Betting on cricket has been in the news in recent years for all the wrong reasons after a couple of high profile spot-fixing cases were brought to court, and sentencing handed down. In reality however, this type of skulduggery is extremely rare and certainly not the norm, while the stern sentences will surely have sent out an extremely strong message to anyone who was considering involvement in this in the future. It’s also important to understand that the incidents investigated had a minimal impact on UK bookmakers who do not routinely offer markets such as “no balls”.
Cricket Betting is very popular with bookmakers, and behind Horse Racing, Football and Tennis, ranks among the bookmakers’ most important sports. The weather is extremely important to consider whenever betting on Cricket, particularly when betting on Test Matches which could see a changing forecast after the start of a match, so monitoring this closely can allow you to alter your position during the course of a match if the situation changes materially.
Recent years have seen the growth of limited overs Cricket, particularly Twenty20 Cricket – a 20 overs match, which has brought excitement and speed into the game. While the purists initially resisted the idea, it’s been phenomenally successful at bringing new fans to the game, and it’s now possible to sit down and watch a whole match without the need to take the day (or week) off work!
As for betting on cricket, Twenty20 has been just as important, and bookmakers will often take more on a 20 overs match in three hours, than they would on a five day test match, as the excitement of the swings in the shorter format turn viewers on, and bring their cash pouring in.
The main cricket market is the match winner market. This is simply predicting who win the match, and will typically have both teams, and the draw when relevant. In short formats, the draw wouldn’t be quoted, so it’s worth checking out the rules which could be applied in the event of a tie, a bowl off, or a rain affected match. Different bookmakers may treat settlement slightly differently.
Ahead of the match, bookmakers will also offer a number of match result based derivative markets, such as Draw No Bet (where you bet on the team you fancy in the knowledge you get your stake back if the match ends a draw) and Double Chance (you get two results on your side, but at lower odds – for instance, England and the Draw).
You can also speculate on who will be the team’s top run scorer, or who will take the most wickets. These bets will typically be offered about each teams performers rather than as a match overall. With 11 players to choose from, it’s important to consider the likelihood that your selection will get an opportunity to win the bet for you. In a Twenty20 match for instance, the lower order batsman for a heavy favourite may never make it to the crease – either because his opening batsman protect their wickets, or they may pass the chasing total quickly if batting second.
Live Betting accounts for much of a bookmakers stakes, and this can be a great time to bet on cricket, because you have the luxury of assessing the development of the match, and picking your time to strike. A bookmaker will usually be offering a number of different betting opportunities and by being selective you can find times when the bookmaker may not have factored everything into his prices. For instance, most betting firms offer Runs in the Next Over, which could include 100 markets for a one day game. The bookmaker will offer every over, but as a punter, you can afford to bide you time, and strike just once or twice when you feel there is an angle worth exploiting. Maybe you would choose to bet on a low number being scored if a bowler comes in with a great economy rate, or perhaps a wicket has just fallen, and you expect the news batsman to close up and get a feel for the wicket before attempting to start knocking the ball about?
You can also bet Live on the total runs, which is a great fun way to have an investment as it can be exciting on every ball. If you’ve gone high on the total (bet on more than a set number of runs) every six can spark wild living room celebrations!
When betting on cricket, wickets can form an interesting way to wager, with bookmakers usually offering odds about what will happen the next time a batsman is out. These could include the “Next Man Out” or the “Method of Next Wicket”, which could be Caught, Run Out, Bowled or LBW.
Live Betting is arguably the best way to enjoy betting on cricket as it really does allow you the time and clarity to have a look at how the action is unfolding before taking your view and staking your hard earned cash. In a game of swings and rhythm, its vital to get that feeling right for when the momentum might begin to shift in the game, or keep an up-to-date check on the weather for when that could begin to affect proceedings.
Finally, when betting on test matches, always keep in mind the series ambitions of the teams involved. While many sports will see teams going all out to win, in cricket the draw can be an important sub-plot and teams who feel they can’t win a match at a given point may simply shut up shop and play for a draw. This can have a massive effect on the betting markets and shouldn’t be underestimated.