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Value odds & free tips for New Zealand vs. Illawarra, NBL 2016

NBLNew Zealand Breakers vs. Illawarra Hawks. Sunday, January 17, 3.00pm, Vector Arena.

TWO top-four teams clash at Vector Arena in Auckland this Sunday as the third-ranked Illawarra Hawks play the fourth-ranked NZ Breakers.

We’re getting towards the end of the season and the stakes couldn’t be higher , especially for the Breakers, which have lost three straight and the last three against the Hawks. Two of those losses have been by more than 20 points and the Breakers need a win to stay in the playoff hunt.

The Hawks are playing hot, having won 12 from 20 games, but the majority of their wins have come at home and facing the Breakers at Vector Arena is a tough task. Only one win separates these two sides and both teams will be weary of the Adelaide 36ers, which sit on 10 wins and could come closer after their game on Saturday night.

The Breakers will need NBL-leading scorer Corey Webster to fire up after a poor performance against the Hawks on Thursday night. The Breakers will need to turn around consecutive double-digit losses to the Hawks and they will need to find some offensive power to keep up with the likes of Kirk Penny and Kevin Lisch.

Despite losing three straight games for the first time in forever, the Breakers are the favourites to win and loyal punters are hoping home court advantage can make all the difference.

Breakers vs. Hawks betting and recent form

After recording a convincing 87-69 victory at home on Thursday night, we expected the Hawks to open as favourites for this Sunday’s game, but bookmakers are respecting the class and home-court advantage of the Breakers.

New Zealand Breakers – $1.65
Illawarra Hawks – $2.25 at

This head-to-head line should suit punters on both sides of the coin. Breakers’ punters won’t be trigger happy after losing three on the bounce, but the $1.70 is a much better price at home than they’re used to getting.

Bettors of the Hawks will look at the underdog price and snap it up as soon as possible. $2.10 for a team which has recorded three consecutive wins against the Breakers is good value. Their away record isn’t as convincing as their home record, but they possess plenty of talent across the board.

The Hawks have won three of their last five games away from home and their record in New Zealand isn’t overly impressive. That form turned around last game against the Breakers, however, as the Hawks dominated the game to win 107-83.

The Breakers have won the last four from five at home against the Hawks, but have dropped their last two at home. After losing horribly to Illawarra in December, they again lost to Adelaide 81-87 earlier this month. The four-time NBL champs have lost four from their last five overall and a quick turnaround in form will be needed.

Margin betting markets

Margin betting in basketball can be profitable and Sportsbet’s ‘Big Win Little Win’ market is ideal for margin punters.

Punters need to figure out which team will win and by how much. Teams can either win from 1-10 or 11 and over. In the Breakers vs. Hawks game, the 1-10 options are heavily favoured as bookmakers are predicting a tight game.

History tell us this game won’t be close, based on the Breakers poor recent form against the Hawks, but it’s unlikely they will get blown out in front of their home crowd again. The Breakers perform best when they can limit teams on offense and if they can limit former Breaker Kirk Penny to under 18 points, they will go a long way to winning.

Breakers (1-10) – $2.80 at
Breakers (11+) – $3.40
Hawks (1-10) – $3.25
Hawks (11+) – $5.50

We don’t think either team will win by more than 10 points. Backing both teams 1-12 can return a profit, but we think taking Breakers 1-10 at $2.80 is the best option. The Breakers need this win to keep their playoff hopes in tact and we think they can get it done.

NBL 2015/2016 ladder and premiership odds

1. Melbourne United – $3.90 at
2. Perth Wildcats – $3.40
3. Illawarra Hawks – $3.60
4. New Zealand Breakers – $3.60
5. Adelaide 36ers – $14
6. Cairns Taipans – $101
7. Townsville Crocodiles – $251
8. Sydney Kings – $501

If Adelaide win on Saturday night and the Breakers lose on Sunday, the 36ers can force their way into the top four with only a few weeks remaining.

The bookmakers have narrowed it down to a four-team race with the Wildcats the $3.40 favourite, despite losing their last three games. The Hawks and Melbourne United look the best value at

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