Betting News Preview Sport

BBL Opening week preview

THE Big Bash League is here for the 2021-22 summer, and it is set to be a hotly-contested race between some of the biggest clubs in the game. 

The opening games of the season see some of those teams face off straight away, and with every position vital at the end of the season, every game becomes crucial.  

Here are the pick of the bunch over the first four nights of the season. 

Game 1: Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Stars at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sunday, 7:35pm 

This will be an absolute cracker to get the season underway.  

The Sixers come into the season as defending champions, and favourites to go back-to-back. The Stars arrive as the perennial bridesmaid in this competition, having made the finals in all but two seasons, but never winning the competition. 

They had a very average 2020-21 season, finishing in seventh spot, but a team led by Glenn Maxwell, with the in-form Nic Maddinson, Marcus Stoinis, Hilton Cartwright, Adam Zampa and Billy Stanlake shouldn’t have the same problems. 

It could be argued the Stars’ bowling attack is a little lacking, however, dynamic spin duo Zampa (222 T20 wickets at 21.63) and Qais Ahmed (95 T20 wickets at 22.25) are incredibly difficult to get away and score consistently against. 

The Sixers don’t lack on that front though with Steve O’Keefe still plying his trade, however, the point of difference is experience in the middle order. Moises Henriques, Daniel Christian and Tom Curran are all world class T20 players, while the addition of Chris Jordan (259 T20 wickets at 27.18) should assist in limiting the damaging Stars battling line-up. 

In truth, it wouldn’t be overly shocking if these were the two teams who fronted up on grand final day, but for now, the Sixers have home ground advantage and the experience to be consistent. That should be enough to get them through with a first-up victory. 

Our best bet: Sydney Sixers win $1.66 at PlayUp

Game 2: Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat at Manuka Oval, Canberra, Monday, 7:15pm 

Monday night’s second game of the tournament sees us take a trek down the Federal Highway to Canberra, with the Sydney Thunder to take on the Brisbane Heat. 

Two teams who bring something of an unknown quantity to this year’s competition, the Thunder and Heat could both realistically finish anywhere between first and last. The inconsistency of these two teams in BBL history would back that up. 

The Thunder come into the new season with one of the world’s best T20 batsmen in Alex Hales. The swashbuckling opener has played 60 matches for England at the shortest form of the game, averaging 31 and scoring at a strike rate of 136.65. 

There is little doubt he will need to do similar to help carry the Thunder through the tournament, and while he will be up against an attack led by Michael Neser and Mark Steketee, the first six overs before Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mitchell Swepson are able to take over as the Heat’s dynamic spin duo will be critical for the Thunder is they want to win. 

The home side will also need big performances with the ball out of Daniel Sams and Chris Tremain, who are their two main men, while the hitting of Ben Cutting down the order could prove crucial. 

As mentioned, it’s the spin duo for the Heat who will be critical, but they have their own big hitting, led by opener Max Bryant and duo Chris Lynn and Jimmy Peirson, with the trio on top of the spinners giving them what should be a small edge over the Thunder. 

Our best bet: Brisbane Heat win $2.00 at PlayUp

Game 4: Hobart Hurricanes vs Sydney Sixers at UTAS Stadium, Launceston, Wednesday, 6:35pm 

It’s a short and sharp turnaround for the Sydney Sixers, who will fly south to Launceston after the season opener to play the Hobart Hurricanes in the early Wednesday game. 

The Stars might present a challenge in their opening game, but the battle won’t get any easier against the Hurricanes. The Sixers will once again need to be somewhere near their best to challenge, with all the big names firing. 

Hobart have assembled an elite squad for the Big Bash campaign, led by captain Matthew Wade. The Australian T20 keeper should be able to play the entire season for the ‘Canes, and it’s one they will be grateful for. With Wade leading an all-star cast, the runs will slow through Wade, D’Arcy Short and Ben McDermott, with Peter Handscomb also part of the team. 

It’s the bowling attack where Hobart really come to the fore though, with Nathan Ellis and Riley Meredith, who are on the fringe of the Australian T20 side, joined by Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. The 21-year-old has a staggering 138 wickets at 18.26 in T20 cricket, going at under seven runs per over, and his four overs will be critical to the outcome of this match. 

Henriques and Christian are excellent players of spin in the middle order, and that will go someway towards subduing the Hurricanes, but with so much run-scoring potential bearing down from the other side, and the short turnaround, expect the home side to get up in this one. 

Our best bet: Hobart Hurricanes win $2.20 at PlayUp


For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit