Betting On Ashes Specials
Who will top score? Who will collect the most wickets? Which venue will see the most runs scored? Today Peter Sharland takes a look at some alternative Ashes betting markets.
Ah it must be that time again, the temperature is edging dangerously towards breaking even, Christmas adverts are being played far too early and our lads are down under.
As with all these back to back series this Ashes series does have a sense of “didn’t we just beat this lot?” about it but nevertheless the first test starts on Thursday at The Gabba in Brisbane. England will be looking to make it four series wins on the trot, a feat that hasn’t been achieved by an England side since they won the first eight Ashes series.
Australia will be desperate to make sure this doesn’t happen, especially after their humiliation on home soil last time around. In order to try and intimidate their opponents the Aussies have been pulling out all the scare tactics including the usual character assassination attacks in the press. Stuart Broad in particular has, rather unsurprisingly, come under a lot of scrutiny.
Who Will Be Top Ashes Batsman?
As before the two skippers lead the way with both Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke at best odds of 6.50. Neither really impressed over the summer though and perhaps the pressure of captaincy is affecting both of their form.
If you don’t trust either of the captains then the semi-fit Kevin Pietersen and Shane Watson both represent attractive propositions at 7.50 and 11.00 respectively. Watson’s bludgeoning, no-nonsense style of batting could be even more affective with Australia’s hard and fast pitches whilst they will also suit England’s home sledgehammer.
Outsiders this time include Michael Carberry, he who has long knocked but there has been no answer. I’m a big fan of Carberry as a batsman and I can’t believe he has only played in one test match before now. On the Australian side T20 captain George Bailey will also be making his test bow if he is selected for this series and if you fancy him to carry over his form he can be had as high as 21.00.
Ashes Top Scoring Batsman Odds - Odds As At 19th November
Who Will Be Top Ashes Bowler?
In the last series this accolade quickly became a four horse race between Ryan Harris, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson and Graeme Swann. The latter eventually prevailed although he was pushed very close by the former in particular.
Anderson, at odds of 5.50 is the shortest price this time and it is a sign of what Australia’s pitches will be like that Swann actually has the fifth shortest odds. His place in the top four has been taken by none other than Mitchell Johnson, remember him? Perhaps you don’t remember his awkward bowling style and haphazard delivery but regardless Mitch is back, looking quicker and more accurate than ever before. At odds of 7.50 he might be a safer bet of someone from the home side if you don’t fancy Ryan Harris’ body ( odds of 6.50) to make it through a five match series.
Swann meanwhile is available at 8.00 which seems quite generous even if Australian pitches don’t always favour spinners. It would be far too easy to write off Swann and to even contemplate him not having an impact on this series would be extremely foolish. His opposite number Nathan Lyon is best priced 13.00, perhaps representing his disappointing series in England whilst everyone’s favourite boy wonder Ashton Agar is available at 52.00 from Betfair.
Ashes Top Bowler Odds - Odds As At 19th November
Who Will Score England's First Ashes Century?
This is one that could end up being settled on the first day if England bat first. Cook and Pietersen lead the way in this one with odds of 4.00 and 4.50 respectively. As we’ve mentioned before though Cook’s captaincy seems to have had an affect on his batting and Pietersen is infuriatingly inconsistent at the moment.
Therefore Joe Root at 8.00 looks like a decent option but at 5.50 Ian Bell could end up just picking up from where he left of in England. Of course it could be that the entire top order fails completely and we might be left to rely on Stuart Broad (101.00) or even Graeme Swann (501.00).
England First Ashes Century Odds - Odds As At 19th November
Which Ashes Ground Will See The Most Runs Scored?
Perhaps not your usual betting market but The Gabba could be a safe bet in this one, if not one that’ll keep you sweating throughout the series. The Australians like playing in Brisbane, Michael Clarke for one average 114.00 there, that’s even higher than Bradman.
The Gabba is also the ground where England registered three centuries last time and the infamous 517 for one declared. At odds of 4.50 it isn’t high odds but it could be a best bet.
Ground That Will See The Most Runs Odds - Odds As At 19th November
Who Will Hit England's First Ashes Six?
Talk to most people and they will suggest batting first at The Gabba, bowling first may be tempting but it is just better to bat first. That way you can plough runs on the board and try and put your opponents under as much pressure as possible.
Presuming England win the toss (see most tosses won) and bat first then it will be interesting to see who strikes England’s first six. Unsurprisingly Kevin Pietersen is shortest priced for this market offered by BetVictor at odds of 2.75.
If you don’t fancy KP then the potential opening pair of Cook and Root are both available at 9.00 whilst Ian Bell is an option at 6.00 and if England collapse hopelessly then Matt Prior could be a decent bet at 8.00.
If you’re someone who likes to be a bit more adventurous with your betting then you could have a look at England’s number three, Jonathan Trott. He’s best priced at 21.00.
Will An Ashes Hat-Trick To Be Bowled?
Everyone (or at least every Australian) will remember Peter Siddle’s sensational hat-trick in the last series in Australia at The Gabba. There weren’t any last time out but if you think that at any of the ten innings there will be a hat-trick you can get odds of 13.00.
Who Will Win The Most Tosses?
A betting specials preview wouldn't be complete without a look at a coin toss market. Both teams are equal here (of course) at odds of 1.83 but Michael Clarke doesn’t have the best records in tosses. In the last series Cook snuck it by three wins to two. Another 3-2 result for England is currently at odds of 3.00
Follow Peter on Twitter: @psharland55