Here are our three best-value Cricket World Cup tips as the countdown to the big ODI tournament in England this summer gets under way.
With just over two months to go to the start of the Cricket World Cup, a lot can still happen. There’s an IPL to be played, players can get injured or lose form and there’re are also a couple of ODI series to take place, including the crucial one between England and Pakistan, which could tell us a great deal about the respective chances of both sides. And because the betting value could well disappear on some of the best selections, now is the time to get those early prices by following these Cricket World Cup tips.
Cricket World Cup Tips- Winner
Back India @ 4.0 with Betfair Sportsbook
India may have lost a home ODI series against Australia earlier this year and that will have set some alarm bells ringing but they certainly haven’t become a bad side overnight. Far from it.
And it’s not worth reading that much into the result anyway. For starters, it was Australia who over-performed rather than India who under-performed. Their record chase of 359 (with 13 balls to spare, no less) in the 4th ODI was superb whereas their ability to defend 272 in the decisive ODI was equally impressive.
You get the feeling that Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri were far more concerned about a few experiments and seeing how certain players performed under pressure than in desperately trying to win yet another ODI Series. Just as an example, there’s no way KL Rahul would have batted ahead of Virat Kohli at 3 like he did in the 4th ODI, had this been a make-or-break World Cup match. The likely return of Hardik Pandya will provide them with better balance, as well.
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So we can discount that ODI Series partly, if not entirely. As explained in our India team guide, India enjoy English conditions, have a formidable Top 3 in the batting and as good a bowling attack as anyone.
A final against England, a repeat of the 2013 Champions Trophy is a real possibility, and at the bigger price they have to get the nod over the hosts.
Cricket World Cup Tips – To make the semis
Back Australia @ 1.7 with Unibet
Speaking of Australia, you’re not going to get rich quickly backing 1.7 shots but then again, you’re far less likely to get a bank give you a return of 70% on your investment over the course of a few weeks, either. Or anyone else for that matter.
That series win over India wasn’t the be-all-and-end-all for the reasons stated above but it was very significant in some ways. We learnt that Usman Khawaja, who scored two centuries, a 50 and a 91 may finally be ready to show us how good he is. We learnt that a middle-order of Maxwell, Stoinis, Handscomb and Turner can fire and that their order in the batting can be changed at the drop of the hat with good results depending on the circumstances. Perhaps most important of all, we learn they have in Cummins, Richardson and Coulter-Nile an excellent trio of fast bowlers and that when the returning Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood join up with the squad, captain Aaron Finch and coach Justin Langer have a nice problem to deal with when picking who to play.
Australia are a best price of 1.7 with Unibet to qualify to the semis of the World Cup. When opening an account with Unibet as a UK customer you can claim £40 in free bets if your first-ever bet loses.
These have been trying times for Australia over the last couple of years with the ball-tampering saga the main culprit but a World Cup in conditions that will suit them, as defending champions, may just change all that.
1.7 to make the semis is a very fair price for a side who is at least, the third best at the tournament.
Cricket World Cup Tips – Top Batsman
Back Kane Williamson @ 17.0 each-way (1/4 odds, 4 places) with Betfair Sportsbook
And on we move to the last of our Cricket World Cup tips. You can read the rationale behind (literally) hedging your bets across these five batsmen. Backing them all each-way should get you a profit of sorts because they’re all properly value selections.
But if that’s not how you roll and just want to have the one bet for the tournament…go with Kane Williamson.
We won’t go through the negatives around all the other players other than to say: he trumps Virat Kohli on price, it’s virtually impossible to single out an England player because there are too many to choose from with decent chances, Khawaja has been in scintillating form for Australia but career-wise his ODI record isn’t fantastic and other players at a similar price just don’t have Williamson’s class.
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The problem you often have with Williamson when backing him to be top scorer in an individual match is that if one of the openers blazes his way to a century, he doesn’t score quickly enough to catch up. But over the course of (at least) nine matches, those 50s, 70s and 90s all add up and his career average of 45 suggests failures are few and far between. And Williamson is one of those guys who prizes his wicket more than most. He’d rather hang around till the end and score steadily than thrash 50 off 30 and get out like his predecessor Brendon McCullum would.
Admittedly New Zealand aren’t guaranteed to make the semis– odds of 2.25 certainly suggest that – so he may play two matches less than some of his rivals. But then again, they could. It may also be that as an each-way bet, his runs from nine matches are more than enough for you to get an each-way payout.
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