The cream is rising to the top in the Big Bash League. The Strikers are firming as the team to beat as they stand clear on top of the BBL05 ladder with two rounds to go. The Scorchers and the Stars are starting to purr as they look set to reach the finals and it feels that the title will come down to one of those three teams. The Thunder are on the slide and the vulnerable team in the top four, but fortunately for them, the Hurricanes are also performing terribly and are unlikely to do enough to pinch that fourth spot. The Renegades also appear out of contention now with more attention on the off-field antics of Chris Gayle hitting on Mel Mclaughlin in a post-innings interview than their efforts on the field.
After a disappointing Round 5, we bounced back nicely with a clean slate with our BBL05 Round 6 tips to take us to a nice 12-5 win-loss record for +9.86 units of profit. We want to keep that momentum throughout the final rounds of the season. Here’s our BBL05 Round 7 betting tips:
BBL05 Overall Profit/Loss: +12.93 units (15-6) (updated 14th Jan)
Blundstone Arena, Sunday January 10th 4:20pm AEDST
The Hurricanes blew an opportunity to secure a top four spot after two horrific performances in their last two games against the Renegades and then the Stars. They have been so consistently inconsistent; it must be driving the purple army mad! Their team is just not living up to their potential and now their most consistent batsman, George Bailey, is off on national ODI duties. Michael Hill has been named in the squad as a replacement. It will mean that Ben Dunk, Tim Paine and Kumar Sangakkara have to assume the scoring responsibilities at the top of the order. Dan Christian has been a shining light this season and might move up to bat at number four to continue to ride his luck and form.
Darren Sammy has been very disappointing, and rarely contributing with either bat or ball, while you would think that Jake Reed is a certain inclusion after strangely missing last match.
Because of their horrible net run rate, the Hurricanes have left themselves the herculean task of having to defeat the top two teams on the ladder to reach the finals which is hugely disappointing for those (like us) who have backed them to go deep.
Meanwhile the Scorchers are hitting their straps at the right time of the season. Besides a couple of blemishes against the Strikers, which is proving to be understandable, they have been superb against all other opposition.
They will lose Shaun Marsh and Joel Paris to the national side, but regain Adam Voges. Paris is a big loss as he’s been very effective with the ball, and proved that he can also hold a bat, but the Scorchers have the depth to cover his loss. Michael Carberry will also likely be included to bolster their batting line up. Ashton Agar proved his worth as a potential all-rounder with an excellent innings against the Thunder, but I genuinely hope he continues to work on his bowling because he could be very useful as a spinner and number six batsman for Australia in the years to come.
Cameron Bancroft was the other shining light against the Thunder as he showed the country why the Australian selectors have been so keen on him. He certainly looks to have all the shots.
Odds: Hobart Hurricanes ($2.10) vs Perth Scorchers ($1.73) at Sportsbet
Verdict: The Scorchers are on the end of a tough road trip around the country, and considering the poor form of the Hurricanes, it seems perfect for them to deliver the unexpected and cause an upset here. But I can no longer back the Canes, so the Scorchers look a good price to me.
Bet: Perth Scorchers to win at $1.73 at Sportsbet – 1 unit
SCG, Sunday January 10th 7:25pm AEDST
A battle for the wooden spoon will see the Sydney Sixers host the Brisbane Heat as the second match of the double header this Sunday.
The Sixers have struggled for most of the season with injuries really hurting their chances of reaching the finals. Moises Henriques was the vital loss that has exposed holes in their batting and options with their bowling. Ed Cowan has performed admirably as his replacement with the bat, but he’s just not as dangerous as Henriques.
However things got even worse this week as fill-in skipper Nic Maddinson ruled out after injuring an ankle during a gym session. Brad Haddin has been named in the squad but he’ll have to prove his fitness from a groin strain. There will be huge reliance on Haddin, as well as Michael Lumb and Jordan Silk, to make a score as their batting looks very vulnerable.
The Sixers will be happy to have Nathan Lyon back into the mix for the rest of the season to give some depth to their bowling, especially at home at the SCG. Ben Dwarshuis has shown he can swing the ball, while Doug Bollinger has tried hard, but they need more from Jackson Bird who has been pretty ordinary this season.
The Heat have improved throughout the season and are certainly no easy beats despite being on the bottom of the ladder and out of the finals race. They’ve relied so heavily on Chris Lynn who has been awesome, but Jimmy Pierson is finding some form at the top of the order, and Joe Burns will be back from Test duties which really strengthens their line up. Throw in Nathan Readon and Ben Cutting and they are a dangerous batting side.
However only two Heat bowlers have more than one wicket for the season which underlines their lack of ability with the ball. Samuel Badree appears the only quality bowler. The Heat have done the right thing and dropped the under-performing Mark Sketetee for rookie leg spinner Mitch Swepson. Might as well play the extra spinner and try something different with their bowling attack.
Odds: Sydney Sixers ($1.80) vs Brisbane Heat ($2.00) at Sportsbet
Verdict: The Sixers are severely undermanned and with Maddinson out of their side, I am surprised they are favourites. The Heat have a far superior batting line up, and everythough their bowling is terrible, the Sixers don’t have a dangerous batting line up to punish them. Happy to make a play on the Heat to win well as our best of the round.
Bet: Brisbane Heat to win at $2.00 at Sportsbet – 2 units
Spotless Stadium, Monday January 11th 7:40pm AEDST
The Thunder host the Renegades at Spotless Stadium in a vital match for the finals hopes of both teams. The Renegades will need to win their last two games and have things go right with other results, while the Thunder have their fate in their own hands.
The Thunder are one of the rare teams to benefit from the Australian ODI squad announcement. They didn’t lose any players and they regained Usman Khawaja who has been in superb form this summer. In his only BBL match this season he scored a scintillating century, and if Mike Hussey misses this match again through injury, then Khawaja’s inclusion is all the more important. Hussey has been named in the squad and has reportedly passed a fitness test, but you’d think they won’t be taking any risks with him to ensure he’s right for finals.
They made the interesting decision to leave out Gurinder Sandhu from their last match against the Scorchers which was a real statement as to the high standards they now expect at their club. It put a lot of pressure on their array of all-rounders but you’d have to say it didn’t work. Andrew McDonald is well past his best and Chris Green doesn’t seem quite ready as a batsman or a bowler at this stage.
Fortunately Andre Russell continues to be the recruit of the season, with contributions with bat and ball, while Jacques Kallis and Shane Watson are bowling plenty of useful overs. Clint McKay is also one of the leading wicket takers this season which has been a great positive for the Thunder this season.
The Renegades lost their second derby clash with the Stars to leave them with a poor 2-4 win-loss record with two matches to come. They missed Aaron Finch at the top of the order against the Stars, with Tom Cooper failing in the role. Tom Beaton batting as low as seven was a big mistake as he is one who has shown some potential this season. They need to get him up the order. With Cooper opening, Peter Neville at four and Aaron Ayre batting at six, their once mighty batting suddenly looks a little frail. They mustered 155 against the Stars, and as we’ve seen all season, they just don’t have the weaponry with the ball to defend totals.
Nathan Rimmington was missed in the last match and he’ll come back into the squad for this contest but it’s going to be tough for them to contain a powerful Thunder line up.
Odds: Sydney Thunder ($1.68) vs Melbourne Renegades ($2.15) at William Hill
Verdict: The Renegades will be desperate but they are outmanned and on the Thunder’s home turf so it’s a big ask. The Thunder should be able to secure a finals berth with a solid win here.
Bet: Sydney Thunder to win at $1.68 at William Hill – 1 unit
Adelaide Oval, Wednesday January 13th 7:10pm AEDST
After a rare night off from Big Bash (wtf?) we head to the Adelaide to see the Hurricanes take on the Strikers.
The Hurricanes’ BBL05 season is (probably) now over after losing to the Scorchers on Sunday afternoon with this match their last of the season. It’s mathematically possible to make finals depending on other results but they would need a miracle. They will be bitterly disappointed to go down to the Scorchers by just one run, but it’s been that sort of season (again) for these perennial underachievers.
The biggest disappointments have been their imports in Kumar Sangakkara and Darren Sammy. Sangakkara was one of the best batsmen in the world, but he has constantly found new ways to get himself out this series, and is yet to make any meaningful contribution to the team. Sammy had his chance for glory in the final over against the Scorchers but fell one run short. Some say he should’ve been batting higher, but he really just hasn’t offered enough with the bat or ball to be considered a success.
The purple army really need a rethink on the BBL blueprint or perhaps their own culture if they are to seriously challenge for the title in future.
On the other hand, the Strikers have built a list that is full of young, dynamic cricketers and T20 specialists and it’s proving to be a winning formula. They are on top of the table, for the second season in a row, which is a huge achievement for a team that many didn’t have in the finals hunt. They won’t want to drop this match against a Hurricanes side who have nothing to lose, as the Strikers will be eyeing off a home semi-final and a chance for redemption from last year.
Odds: Adelaide Strikers ($1.67) vs Hobart Hurricanes ($2.20) at Luxbet
Verdict: The Hurricanes may experiment if their season is over by this point, but either way, the Strikers should account for them comfortably. They have yet to be challenged at home and can’t see it happening here.
Bet: Adelaide Strikers to win at $1.67 at Luxbet – 2 units
Follow Mr.Cricket on Twitter at @MrCricketBYB
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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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