Man of the match cricket betting is a fun and exciting way to enjoy a game of cricket while always being in with a shot at being rewarded at high odds if you manage to predict who is going to walk away with the coveted prize. That said, you’ll need a man of the match cricket betting strategy if you’re going to crack it often enough for it to be worth your while.
Cricket Man of the match betting: You’re going to need a strategy
But of course that’s only half the story because knowing the prices is one thing and cracking this market is another.
Man of the match cricket betting in Test matches
Finding winners in this market is extremely hard. After all, if it’s hard enough working out how the game might unfold over five days and who might win it, it’s even harder trying to second guess who might be the games’s outstanding player before the coin has even been tossed.
A nice grassy fresh wicket that looks like it will suit the fast bowlers on day one may be turning square on day five, allowing a champion spinner to pick up plenty of cheap wickets towards the end of the game.
The best strategy is therefore to work out what sort of players have won the award at that particular ground in the past. The WACA in Perth is a favourite for tall, quick fast bowlers who pick up lots of edges and take wickets that way so can walk away with the man-of-the-match gong, whereas in the UAE where Pakistan play, it’s a hard place for batsmen because there’s seam movement on the first couple of days and lots of spin after that.
When you consider that 230 or 250 is generally a par score for the side batting first and you can see why batsmen don’t have much of a chance here as MOM candidates.
India and Sri Lanka are tricky places in terms of predicting who can make an impact. Sometimes the ball will spin from day one meaning that if you’re a spinner you could be looking at taking seven or eight wickets in the match. But other times it’s a batsman’s paradise where the likes of Virat Kohli, Chet Pujara or in yesteryear, Kumar Sangakarra or Mahela Jayawaradene were thinking more double hundreds than pretty fifties.
Finding out what sort of wicket it will be from websites, interviews with captains or TV pundits just before the toss is crucial.
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Man-of-the-match betting in limited-overs matches
The principles here are somewhat similar, whether it’s 50-over or 20 over games we’re betting on.
Big prices on players from the underdogs
An obvious starting point is deciding who you think will win the game. The match odds are of course a good starting point. If in an ODI in India it’s 1.25 India and 4.8 Bangladesh then there’s good news and bad news regarding you going with a Bangladesh player. The bad news is that Bangladesh are very unlikely to win but if you think they have a sniff, you might as well go with them to win the game than trying to decipher who can be their key man. The good news is that players from the outsider team are always bigger than they would be if their side were favourites. For example, Shakib Al-Hasan might be 7.0 to be man-of-the-match for Bangladesh when they’re 1.9 favourites at home to Sri Lanka but could be as big as 18.0 when his team are so unfancied in that game against India.
Where you can however find value bets is in siding with a player from the side who’s the slight underdog, but perhaps shouldn’t be. In the recent 2018 ODI Series between Australia and England in Australia, Australia were priced up as favourites in every match but lost the Series 4-1. Plenty of pundits and experts felt England should have been joint-favourites for the first match and favourites for every match after that. If you held that view yourself, you could have backed Jason Roy, Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Tom Curran, who won the 4 MOM awards for England in that series, at bigger prices than you would have expected. Just because the market had Australia as favourites.
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Batsman, bowler or… all-rounder for man-of-the-match bet?
The next step is deciding whether you think it will be a high-scoring match or not. Look at how many runs have historically been scored by the team batting first. If it’s a ground like Bangalore in India or The Wanderers in Johannesburg where the wicket is good and boundaries are short (so lots of boundaries are up for grabs), you have to side with a top 3 batsman.
But if the match is at a ground like Chittagong where spinners can put batsmen under pressure throughout the whole innings because the wicket assists spin and any score by a batsman over 50 is considered a good contribution, it should pay to side with one (or two) of the best spinners.
On a ground like the MCG in Melbourne where it’s normally an even contest between bat and ball, that’s where you might consider going with a quality all-rounder. If your man- someone like Ben Stokes or New Zealand’s Mitchell Santer – can grab a couple of wickets and knock off 50 with the bat that might be enough to be MOM.
All of the above will give you clues about which team the Man of the Match cricket betting award may come from.
But once you’ve worked out that it may well be a South African batsman picking up the award at Centurion against India in an ODI, the next questions is: which one? Recent form is always important although not the be all-and-end-all. After all, you can get 100 one day and a duck the next. A better measure is the different players’ record at that ground.
Some batsmen love playing at a particular ground. Hashim Amla of South Africa, for example, has ten centuries and eight centuries at Centurion, averaging 70. It’s a better record than he has anywhere in the world. Amla clearly knows how the wicket will play there, what his scoring zones are and therefore what shots he needs to play at Centurion to get to a big score.
Betting Maestro Top Tip:
Here’s the Betting Maestro summary of the most important factors when choosing your man for the man of the match award.
Man of the match cricket betting checklist.
- Which side is most likely to win the game?
- Is the MOM more likely to be a batsman, bowler or all-rounder? If bowler, is it more likely to be a pace bowler, seam bowler or spinner?
- If you’re betting on ODIS, go with a batsman batting in the Top 4, if it’s T20 best limit it to Top 3.
- Which players are in good recent form and which players have a good record at that particular ground?
- Which player (or players) are the value to win the man-of-the-match award?
Take note of this last point. There’s nothing wrong with betting on more than one player.
There are two ways of doing that.
- Solely back two or more players from the same team
If for example it’s a belter of a wicket ahead of an ODI in Australia where bat will dominate ball and India are 2.4 underdogs for the match, you might consider going with both of India’s star batsmen: Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. As mentioned already, you’ll get good odds on all players for MOM if they play for the match underdogs.
Similarly, if it’s a Test match in England where ball will dominate bat (especially if it’s likely to swing) then you might consider going with both Stuart Broad and James Anderson for the award.
There is of course a downside to this strategy: if the other team wins, your players won’t have a chance of picking up the award and you’ve staked twice the money.
- Back one or more players from each team
Irrespective of the exact odds, you may decide that things are pretty even in terms of who could win the game. So if it’s a T20 in England where England and the West Indies are pretty much evens the pair on a wicket with something for both the batsmen and bowlers, you might decide to hedge your bets. Something like this:
Ben Stokes – All-rounder @ 10.0
Jason Roy – Opening batsman 8.0
Marlon Samuels – Number 3 batsman 12.0
Sunil Narine- Spinner 11.0
There are two obvious problems with this approach. The first is that if none of them gets it you will have lost more betting units than if you bet on just the one player.
The other is that even if you do pick the winner, you will still have wasted betting units on the players who didn’t win. For example, if Roy won it you’d win seven points but would have given away three on the other players.
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