Bets For The Cricket World Cup

| May 29, 2019 | Reply

The One-Day Cricket Word Cup starts tomorrow and I have a few tips for the tournament for you. I don’t have any track record to support what’s below and of course it’s up to you whether you follow suit or not, but here’s what I’ll be backing and why. (There’s a summary of the recommended bets at the bottom.)

The tournament features ten teams who will all play each other once and then the top four will progress to the semi-finals.

A slight tangent to begin with:

Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY)

It’s a massive summer for England’s cricket teams with a One-Day World Cup and then The Ashes. They’re currently favourites for both and if victorious in one or the other then the headline maker is going to stand a strong chance of also winning SPOTY.

Only around half of the members of the respective squads are likely to be the same for both formats and that will give those involved in both to have two bites at the cherry.

Jos Buttler is one of the most explosive batsmen in the world, scorer of England’s fastest two centuries and an improving Test player. He comes into the World Cup in top form and if he comes off in the crucial moments of the tournament then he’ll be high in the highlights reel.

Joe Root is less spectacular, but holds a key role at No. 3 in the One-Day side, as the glue that holds an innings together, rotating the strike and allowing the big-hitters to push the tempo along, and as leading batsman and captain of the Test team. If he has a good summer then it’s is also likely that England will too. If he’s an Ashes winning captain having led from the front then he’ll be a strong contender for this award in December.

These two are preferred to other possibles such as Eion Morgan (captain of One-Day side but won’t feature in the Test series), Ben Stokes (consistently plays an important part but recent contributions have tended to be in assistance rather than starring roles), Moeen Ali (similar to Stokes), Adil Rashid (may not play in the Ashes due to only one spinner being the norm at home), James Anderson (headlines could have already have been made by the time he enters the spotlight later in the summer).

Top Tournament Batsman

Because of the ten team, round robin group stage followed by semis and final, six teams will play 9 games, two will play 10 and two will play 11. This narrows the gap in terms of number of games played compared with previous formats and means there’s a chance of the leading scorer coming from any of the ten teams, rather than just those that go deep into the tournament.

The stars of the leading teams head the market, with the likes of Root, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson among the nine batsmen at odds of under 20/1. However, none of these open the batting and playing for stronger sides may actually count against them because there may be games when they are chasing small totals or they follow lengthy opening stands which reduces their chances and, with strength beneath them too, there may be times when their own accumulation is sacrificed in pursuit of the highest possible team totals, whereas in weaker sides those two goals become one and the same.

In other words, I’m looking beyond the big names and the favoured teams for some hidden value:

Babar Azam (Pakistan)– A star of the future, Babar has averaged 51 in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) so far, passing 50 in over a third of his innings. In warm-up games he’s scored three centuries and four fifties from 9 innings.

Martin Guptill (New Zealand)- New Zealand’s highest scorer in T20 Internationals, has 3 ODI centuries to his name already this year. Plenty of experience with Derbyshire of playing in England and averages 51 in ODIs in this country. A big-game player – scored 237 not out in the quarter-final of the last World Cup.

Tamin Iqbal (Bangladesh)- Opener who had an excellent Test series in New Zealand earlier this year, scoring at a one-day rate – had made 126 out of Bangladesh’s 180 when he was out in the 1st Test. Has taken to English conditions before – 5 centuries and 5 half-centuries in 25 Test and One-Day International innings.

Shai Hope (West Indies)- comes into this in fine form, recording scores of 170, 109, 30, 87, 74, 21 in the recent tri-series against Bangadesh and Ireland, then added 101 against New Zealand.

Top Bowler

Whereas most sides like to bat first and set a total, England are better chasing and therefore are more likely to bowl first than others. In turn, this means they will either bowl sides out or have them attacking through to the end of their innings. (Whereas a side fielding second may have games when the result is clear before the end. It also means they are more likely to bowl their overs if rain interrupts proceedings.) This could give England’s bowlers a slight advantage in this market (which is based on most wickets taken).

Adil Rashid (England)- is trusted to bowl most of his overs in the second half of an innings when there is most attacking intent and more wickets fall. Opponents will fear England’s batting and not settle for moderate totals, increasing Rashid’s chances of picking up cheap wickets.

Matt Henry (New Zealand)- Henry has lurked under the radar, probably because he hasn’t been able to get into New Zealand’s Test team on a regular basis despite commonly being in the squad, due to the success of the Boult, Southee, Wagner attack. However, he has one of the best ever strike-rates in ODIs and should be used to the conditions after a successful season in county cricket last year. This may make him a spot of value, worthy of a small stake at a big price.

Tournament Winner

It’s hard to argue with the top three in the market being England, India and Australia and, given the format of the competition, their overall strength should see them through to the knock-outs, allowing for one or two off days.
Behind them, South Africa and West Indies may not have enough batting or consistency to make it through.

New Zealand look to be a more backable side at the prices with an experienced upper-order of Williamson, Guptill and Taylor and a threat with the ball from Boult and Southee. They look the most likely to make it through alongside the favoured three and from there could be traded out or reviewed according to the updated circumstances.

England’s Top Batsman

The value call here looks to be Jason Roy.

Fellow opener Jonny Bairstow and No. 3 Joe Root hold similarly strong cases due to their positions high in the order but with Roy back to top form in the build-up to the tournament, there shouldn’t be such a difference in their prices, especially as Roy has warmed up with scores of 87, 76, 114, 32 and 89* in his last five innings. There’s little difference in their prices to be the top batsman, but there’s enough of a gap here for a bet.

To Finish Bottom

Afghanistan are the obvious favourites here, but they did beat Pakistan in a warm-up game and continue to improve at an incredible rate.

Bangladesh have had the better of West Indies in the last few weeks and are capable of picking up a couple of wins. Sri Lanka are also strong contenders here but are priced accordingly.

Meanwhile, Pakistan are on a long losing streak and have a knack of missing out in tight games. They can also struggle with batting depth, leaving them vulnerable if losing early wickets. At the prices, they are worth a small stake in a tournament where the weakest are stronger than normal.

Summary of bets

SPOTY Winner:

Jos Buttler 1 point win. 40/1 various

Joe Root 0.75 points win. 20/1 various

https://www.oddschecker.com/awards/sports-personality-of-the-year/winner

World Cup Winner

New Zealand 0.75 points win. 12/1 Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook, 10/1otherwise

Top Batsman (4 places standard, 5 with Fred and Boyles)

Babar Azam 0.25 points each-way (0.5 points total) 25/1 Betfair Sportsbook, 22/1William Hill, 20/1 various

Tamin Iqbal 0.25 points each-way. 66/1 various

Martin Guptill 0.25 points each-way. 28/1various

Shai Hope 0.25 points each-way. 33/1 various

https://www.oddschecker.com/cricket/world-cup/world-cup-2019/top-batsman

Top Bowler (4 places standard, 5 with Fred and Boyles)

Adil Rashid 0.5 points each-way. 16/1various

Matt Henry 0.25 points each-way. 100/1 Sporting Bet, Bwin, Coral, Ladbrokes, William Hill

https://www.oddschecker.com/cricket/world-cup/world-cup-2019/top-bowler

Top English Batsman

Jason Roy 1 point win. 5 Betway, SkyBet, BetFred

To Finish Bottom

Pakistan 0.5 points. 20/1 Black Type, 18/1SkyBet

Good Luck!

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