Cricket is one of the world’s most popular sports, with millions of fans passionately following it from all over the globe. The game is one of the most mentally taxing and strategic in the world, blending intense moments of drama with sometimes long periods of seemingly not a lot going on, making every match, series and tournament feel like a gruelling chess match.
The game currently boasts three different formats: Tests (five days worth of play where sides each bat and bowl twice), ODIs (where each team bats for fifty overs over one day), and T20s (the shortest form of the game, with teams only batting for twenty overs each). All three formats bring something different to the sport, and all three are available to bet on at most sportsbooks.
For those hoping to line their pockets, here’s a complete beginner’s guide to betting on cricket.
How To Bet On Cricket
Betting on cricket works in a similar way to most traditional sports available at a bookmaker, with customers wagering on the prediction of a match or event. Pre-game and live in-play betting are both options at the best bookmakers, allowing for a great range of diverse options for fans of the true beautiful game.
Cricket is also a popular sport for exotic markets to find a home in, with everything from the weather to the types of fancy dress costumes in the crowd available for bets to be placed on at some bookies. Having so many different and diverse options can however be a bit daunting for those approaching the wagering world for the first time, so here are some of the most common terms and tips for betting on cricket.
By far the most common type of wager in the sports betting community, outright bets are the best place to get started when looking to bet on cricket. No matter the format, the tournament, or the location, outright betting revolves around predicting the outcome of a fixture between two teams.
Much like other popular sports to bet on like football or tennis, fractional odds are usually the preferred way for bookmakers to deliver their odds to customers. For example, let’s say India are playing England in the T20 World Cup. Just like with other sports, circumstances such as past tournament results, previous head-to-head records, home advantage, individual form, and the conditions of the pitch can all influence the odds a bookie provides for an outright market.
With back-to-back series wins over England, the highest quality domestic T20 franchise league, and a plethora of talented individuals in their ranks, India might be priced by a bookie as the favourites with odds of 4/11. That means that a £20 stake will return £75, with a £55 profit if Virat Kohli and co, come out on top.
How Cricket Spread Betting Works
Cricket is also perhaps the best sport that lends itself to spread betting, with its high scoring system and passionate fanbases that know all the ins and outs of the game.
For spread bettors, this type of wagering allows customers to flex their knowledge and rack up even bigger wins than with a traditional outright. Cricket spread betting markets usually revolve around the total amount of runs scored by either a specific batsman or team, how many balls it will take for the next wicket in an innings to fall, the number of fours and sixes hit by a batsman or team in an innings, or how many runs will be racked up in a session.
Spread betting on cricket revolves around wagering against a spread, rather than fixed-odds put forward by a bookie. Fundamentally, this means that the more a successful wager beats the spread, the more a customer will line their pockets with.
Like with outright betting, spread betting odds are provided by the bookie e.g. England to hit more than 150 runs in an innings, with customers choosing whether to ‘buy’ on them getting more than that, or ‘sell’ if a customer thinks they’re likely to have a collapse and fall short of that.
For customers who buy at over 150, every run after that England score will keep the wins ticking over, rewarding savvy bettors with the best knowledge for the game more than an outright wager potentially could have. Of course, the flip side is also true with losses potentially exceeding an initial deposit for those wagers that fall well short of the mark.
Cricket can be a volatile game at times, and spread betting on cricket can certainly ramp up the excitement and provide a whirlwind of emotions to a matchday.
Top Tips For Betting On Cricket
There are several things a newcomer hoping to beat the bookies should keep in mind when betting on cricket. For starters, individual form does not factor as much in the cricketing world as it does in influencing the odds and markets in a sport like football, for example.
The modern-day cricketer might play all three formats of the game, however, it is usually the case that they are a specialist in one or two; just because a player like Jos Buttler or Johnny Bairstow hits a century in an ODI or T20 game, doesn’t automatically mean they should be backed to follow it up with one in their next Test appearance, for example.
The location and pitch being played on is also a major factor to consider when betting on cricket, with different parts of the world possessing hugely different conditions that can dramatically impact how a match plays out. Everything from the pitch and weather conditions, the amount of home support, the type of ball, the size of the boundaries at the ground can all seriously influence the cricket betting markets, and having an understanding of these factors is vital for those hoping to get ahead of the lines.