Tuesday, December 17

Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder (7:10pm AEDT)
Thunder to Win ($2.25)

The ninth season of the Big Bash has arrived! The nation’s focus will be on the Gabba on Tuesday night when the Brisbane Heat take on the Sydney Thunder for first points.

The Heat pulled off the signing of the offseason when A.B. De Villiers put pen to paper, but the South African legend won’t actually arrive in Australia until the second half of the season and other players, namely Chris Lynn, will need to stand up in his absence.

Led by Callum Ferguson, the Thunder have assembled a squad rich with Australian domestic players but bolstered with some smart internationals like Englishman Alex Hales. At first glance they do look weaker than a lot of other sides, but they have a lot of T20 experience engaged and will relish their underdog status.

I simply cannot understand the enormous difference between these two teams in head to head betting. Historically, the Heat have taken a few matches to really find their stride and if Lynn doesn’t fire, they tend to find it extremely difficult to win.

For those reasons, I am happy to take the Thunder to upset the Heat in match one of BBL 9.