Matt Harris believes the Heat will have the edge over the Strikers and singles out their skipper as the star man to help achieve victory.
"The loss of Rashid Khan is a major blow to Adelaide and no-one within their attack can perform that dual role of taking wickets and keeping the run rate down."
Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat
Thursday January 21st, 08:15 GMT
Live on BT Sport
Strikers slump to Stars
Adelaide Strikers remain in touch with the playoffs but Alex Carey's side have not been able to put a consistent run of victories together. A record of two wins and two defeats from their last four is indicative of their campaign and now they have to get into the top five without the departed Rashid Khan.
A humbling, 111-run defeat to the Stars last time out suggests that the Strikers could peter out from this point and, while the attack is missing their key man, it's the batsmen that have underperformed. If Adelaide are to beat the Heat on Thursday and build from that position, they'll need improved displays from the disappointing Matt Renshaw and Phil Salt.
Scorchers too hot for the Heat
Brisbane's total of 115 against Perth on Tuesday may be numerically better than the Strikers' 68 versus the Stars, but the performance was almost as woeful. The Heat were nicely placed at 96-3 chasing 175 but the wickets of Lewis Gregory and Joe Denly sparked an alarming batting collapse.
Chris Lynn's side do have some momentum and have responded after losing four of their first five games. The skipper has put injury and loss of form behind him to top score in each of Brisbane's last four matches but the side needs support and greater depth to the batting.
In the bowling unit, Morne Morkel's entrance into BBL 10 could be crucial in these latter stages of the groups.
Welcome return home for Strikers
The Strikers are back home at the Adelaide Oval following a disappointing run on the road and Carey's men will appreciate being in familiar surroundings. The average first innings score here is 161 so it's proved to be one of the slower surfaces in the competition and there is no clear winning trend in terms of sides batting first and those chasing.
There should be no issues with the weather on Thursday so it's likely to be a case of inserting the opposition and keeping them below that average score.
A solitary batting point separates sixth placed Brisbane Heat from the Adelaide Strikers who are in seventh. Both sides have won five of their eleven matches so it's no shock to see such a tight result market on the eve of the match. The gap has widened slightly since the market opened and Adelaide are currently favourites at 1.875/6 with Brisbane Heat following on at 2.0811/10.
While it's not a must-win game in the strictest sense of the term, it does seem likely that the losing side will be saying goodbye to BBL 10. Initially, I was drawn to the Strikers but I have managed to talk myself out of that prediction.
Neither side is in good touch right now but the loss of Rashid Khan is a major blow to Adelaide and no-one within their attack can perform that dual role of taking wickets and keeping the run rate down.
The bat flip could be important but the Strikers look like they might end their campaign in freefall so I'm getting behind the Heat.
Having gone for the outsiders in the result market, I can now justify backing the heavy favourite in Brisbane's top batsman market. The Heat are unlikely to claim the points if their skipper fails and, while his run of top scores has to come to an end at some stage, Chris Lynn tends to maintain form once he finds it.
Lynn to top score for Brisbane Heat is, therefore, today's recommended bet and the good news is that he's been price-boosted on the sportsbook from 2/1 to 12/5. Other options in this market include Sam Heazlett, Joe Denly and Max Bryant at 4/1. Lewis Gregory at 7/1 and Jimmy Peirson at a tempting 11/1.
That enhanced price on Chris Lynn was a welcome sight and there are some other boosts on the sportsbook. In Rashid Khan's absence, Adelaide's Wes Agar needs to step up with the ball and anyone wanting a third tip should look at his 10/3 (from 11/4) to be the Strikers' clear leading wicket taker.
The two-tip approach has worked for me so far in this tournament but there are those additional options with Agar's 10/3 among the best of them.
Matt Harris' BBL P/L