Ed Hawkins fancies the defending champions in Carrara on Sunday and also picks out the top bat value with a big price...
"Man for man Sixers are the superior side and before that wobble against Heat, we would have snapped off your hand for this sort of price"
Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Sixers
Sunday 3 January, 08:10
TV: live on BT Sport
Strikers failed to make it back-to-back wins against the Perth Scorchers last time out. Having thrahsed their rivals on Thursday they came a cropper on New Year's Eve when their fragile batting was exposed.
They could muster only 146 batting first with Alex Carey top scoring. It is likely to be a consistent problem for them as the tournament progresses. They are in dire need of impetus up front and, if the opening partnership is split again early, they should conider promoting Rashid Khan to No 3 to go aerial.
There's nowt wrong with the bowling, though. Rashid Khan, Peter Siddle, Dan Worrall and Wes Agar all know their jobs and do them well.
Possible XI Salt, Weatherald, Renshaw, Carey, Wells, Short, Rashid, Worrall, Briggs, Agar, Siddle
Ball boosts Sydney
The Sixers were stunned by Brisbane Heat on Saturday. It was an astonishing loss against a team without Chris Lynn and Dan Lawrence.
Worryingly for Sixers it was much of a contest against the worst team in the tournament. After posting 165 the Sixers really should have managed to defend against a notoriously flaky batting line-up. As it was the game was all over with seven balls to spare.
Ben Dwarshius and Dan Christian came in for particular attention with the ball. Carlos Brathwaite was also pricey. They could now be starting to miss Sean Abbott. The good news is that England's Jake Ball is available so they could freshen up the attack if they wished
Possible XI Philippe, Edwards, Vince, Hughes, Silk, Christian, Brathwaite, Dwarshius, Manenti, O'Keefe, Ball.
There have been only ten T20s at Cararra, all since 2018. The first-innings scores (1-2 denote by match won batting first or second, most recent first) read: 166-2/168-2/193-2/149-1/174-1/167-1/135-2/164-2/159-1/108-1(10overs). There is no toss bias to latch on to but it is worth respecting the lack of big runs. Going low on first-innings runs for a cheap lay could make sense, particularly with Strikers batting frail and their bowling strong.
Sixers are 1.8910/11 with Strikers 2.1011/10. Do we hold a grudge against Sixers for getting done at short odds against heat or do we write it off as a blip?
Probably the latter because man for man Sixers are the superior side and before that wobble against Heat, we would have snapped off your hand for this sort of price. Strikers are one-dimensional and Sixers will only really fear Carey in their line-up.
Back to the Wells
Go back to the Wells. We have betted Jono Wells three times so far this season because Sportsbook underrate him consistently. He has a 25% win rate in the last three tournaments (including this one) on top Strikers bat. At 15/2 he rates outstanding value, particularly as he got hold of their attack to top earlier this term.
There are some big numbers we like for top Sixers bat, too. Dan Christian and Jordan Silk are middle-order powerhouses capable of blasting late runs to snatch a win. Silk looked in great touch against heat and just failed to overhaul Josh Philippe. The 11.1 is bang on for his win rate. Christian smashed a record fifty in the earlier meetings. Sportsbook go 15/2.
For the bowlers, Wes Agar is the most underrated bowler in the tournament. Only once this term has he failed to takje two wickets. He won last time versus Perth and should be jolly, not 7/2.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l & COB Best Bets