Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Stars Big Bash Tips: Sixes line is too high by Gabba standards

Andre Russell is recommended to top both his team's batting and bowling lists

Previewing tomorrow's match from The Gabba, Paul Krishnamurty selects a range of bets from the side markets and also a trade at tasty odds for the title...

"Russell won this market in their last match, bowling in the 19th over. He's liable to bowl one of the death overs again - the best time for taking wickets."

Back Andre Russell for Top Melbourne Stars Bowler 1.5u @ 5.59/2

Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Stars
Monday, 10:05 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Sentiment is extremely fickle in T20 cricket betting. Melbourne Stars went off around 1.75/7 for their previous match, away from home to a side at single-figure odds for the title. Today they are only marginal favourites to win away to Brisbane Heat who, prior to winning their last match, were matched at 40.039/1 for the title and are still a dismissive 25.024/1.

The same can apply to individual players. Joe Clarke was a 25/1 chance to be Man of the Match before that Stars defeat. It didn't land but, having finished as their top scorer, is now back into 10/1. The lesson is clearly to not over-react to short-term bad spells.

Stars struggling after Hobart loss

Stars are now second-bottom of the table, only ahead of their city rivals and perennial strugglers Renegades. However they remain a team to be reckoned with. Four of their five matches were against the top-two, Scorchers and Sixers, and their batting is stacked with international class and power.

The match odds, nevertheless, make little sense when compared to the outright betting. Brisbane are ahead of them by one point, yet are 25.024/1 for the title compared to 9.08/1 for Stars. Surely by that reckoning, they should be bigger than 2.111/10 to win this match? So which is right, and which is wrong?

Heat rate a decent outside bet for the title

I'm inclined to think Heat represent a bit of trading value for the title. They are in a better position than at this stage last year, when they ended up only one win short of the final.

Plus I would argue they are much stronger. Chris Lynn missed a critical chunk of last term. Ben Duckett has very much strengthened the top order. Mitch Swepson is back and so too last season's bowling hero Mark Steketee, having missed the start. If making the play-offs, Marnus Labuschagne will become available.

Back them now at 25.024/1, cheer them for the top-five finish and then look to cash out at hopefully much shorter odds.

Heat in superb batting form last time

In contrast the match odds are probably fair. Heat hit 208 when thrashing Strikers last time at the Adelaide Oval and similarly big scores are realistic at The Gabba. They conceded 196 to Thunder in the only match here so far this season. With Tom Cooper, Jimmy Peirson, James Bazley, Jake Wildurmuth and Xavier Bartlett batting from five through to nine, they certainly have the depth to hit more big totals.

So of course do Stars, who have Andre Russell at number five. Just as Clarke was overdue his contribution, so now is Marcus Stoinis, who has thus far only managed 65 runs in four starts. He's a mere 6/1 to be Man of the Match, alongside Glenn Maxwell, with Lynn next at 7/1. Overdue or not, that is hard to justify.

Marked advantage to chasers here

Again, there's too much of a toss bias to play the match odds before the toss. 12 of the last 20 Big Bash matches at The Gabba (60%) went to the chasing side. Therefore, we're looking at side markets.

First, the OddsBoost batsman are Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell, enhanced to 5/2 and 12/5 respectively. I'd rather look down the order.

Russell good value with both bat and ball

For Stars, 11/1 about Andre Russell is generous considering he batted at five last time, and the top order haven't been as reliable as their pedigree might suggest. He's already landed this market once this season, in four starts.

The West Indian all-rounder also appeals at 9/2 to be Top Stars Wicket Taker. He won this market in their last match, bowling in the 19th over. He's liable to bowl one of the death overs again - the best time for taking wickets. Russell makes much more appeal in these markets than a mere 8/1 for Man of the Match - which would likely require Stars to win the game.

I like a pair of Heat batsmen for Top Match Batsman. Ben Duckett and Sam Heazlett have been their best pair to date - the former has top-scored twice and was man of the match last time, while the latter is averaging 43.5. On that basis 17/2 and 13/1 make plenty of appeal - compared to 7/2 and 9/2 for their side.

Finally, a bet on Total Sixes. Under 11.5 is available to back at Evens - this bet has won in nine of the last 11 matches at The Gabba.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty


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