|Cairns Taipans vs Illawarra Hawks NBL Betting Odds and Game Info|
|NBL betting odds||Taipans $2.60 at Bet365 | Hawks $1.61 at Sportsbet|
|When||Saturday, February 20 at 3pm AEST|
|Where||John Cain Arena – Melbourne, Victoria|
|Watch live||Foxtel, Kayo, SBS On-Demand|
Cairns Taipans vs Illawarra Hawks NBL betting preview
The NBL moves to Melbourne this week for the inaugural NBL Cup, which includes this season’s third clash between the Cairns Taipans and Illawarra Hawks.
For the first time in NBL history, every team will stay in Melbourne for 18 days of back-to-back double-headers.
Kicking off the proceedings will be the Cairns Taipans and the Illawarra Hawks, who recently reinstated the Illawarra name after surpassing their 2021 membership target.
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Currently sitting second on the NBL ladder, the Hawks have proven tough to beat this season, already putting five wins on the board from their opening seven games.
The Taipans have been far less successful this season, only securing two wins from their eight matches, having already lost twice to Illawarra in rounds one and three.
Not only did the Hawks win both their early matches against Cairns, the margins exceeded 15 points and they kept the Taipans below 80 total points on both occasions.
Can the Taipans turn their season around and win against the Hawks this Saturday?
Cairns Taipans vs Illawarra Hawks NBL betting tips
Justinian Jessup to score 15+ points
Already picked to join the Golden State Warriors in the 2021-22 season, Justinian Jessup is a ruthless competitor that finds effective space on offense and knocks down his shots, shooting threes at a very high 50%. Jessup played two of his best games of the season against the Taipans, and we think he will shoot the lights out again.
Under 174.5 total points
Both the Taipans vs Hawks matches from earlier in the season failed to crack the 170-point mark, with their second clash only totalling 160. This trend is bound to continue since the Taipans are the second-worst scoring team in the league, while the Hawks will be happy to scrap out a third low-scoring victory.
Illawarra Hawks -3.5
With history in mind and the recent growth of the Hawks, it is hard to look past them on this occasion. Illawarra almost beat the undefeated Melbourne United in round five and followed up that great performance with a win against the Sydney Kings – two teams much better than the Taipans.
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