Taipans, Hawks beat the book­ies

The Weekend Post - - Sport - JOR­DAN GERRANS

THE smaller mar­kets of Cairns and Illawarra as well as their fans that fol­low them with their wal­lets are the big win­ners of the NBL sea­son.

It seems just like yes­ter­day the book­mak­ers were spruik­ing the Taipans and Hawks mas­sive odds to qual­ify for the NBL fi­nals and play for the 2016-17 cham­pi­onship.

The teams from the re­gional ar­eas were given lit­tle or zero hope of com­pet­ing against the big-spenders of Mel­bourne, Syd­ney and the like.

If you do not re­mem­ber the now in­fa­mous odds, the TAB in­stalled the Taipans at $34 to cut the nets down at the end of the sea­son dur­ing pre-sea­son while UBET has the Taipans favourites in the Least Wins mar­ket at $1.65.

The Hawks rated lit­tle bet­ter, $13 with UBET to win the ti­tle and $10 with the TAB.

Hawks coach Rob Beveridge la­belled those sug­ges­tions “ab­so­lute rub­bish”.

“It is re­ally in­ter­est­ing that they have tipped Cairns to come last and us sec­ond last,” Beveridge said in the pre-sea­son.

“I have never met these peo­ple, never heard of them and they have never been at one of our train­ing ses­sions.

“It puts the pres­sure on Mel­bourne, Syd­ney and Perth in the NBL and lets us and Cairns go about our busi­ness.

“Aaron Fearne and I are pretty happy about it.”

Taipans boss Mark Beecroft was not too wor­ried in the pre­sea­son also, declar­ing he did not think the bet­ting odds were a good as­sess­ment.

Fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of Round 19 on Sun­day night, there is a strong chance both Cairns and Illawarra will be in­cluded in the last four in what must be con­sid­ered a big win for the lit­tle guys.

PUN­TERS and book­ies are giv­ing the Cairns Taipans zero hope to make the play­offs in the NBL 2016/17 sea­son and be­lieve they may as well pick up the dreaded wooden spoon now.

One book­maker said the Snakes have no depth and bas­ket­ball fans in the Far North are in for a long sea­son.

The Aaron Fearne-coached club are at the op­po­site end of where you would want to be at this time.

The Taipans are the short­est priced team to win the least game­sand the long­est odds to win the ti­tle.

And they aren’t even close to ri­vals in the cham­pi­onship de­part­ment. FLASH­BACK: How the Cairns Post re­ported the odds on Septem­ber 6, 2016 NO Pun­ters reckon Taipans are set to sim­ply make up the num­bers in NBL JOR­DAN GERRANS BAS­KET­BALL JOR­DAN. GERRANS@ NEWS. COM. AU HOOPERS CON­TIN­UED: Page 32

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