Cricket World Cup: Expert Trading Selections

Matt Barker, along with The Pro Sports Syndicate for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, will be providing their best trading tips and analysis for selected games over the tournament.

Trading on Cricket (learn the basics HERE) can be difficult but with the provided pre game trading advice, you can learn what to look for and how to approach the selected games.

If you’re looking to use these sheets for every single game across the World Cup, head to the TPSS Website here.

Matt Barker has done a customer insights article on the Betfair Hub. You can learn more about him and his approach to cricket trading here.


The Ground

The home of cricket hosts the biggest game in recent memory. The underdogs have found there way here through a combination of great talent in key moments and monumental amounts of luck. The hosts have bludgeoned their way beyond the rest of the pack and rightly come into this game as red hot favourites.

Lords is a ground that tends to have a small range of scores where neither green seamers nor absolute belters are common place. The deck looked green 48 hours before but that is likely a good thing for the batsmen with a few shaves and some good weather to make it into a decent / excellent deck by toss time at 10am local tomorrow.

The team that wins the toss will likely bat first given the occasion and pressure of chasing in a final.

What to Look For

England are a prohibitively short $1.33 the evening before. While I believe that England win and win well, at these odds you’re looking for ways that they don’t win.

For me, the only way that that happens is if they bat first and Boult tears a couple out early. Both openers are susceptible to the ball swinging back into their pads and that’s exactly what Boult provides. For me, I’d be happier backing England if they (potentially lose the toss and) bowl first.

The Kiwi batting lineup is below average and out of form and England are very likely to do to them what they did to the Aussies in the semi. If that’s the case they should chase easily and be crowned as the best side in the world.

When to Back

I’m reticent to be against England much, if ever, in this game. As a consequence I’m looking for a spot to back them. My theory with odds as short as this is you’re looking for the trap spots that they can lose. In my head the only way that happens is if they bat first and Boult rips out the top order.

As a consequence I’ll be with them when he isn’t involved. If that means that the openers batter him around the home of cricket and we get no price, then so be it.

Final Call

England to win the World Cup at $1.33.

Thanks for reading, it’s been fun. Hopefully you guys made a few dollars.

The Ground

I was pretty close with predictions for the ground in the last game at Edgbaston. It has been tricky this tournament with unforeseen circumstances leading to pitches that just couldn’t be predicted. Today’s game at Old Trafford is a fine example.

Every game there has had good pace and bounce and probably the most true pitch of the tournament. We turn up for a huge semi final on a brand new pitch and somehow it’s slow, low and turning square. Figure that out!

We should get a true pitch at Edgbaston on Thursday but it’s hard to have too much faith given what has gone before. I would expect the team that wins the toss to probably bat and try and get 300+ on the board that would be a tough chase in such a huge game.

What to look for

With these two batting lineups and their respective bowing lineups it’s tempting to charge the overs on runs and back the bats. The overwhelming advice u get at HQ is to look up not down and a warm sunny day is forecast. I would envisage an absolute belter by midday so the team bowling first must use the new ball well or they could be chasing 350+.

 I’m torn here. I get myself in big trouble sometimes at this ground backing the batting side too early, but that is definitely the way to go eventually. It’s a tough ground to defend with a lightning outfield and if the sun does shine it could be carnage.

 I’ll either back the bowlers very early (first 6) or try and sit on my hands and get on the batsmen as the opening bowlers finish their spells. It’s intriguing and I can’t wait but I don’t have a definitive pre match strategy. It’ll depend on what happens mega early (Sean or swing etc.)

 If the team batting first survives the first 10 well I expect a classic game with 330 challenged chasing.

That was what I wrote in the first game between these two sides. The pitch was far from a belter though, with the new ball seaming and swinging round corners in both innings. Australia were lucky to survive the first 10 overs and England had no answers early.

The interesting thing here is if the openers on both sides can get the ball to swing under what is scheduled to be cloudy skies. If they can and they can take early wickets the middle orders of both sides will be under huge pressure.

I fancy England’s middle order far more than Australia’s especially given Pete Handscomb is in line for his world cup debut after Khawaja was ruled out of the tournament.

Fortress Edgbaston is well known to be one of England’s favourite grounds and the atmosphere will almost certainly be a hostile one for the Aussies. I’m certainly not suggesting that they won’t be able to cope but England should go out there full of confidence with a packed house cheering them on (assuming tickets have managed to change hands after so many Indian fans had to switch semi finals when Aus lost to South Africa the other day.)

When to Back

If England bat first and the two left arm quickies can’t get the ball swinging I’d really fear for Australia here. Cummins has looked short of his best in recent games and if you don’t get early wickets against England there will destroy you.

I’ll back England after seeing limited / no swing early. If it does swing then I’d be holding fire for a good few overs. I still want to be with England with the bat.

If Australia bat first I’d be more wary of backing them given Warner’s propensity to start slowly. If they build a good platform I’d be happy to be with them at some point with the bat, potentially against Wood and maybe Rashid if the ball isn’t spinning.

England’s star leg spinner has been a little bit off this tournament so there could be a slight angle in opposing those two, but if it does turn I’d be nowhere near that bat.

Overall I’m more likely to be with England than against them but would prefer to back them batting first than chasing because the pressure could get too much against a very decent Aussie attack.

Final Call

England to just about get the job done and make a home world cup final. $1.79 a good price.

Old Trafford hosts the first semi final and 3 of the 4 semi finalists are the 3 favourites pre tournament. Essentially everyone predicted that Australia, India and England would make the playoffs but the final spot was very much up for grabs. New Zealand were the most likely to make it in most people’s books but in my head it was wide open and they’re very lucky to have secured their spot having lost their last 3 games.

The Ground

This ground has been the most true of any ground in this entire tournament and it’s hard to imagine this will change as we get to the pointy end. A fresh pitch has been prepared so there will be a debate between captain and coach over bowling first under potentially cloudy skies on a fresh pitch vs batting first that has become the norm in this tournament. Runs on the board in a knockout game is probably the way to go so expect the captain that wins the toss to go this way.

When to Back

Checking how the pitch plays is imperative so a pre match opinion is tough, but I’d think that if the team that bats first gets through the opening spell without too much damage, they will set themselves up in the game and the pressure on the chasing team will be immense.

This isn’t easy as the opening attack for both sides is excellent. I’d be more obliged to back the batting side after this opening spell at around or above their opening quote. I think the best scenario pre match is to be out of the market for the first 8-10 overs.

Final Call

I think that if India bat first they could win and win well. Things get far more complicated if New Zealand bat first. There wouldn’t be too much wrong with backing India at $1.40+ if NZ did bat first as India will be constantly overrated by the market and if NZ get bowled out for 250 you could get a good trade on India chasing.

I actually think that anything 275+ could be an extremely tough chase so despite not having a firm opinion I’ll back the team batting first to win.

Back the team batting first to win.

The Ground

This ground has been tricky to figure out pre match during this tournament. We have had first innings scores of 336, 397, 291 and 268. All four were winning scores, which indicates that the pitch has a tendency to be at its best early and slow down late. Interestingly, this was the only day nighter.

What to look for

South Africa are a bad side. They beat Sri Lanka convincingly in their last game after the pressure came off with elimination, but Australia are a completely different prospect. Again the side winning the toss will likely bat and have a slight advantage but I don’t see me being against Australia much in this game.

I’ll probably either be flat or on Aus. They finally have the bowling lineup sorted and that means they are a wicket taking threat for a large part of the innings.

When to Back

South Africa have a couple of good players who I don’t want to be too hard against (Faf, QDK, Van Der Dussen) but overall this is a bit of a mis-match. I’ll be heavier against the rest of their batting lineup either setting or chasing and I’m happy to be on the Aus batsmen too. Hopefully Australia bat first and set a formidable total, which South Africa won’t be able to chase down.

Even if they set a moderate or below par total, there should be ample opportunity to back the Aus bowlers at big odds to either cause some panic or flat out win the game, just like what happened at Lords the other day vs New Zealand.

Final Call

Aus to win at $1.46. You may get a bigger price than this in the last hour before the toss if Maxwell is out injured.

The Ground

“Chester Le Street plays host to its second game, a dead rubber between WI and SL. The deck is a fresh one from the first game and looks flat and potentially a bit bare. With good weather for the previous few days I’d expect a lot of runs if these batsmen can apply themselves. With pressure off that should happen but who knows, they’ve both failed miserably to apply themselves thus far.”

This was my thought process for the previous game and I see no reason to change after there were 653 runs in that one. If Roy and Bairstow can see off the opening spell of Boult, England should get a very big one batting first. Given that everyone is saying it looks straw coloured already and a forecast good day, New Zealand should also be able to score well.

What to look for

The key battle for me is Boult vs the openers for England. If they can see him off (it won’t be easy as he swings it back in to right handers and they’ve both been vulnerable to that type of delivery) they should set themselves up to chase anything or set too many.

When to Back

I’m happy to be on both batting lineups provided the pitch looks like we have been told it does in the build up. Don’t be too heavy against Boult’s first spell but look to be on England with the bat.

I’m also happy to lay England with the ball with a view to backing them at a much bigger price should New Zealand bat first. Obviously everyone will have to make a judgement on the pitch first and that’s the slightly tricky part.

Final Call

England to Win. Either back overs on runs / team batting. More confident on England’s batting than New Zealand.

The Ground

After a day of chaotic drama at the World Cup we’re set for another! With New Zealand losing and Pakistan winning all options are open and England go into a massive encounter with current tournament favourites, India, knowing a win is almost imperative.

I won’t go into all the permutations as I’m sure the entire coverage will be focussed around it but suffice to say a loss here is almost unthinkable for the initial tournament favourites.

Edgbaston lends itself to India to a tee. It should be slow and low and their bowling attack should be in their element.

It strikes me as another place where chasing will be extremely tough and putting any type of decent total on the board will be extremely valuable.

When to Back

It’s quite tough to write this as an ardent England fan but I’ll be honest, I expected India to be slightly shorter than the $1.95 offered.

It’s far from me believing England can’t win. Their best is certainly better and India have some serious holes, especially in their middle order. But overall I essentially make India slightly bigger favourites than their price suggests.

I’d be looking to be against India from 4-7 in the batting lineup and possibly hold that position into a chase for England or, if India were chasing, look to lay them low. I feel this is their weakness but I can’t find anywhere else that they struggle.

Final Call

I think that India will just about get it done. It’s an incredibly close game and the odds reflect this but gun to head on a slow turning surface I’ll side with the team most likely to be familiar to the conditions.

 BACK – India at $1.95.

The Ground

A huge trans-tasman clash awaits at Lords on Saturday afternoon and it could turn into a classic like the thriller at Eden Park in the world cup 2015, or it could end up a damp squib like the final of the same tournament.

“Lords plays host to the game of the tournament as the hosts and favourites play the Aussies. The winner can book their place in the knockouts while the loser will be nervously looking over their shoulder at a host of challengers lurking.

 A fresh deck that will be played on again at the weekend awaits and that should ensure a touch of grass and moisture first up. A bit of insider knowledge here:

 Lords hosts the domestic 50 over final every year with a similar early start (10.30am local) and almost always sees the team batting first in trouble before noon. Many a final has been decided in the first hour and I certainly wouldn’t rule out either side being in big trouble by the time the patrons second champagne corks begin littering the outfield.”

Above is what I said about the previous game at Lords and Australia were lucky early with the bat as England went past the edge numerous times and had both openers in all sorts of trouble as the ball nipped around early.

The difference in this game is the 1.30pm start (local) as any moisture in the pitch will have gone by then. It’s forecast to be the hottest day of the year with temperatures into the 30s and we could end up with the side that bats first putting on a winning score before the pitch slows down. I guess the x factor is what it does under lights and I don’t have that answer. We’re playing on the same deck so I’d think the side winning the toss will want to bat first. If that’s Australia I fancy them to put up a big score.

When to Back

I think the Aussies should be too good here. If they win the toss and bat they’re a good long term back at $1.50 ish. If New Zealand bat first and see off the opening burst we could see a good price on Aus. I’d be looking to get on them early with the ball against the openers then bailing lower on a wicket or 2 of the out of form openers. Then re-backing mid inns for NZ. If no wicket I’d be happy to top up on Aus $1.85+.

Final Call

Happier to be on Aus batting first but fancy they have too much irrespective as New Zealand have a habit of failing to show up in games against their big brother.

 BACK – Australia at $1.55.

The Ground

The second game of the tournament at Edgbaston suddenly has huge ramifications for both sides. A win for New Zealand and they’ll be the second side through to the semis, while a Pakistan win opens up all sorts of possibilities.

New Zealand somehow got home against a classic South African choke in game 1 here and that experience on the deck could help them. It was slow and low and stopped and turned. We could well be in for something similar. On top of that the pitch was under covers today and a cloudy day is forecast tomorrow. It could be a lower than average scoring day.

What to Look for

Both of these sides have significant flaws. The opening bats for New Zealand have flattered to deceive, their middle to lower order is weak and I’m still not convinced by their back up bowlers to Boult. Pakistan find ways to get out, they also have back up bowler issues (to Amir) and generally put in a shocker fairly frequently. NZ have won 12 of the last 13 ODIs between the 2 sides.

I think I’ll be looking to be on the fielding side, at least initially. This has been a bat first and win World Cup (18-10 to the side batting first) but these batting lineups both look fragile to early movement and a potentially slow deck. We could see a low one defended if the pitch really does slow down.

Pakistan are well suited to slow low pitches but their recent record is so bad against New Zealand that it’s hard to have much confidence in them.

When to Back

Smaller stakes than usual for me here, at least initially. I’ll back either side in the field with a view to getting them to a good low price before / during the chase.

Final Call

Certainly not one to go overboard at and I don’t particularly like an outright punt here as it could be a very nervy game with wild odds fluctuations given the limits of both sides. If pushed I’ll back the fielding side to get the job done.

The Ground

Lords plays host to the game of the tournament as the hosts and favourites play the Aussies. The winner can book their place in the knockouts while the loser will be nervously looking over their shoulder at a host of challengers lurking.

A fresh deck that will be played on again at the weekend awaits and that should ensure a touch of grass and moisture first up. A bit of insider knowledge here:

Lords hosts the domestic 50 over final every year with a similar early start (10.30am local) and almost always sees the team batting first in trouble before noon. Many a final has been decided in the first hour and I certainly wouldn’t rule out either side being in big trouble by the time the patrons second champagne corks begin littering the outfield.

When to Back

With these two batting lineups and their respective bowing lineups it’s tempting to charge the overs on runs and back the bats. The overwhelming advice u get at HQ is to look up not down and a warm sunny day is forecast. I would envisage an absolute belter by midday so the team bowling first must use the new ball well or they could be chasing 350+.

I’m torn here. I get myself in big trouble sometimes at this ground backing the batting side too early, but that is definitely the way to go eventually. It’s a tough ground to defend with a lightning outfield and if the sun does shine it could be carnage.

I’ll either back the bowlers very early (first 6) or try and sit on my hands and get on the batsmen as the opening bowlers finish their spells. It’s intriguing and I can’t wait but I don’t have a definitive pre match strategy. It’ll depend on what happens mega early (Seam or swing etc.)

If the team batting first survives the first 10 well I expect a classic game with 330 challenged chasing.

Final Call

England to just about have enough. $1.85 is probably big, based on the respective teams but there is a mountain of expectation on them and the Aussies will love the underdog tag.

Get the coffee out and settle in cos this is going to be a nocturnal cracker for you lot.

 BACK – England at $1.85.

The Ground

Edgbaston makes its CWC debut for an absolutely monster fixture between South Africa and New Zealand.

The Proteas have been shocking so far this tournament. They have just 1 win in 5 games and were in trouble in the rained out game vs West Indies at 27/2.

New Zealand are in a flattering, false spot in the table having beaten Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (just) combined with a washout vs India.

Reports are that the pitch looks white, which usually signifies runs. The only issue, once again, is the weather. We have showers forecast for the morning and the deck could be a touch slow.

What to Look For

If we do have a delayed start it could be prudent to back the bowling side initially, though price is extremely important in this. I backed India at $1.66 post toss simply because the price moved much too far for losing the toss (was $1.43 pre-toss).

I’d be backing both side’s seam bowlers to cause some drama up front for the opposition openers provided you don’t pay much more than 5 ticks premium on the toss.

I have taken on New Zealand outright as I really don’t rate them as highly as the market. I think their back up bowlers are vulnerable and their middle order batting is also vulnerable (as Bangladesh showed).

When to Back

I’ll be looking to take New Zealand on at good odds with the key South African players (Rabada, Ngidi, Tahir, De Kock, Du Plessis).

It’s a very trappy game and stakes will be kept low-ish initially until the game becomes more clear but there are significant weaknesses in this Kiwi side (as stated above) and I’ll be looking to take them on both with bat and ball.

Final Call

South Africa look overpriced at $2.20 in what looks a pick ‘em to me.

 BACK – South Africa at $2.20.

The Ground

Old Trafford makes its tournament debut in what is arguably the biggest game on the fixture list. More people will watch this game than any other sporting event this year.

Reports are that the deck is flat and if the forecast was good I’d expect big big runs. Sadly that isn’t the case and as a result we could well see a reduced game.

What to Look For

The toss feels absolutely huge to me in this. Showers are forecast from around midday and interruptions seem almost nailed on, meaning Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) will become relevant. This tends to favour the chasing side and as a result the captain winning the toss will almost certainly bowl first.

India are a much better side and tend to wipe the floor with Pakistan, but they were battered themselves in the Champions Trophy final in 2015 where Pakistan struck early with the ball and never relented.

When to Back

If India win the toss I’ll likely be heavy on them as the market really can’t let them get too big irrespective of what Pakistan do early. It’ll be fearful of DLS and of the strong Indian line up chasing any score in a reduced overs match.

If Pakistan win it and bowl first I may be on them, though it will be smaller. I may also have a look early and pick my spots to back the underdogs. All of this relies on a notoriously changeable Manchester weather forecast to hold up.

Essentially don’t take on Bumrah and don’t take on the Indian spinners if it’s dry when they bowl. If it gets wet then they become less potent.

Final Call

Chasing side hold the aces in a reduced match. I fancy India strongly if they bowl first.

 BACK – India at $1.44 if they bowl first.

The Ground

The Oval hosts its 4th game of the tournament against two of the heavyweights who will, all things being equal, be around at the sharp end of the tournament. So far we have seen first innings scores of 311, 244 and 330. Bangladesh were unable to deal with the New Zealand new ball attack, but aside from that the deck has favoured the bat so far. With a cool dry day on Saturday and the same expected on Sunday, I see no reason to believe that scores will be much shy of 330 again.”

The above is what I said for game 14 between India and Australia. That day saw 352 play 316 and I don’t see any reason for much different today unless Sri Lanka fold to Starc and Cummins (very possible.)

When to Back

Sri Lanka are horribly average and it would be a surprise to see Australia trade even above $1.40 here let alone lose. As I write this they’re $1.15 and it’s impossible to go past them. If they bowl first they will very likely take early wickets before a potential small fightback from the Lankans vs the Aus back up bowlers (certainly the weakness in this Australia side.) But Aus should chase down 300 with ease.

If Aus bat first they should be looking for a score north of the 352 India posted against them, which would obviously be far too many.

What to look for

There’s not too much to say here. I guess I’ll be backing Aus first up irrespective of the toss winner but $1.15 is hardly anything to get excited about.

Something of slightly more interest could be a runs back should Aus bat first. It’s a fresh pitch and the forecast is for some sunshine along with some clouds. That’s a positive and if 320-330 is odds against it could be decent punt.

Final Call

Australia will be far too good for a very average Sri Lanka side. That’ll take them to 8 points and leave them needing a maximum of 2 wins from their remaining 4 games to make the semis.

 BACK – Australia $1.15

The Ground

The only game completed at the Rose Bowl so far saw a very poor South African score chased down relatively easily by India. The scorecard is here

With awful weather around the UK for the past 2 days, the pitch will have been under covers so expect some movement with the new ball first up. It’s hard to assess what will be a good score given we’ve already had 2 games abandoned here but given the batting skills on show for both sides, expect 320+.

When to Back

England seem a very short price at $1.40 against a talented and dangerous West Indies that has already ripped apart Pakistan, reduced Australia to 79/5 and knocked over 2 for 20 in the abandoned game vs South Africa.

What to look for

I’ll be looking to sum up the pitch early, as we can get absolute belters here frequently. If that’s the case then it should be a straightforward ‘back the bat’ where you back the team batting first and then flip the book to the chasing side late in the first inns or at half time.

Ideally we get $1.80+ on England if West Indies bat first or $1.16 and under to lay England should they bat first and set the West Indies a challenging target.

Final Call

A long term straight out play could be to back West Indies at $3.50. That’s definitely a value bet, but I’ll be backing the bat after the best of the bowling conditions in the first 10 overs have elapsed.

New Zealand got lucky yesterday with a washout giving them 1 more point than they would likely have got vs India so West Indies are going to need to take some scalps to get themselves in the top 4.

The winner of this game is set up very well to make the semis at this early stage.

 BACK – West Indies $3.50 or back the batting side in both innings

The Ground

Trent Bridge is an extremely flat ground but the overhead conditions will favour seam bowling. (We’re very likely to not get a game as the completed match market has no a $1.30 favourite)

When to Back

The only angle I have in this game is to back India should they bowl first. I think it’s extremely unlikely that they would lose to an average kiwi side if they bowled first.

If New Zealand bowl first I’ll be sitting on my hands initially and be looking for opportunities in play.

Final Call

There’s every chance that all this is irrelevant if it keeps raining but if we get any overs, don’t charge in.

The Ground

The Oval hosts its 4th game of the tournament against two of the heavyweights who will, all things being equal, be around at the sharp end of the tournament. So far we have seen first innings scores of 311, 244 and 330.

Bangladesh were unable to deal with the New Zealand new ball attack but, aside from that, the deck has favoured the bat so far. With a cool, dry day on Saturday and the same expected on Sunday, I see no reason to believe that scores will be much shy of 330 again.

When to Back

If the top order can set a platform for India I’ll be looking to be on them for large parts of their batting innings. In addition, they have the best quick bowler on earth in Bumrah and some very good spinners (Chahal and Kuldeep).

I’m happy to be on India with the new ball, especially for Bumrah’s overs. There’s a very solid chance he makes the Australian top order look silly, given they were unable to handle a level below in the West Indies pace bowlers.

When to Back

The deck is, obviously, of extreme importance again. We’re starting to see them settle down and the bat is just starting to exert some significant dominance (England scored 386 at Cardiff on Saturday). If this continues then obviously you’re going to have to pick and choose spots to be on the bowling side.

It would have to be very flat for me to be against the Indians in the field for long periods of time. That is not to say Australia can’t win, I just feel India are much more likely to trade at a short price.

Final Call

India look a touch big for an outright punt at $1.85, I’d have them around $1.70 ish. If looking to trade the game I’d certainly be looking to take on the Aussies in the field whenever their best two bowlers (Starc and Cummins) aren’t bowling. Their back up looks threadbare and I can see them getting exposed on a flat-ish deck vs a gun batting lineup.

The Ground

We’re back to the flattest wicket in England on the small Trent Bridge ground for a mouth watering clash between Australia and the West Indies. What’s more we’ll be playing on the world record 481 strip!

So far the pitches haven’t been quite as flat as was expected and there has been an even contest between bat and ball, but we have still seen plenty of 300+ par decks and this looks likely to be the case again.

Key Players

The quicks are going to be vital to both sides, especially considering there will be a propensity to try and rough up the opposition stars. Starc and Cummins will go after Gayle et al with the short ball and whoever comes out on top here will more than likely win the game.

It’s vital that the West Indies pace bowlers get it right against the Aussie bats or else the game could be gone very quickly.

When to Back

I have no firm opinions pre match in this fixture given the slight concern with the ICC preparing the decks. I fancy a high scorer again with the potential for extreme scores (370+) but it does seem the governing body have left something in most pitches for the bowlers.

I feel I’ll be on Australia if they bat first, looking for a very low exit point to turn the book green then see if any opportunities arise during a West Indian chase.

If WI bat first it’ll be a case of judging the pitch as quickly as possible and either looking for an odds on Aus lay to flip around late in the first inns / when they chase or simply finding a good price to back Aus to chase down whatever WI set.

Final Call

Likely look to find pro Aus positions for the majority of the game, ideally with the bat. I feel they are slightly more well rounded and can edge a very close encounter with an extremely talented side. It’s a wide open world cup but I wouldn’t bet against these two meeting again later in the competition.

The Ground

India enter the tournament against a battered and bruised South Africa at the Rose Bowl. Again, this ground is known for high scoring cricket. The average first inns total is 311, with the number rising to 336 for the average first inns winning score.

3 weeks ago England beat Pakistan on a day where 734 runs were scored. With decent weather and a deck that by all accounts isn’t green, expect bat to dominate once again.

When to Back

It’s difficult to look beyond the Indians here. They have all the aces. Their batting is much stronger than South Africa, they have the edge in the spin department and, given the injuries to Steyn and Ngidi, the contest between the seamers isn’t close.

I’ll be on India for large parts of the game again, especially with the bat. The only time I’ll be a little cautious is when the top 3 for South Africa are in. (If Amla is fit that’s a slight problem as I’m happy to be against him but don’t want to be against De Kock, Markrem or Faf as much.)

What to look for

Despite the chances of bat dominating ball, I’m happy to be on India in the field at reasonable odds (above 1.7) or when the top order of South Africa are out. I’ll be looking to make a judgement on the deck quite early then be looking to weight my book heavily in favour of India.

Final Call

India should be much too good for a South African side that will be playing their third game in six days. Assuming they switch on from the off we could see quite a one sided contest if they bat first. I expect them to chase up to 320 fairly comfortably too, unless Tahir does something ridiculous.

 BACK – India $1.54 and top up along the way.

The Ground

The Oval plays host to its third game of the tournament after 2 games won convincingly by the side batting first. 300 was breached both times and this seems like a benchmark for sides at this ground.

We have a fresh pitch and potential for some clouds overhead, so caution is advised early. There should be no reason that this deck isn’t just as good as the previous though.

Key Players

The most important thing for Bangladesh will be to establish a base when batting. New Zealand are extremely dangerous with Trent Boult and Tim Southee (if fit) providing seam and swing in most conditions.

If the top order can keep these two at bay then they have a chance. I’ll try not to be against New Zealand at any point when Boult has ball in hand. Tamim, Sarkar and Rahim are vital if Bangladesh are to be competitive here.

When to Back

This is quite tricky as I think New Zealand will win but are too short at $1.38. Bangladesh’s best chance may be batting first and getting through the opening spell of Boult and co. Then if the pitch wears their spin may come right in to it later in the day.

Shakib Al Hasan is a master and Mehidy is tricky too. I think looking for bigger prices on New Zealand to lay for small profits multiple times will be my strategy. It doesn’t feel like a game that Bangladesh will be able to dominate and train home. We likely get a very big price on them even if they find a way to win.

Final Call

Really tough to find a good angle here without seeing how the game flows. As an outright set and forget bet you could have a small lay of NZ at $1.38.

However despite not rating them as highly as many other judges in this tournament I think NZ will probably find a way to go to 2-0 and set themselves up for bigger challenges down the road.

The Ground

“Trent Bridge is the flattest ground in England. Teams frequently score 400+ in domestic 50 over cricket here and this is the ground where England amassed a world record 481/6 against Australia in June last year. Conditions are forecast to be overcast but these white balls very rarely swing so we should be in for another high scoring game.”

This is what I wrote for game 2 and the same rules apply. In theory, with better weather conditions, there’s even more of a chance of a high scorer. Below is the scorecard from the same ground and the same teams just 2 weeks ago. Expect similar:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18664/game/1152844/england-vs-pakistan-4th-odi-pakistan-in-eng-2019

When to Back

I’m not sure exactly how the markets are going to react to this England side if they chase in this tournament, but it’s interesting to note that they were good odds against (2.6+) multiple times in this series at HT and hacked up every time. My strategy is more than likely going to be to stagger backs on England if chasing, hoping that Pakistan either set a good score or look likely to set one.

If England bat first it’s slightly tougher but I’ll still be backing them and topping up on wickets. That strategy worked handsomely in the opener when Bairstow got out 2nd ball and they never traded bigger, pretty much straight lined to $1.01.

When to Back

As I say, there’s really no reason that bat won’t dominate this game, but it’s hard to recommend any strategy to be against England. The only viable option is laying England if they bowl first in order to flip the book at a bigger price.

Final Call

England to continue their dominance over Pakistan (won the ODI series 4-0) and assert themselves in the tournament as the clear and obvious team to beat.

Back  England and average up.

The Ground
Again, Bristol is a ground where high scores are common place. There were 750 runs scored in the warm up between West Indies and New Zealand. There should be no demons in the deck.

When to Back

Afghanistan:

I just can’t find an angle to be on them at any point

Australia:

This is a tough game given Aus are $1.10 SP. My only angle really is to back Aus every couple of ticks if Afghanistan bat first. The idea being the market may push Aus out on a boundary here and there early. I envisage something similar to this happening

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19134/game/1173352/england-vs-afghanistan-afg-in-scot-2019

It’s interesting to note that England traded around $1.18-1.20 after a $1.10 sp early doors due to the odd boundary. Just back  on the way up, they will play a rash shot and get out then fold.

Final Call
Not a lot to see here from a betting heat in play. My only play is above. Australia would have to completely implode to even give Afghanistan a sniff.

The Ground

I’m not reading too much into yesterday’s game where Pakistan put in the kind of shambolic performance that is symptomatic of their up and down nature. There have been murmurings of ICC pitches being less flat than we all thought, but that’s not something I’m having just yet. The 2 warm up games that were played at Cardiff saw scores of 338 and 359 and I’d be inclined to expect similar if New Zealand were to bat first.

When to Back

Sri Lanka: I have no interest in being on Sri Lanka at any stage vs most of the sides in this tournament.

New Zealand: If they bowl first there’s no reason to not be on them even at short odds. Trent Boult is one of the best in the world and he should have too much up top with the new ball for the wobbly top order of Sri Lanka. I can understand a little bit more caution should NZ bat first, just in case there is something in the pitch in the morning, but I’ll either be neutral or pro NZ for large parts of the game.

What to look for

If New Zealand Bat First
Back them, top up on an early wicket and look for a low price to trade out at during their inns (in the 1.0x range)

If New Zealand Bat Second
Back them up front with the ball and hold as long as you feel comfortable (I’ll very likely hold the entire match)

Final Call
New Zealand should be much too good for arguably the worst side in the competition.

 BACK – New Zealand

The Ground

Trent Bridge is the flattest ground in England. Teams frequently score 400+ in domestic 50 over cricket here and this is the ground where England amassed a world record 481/6 against Australia in June last year. Conditions are forecast to be overcast but these white balls very rarely swing so we should be in for another high scoring game.

When to Back

Slightly different game to the first game here in that there aren’t obvious entrance positions on either side. I’ll be taking an early look at conditions to make sure the ball is not hooping around corners, however most likely will be backing both batting line ups.

Key Players to back with bat

Gayle, Hope, Russell (West Indies)

Imam, Fakhar, Babar (Pakistan)

Gayle is slightly susceptible to left arm seam (Amir, Afridi) however he’s in unreal form recently so I’m happy to back him. The top 3 of Pakistan were exceptional in the recent series vs England.

What to look for

As above I think bat should dominate ball in this encounter. The main worry would be if the West Indies batted first under cloudy skies versus some reasonably skilled Pakistan seam bowling, however their bowling has been pretty average in recent times with Hasan Ali averaging 60 in the last 12 months and Mohammed Amir barely making the squad.

Final Call

Gun to head I’d probably just about back WI to win, however I have no interest in an evens punt here. Instead I’ll be looking to be with both batting line ups throughout the game. Pakistan became the first team ever to score 340 or more in 3 consecutive ODIs last month (lost them all) and West Indies scored 421 vs New Zealand as recently as Tuesday.

 BACK – Back the team batting first for a trade then flip the book to the chasing team at half time with the idea being to level the book during the chase at low odds.

The Ground
The Oval is renowned for being a flat wicket, so you can expect plenty of runs.
New Zealand have the record total here of 398, with England scoring 365 against them in the same game.

When to Back

England:
• Adil Rashid
• Most of the English batting order

If you like South Africa, I wouldn’t recommend being with them during a Rashid spell.

South Africa:
• Imran Tahir
• Quentin de Kock

South Africa’s chances lie in their two biggest stars and the fact that England have such an aggressive approach. Occasionally England can fall in a heap when batting first and that would have to occur, in culmination with Tahir or de Kock firing, for a South Africa victory.

What to look for

The sixth bowler for both sides is a weakness, although South Africa’s is much worse.

Fifth / sixth bowler isn’t necessarily one person, It’s the 2-5 overs a captain looks to find to take pressure off his weakest performing lead bowler on the day.

I’ll be looking to be on England for large parts of the game, especially when they bat.

If England Bat First
If England bat first I’ll be on them looking for a low price to bail out during their innings.

If England Bat Second
If South Africa bat first, you could lay England for a trade. However, I’d prefer to just wait for a price to back England.

Final Call
England are the best side in the format and South Africa have been hit by injuries and retirements in the lead up to this tournament. England should be far too strong. Their batting is incredibly powerful, and they bat all the way down to 11. No other side in the comp gets close to them with the bat.

 BACK – England to Win


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