|Despite not being
one of the largest online betting markets, there is a profit to be made on
cricket betting, even if you are not an expert on the game. The reason for this
is that like baseball, cricket is a game dominated by statistics. This
therefore gives the opportunity for bettors with limited knowledge of cricket
to have an instant and reliable source of statistics to help them make an
While many players perform
across all formats - e.g. Stuart Broad, Chris Gayle, Joe Root - most tend to
reserve their best cricket for ideal conditions and format. It is perfectly
possible to be the world's best in one format while poor in others.
the very best can perform well in all conditions. For example, most batsmen
from the Indian sub-continent have failed to make the same impact when touring
England, Australia and South Africa. The reason is that they learn the game and
play mostly on Indian pitches, which tend to be slow, with much lower bounce
than encountered in those other countries. Equally for the same reason, English
players have rarely produced their very best on sub-continent
Read a Pitch
Pitch conditions are pivotal and reading
them is one of the keys to successful betting. Arguably, the pace of the pitch,
how much help it offers to bowlers and how quickly it deteriorates will have as
great an impact on the outcome of a match or an innings total as the players
You should always have an opinion on whether the pitch will
favour batsmen or bowlers and which type; how it will be playing later in the
day or in Test matches, tomorrow; what the run-rate will be in both the
short-term and over the course of the innings and match. This subject is a
constant matter of discussion amongst commentators whose expertise is
invaluable while you learn the art, and a useful extra opinion once you've got
the hang of it.
The overhead conditions not only
determine whether there is to be play or not, but the nature of the match. If
there's plenty of cloud cover, swing bowlers will enjoy a marked advantage and
batting totals are likely to be substantially lower than average. If the sun is
out, those faster bowlers will receive much less assistance, transferring the
advantage to the batsman. However constant sunshine will bake and break up the
pitch, favouring spinners later in the game.
An extreme example is
Headingley, a ground famous for favouring swing bowling, but that has also seen
many scores over 500 in good weather. During the 2009 Ashes series, Australia
bowled England out in bowler-friendly overcast conditions on the first day for
just 102, before making 445 on the same pitch once the sun came out. This
despite England being clearly the better side over the course of the series.
When bad weather causes the number of overs to be reduced in one-day
matches, a complex formula known as the Duckworth Lewis method is used to reset
batting totals. This can have a huge impact on the match winner market and
Take big prices
Markets and odds get
carried away with stats quite often in cricket. For example in Tests, the draw
often trades extremely short before the pitch suddenly deteriorates and teams
often fail to chase down supposedly easy targets in all formats.
the runs total markets regularly see massive upsets. A fairly frequent scenario
involves a team losing its last five wickets for less than 50 runs.
Alternatively, teams quite regularly hit 70+ runs off the last five overs in
T20. In both scenarios, some very short-priced bets will have lost and big
prices can win more then they should.
Check out past results at the ground in question, using a
tool like Stats Guru on www.espncricinfo.com.
Home advantage, follow
Whereas limited overs matches tend to be closely matched,
there are many one-sided Test matches as seen in the Ashes 2015. Often analysis
of the teams, weather and ground stats, will point in one clear direction. When
it does, don't be afraid to take short odds as there are many rock-solid
favourites in Test cricket
India. For a stretch from the beginning of
2009, they won 10 out of 15 home Tests, losing only once. Away from home, they
only won four from 20 and lost their last eight to England and Australia. Yet
in those two away series, because India are roughly of the same standard in
general terms, neither home side was very low priced before landing
South Africa. At a time when they were
constantly challenging for world number one status, the Proteas lost all four
Tests played in Durban between 2009 and 2011. Despite the bad omens, the
visitors started the last two matches as big outsiders, on the basis of wider
form at different grounds.
Lay the draw
While being careful
not to get caught out by the weather, trading the draw price in-running offers
a chance to utilise all that stats and pitch analysis.
deteriorate sharply as the pitch gets older, making life tough for batsmen as
bounce becomes uneven and cracks aid the spinners. It is perfectly normal for a
pitch to yield 400+ runs in the first innings but less than 150 in the fourth.
Over the first three days when the pitch is favouring batsmen, the draw price
invariably collapses, based on a false assumption that conditions won't change.
When they do, wickets tend to tumble in quick batches, dramatically
transforming the match and markets. Matches often produce results despite the
draw trading heavily odds-on.
This isn't, however, a plan to follow
blindly. Always maintain a good idea of how many overs remain in the match and
whether there will be time for the changes to take effect. Study past innings
totals at the ground to identify the scoring trends.
Just as the draw price can over-react to good batting, so too
can innings runs markets. If two batsmen establish a decent partnership, their
team's run line will rise with more or less each run. Partnerships can't last
forever though and were to some extent already priced in at the initial quote.
When a wicket falls, more often follow as new batsmen struggle to settle. The
potential for a batting collapse and dramatic betting turnaround is always live
and many odds-on bets are turned over this way. As a rule, it might pay to
blindly back unders every time a partnership hits a milestone like 100 or
40 and 50 Over Matches
Although 50 over matches are
famous for nailbiting close finishes and volatile betting, there are many
one-sided matches. Sometimes a particularly advantageous toss stacks the odds
in one direction. Sometimes the team batting first is bowled out and fails to
set a meaningful target.
Until a substantial part of the first innings
has been completed and the pitch been assessed, there is great uncertainty
about what represents a good total. It makes good sense, therefore, to spend
the first part of the match focused on the innings runs markets, fine-tuning
that pitch analysis and forming strong opinions for the second innings run
Some grounds have small boundaries, offering the potential for
very fast scoring during power plays and the end of the innings, but are hard
to accumulate runs on during the middle of innings. A recent example came at St
Kitts, during the West Indies v New Zealand series. Scoring was moderate in the
three first innings played there, averaging around five runs per over. Yet
despite limited tail-enders batting during the last five overs, the average
rose to nine per over as the short boundaries were regularly cleared.
40 and 50 Over Matches
Back extremes, especially on run
lines. If it comes off, extremely high scores are possible, which will always
be available at big prices. If it doesn't, wickets can tumble fast and a team
fall well short of setting a challenging total. Consequently, backing very high
or very low totals at big prices often pays.
Pre-innings run lines in IPL tend to average around 160. Yet
Bangalore, Delhi and Jaipur are all high scoring grounds and teams regularly