The 10th Big Bash League season is upon us, ready to light up another Australian summer. But with international duty and quarantine requirements muddying the punting waters, who are the best BBL futures bets? WILL EVANS digs into the BBL|10 Tournament Winner, Top Runscorer and Most Wickets markets.
The countdown is 🔛 to #BBL10.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) November 27, 2020
Perennial BBL bridesmaids Melbourne Stars are the $4.33 pre-season favourites. Despite reaching the semis in eight of the nine Big Bash seasons to date – and qualifying for three finals – the Stars are one of only two teams without a title.
They have lost the last two deciders, while last year’s collapse to the Sixers after finishing top of the table was harrowing. But in the ridiculously in-form Glenn Maxwell and 2019-20 top run-scorer Marcus Stoinis, the Stars boast two of the most damaging players in world T20 cricket.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 8, 2020
Perth Scorchers are on the second line of BBL betting at $5.50, despite finishing last in 2018-19 and sixth last season. Kiwi Colin Munro shapes as an X-factor for the Mitchell Marsh-led side – and a key performer prior to the availability of quarantined Englishman Jason Roy.
Defending champs Sydney Sixers provide solid value to go back-to-back at $6.00. Veteran all-rounder Dan Christian is a tremendous pick-up, imports Carlos Braithwaite and James Vince are available for the entire campaign, and West Indies trump Jason Holder will be on deck from December 29. Surprise signing Mitchell Starc could also turn out for the Sixers late in the season.
Adelaide Strikers’ ($6.00) chances could hinge on Rashid Khan, arguably the most valuable bowler in the BBL. The spinner is tipped to depart prior to the playoffs to play for Afghanistan. Captain Travis Head will be on Test duty until late in the tournament, while Alex Carey will miss at least the first game.
Hobart Hurricanes ($7.00) are a sleeping giant in their pursuit of a maiden title. Peter Handscomb and Colin Ingram are astute acquisitions, while Englishman Dawid Malan is the top-ranked T20I batsman in the world. Matthew Wade is unlikely to be available until the latter stages but D’Arcy Short will again be determined to pile on the runs.
New recruit Pete Handscomb will captain the Hurricanes for the initial phase of BBL|10 whilst @MatthewWade13 is on Australian duties
— Hobart Hurricanes BBL (@HurricanesBBL) December 9, 2020
Brisbane Heat ($7.00) are aiming to avoid a BBL record-equalling fourth straight year missing the playoffs. They’ve lost most than they’ve gained player-wise, while England’s Tom Banton pulled out of his deal. Too much depends of BBL batting icon Chris Lynn.
After finishing last as defending champions in 2019-20, Melbourne Renegades ($9.00) could be the sleeper in the pack. South Africans Rilee Rossouw (all season) and Imran Tahir (from January 9) join a side led by the likes of Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh.
Sydney Thunder ($10.00) are on the last line of betting. But they scraped into the playoffs last year, have the most stable squad (as well as adding Ben Cutting and Sam Billings) and are the least impacted by Australian duty and quarantining. Great value as $2.25 outsiders to make the finals.
BBL Top Runscorer
Stars match-winner Marcus Stoinis dominated the BBL’s runscoring charts last season. He racked up 705 runs at a remarkable average of 54.23, including a record-shattering 147 not out. The converted opener is the $6.00 to finish top of the batting pops again.
— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) December 4, 2020
Veteran Australian opener Aaron Finch ($7.00) is second on the all-time BBL runscorers list and averaged 45.37 in his nine appearances last season. With no international limited-overs duty to interrupt his Renegades commitments, Finch should be near the pointy end of the standings.
D’Arcy Short ($7.00) also played only nine games last season due to Australian commitments. But he made them count with 357 runs, including a century and three fifties. The Hurricanes opener boasts the best average in BBL history (46.62).
The Thunder’s Alex Hales (576 runs at 38.40) finished second in last year’s top runscorer race, while the Heat’s Chris Lynn has scored more runs than any Big Bash player. Both are $10.00 chances.
Big-hitting Sixer Josh Philippe is one of the real value options at $15.00. The wicketkeeper was third in the BBL last season with 487 runs at 37.46. Likewise, Jon Wells ($31.00) is at juicy odds after plundering 478 runs at the ridiculous average of 68.28 for the Strikers last summer.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 6, 2020
Glenn Maxwell’s ($21.00) position in the Stars’ batting order may put punters off. But the expert finisher’s exhilarating T20I and ODI form in recent months is very hard to resist.
The Thunder’s Daniel Sams finished eight clear in the BBL’s wicket-taking stakes last season, taking 30 scalps. He’s way out in front in the 2020-21 Most Wickets market, backed into $9.00 to repeat last summer’s heroics.
Australian teammates Kane Richardson ($13.00) and Adam Zampa ($15.00) are rated the next-best chances, with no international duty to interrupt their availability this season. Richardson took 10 wickets from eight games last season, while Zampa claimed 20 in just 12 outings.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 9, 2020