Big Bash 2021-22: The best bets before the season starts 

Best BBL bets to make for 2021-22
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Betting Expert, James Pacheco

Last updated on 4th December 2021

Published: 04/12/2021

Categories: Cricket, News

We’ve already given you our selections on the BBL winner market so now it’s time to look at some of the best bets on other markets including who can finish bottom of the Group Stages, top bowler selections for different teams and three tips on the overall top batsman market.

Get our expert BBL betting tips below!

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Melbourne Renegades to finish Bottom @ 3.6

Having won it three years ago against all odds, the Renegades then finished rock bottom for the next two seasons.

Their policy last year of fielding as many as six different overseas players obviously didn’t come off. Players were constantly arriving and leaving, meaning there was no set team and therefore no structure.

But that wasn’t the only problem. No one averaged more than 28 with the bat and star man Aaron Finch had a really poor season, which has continued into this year with a lack of runs for Australia and no IPL contract.

They didn’t recruit particularly well in terms of overseas players and just look at their Top 3: Finch, Shaun Marsh and Nic Maddinson.

All three of those will be absent for the first couple of games. Marsh and Finch are injured (Marsh till after Christmas) and Maddinson is playing for Australia A ahead of the Ashes and will miss three games.

So they may well be 0/3 by the time Finch and Maddinson are available.

Maddinson by the way, is the new skipper. A strange choice given he’s just arrived and has little or no captaincy experience. Just one more problem for them.

Mark Steketee to be Brisbane Heat top bowler @ 5.0

Steketee had a brilliant campaign last season for the Heat, taking 24 wickets in 16 games with a strike rate of 14.0, meaning he averaged almost two wickets a game, which is superb.

His economy rate of 9.26 was surprisingly high but then again, you can excuse that when he was taking so many wickets. Besides, economy rate is irrelevant for the purposes of this market.

Next best last season were Mujeeb Ur Rahman (14), Jack Wildermuth (13) and Xavier Bartlett (12).

Key to Steketee being so far ahead of the rest was that alongside Bartlett, he was the only Heat player who played the maximum 16 games.

What that shows is that the Heat may chop and change, players may be absent through international call-ups or injury, but Steketee always plays.

The favourite, partly based on reputation, is Mujeeb at a short-looking 2.2.

Mujeeb is of course a world-class bowler as we saw at the World Cup and as it happens, his strike rate of 12.8 was a bit better than even Steketee: he took 14 in eight games.

But there’s not much to choose between them and at far bigger odds, he’s the pick.

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Wes Agar to be Strikers Top Bowler @ 4.25

In many ways this is an extremely similar situation to that of Steketee at the Heat.

Wes Agar is second favourite for Strikers top bowler behind a champion Afghanistan spinner, in this case Rashid Khan.

Like Mujeeb, Khan is right up there with the very best. He’s perhaps the best T20 bowler in the world, full stop.

So why are we against him? Three reasons.

The first is that he hasn’t had quite the impact he has had in previous season, neither in the IPL nor the Big Bash.

Which brings us to our second point: last season Khan took 16 wickets in 10 games at a strike rate of 14.6. Wes Agar took 22 wickets in 15 games at a strike rate of 14.9. So, it’s pretty much the same scenario as with Steketee and Mujeeb.

Almost identical numbers but a huge difference in odds.

Which of course brings us to our third reason: price. At more than twice the odds, the impressive Agar rates a much better bet.

Saqib Mahmood to be Thunder Top Bowler @ 6.5

This one’s a bit more of a gamble but it’s worth it.

Impressive English fast bowler Saqib Mahmood looks a big price to be Thunder top bowler at 6.5.

His T20 career strike rate is 15.1 so right up there with the best in the business. He impressed in the summer to the extent that he got called up by England in ODIs and T20Is and was a bit unlucky to miss out on World Cup selection.

As an overseas player he’ll surely play every match, barring injury, and with those numbers, he’ll have vey chance.

He’ll need to beat some good players. Daniel Sams was top BBL wicket-taker two years ago and Tanveer Sangha looks a really promising spinner.

And to that we need to add that Mahmood will be playing Big Bash cricket for the first time so will need to get used to conditions.

But they’re the sort that should suit him and he has a better chance than his odds suggest.

Steve O’Keefe to be Sixers Top Bowler @ 8.0

Last season Ben Dwarshuis had a stand-out season, taking 24 wickets. It was somewhat surprising because his career numbers weren’t that great up to last year..

Next best were Carlos Brathwaite (not playing this year) with 16, while O’Keefe and Dan Christian took 15 each.

So, if we take Dwarshius’ outstanding performance out of the equation, there may not be much to choose between O’Keefe and the rest, although admittedly Sean Abbott is back in the mix after missing out with injury last year.That said, he may miss some matches on Australia A duty anyway.

But 8.0 is a big price about someone in O’Keefe who always plays, almost always bowls his four overs and has so much experience.

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Big Bash Top Batsman: Wade, Hales and Clarke all worth a bet

The key element to being a BBL top batsman is that you’re an opening batsman.

Sounds obvious but it’s true that in this one, or any other T20 tournament going, playing as an opener where you get to face the most balls and bat in the Powerplay overs is crucial.

The recent World Cup was a good example of that with the Top 3- Babar Azam, David Warner and Mohammad Rizwan, all openers.

For a full guide to what else to look out for a, read the T20 top batsman guide.

Matthew Wade to be BBL Top Batsman @ 13.0 each-way

Wade has a superb record in the BBL ever since opening the batting and will play at Hobart at a high-scoring ground.

The only challenge for him will be to open rather than batting at seven, where he played for Australia at the WC.  But that shouldn’t be a problem for a man of his experience.

Alex Hales to be BBL Top Batsman @ 9.0 each-way

In being the top BBL batsman last year, Hales did something that had never been done before: a non-Australian being BBL top batsman. For good measure, another Englishman, James Vince, came second.

Hales has it all. Years of playing in the Bash, a fine record here, big shots, he’s not injury-prone and won’t miss matches due to international commitments. Last season he was one of only two players (Alex Carey the other) to hit a century so it shows that when he gets going, he can go big.

Joe Clarke to be BBL Top Batsman @ 26.0 each-way

Clarke is more of a gamble. He’s new to the league so will have to get used to Australian conditions but his T20 record is brilliant.

Excellent strike rate, average and a high number of fifties.

He’ll open the bating for the Stars and they should have a decent tournament so he should play a couple more matches, which could make all the difference.