The Big Bash and other T20 Leagues around the world offer plenty of opportunities to find some value in a variety of markets, provided you go into the tournament with the appropriate strategies. The Analysts detail some steps to follow when looking to unearth a wager on T20 tournaments.
Value in Side Markets
Whilst unbalanced sides don’t always finish as champions they do open up a number of betting opportunities within the BBL – particularly on side markets like Highest First 6 Over Total, Most Sixes and Total Sixes. Identifying imbalances or mismatches between teams can be a highly effective way of spotting some value.
When canvassing over each squad be sure to mark down who will opening the batting and open the bowling, the hitting power within the side and how effective the death bowling is. When you identify a disparity, either pick the most relevant side market or make the most of the mismatch with the timing of your Match Odds trades.
For example, if you have a powerful pair of opening batsmen up against some notably wayward opening bowlers you can either back the batting side to have the Highest 6 Over Total, or simply back the batting side in the Match Odds at the start of their innings.
Another example would be backing a team in the Most Sixes market who have a highly proficient suite of death bowlers, while two poor bowling attacks playing against each other often result in an overs result for Most Sixes. If you do have two ordinary bowling attacks coming up against each other then an alternate strategy would be to simply back both sides in the Match Odds when batting.
Two Sides to the Equation
Always remember that there are two sides to the equation when exploring these markets. For example, whilst you need big strong batsmen to hit sixes, you equally need canny and accurate bowlers to not concede too many sixes. A good example of this was the performance of the Adelaide Strikers in BBL06 who struck the second highest number of sixes in the tournament, yet only outscored their opponents for maximums in half of their matches due to a profligate bowling line-up. Bowlers are not just crucial to winning games of T20 cricket, they are also pivotal when it comes to considering imbalances between sides and making the most of these via the various markets available.
One of the most common misconceptions held by cricket punters is that a side’s best batsman is most likely to be its highest scoring batsman for an individual innings. Some will look at, say, a batsman’s average and assume that if they have the highest average in the team then they must top-score most often. However, this is certainly not always the case.
In T20 cricket the batting order is particularly crucial, given the relative lack of opportunities for batsmen down the order, however it is most important to focus in on players who have a propensity to play higher-scoring innings’, rather than those who consistently chip away for a healthy average.
A pertinent example of this was the performance of Shane Watson for the Sydney Thunder in BBL06. Overall, Watson’s campaign was disappointing, averaging just 17.33. However, he still managed to top-score for the Thunder on two occasions which was the same number as Irishman Eoin Morgan who averaged a considerably higher 39.75. This highlights Watson’s wide range of scores and underlines how the most important factor in picking a top-bat is the proportion of times they tend to top-score, rather than their average or how many runs they will score in the long-term.
Although there are less “runners” in the top bowler market, the same principles apply as in the top batsman market above. Focus on the bowlers who take the most wickets in an innings most frequently and you should find plenty of value. There’s no use backing the super consistent bowler who gets two wickets a game ahead of the more volatile option who might go wicketless for a couple of games but pick up a bag of four or five wickets intermittently.
Sunil Narine is one of the best T20 bowlers in the world and finished top wicket-taker for the Melbourne Renegades in BBL06 with 13 wickets in eight matches. However, he was the outright top bowler for the Renegades in only two matches, with opposing batsmen looking mainly to play him out with minimum risk. That was illustrated by the fact that he only took more than two wickets in one match. Alternately, in four matches for the Renegades, the wayward Thisara Perera was top bowler three times (two were dead heats), so the Sri Lankan all-rounder presented much better value despite an ugly economy rate of 9.13.
If you understand the matchups for opposing teams, you can increase your T20 punting success. Knowing how many sixers a team concedes or which players are most prolific can help your match odds timings as well as your side market selections.
Similarly, don’t concentrate on averages or reputations in other forms of the game. Find volatile batsmen and bowlers that can have match winning performances.