BBL Finals Preview 2023/24

BBL Finals Preview 2023/24

With over six weeks of exciting cricket behind us, we’re into the Big Bash League (BBL ) 13 Finals. It’s a four-match affair beginning with Friday’s Qualifier-1 at the Carrara Oval and ending with Wednesday’s final on the 24th.

We’re doing a whole lot more for BBL and cricket in general in 2024 – from podcasts to data tools – all of which you’ll find on our Linktree.

The Heat play the Qualifier-1 after a brilliant performance in the league stage and will face the Sixers at the Carrara Oval on the Gold Coast. The Strikers qualified for the Eliminator with a good finish in the end. They’ll face the Scorchers who couldn’t defend 197 in their last game against the 6ers.

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Sixers v Heat (BBL Final)

Wed 24/1, 7.15pm (ADST)


Match Preview

We have a Heat lineup missing Munro, Billings, Khawaja & Labuschange coming up against a Sixers lineup missing Smith and Vince. There are a few big names missing but both teams were clearly the best two teams in the finals – the Scorchers and Strikers ran out of steam. It’s a really tricky matchup to break down. The Sixers at the SCG with only really James Vince missing from the team they’ve had all season. At first glance – they seem the better side that most punters would back. But the Heat have had their hearts broken last year and this year have just kept finding a way to get the job done.

Punting Tips

Jimmy Peirson Top Team Run Scorer @ $10 (Neds) or $12 (Bet365).

Jimmy Peirson Top Match Run Scorer @ $21 (Neds) or $17 (Bet365).

Couple of important things to note here. He opened the batting for the Heat when Munro left for 2 games. Then last game – they brought in Wakim (a rookie) to open the batting, pushing Peirson to the middle order and dropping Swepson. This was because that ground (Carrara – Gold Coast) did not suit spinners. The SCG is a decent ground for spinners and we think the Heat will go back to their standard lineup for this crunch game. Dropping the rookie opening batsman and bringing in their experienced spinner Swepson.

The plays above are great value for 2 reasons. The downside is minimal – IF he’s batting in the middle order, you’ve got a bet that is slightly poor value. IF we’re right and he does open – you’ve got a bet paying 1.5-2x what it should be. We would recommend getting on in 2 separate bets so you could potentially cash one out and ride the other.

We will have more plays after the toss, just after 630pm Sydney time (game starts 715pm ADST). Come join our free Discord community so you don’t miss out!

Key Stat

Sean Abbott has had a forgettable BBL this summer. In 8 games his best figures are 2/32. 7 wickets in 8 games. Interestingly though – 5 of his 7 wickets have come in 3 games at the SCG. And now to come to the key point – he’s picked up 34 wickets since 2020/21 at the SCG at an average of 12! It’s a BBL Final at the SCG – we think it’s time to back in Sean Abbott to get back to his best.

BBL Stats - Abbott dominates at the SCG!
BBL Stats – Abbott dominates at the SCG!

Heat v Sixers

Fri 19/1, 7.15pm (ADST)

Carrara Oval (Gold Coast)

Match Preview

The Sixers are only in this position because of a clutch performance by Mo Henriques as they chased down over 190 against the Scorchers at Optus Stadium! Before that, Dan Hughes got 74 off 43 for the Sixers. If they beat the Heat on the Gold Coast they’d go straight to the BBL final. They lose James Vince for the finals.

The Heat almost had a perfect season – until they lost to Perth at Optus. They now lose Billings & Munro with Peirson and Bryant stepping in. They did both do well in the final regular season game though and the Heat bowling attack will be unchanged.

The Heat have to play their home finals at Carrara Oval on the Gold Coast instead of the Gabba. In the 10 games that have been played there since the 2020/21 edition of the BBL – teams batting second have won 7/10 games & the average 1st innings score is 154. Having a quick look at our analysis below – the other thing we can clearly see that it’s a graveyard for spinners. Optus Stadium has been known to be a fortress for the Scorchers’ quicks and it’s the only ground in the Country that’s worse than Carrara (GC) for spin bowlers in the BBL!

The Gold Coast is a nightmare for spinners in the BBL!
The Gold Coast is a nightmare for spinners in the BBL!

Moises Henriques led from the front, scoring 47 off 20 balls in their last regular season game. As you can see in the screenshot above from our (free) T20 Stats Portal – the Heat are the team he struggles against in the BBL. In the last 4 seasons, he averages 16 against them striking at only 113. The Heat’s bowling attack is their strength. Can Neser, Bartlett & co. keep him down again or will Captain Henriques take the Sixers to another BBL Final?

Wicky's BBL Finals Previews
Wicky’s Mens T20 Portal

Xavier Bartlett is the leading wicket taker in this year’s BBL. Interestingly – his performances have been relatively predictable, struggling against the Scorchers and the Sixers. Two of the best teams in the BBL over the last few years since Bartlett’s started his career. Will he continue his hot streak this season or will the Sixers curtail get on top one of the best quicks in this year’s Big Bash and storm into the BBL Final?

Wicky's BBL Finals Previews
Wicky’s Mens T20 Portal

Punting Tips

Paul Walter 2+ wickets at $2.95 on Sportsbet. (This Won)
Walter bowled the 20th over when the Scorchers batted first last game. This was a crucial game and they’ll likely have the same set of bowlers. This price is already a good one considering he’s got 2+ wickets in 5/8 games! One of the 3 games where he didn’t get 2 wickets includes when he only bowled 1 over in his first game for the Heat when they demolished the Stars in 15 overs. Love the $2.95!

We’ve got a few more tips we love this game and we usually add another one after the toss – join our free Discord to make sure you don’t miss out!

Need help with your Supercoach team or just want to chat sport with other fans? Come join our lively (and lovely) Discord community – 3,200+ and counting! 

Scorchers v Strikers

Sat 20/1, 7.40pm (ADST)

Optus Stadium

Match Preview

The Scorchers would’ve been pretty confident after a Laurie Evans special took them over 190 in their final league game against the Sixers. However, their inability to defend that total means they now have to win three knockout games in a row to win the BBL title. They’re missing Ashton Turner, Jhye Richardson, Stephen Eskinazi, Zac Crawley & Laurie Evans who have all played for them this season.

The Strikers’ season looked all but gone a couple of weeks ago. On the back of Matt Short’s heroics and a couple of unsung heroes, including Lloyd Pope – the Strikers have made the finals. They’re missing Chris Lynn, Adam Hose & Jamie Overton.

Leg Spinners have done well against Aaron Hardie
Leg Spinners have done well against Aaron Hardie

With both teams missing a few stars – the battle between Josh Inglis and Aaron Hardie and Matt Short will be crucial. If one of these guys go big – it’ll likely be the difference in this game. Aaron Hardie has bowled 4 overs in each of their last 2 games and is their batsman at number 3.

Our T20 portal shows us that he’s only averaged 18 and struck at 117 against leg spin since the 2020/21 BBL season. Adelaide have Cam Boyce who’s been in great form this season and Lloyd Pope who got the Player of the Match award in their last game. Can the leggies from Adelaide continue their form and get Hardie out early? If they do – it’ll go a long way to nullifying the Scorchers in this knockout game.

Punting Tips

Aaron Hardie over 43.5 on Bet365 @ $1.83. (This won!) Hardie’s bowled 4 overs in the last two games including one of the last 2 overs. They were both crucial home games – so we think the trend will continue here. He’s also a decent chance of a catch. A gun batsman who will bowl his full quota including at the death with a chance of catches – we love the overs here! The line is at 44.5 on Sportsbet at 1.87 – we don’t mind either line, we think it’ll sail over just like it did last game.

The scoring system is 20 points for a wicket, 1 for a run, 10 for a catch and 25 for a stumping.

Heat v Strikers

Mon 22/1, 740pm (ADST)

Carrara Oval (GC)

Match Preview

The Adelaide Strikers knocked out the Scorchers by rolling them in the 2nd innings at Optus Stadium. Can Matt Short take the Strikers to the BBL Final? Well we tipped them at 36/1 a couple of weeks ago – so we’re hoping so!

Both teams have good bowling attacks and their batting is significantly weaker than it was during most of the tournament. Matt Short and Jake Weatherald are the Strikers’ key hopes with the bat – whereas the Heat don’t have any in-form batsmen – Josh Brown has scored 173 runs at 24 as their leading run scorer. Weatherald has scored more runs than him in just the last 3 games and Matt Short has scored 522 runs at 65.

Matt Short BBL Matchups
Matt Short BBL Matchups

Matchups are usually hotly debated in cricket. But you can’t argue with an average of 98 and a strike rate of 180! Spencer Johnson started the Heat’s final against the Sixers with a wicket maiden. ‘Tall Paul’ has become a household name during this season’s BBL. Can they continue their form or will Matt Short’s scarily impressive numbers against left arm quicks continue?

Punting Tips

Matt Short first to 20 runs @ $2 on Topsport. (Lost – by 1 run!!)

Strikers highest opening partnership @ $1.74 on Sportsbet. (Won)

The Strikers have Matt Short with D’Arcy Short opening the batting. Matt Short is clearly the BBL’s best batsman. D’Arcy Short has been OK throughout this season. The Heat have Peirson and Josh Brown – a makeshift opener and Brown who has struggled for the Heat this season. We absolutely love the $1.74, it’s around $1.65 on a couple of the bigger bookies.

Matt Short has only failed to reach 20 twice in this BBL. D’Arcy Short has failed to reach 20 in 5 of his 11 games. We like this bet for two reasons – Matt Short goes harder than D’arcy earlier on and there’s also a higher chance of Matt getting to 20.

We usually add a couple more tips after the toss – join our free Discord to make sure you don’t miss out!

T20 Match Simulator

We don’t recommend using this for punting or fantasy, but our T20 Match Simulator is free to check out if you want to see how players and teams are likely to go from both teams! If the Strikers are going to make it through, Captain Short will have to step up with the bat. Unfortunately, our simulator thinks there’s a 51% chance he’ll get out before 20!

Matt Short scores 50+ runs in 21/100 Sims
Matt Short scores 50+ runs in 21/100 Sims

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If you want to follow more of our BBL analysis or any of our other work at Wicky, please reach out via email or on social media.


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