they’ve managed to do in each of their past four meetings with the Snakes.
Tasmania JackJumpers -2.5
$1.82 (1.5 Units)