The First Test between Australia and England brings in Brisbane towards the end of November and this series and other Test matches provide an opportunity to benefit from a trend that has yet to be fully recognised by the bookmakers. England are even money to retain the Ashes but Australia look worthy of support at 7/4 in a series that is unlikely to be affected by the weather which means a drawn set of matches can be dismissed.
As soon as an international cricket match starts bookmakers offer odds on just about every eventuality, including the number of runs scored from each ball. This type of spot betting is susceptible to fixing as in the overall scheme of a five day Test match a run or not from a single ball will not affect the result. This would leave bookies open to fixing but the reality is that bookmakers are now very alert to what is known as unusual betting patterns.
Each operator has a security department to monitor betting and a big clue to something being amiss would be of several new accounts being opened and the new players placing the same bet on some relatively insignificant aspect of the game. However, there is still one market in which the punter has a legitimate edge.
No matter which pair is batting bookmakers offer odds on who will be the next batsmen out. In many batting partnerships it’s impossible to find a solid betting proposition but sometimes the odds are in favour of the bettor. The ideal betting situation is when a recognised batsman is partnering a tail-ender.
Most tail-enders just want to protect their wicket as the guy down the other end is more qualified to score the runs. They play safe shots with their main objective being to let the better batsmen dominate the strike. Some of the so called weak batsmen are good at protecting their wicket. James Anderson went 53 Test innings in succession without scoring nought.
The batsman from higher up the order will almost always be the outsider in the two way market to be the next player to lose his wicket. However, the level of risk taking from each player and the tail-enders ability to protect his wicket sometimes determines that the relative prices are not a true reflection of the probability of who will be out next. This trend could be something to occupy the overnight hours in boring passages of play on England’s Tour of Australia this winter.