NBL

The Cairns Post - - SPORT -

THERE will be some ex­tremely short-priced favourites in the NBL this week­end and none shorter than the peren­nial pow­er­house Perth Wild­cats. The Wild­cats will take on Cairns in Perth on Sun­day af­ter­noon and they are $1.22 favourites while $4.30 is avail­able for a Taipans upset. This is the short­est that a team has started in the NBL this sea­son and there is an ar­gu­ment to be made that Perth should be wound in fur­ther given the Wild­cats won seven games in a row be­fore Round 8 started and Cairns have lost their past eight. The Ade­laide 36ers are $1.33 to beat the Illawarra Hawks ($3.35) in the sec­ond game on Sun­day and Mel­bourne United are the same price to take care of the Bris­bane Bul­lets on Mon­day. Eas­ily the most com­pet­i­tive bet­ting match of the week is the en­counter be­tween the New Zealand Break­ers and the Syd­ney Kings. Auck­land’s Spark Arena is no longer the fortress that it once was for the Break­ers. They have lost eight of their past 13 games at the venue and Syd­ney will start $1.80 favourites.

EPL

WE ARE set for one of the big­gest games of the year in the English Premier League this week­end as Chelsea host Manch­ester City in a top-four clash. City have been dom­i­nant over the past cou­ple of months and, even though this game is be­ing played at Stam­ford Bridge, they are $1.87 favourites with Ladbrokes. The Sky Blues have won their past six games by a com­bined to­tal of 22 goals to three and they are yet to lose. Add in the fact that they have won two of their past three at Stam­ford Bridge and it re­ally is tough to bet against the Manch­ester City jug­ger­naut. They are $1.17 fan­cies to win back-to-back ti­tles for the first time in their his­tory.

WBBL

GIVEN the ta­lent pos­sessed by the Syd­ney Six­ers in the women’s Big Bash, their open­ing-round loss to the Mel­bourne Stars was a ma­jor shock. Two-time reign­ing cham­pi­ons with the likes of Ell­yse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Ash­leigh Gard­ner, Dane van Niek­erk and Marizanne Kapp, up against a team in the Stars who have never fin­ished bet­ter than fifth. But pun­ters need not lose faith. While the Perth Scorchers pos­sess more than a cou­ple of match win­ners – Meg Lan­ning and El­yse Vil­lani – the Six­ers are drip­ping with ta­lent. While they have fallen be­hind the Scorchers in the ti­tle mar­ket fol­low­ing the open­ing week, it merely means bet­ter value.

NFL

WE SEE it time and time again in the Aus­tralian foot­ball codes – the new coach bounce. It’s when a long-time men­tor is sacked mid-sea­son and all of a sud­den the new voice in the top job has an im­me­di­ate ef­fect. The Green Bay Pack­ers be­came the sec­ond NFL fran­chise to part ways with their coach mid­sea­son when, after 13 years at the helm, Mike McCarthy was punted fol­low­ing Sun­day’s loss to lowly Ari­zona. The Cleve­land Browns sacked Hue Jack­son after a dis­mal two and a half sea­sons in charge and have sub­se­quently gone 2-2, in­clud­ing back-to-back wins for the first time since 2014. The post-McCarthy era starts for the Pack­ers against the At­lanta Fal­cons on Sun­day, a team who has been al­most as dis­ap­point­ing this sea­son. Green Bay are $1.40 to salute. It helps that the game is at home, against a pretty or­di­nary team and your quar­ter­back is one of the best ever.

BAIL OUT: Six­ers will again be re­ly­ing on Ell­yse Perry. Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

CON­TRAST­ING FOR­TUNES: The in-form Perth Wild­cats and sacked Green Bay Pack­ers coach Mike McCarthy.

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