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Thunder vs. Sixers odds, free tips & Big Bash specials

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    Sydney Thunder vs. Sydney Sixers

    • BBL07 title odds

      Sydney Thunder: $11 at Sportsbet
      Sydney Sixers: $6 at Sportsbet

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 – 7:45pm AEDT – Spotless Stadium

THE 2017/18 T20 Big Bash League kicks off on Tuesday with the traditional season-opener between the Sydney Thunder and the Sydney Sixers.

The Thunder were a grave disappointment last term, falling from top of the pops to the bottom of the ladder.

Usman Khawaja’s absence was a big factor in that decline, and now star quick Pat Cummins is also unavailable due to Ashes commitments.

That loss is mitigated by the signing of New Zealand speedster Mitch McClenaghan, while England keeper Jos Buttler adds some serious firepower with the bat.

The Sixers have similar issues, with Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon both away on Test duty.

However, they have some very decent bowling options in Steve O’Keefe, Ben Dwarshuis and Sean Abbott – the leading wicket-taker in BBL06.

English sloggers Sam Billings and Jason Roy return for another campaign at the SCG, while Peter Nevill replaces the retired Brad Haddin behind the stumps.

Shane Watson odds

Although he no longer lights up the international stage, Shane Watson will enter BBL07 in ominous form.

Backing up from a barnstorming 184 in Sydney grade cricket in October, the Thunder skipper capped a strong Big Bash preseason with 114 for Sutherland in a recent T20 match.

Watson scored only 102 runs in six knocks for the Green Machine last season, so he will be eager to make a bigger contribution with bat and ball this time around.

Get on at Neds

Sean Abbott betting

Who needs Starc when you have this guy?

Abbott took 20 wickets in 10 games last season – a phenomenal strike rate in T20 cricket.

He was a big reason for Sydney’s progress to the BBL final, and they will need more of the same this term.

Thunder vs. Sixers match prediction

The Thunder are slight outsiders in the match betting and $11 roughies for the BBL crown, but should it really be that way?

Watson is still one of the best allrounders in the competition, while McClenaghan and Buttler are classy, well-travelled campaigners.

It only takes one of Ben Rohrer, Kurtis Patterson, et al to step up and make the Thunder a real force.

The Sixers have a bit more balance about their squad, but many would say they lack the top-end talent for another sustained title push.

Their batting is solid without being explosive, while the bowling unit cannot bank on Abbott being quite as destructive as he was last year.

Greg Shipperd’s men are certainly beatable, and there is decent value in backing the Thunder to prove that point.

Thunder to win$2.05 at Sportsbet

Big Bash bonus offers

Several online bookmakers have Big Bash betting specials in play for Tuesday’s opener.

If you bet $50 or more on the BBL outright market at William Hill before a ball is bowled, you can get 40 rewards points for every six your team hits in the tourney.

For all games in week one, Ladbrokes is paying out on head-to-head bets for any team that scores 170 runs or more – regardless of the end result.

Sportsbet is also offering early payouts throughout December, this time on top team runscorer selections who score 50 or more.

CrownBet has two massive Big Bash deals: money back up to $50 for top batsman picks who fail to pass 30; and $2 in bonus bets for every six your team hits in a head-to-head win.