How To Bet On The Ashes

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The cricket Ashes is perhaps one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries in sport. And as such, betting on the Ashes is always popular for cricket fans not only in England and Australia, but around the world. With a great range of Ashes odds and betting markets available, Ashes betting can prove to be quite profitable for those who understand the dynamics of Test cricket with an eye for spotting betting value.

Cricket Ashes Betting: An Introduction

The cricket Ashes is a Test match series played out between England and Australia that dates way back to 1882. Each country takes turn to host an Ashes series usually every four years, with five different venues hosting a Test within each series.

Every series hosted in Australia sees the same five venues used:

  • The Gabba' (Brisbane)
  • The Adelaide Oval
  • WACA (Perth)
  • Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
  • Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)

Cricket Ashes venues in the UK are decided based upon the ECB's controversial bidding system. However you can guarantee that Lords and the Oval will host two of the five Tests, with Old Trafford, Edgbaston, Headingley, Trent Bridge, Cardiff and Chester-le-Street fighting it out to host the remaining three cricket Ashes Tests.

The Ashes is the most famous and attended series in cricket, not just because of the the long history attached to the event, but also because the fierce rivalry that exists between the two nations.

Ashes Dates:

The next cricket Ashes series will be held in England with the tests held at Edgbaston, Lord's, Headingley, Old Trafford and the Oval. The series will commence on 1 August 2019 and conclude 16 September 2019.

Contents:

  1. The Ashes Series Format
  2. The Ashes History
  3. Ashes Odds Explained
  4. How To Bet On The Ashes And Win
  5. Betting On The Ashes Online
  6. The Ashes Free Bets
  7. The Ashes Live Streaming
  8. How To Bet On The Ashes: Summary

1. The Ashes Series Format

The Ashes series has, in the main, been a five match Test series. There have been two occasions when the series has consisted of four matches – the last being in 1975 – and eight occasions when the series has been played out over six matches.

How Many Games Are In The Ashes Series?

Ever since the 1997 series played in England, you can safely say that the Ashes series will be played out over five Test matches.

The Ashes winner will of course be the winner of the most matches of the course of the series. If the series is tied or drawn, then the previous Ashes winner retains the Ashes trophy at the end of the series.

How Long Does The Ashes Last?

Each Test is of course played out over potentially five days, meaning it could take up to 25 days of play to decide the winner of each Ashes series.

2. The Ashes History

When was the first Ashes series? Although the first Test match between England and Australia dates back to 1877, it wasn't until five years later in 1882 that the first Ashes Test match took place.

How Did The Ashes Get Its Name?

The term stems from a British newspaper article that proclaimed that English cricket had died, following a Test match defeat during the 1882 series at The Oval. The headline read:

“In affectionate remembrance of English cricket, which dies at The Oval on 29 August 1882. Deeply lamented by a large circle of friends and acquaintances, RIP. NB The body will be cremated and its ashes taken to Australia. “

Pretty strong stuff!

The England captain for the next tour to Australia proclaimed several times over the coming months and during the 1882/1883 tour that he would 'regain those Ashes' before the term disappeared from the general public for twenty years or so.

Once the Australian media had cottoned on to the Ashes reference during the 1903 tour, the name stuck, and future series between the two cricketing giants were from that moment onwards forever titled as Ashes battles.

The Ashes Urn

The urn is the symbolic trophy that the winning side get to hold aloft at the end of each Ashes series. During that 1882/1883 tour to Australia, a small urn was presented to the England team when they won won out of three Test matches. The contents of the urn were said to be the ashes from a set of wooden bails, described at the time as the ashes of Australian cricket – naturally in reference to the British newspaper article that months earlier had proclaimed the death of the English game!

Who Currently Holds The Ashes?

Well, as of the end of the 2017/18 Ashes, Australia currently hold the Ashes after a 4-0 victory played out at home

After a period of dominance in the nineties and early 2000's in which Australia won seven Ashes series in a row, England have fought back strongly to win five of the last eight Ashes series held since 2005. After 70 series, Australia have 33 wins, England 32 and five drawn

Recent Ashes Series Results

YearHostsResult
1978-1979 Australia England
1981 England England
1982/1983 Australia Australia
1985 England England
1986-1987 Australia England
1989 England Australia
1990-1991 Australia Australia
1993 England Australia
1994-1995 Australia Australia
1997 England Australia
1998-1999 Australia Australia
2001 England Australia
2002-2003 Australia Australia
2005 England England
2006-2007 Australia Australia
2009 England England
2010-2011 Australia England
2013 England England
2013-2014 Australia Australia
2015 England England
2017-2018 Australia Australia
2019 England TBD

3. Ashes Odds Explained

With the popularity of this great cricketing rivalry, most bookmakers offer a tremendous range of Ashes odds and betting markets.

Ashes Match Result Odds

The most common bet for a punter to place on an individual Ashes Test match is of course the match outcome result. Win, lose or draw are the three possible outcomes for each Test match.

Ashes Series Result Odds

On the back of this you can also place a pre-series bet on who you think might win the Ashes series itself. Want to go one better and get bigger prices? You can also bet on the Ashes series correct score markets – bear in mind that two of the last three Ashes series held in Australia have ended in 5-0 whitewashes for the home side.

Top Team Batsman Odds

Top team innings batsman is always a popular market with punters. Whereas in limited overs cricket it often pays to back a top order batsman in this market, in Tests it could often pay to back someone further down the order who might bat when conditions are easier (older ball, flatter pitch, tired bowling attack etc.) Naturally conditions dictate the likelihood of this scenario happening.

Top Series Batsman Odds

Not sure that your selection will go well during a certain Test but feel your top batsman selection has a better chance of performing over the course of the Ashes series? Why not back him in the top series batsman market.

Here you can ensure that an early failure won't cost you a win, as in a five match Test series such as the Ashes, any batsman could in theory have ten innings to make his runs. Here we suggest backing top order batsmen that tend to bat in the top three of four in the batting line-up.

This should guarantee the most amount of innings possible, whereas a middle order batsman might only bat once in a Test match if his side dominate and perhaps declare during the second innings. Likewise in a low run chase, it might just be the openers or numbers three or four needed to knock off the required runs to win the Test.

Top Team Wicket Taker Odds

Top team innings wicket taker is similar to the above market, but naturally relates to bowlers as opposed batsmen. Read up on whether or not a wicket is likely to assist a certain type of bowler. 

Will the conditions suit a swing bowler perhaps due to overhead conditions? Will the pitch have a hint of live grass, perhaps suiting a seam bowler? Will a spinner even be needed in that particular innings etc etc

Top Series Wicket Taker Odds

Likewise you can also back top series wicket taker. Be careful here in selecting players that are likely to play in all five Tests and not be prone to injury or squad rotation. Someone like Ryan Harris in recent Ashes series was a terrific wicket taking bowler but struggled to play back-to-back Tests due to fitness concerns, meaning he often only played in three or four Tests from the possible five.

Man Of The Match Odds

Man of the match is awarded to a player that makes a telling contribution to the outcome of the Ashes Test match. This is so often won by either a batsman that tends to score big hundreds, or a bowler that takes four or five wicket hauls in an innings. Punters can get bet on this market with all traditional bookmakers.

Ashes In Play Total Runs Over Under

A popular in play betting market in Ashes Tests is an over/under runs line which is set at the start of an innings and changes throughout the duration depending on whether runs are scored or wickets are taken. Naturally if a wicket falls, that run line decreases. If a partnership builds, then that run line increases.

Ashes In Play Total Wickets

You can also bet on an over/under wickets line after a certain period of time, such as how many wickets will fall after say 10 overs. This is an excellent market to bet on if you think batting might be extremely tough or alternatively extremely easy against the new ball.

Don't take on Australia at the 'Gabba or the WACA

Certain grounds just fit a home side’s game plan, no matter what XI they field and no matter who the opposition is. One Ashes betting tip for series held in Australia is don't back England to win Test matches on the above two locations. After Australia beat New Zealand in 2015 at the 'Gabba in Brisbane, it meant they extended their unbeaten run at the venue to an incredible 28 matches.

Since their 1988 defeat to the mighty West Indies, they had a record that reads P28 W21 D7 L0. England did win here in 1986, but since then they have P7 W0 D2 L5 – this is Australia's best Test ground - take them on at your peril. Likewise in Perth at the WACA, England have lost the last eight Test matches played against Australia at this venue.

Be aware of the weather

The weather can play a big part in determining the outcome of a Test match. Five days appears to be a long time, but if significant time is lost due to rain then naturally the likelihood of the Test being a draw increases as less cricket can be played. If rain comes on the opening couple of days, we can make overs and time up on the remaining days of the Test.

However, any rain on days four and five and we are highly likely to lose overs. It isn't just rain that we should look for; what about overhead conditions? Traditionally cloudy conditions will assist seam bowlers move the ball off the pitch or through the air with swing – check the forecast both pre-match and in-play during Test cricket live. Used intelligently it can give us an edge when looking for value in our cricket betting tips.

The toss is so often crucial

The pitch looks flat, the sun is shining and the opposition opening batsmen looked in great form in the previous Test. Losing the toss and fielding first in this type of scenario can see a pre-match result outcome bet all but lose before a ball is even bowled, as its odds on that the opposition are going to rack up 500+ before your team even get a bat.

On the other side of the coin it could be a cloudy, humid day, with live grass present on the pitch. The side you backed has a slightly fragile looking top order and before you know it find themselves batting in the hardest conditions of the Test and are 60-6 at lunch on Day One. Your pre-match bet has lost any value it had in the first session of the Test courtesy of a lost toss and your side having to bat first in tough conditions. This situation happened to Australia at the MCG during the 2010/11 Ashes series.

A free cricket betting strategy is to always wait till after the toss has occurred when placing a pre-match result outcome bet. We can control a lot of things when betting through research and experience; the flip of a coin is not one of them.

How will the pitch play

Read up on ground history to see how a surface tends to play. Will it suit fast bowlers on the first day? Will spinners gain significant advantages through a dry, dusty surface in the later parts of the Test? Will cracks appear in the surface of the pitch towards the end of the match, making it very difficult for the side batting last.

Or alternatively will the surface stay pretty much the same over the five days, meaning each day’s play should follow the previous days because conditions haven't altered enough to favour a certain skill? ESPN and its statsguru page gives a full history of all Test match cricket grounds and players and can guide us in the correct direction when placing our Test match cricket bets.

Home team advantage

Ashes Test matches series are so often won by the side playing at home. This has certainly been the case since the 2002/2003 series, in which the home side has won all but one Ashes series as of 2015.

In recent years winning Test matches abroad is so much harder than perhaps previous eras. The fact is bowlers know how to bowl on many of the grounds in question and batsmen know how to bat on certain surfaces.

5. Betting On The Ashes Online

William Hill offer the widest range of markets for Ashes betting on cricket online in our opinion. They cover all the obvious leading markets that we mentioned above, plus offer some side markets that we like such as individual player performance points over/under markets. This is where a player is scored 1pt a run, 10pts a catch, 20pts a wicket or 25pts a stumping throughout the duration of a match. This is a top cricket betting tips guide that only William Hill currently offer.

BetVictor seem to specialise in offering batsman match up bets; great if you fancy that a certain batsman is in form and is likely to outscore a team mate or an opponent during a certain match. Also over the course of a five match Test series such as the Ashes, there is ample opportunity to spot a batsman that is looking out of form and worth taking on.

Skybet Ashes odds also have a growing list of pre-match cricket markets on offer. Although not as extensive as the above two, they offer good value for money, often offering the biggest odds for many outright winning market.

If you're wondering which bookmaker might best suit your Ashes betting needs and which offer the best welcome bonuses, refer to our detailed list of bookmaker reviews.

6. The Ashes Free Bets

During past Ashes series, BetFred offered double odds for any top batsman bet that landed whilst your selection went on to make a double hundred. As BetFred has some of the best Ashes betting odds, this was a great offer to make sure you got great returns if your pick played an outstanding innings.

BetVictor offered money back as a free bet during the 2013/2014 Ashes if your top batsman finished second behind their relevant captain, meaning you could get your stake returned to bet again if Alastair Cook or Michael Clarke scored more.

Stan James also ran a great offer during the same Ashes series for all top batsman markets, saying they would better any other bookies price offered throughout the series.

Paddy Power also offered money back as a free bet if your selection was given out lbw during the 2013/2014 series!

These type of offers are growing throughout the industry as bookies such as the above and the likes of Skybet Ashes odds fight to gain your business. Check out bettingexpert.com and our free bet and offers page in the lead up the next series in 2019, when you ask when is the next Ashes series?

7. The Ashes Live Streaming

BT Sport have won the rights to broadcast home Australia Test matches as of 2017/2018 – this means the next Ashes series will not be live on Sky Sports, as it has been both home and away since the famous 2005 England series win. Sky Sports have shown live Ashes streaming through SkyGo which is a free online streaming service which customers can download and watch for free on their ipads, mobile phones, laptops and tablets and it will be interesting to see if BT Sport follow suit during the next Ashes series down-under.

If they do then we can watch the Test series unfold on our online devices when away from the television, perfect to assist our Ashes betting punts when staking in-play.

8. How To Bet On The Ashes: Summary

The Ashes is an exciting series to bet on, mainly due to the history and rivalry between the two nations, but also because the ebb-and-flow nature of Test match cricket and the twists and turns that can happen during an Ashes series.

Over five Tests matches we get to witness certain players getting on top of others, be it a batsman like Alastair Cook scoring hundreds of series runs such as he did in Australia during England's famous series win in 2010/2011, or a bowler such as Glenn McGrath constantly getting Michael Atherton out seemingly every time he ran in and bowled to him.

With so many pre-series and in-play markets to choose from, we can assure ourselves of profiting over the course of an Ashes series, which of course is always the goal of any profitable bettor or punter – long term profit.

By watching the Ashes matches unfold, reading up on statistics and previews along with following the best tipsters on bettingexpert.com , we can go along way to making watching Ashes cricket both enjoyable and profitable.

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