It was a tough round for Big Bash League tipsters in Round 5. After our best bet of the round got home, the next three matches were won by the underdogs as BBL05 continues to throw up plenty of excitement in an even competition.
The Heat got their first win of the season, and may be able to avoid the wooden spoon if the injury-plagued Sixers continue to fall. The Strikers cleared out at the top of the table while the remaining five teams are locked in a battle for the final three spots in the finals with three rounds to go.
The results meant we had our first losing round of the season, but we’re looking to claw our way back this week with our BBL05 Round 6 betting tips.
BBL05 Overall Profit/Loss: +9.86 units (12-5) (updated 9th Jan)
MCG, Wednesday January 6th 7:40pm AEDST
The Melbourne Stars will host the Hobart Hurricanes at the MCG in the first match of Round 6 of the Big Bash League, and it’s a vital clash for the chances of both franchises. It looks like it’s going to be tough to squeeze both of these teams into the finals. As two of the pre-season favourites, it will be a shock if either fall, but the loser of this one will find it tough to recover.
To give us an interesting comparison, both teams are coming off matches against the same opposition in the Melbourne Renegades.
The Stars put in a complete performance to win well in the Melbourne derby. They were led by Luke Wright who finally played an innings we know he’s capable off with a fantastic 109 from just 63 balls to get the Stars home in the last over chasing 161. John Hastings was also a vital inclusion as he recovered from injury to take four wickets with good economy.
This will be the last game for the Stars to have James Faulkner, Scott Boland and Glenn Maxwell available after their call up to the national ODI squad. They are huge losses to replace, so the Stars will want to take advantage of their availability in this game.
In contrast, the Hurricanes were snapped out of a three-game winning streak with a horrid performance against the Renegades. They are just so hot and cold, it’s frustrating to watch. As soon as Tom Cooper was allowed to get away with just two runs off the opening over, you knew that things were not going to go well for the purple army. After going at four an over for ten overs, they did well to get to 140 thanks to a strong innings from Dan Christian, however it was never going to be enough. Their bowlers were slaughtered by Gayle and Finch in a one-sided contest.
Can the Canes get off the canvas and compete with a slick Stars unit?
Odds: Melbourne Stars ($1.67) vs Hobart Hurricanes ($2.20) at William Hill Australia
Verdict: Just when we thought the Hurricanes had turned the corner, they put in a putrid performance to remind us just how unreliable they are. This match is fourth versus fifth so it’s vital to their finals hopes, especially for the Hurricanes who have a horrible net run rate and will probably have to win an extra game to reach the semis.
My tip is the Stars but there’s not enough value in their price to get involved.
Bet: NO PLAY
Spotless Stadium, Thursday January 7th 7:40pm AEDST
An intriguing match greets us on Thursday as the Thunder host the Scorchers. The Thunder are the big improvers this season, winning their first three matches which was already more than any other season. After dropping their last two matches, they come up against the defending champs in a true test of where they are at this season.
Outside of Mike Hussey, the Thunder batsmen just didn’t fire against the Hurricanes. They were better against the Heat making 189, before the rain came to make life difficult with the ball. They were unable to defend that number against a rampaging Chris Lynn in a disappointing loss. Gurinder Sandhu was particularly poor and he really needs to improve his contribution this season to support Andre Russell and Clint McKay.
They are still in good shape this season. They won’t lose any players to the Australian ODI side, and will regain Usman Khawaja after this game for the rest of the season which is a huge plus, especially with injury clouds around Jacques Kallis and Mike Hussey.
They will have to bring their very best against the Scorchers who will be keen to rebound from a poor performance against the Strikers. The Scorchers usually bring a really disciplined bowling performance, but David Willey and Brad Hogg were unusually expensive. They were left to chase 174 which felt gettable, but early wickets saw their middle order exposed for the first time in the tournament. Ashton Agar, Ashton Turner, Cameron Bancroft and David Willey weren’t up to the challenge as they lost wickets regularly to be bowled out for 138 in their worst performance for the season.
Odds: Sydney Thunder ($1.95) vs Perth Scorchers ($1.85) at William Hill Australia
Verdict: A cracking game with the winner securing themselves a spot in the finals, and strengthening their claim for a home semi-final. The Thunder haven’t done much wrong this season – even their two losses were really close. However the Scorchers are still the team to beat this season.
Gabba, Friday January 8th 7:10pm AEDST
The Heat will be rejuvenated after getting their first win of the season, and are looking to make it two in a row against the top of the table Strikers.
On the back of Chris Lynn, the tournament’s leading run scorer, the Heat now have a chance to avoid the wooden spoon if they can close out their final games of the season. Lynn hasn’t had much help at all but Lendl Simmons and Jimmy Pierson did start better in their last game at the top of the order which made a big difference. Joe Burns will also be back from the Test squad but it appears unlikely he’ll be rushed straight into this match. Bowling is still a huge problem for the Heat with no real fire power, so it will be a challenge for them to control the rampaging Strikers batsmen here.
The Strikers knocked off the Scorchers, for the second time this season, so book themselves a spot in the finals. They will be full of confidence and now eyeing off top spot at the end of the season for the second year in a row after being greatly underestimated by most this season. Their success has been thanks to some scintillating batting. Alex Ross and Brad Hodge early in the season, and then more recently Travis Head who is proving to be one of Australia’s rising talents. Even import Mahela Jayawardene got in on the act last match after enjoying a promotion to open the innings. It’s a settled, well rounded line up that is in good form.
With the ball, the Strikers have been well served by Adil Rashid, as well as Ben Laughlin and Kane Richardson who will be missed from this match as he joins the Australian ODI squad.
Odds: Brisbane Heat ($2.10) vs Adelaide Strikers ($1.72) at Bet365
Verdict: The Heat are dangerous, especially at home, but it’s hard to fault the Strikers this season. The Heat are so reliant upon Chris Lynn whereas the Strikers have multiple match winners in good form. The Strikers shouldn’t let this one slip and the price looks favourable for a match between top and bottom on the ladder as our best bet of the round.
Bet: Adelaide Strikers to win at $1.72 at Bet365 – 2 units
Etihad Stadium, Saturday January 9th 7:10pm AEDST
The final match of the round is a rematch of the Melbourne derby, this time on the Renegades’ home turf at Etihad Stadium as they host the Stars. If we evaluate their form lines, both are coming off comprehensive victories against the Hurricanes, so it’s really hard to split them here.
Both teams will feel the pinch of losing their best players to the Australian ODI squad. For the Renegades it’s a huge hole with skipper Aaron Finch getting the call up. He’s one of the leading run scorers in the competition this season and virtually impossible to replace so it will put a lot of pressure onto Chris Gayle at the top of the order. Matthew Wade is also out, but Peter Neville will come back as a near like-for-like replacement. Test bowlers Peter Siddle and James Pattinson won’t be considered for selection but Chris Tremain has been excellent this season while Xavier Doherty was back to his best last match.
The Stars will also be hurting with Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner and Scott Boland involved in the Australian ODI squad. That will no doubt expose some of the younger players in their squad to stand up and fill the holes. We’ve seen Peter Handscomb enjoy doing that in the past, while David Hussey will be itching to make an impact. The good news for the Stars is that Luke Wright is back in form at the top of the order. He’s a devastating T20 batsman at his best, so it will take some pressure off the middle order if he can continue to fire.
Ben Hilfenhaus is an experienced replacement for Scott Boland with the ball, while John Hastings and Adam Zampa have both been bowling well. They will want to desperately get Gayle early to give themselves a great chance of victory.
Odds: Melbourne Renegades ($2.00) vs Melbourne Stars ($1.80) at Bet365
Verdict: The Renegades will be happy to be back on their home turf but the Stars are starting to look really good this season. Both will feel the pinch at losing key players, but I feel the Stars can cover their losses better. Finch is such a key player for the Renegades to lose so I feel the value is with the Stars in what should be a close contest.
Bet: Melbourne Stars to win at $1.80 at Bet365 – 1 unit
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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