Betting on cricket (Part 1)

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As a sport truly appreciated by millions of people globally, and therefore a betting market offering high liquidity, especially on events such as the Indian Premier League, cricket is a extremely lucrative sport for bettors. However, an appreciation of its vagaries and intricacies are useful before embarking on any wagers.

The most important aspect of betting on cricket is an appreciation of how the format and conditions of the match can influence the result. Indeed, cricket is played in three common variations – Test match or first class cricket (defined as being three or more days in duration), one-day cricket and Twenty20 (also known as T20). Different teams and countries excel at different forms of the game (for example, India are currently the number one Test-ranked side, Australia take the honours in the one-day version while New Zealand are the Tenty20 team to beat), and the country or venue or the match can create massive swings in permutations, the likes of which are almost unknown in other sports. As each form of cricket has its own idiosyncrasies and betting options, this series of articles will take a look at each format in turn, starting with Test match (First Class cricket).

Test cricket (First Class)

With a number of high-profile series currently taking place around the globe, including England’s visit to India and South Africa and Pakistan’s trips to Australia and New Zealand respectively, this is a busy period for the longest form of the game. Domestically the season is in full swing in the southern hemisphere, and due to the seasonal nature of the sport but the fact it is played both north and south of the equator means, invariably, there is a match to bet on. Due to the fact that international Test matches are five days in duration, the in-game market is unsurprisingly popular, and due to the importance of winning the toss and therefore electing to bat first or second, a team can often obtain an important advantage that would just not exist in sports such as football, obviously the odds can change almost unrecognizably in the half hour before a match starts (a toss is usually taken 30 minutes before the start of play). However, this article focuses solely on the pre-game market (as do the Tipsters on, which offers an incredible number of options.

Match odds

One thing to be wary of in cricket is the likelihood of the draw which can be brought about by the weather. No Tipster or punter would dare make a confident prediction without checking the forecast first, especially in the likes of England. As a consequence, the draw no bet option is often favourable, as is the Double Chance market (where a better makes a prediction on two events with the same bet, for example win and draw for one side).

Individual Player markets

Punters can wager on which batsman will top score for his team in the first innings, and some of the bigger bookmakers offer Batsman matches, meaning who will score the most runs between two batsmen. On the bowler side, the most successful first innings bowler for a team can be selected (measured in terms of wickets and then runs per wicket). Punters can bet on whether an individual player will score a hundred or even a fifty (or not) in the first innings or match. If a player is not offered in any of these markets, often they can be requested directly.

First Innings

As well as the player markets mentioned previously, bettors can select whether a fifty or hundred will be scored in the first innings (yes or no), which team will have the highest first innings opening partnership, and which team will have a first innings lead.

First wicket

A multitude of markets are offered on the first wicket, such as the method, and the runs range in which the first wicket will fall (for example 0-10 runs, etc.).

Speciality markets

Want to bet on who will win the toss? No problem. Man of the match is another popular option, as is which team will suffer the most run outs, and the number of runs to be conceded in the first over of the match.

What to remember

As can be ascertained, betting on cricket is no easy task, but what is certain is that for any effective strategy, novelty and specialist markets are probably best avoided. Match odds offer the least unpredictable permutations and so are often the tips (and bets) of choice for experienced Tipsters, and so seeking the advice of those same Tipsters is always recommended.

Steve Paget