The Big Bash League, Australia’s domestic Twenty20 franchise competition, is a roaring success and rivals the Indian Premier League for competitiveness and appeal to bettors. Some might even argue that it surpasses the Indian Premier League for entertainment and quality. The IPL and BBL League make the top ten most attended sports leagues in the world.
And why not? The Bash can rival the IPL for attracting the best players in the world. From Rashid Khan, the Afghan spin genius, at Adelaide Strikers, to Jos Buttler at Sydney Thunder and AB De Villiers and Dale Steyn, South African legends both, at Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars respectively, spectators and gamblers alike know they are in for high-skilled, tense and keenly-contested heats.
It promises to be another action-packed, thrill-a-minute competition watched the world over. Buckle up.
How does the BBL League work?
There are eight teams in a 51-game season, running from December 17 to February 8. Each team plays each other twice (home and away) in a group. The top five qualify for the play-offs comprised of a qualifier, an eliminator, a knockout and a challenger.
- The Eliminator: Fourth versus Fifth
- The Qualifier: First versus second (winners goes straight to final)
- The Knockout: Third versus winner of Eliminator
- The Challenger: Loser in Qualifier versus winner of Knockout
- The Final: Winner of Qualifer versus winner of Challenger
Who are the BBL League teams?
All cricket betting odds come from Bet365.
Hobart Hurricanes (+500)
HH won the group last term and looked to have finally put to bed their reputation as great batting side which couldn’t bowl. They fell at the semi-final stage and are likely to badly miss England’s superstar, Jofra Archer. Matthew Wade, crucial to their fast batting starts, will miss games, too.
Melbourne Stars (+500)
The team cricket betting gamblers love to lay. Stars have gone off favourites for almost all of the Bash outrights. And they have never landed. It’s not hard to make a case for swerving them when they go off again at short odds. Last season, they were beaten in the final by their neighbours. It’s a boost, though, that Marcus Stoinis seems to have been discarded by Australia.
Brisbane Heat (+500)
The Heat have had six seasons of disappointment after their only title win in 2013. They prize batting muscle over smarts in the field. The signing of De Villiers this term suggests that hasn’t changed. They have Tom Banton, the England opener, available for the first eight, and De Villiers for the last six. Such big changes in a squad rarely bodes well.
Melbourne Renegades (+600)
The champs. The Renegades have been improving over time following a semi-final appearance in 2017-18. They have built a close-knit squad, recognising that a churn in players is detrimental. They appear to have been underrated by the layers, particularly as they have strengthened their batting by picking up Shaun Marsh.
Adelaide Strikers (+600)
They have made only one final and after an impressive 2017-18 when they claimed their first BBL League title, a seventh-placed finish last term was a major let down for gamblers as it looked like they were building a dynasty.
Perth Scorcher (+600)
The Scorchers have won three of the eight Bash titles and are regarded as one of the finest franchises in the world. However, decline has set in. They’ve made one final of the last four and had a horror season last time – finishing bottom.
Sydney Sixers (+800)
The Sixers are a solid unit and far better than the layers give them credit for. With a fifth-placed finish and a semi in the last two years they are building momentum for a title shot. They should be blessed with a squad which is not decimated by Australia call-ups.
Sydney Thunder (+800)
The Thunder have one title – in 2016. It was the only time they’ve made it out of the group. Batting has been a problem consistently. They’re trying to rectify that with a trio of English hitters – Buttler, Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales.
Who are the players to watch?
Josh Phillippe, Sydney Sixers
Philippe should probably be playing for Australia. He’s that good. But the selectors are unlikely to come calling which is great news for Sixers fans and punters. Philippe has a great chance for top tournament run-scorer at big numbers from the opening berth. He made 304 runs last term and with a strike rate of 158, he has the potential for big and fast runs to propel him to the top of the charts.
Max Bryant, Brisbane Heat
Bryant is another unheralded opener who will have appeal at chunky numbers for top bat. Those who saw his destructive 30-ball 71 against the Stars in the final stages of the group last term will have made a note. Bryant is only 20, but in 14 games last season finished second on the Heat runs lists. In fact, the smart money may be betting him for top tournament run-scorer for Brisbane, considering De Villiers will take up a huge chunk of the book.
Andre Russell, Melbourne Renegades?
Russell is a risky signing because of his poor injury record, but the muscle-bound all-rounder could give Renegades the x-factor they have sometimes missed. There are strong rumours Russell is set to sign. Russell’s hitting is extraordinary and no target, or bowler is safe.
Harry Gurney, Melbourne Renegades
Gurney picks up titles wherever he goes it seems. He won the Caribbean Premier League with Barbados Tridents, who were grateful to his expert death bowling. With a full season, Gurney should go very close to a top bowler winner at big odds at the betting sites.
2018-19 BBL League top performers
Most wickets: 24 Kane Richardson (Renegades), 22 Sean Abbott (Sixers), 21 Steve O’Keefe (Sixers)
Most runs: 637 D’Arcy Short (Hurricanes), 592 Matthew Wade (Hurricanes), 533 Marcus Stoinis (Stars)
Key BBL League stats
- The team finishing first in the group has gone on to win the title once (Perth in 2016-17).
- The second-placed team has won three times, which is the highest. Fourth and third have both won twice.
- The Stars and Hurricanes have never won a Bash title.
- Only three times has a team finished outside the top four the previous year and gone on to win next.
- Thunder have the lowest win percentage of 33%.
- Perth have the highest win percentage at 59%, followed by Sixers at 53.7%.