Big Bash Format
Australia's domestic franchise tournament is played in T20 format. T20 cricket is the shortest of cricket’s three primary formats and has become the most popular across the world. The premise of the game is much the same as any other version of cricket – whoever scores the most runs in an 11-players-per-side contest wins – but T20 is condensed into 20 overs per side, leading to more explosive batting, riskier shot selection and more variety from bowlers.
A six-over powerplay at the beginning of each innings comes with fielding restrictions, whereby only two fielders are permitted outside a 30-yard inner ring. After the end of the sixth over, however, five players can be positioned by the captain outside the inner ring. Whereby in Test matches there are no restrictions on the number of overs bowled by each bowler, and in ODI cricket 10 overs can be allocated to each, in T20 each bowler may throw down a maximum of four overs.
Any delivery which passes the batsman down the legside will be deemed a wide, with a run added to the batting team’s score and an extra ball added to the over. Front-foot no balls are punished by a free hit, whereby the batsman on strike the next delivery can only be out run out – ie not bowled, caught, lbw, stumped.
In the Big Bash, the eight sides involved player each other home and away in a round robin league format with the top four advancing to the playoff section of the competition – straight knockout semi-finals and a final.
The Big Bash has featured the same eight teams in every version since its founding in 2011. They represent the major cities in Australia and are fun by their respective state organisations.
The eight Big Bash teams are:
- Adelaide Strikers
- Brisbane Heat
- Hobart Hurricanes
- Melbourne Renegades
- Melbourne Stars
- Perth Scorchers
- Sydney Sixers
- Sydney Thunder
Big Bash History
T20 cricket was launched by the ECB in 2003 but it took until 2005 for Australia to follow suit.
Even then, the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash looked a lot different to the Big Bash of today.
Between 2005 and 2011, Australia’s premier domestic T20 tournament was played among the six state teams which also compete in the country’s first-class and one-day competitions.
The sides involved were: Victorian Bushrangers, New South Wales Blues, Southern Redbacks, Tasmanian Tigers, Western Warriors and Queensland Bulls.
In 2011, however, Cricket Australia opted for the same approach as the Indian Premier League, tying teams to cities rather than states and rebranding the competition. The Big Bash was born.
A focus on attracting young people, with a major emphasis on marketing to families, has helped attendance figures soar and the Big Bash has appeared on the list of the top 10 most-watched sports leagues across the world in the years since.
Matches are played around December, January and February, and over the years the number of games played by each side per year has increased.
Six of the eight teams have won the tournament at least once – Perth Scorchers, Adelaide Strikers, Sydney Sixers, Melbourne Renegades, Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder – as of May 2019.
Perth Scorchers, with three title triumphs, are the most successful franchise in the competition’s history.
Big Bash Betting Odds types
Loosely defined, the sportsbooks present what they consider to be the probability of a specific event occurring in the shape of their odds.
So, if they believe there to be a 66.6% chance of India beating Australia, the market will show as 1.50 for an India win. You put on $10 and get $15 in return, including your stake, if India win.
That odds format is then offered for a vast array of markets.
You can find a basic summary of the various types of markets available to customers below.
To win the match: Not much to add here. It’s a simple case of which side you’re backing to claim victory.
To win the toss: Itching for a bet before the match starts? Well, there’s a 50-50 chance to picking heads or tails.
Top team batsman: Here, you are trying to pick the player who will make the most runs from a certain team. For instance, you could pick Glenn Maxwell when Melbourne Stars play or Chris Lynn for Brisbane Heat.
1st over total runs: This bet is usually done in an over or under format. For instance, the bookmaker will place odds on more or fewer than 5.5 runs being scored in the first over. You just decide if you think it’s going to be a fast or slow start for the batsmen.
Total runs in the match: Each innings in a one-day game, or all four innings in a first-class match, added together. Again, this will generally be presented in an over or under format by the bookie.
Top team bowler: This relates to the number of wickets taken by bowlers over the course of the game.
Total match sixes: The number of times the ball clears the boundary in the entire game.
Total match fours: As above but for fours instead of sixes
Total team match sixes: The number of times a specific team clears the boundary over the course of their innings.
Total team match fours: As above but for fours instead of sixes
Batsman match runs: You can gamble on whether a specific player is going to score more or fewer than a set number of runs in the game. For example, odds will be placed on David Warner score more or fewer than 27.5.
First innings score: The total number of runs scored by the team batting first in the match. Again, this will be presented in odds of over or under a benchmark number (eg 145.5)
Man of the match: The player who is presented with the man of the match award.
Batsman to score a 50: Punters will be presented for yes and no options for whether or not each individual player will make a half-century in the game (ie Steve Smith yes 1.70, Steve Smith no 1.30).
Highest individual score: Another over or under bet, focusing on the top score by any player, from either side, across the match.
Fall of first wicket: How many runs will have been made by the time the first wicket falls (eg over 28.5 – 1.90)
Mode of first wicket: How will the first batsman to be out lose his wicket? Bowled, caught, lbw, stumped, run out or ‘other’ are generally the six options presented by the bookies. Remember, caught is by far the most common.
There are always a variety of market in-play as well, including the number of runs scored off the next ball or next over, presented as over/under odds (eg over 3.5 runs 1.40)
Big Bash Betting strategies and how to find value
The best way to beat the bookie is always to do your research. Discover areas where you believe there is a stronger probability of an event occurring than the bookmaker is suggesting via their odds.
Take it step by step and be methodical. Never gamble on a whim or by your gut.
First, assess the two teams playing. Is someone in a particularly good run of form? Does one player have a much better record against this particular opposition or at this particular venue? What is the head-to-head record of the two sides?
Second, assess the conditions. Is it going to be overcast and humid, which could help swing bowlers? Is the game at high altitude, which allows the ball to travel further and faster off the bat? Is the pitch dry and has there not been much rain, which would suggest a crumbling surface which could aid spinners?
Third, find out team news. Are there key injuries at crucial times? Has a player been particularly vocal in the media about a grievance? Is the coach considering major tactical changes?
After you’ve answered these questions, isolate the market which you feel offers the best value for that particular match and bet accordingly. Don’t spread your money too thinly across various markets without good reason.
Use websites such as Cricket Archive, HowsStat, ESPNcricinfo and Cricbuzz, and their excellent statistical tools, to identify trends which the bookmakers have not. It is worth also keeping an eye on the output of CricViz, who are pioneers in the art of cricket analytics.
Cricket T20 specific strategies
There are some areas of cricket betting which are particularly relevant to the T20 format.
Be wary of placing too much emphasis on the contribution of batsmen lower down the order. With just 120 balls to face in the innings, the bulk of the runs are usually going to come from the top four.
Dot ball pressure can often pre-empty a wicket or a boundary. When betting in play, the probability of a four, six or wicket increases with the number of balls faced without scoring which precede it. Keep an eye out.
Sixes in the match. T20 batting is going through a revolution, with power becoming absolutely critical. West Indians such as Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell are redefining what it is to be an impactful batsman in the format, and their strike rates and six-hitting potential are substantially higher than the average. Find games where total match sixes are likely to be much higher than predicted by the bookie by picking matches involving one or more of these new-generation power-hitters.
US betting rules
Sports betting in the USA is a muddy area. Until recently it was subject to a federal ban – imposed via the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which was scrapped by the supreme court in 2018. States are steadily beginning to offer sports books as a result but there are still obstacles for the keen gambler to overcome.
Companies which do accept American punters are to be found offshore and even those betting outlets might find that American banks are not overly keen to work with them (thanks to the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act).
There are bookmakers who do offer cricket markets, though, and it’s better than the old way of having to go to Nevada to place a few dollars on the outcome of a game.
Please remember, however, the ultimately the responsibility remains with the gambler and you should do your research before laying down your money
Big Bash Cricket Live streaming in the US. Where to watch?
Some online sportsbooks in the USA will carry live streams of matches on which you have wagered a bet but for full coverage of the action you’ll need a subscription platform.
Willow TV – the only 24-7 cricket channel in the US – is the place to go. In addition to the Big Bash, it carries the Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan Super League and international cricket, and subscriptions are available from around $10 per month.
Photo by Aksh yadav