How to Bet on Cricket
9 April 2019
Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, behind football (soccer), and therefore offers punters the chance to make a profit betting on it pretty much every day of the year. However, it’s not really a sport associated with betting and therefore may not be the first thought to anyone wishing to place a bet.
We have a guide to betting on cricket which will allow newcomers to the sport a chance to understand more about it and give both experts and newcomers alike more chance of making a profit.
The main thing to understand when betting on cricket is the different formats. In domestic cricket in the United Kingdom, there are four-day county championship matches, one day matches, and Twenty20 matches but we are mostly going to concentrate on international cricket for this guide, with the formats being:
• Test Matches
• One Day Internationals
• Twenty20 Internationals
A test match is contested between two national teams over a five day period, with each team having the chance to bat two innings each. A day is set into sessions, with a break for lunch, tea, and drinks, and a limit of ninety overs are set for the day. An over is six balls bowled by a single bowler from the same end of the pitch, if you were unsure of the terminology.
These types of matches can be difficult to bet on as weather, pitch conditions, ball quality, and even player fatigue can play a major part in what happens on the field. This means each day will be different and potential punters must take these factors into consideration when placing a bet.
The conditions on day one may be dull, overcast and windy with the new ball swinging about and making life hell for the batsmen. But, by day four, the weather conditions could be bright and clear and the pitch could have effectively died meaning the team into bat can pick off a tiring bowling attack at will.
One Day Internationals
Most one-day internationals are played with each team given fifty overs each to bat and the team with the highest score wins. Basically, the first team into bat will set a target for the opposition and then their bowling attack tries to prevent that opposition reaching the limit they’ve set.
In the UK, one day matches may start in the morning and finish in the early evening or they can be played as day/night matches. Obviously, changing conditions throughout the day may play a part and there can be an advantage to batting or bowling first but a one day match isn’t as changeable as a test match due to those conditions.
One thing to remember when placing a bet is that fielding restrictions are put in place at certain points of the game, which can allow batsmen to score more runs during these periods.
Twenty20 matches have become a popular, fast-paced form of cricket, where each team is given just twenty over each to score as many runs as possible. Batsmen will look to score as quickly as possible, trying to hit the ball to the boundary for a four or six as much as possible.
Fielding restrictions are again in place for a set number of overs, and it’s a format of cricket very much aimed at entertainment and therefore is made to suit the batsmen. Pitches are generally made to be flatter, allowing a truer line for the ball.
Betting on Cricket
When betting on cricket, once you understand the difference each format makes to the type of bet you place, you need to keep an eye on a few different factors.
• Conditions – Obviously, form of both the teams and the players can play a big part in the outcome of a match but pitch and weather conditions are even more important. Pay attention to the weather forecast, how this will affect the amount of play possible in a test match for example, and how it will change the pitch. Knowing these things gives you an advantage.
• The Coin Toss – Before every match, whether it’s a one day, test, or T20, the coin toss will determine which team will bat first. Seeing which team wins the toss and the choice the captain makes to bat or bowl can help you decide what bet to place. For example, a dry and cracked pitch will mean a team wanting to bat first as the cracks will get bigger and help the team bowling second.
• Ground – The ground a match is played at can give punters a lot of help in predicting how a match will turn out. Take a look at previous matches played at the ground and you will start to notice trends. The team batting first may always have the advantage, or there could be a spike in number of wickets to fall on a certain day of a test match. Knowing ground history and identifying trends is extremely important in predicting the outcome of a cricket match.
• Form of the Team/Players – As mentioned already, and as is true in any sport, form can play a key factor in the outcome of a cricket match. It can also help punters who like to bet on highest wicket taker, leading runs scorer etc.
Types of Cricket Bets
Obviously, there are the usual match result markets available for cricket as there is for other sports. Where a punter will bet on the outcome of the match and whether they believe it will result in a win for a certain team or a draw.
But, there are other markets available for cricket matches that can provide a big chance of making a profit for potential punters. Some of these markets include:
• Leading Match Run Scorer
• Leading Run Scorer By Team
• Leading Match Wicket Taker
• Leading Wicket Taker By Team
• Man of the Match
• Player to Score A Century
• Player to Take 5+ Wickets
• Highest Opening Partnership
There are several more markets available, especially in big test matches, ODI’s and T20’s, with some online betting sites providing special bets, price boosts, and combination bets.