Bookmakers are offering attractive odds about each of the eight Australian Big Bash League teams but one suspects that the Twenty20 tournament is less competitive than that.
Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers have been the Australian Big Bash League’s most consistent sides and, consequently, it is unsurprising that bookmakers have them at the head of affairs. The Stars made the semi-finals in each of the first four Australian Big Bash League editions before being the runner-up in last season’s event. The Scorchers qualified for the first four Australian Big Bash League finals, won two of them and were semi-finalists last time out.
Perth has undergone major changes going into the seventh Australian Big Bash League series and one does not fancy its chances. The Scorchers look particularly light in their bowling department having lost Brad Hogg to Melbourne Renegades and they are banking on Mitchell Johnson, who has barely played any competitive cricket since retiring from the international circuit last year, to take cheap wickets.
Of the Australian Big Bash League favourites, Melbourne Stars represents the value at odds of +500 with BoyleSports. The Stars finished last term’s Australian Big Bash League regular season in second place so they deserved to reach the championship game, which they lost to Sydney Thunder by three wickets. The Stars have made zero changes to their rosters for the upcoming Australian Big Bash League tournament that gets under way on Tuesday 20 December and, given the other rosters, one thinks that the glamour team may not need to improve to go one better this time around.
Sydney Thunder’s Australian Big Bash League title defence will be tough without the retired Michael Hussey and Jacques Kallis. Also, the Thunder has a new captain in Shane Watson and one worries that they may not gel under the polarising character. And the Thunder are likely to be without some of their star players at various Australian Big Bash League junctures because of national side commitments.
Adelaide Strikers relied upon Adil Rashid to be its spin king in last term’s Australian Big Bash League but he did not sign on the dotted line this season due to England’s tour of India. Most punters think that Twenty20 cricket revolves around batting but, more often than not, it is bowlers that exert the most influence over matches.
Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers do not rate as Australian Big Bash League title contenders but, if there is an obvious threat to Melbourne Stars, it is the other team from the Victorian capital, Melbourne Renegades. The Renegades have dumped Chris Gayle, the charismatic West Indies blaster who attracts headlines but not trophies, and they have recruited two excellent Australian Big Bash League slow bowlers in Sunil Narine and the ageless Hogg.
Melbourne Renegades is available at odds of +600 with several bookmakers, including William Hill, BoyleSports and Marathonbet to win the Australian Big Bash League. Dutching odds of +500 about Melbourne Stars and odds of +600 about the Renegades produces a bet with odds of +223 . If you want to cover more than one Australian Big Bash League sides then backing both of the Melbourne-based teams is the way to go.
The Australian Big Bash League will start with a Sydney derby between the Thunder and the Sixers. Melbourne Renegades will kick off its Australian Big Bash League challenge at home to the Thunder on Thursday, while Melbourne Stars will not debut until Boxing Day when one’s primary pick will play Hobart Hurricanes in Tasmania.
Dutch Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades
To Win the Australian Big Bash League
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