Taipans, Hawks beat the bookies
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