Top team bowler betting is a fun and potentially rewarding way of working out which bowler on show will come out on  top for his team.


Top Bowler Betting in limited-overs cricket


Top Team Bowler Betting


Betting on the top bowler market in limited-overs matches is considerably different to betting on top bowler markets in Test matches. Here we’ll look at the key considerations before getting involved in top bowler markets in T20s, ODIs and domestic limited-overs matches.


Make sure your bowler bowls his full quota


The first key difference is that bowlers can bowl a maximum of 10 overs in ODIs and four overs in T20 matches. So an obvious starting point is to rule out the bowlers who will only bowl a few overs. You should be confident that your man is going to bowl at least eight overs and preferably all 10 in ODIs and all four in T20s. Generally, teams have four frontline bowlers who each bowl their maximum allocation of overs with two all-rounders sharing the remaining overs between them.


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All-rounders like Ben Stokes, Hardik Pandya and Mitchell Marsh do sometimes bowl their quota but not often so even though they’re attractive prices, you’re not really getting a run for your money. You’re generally better off going with proper bowlers who will bowl as many overs as possible.


What sort of bowler comes good?

Opening bowlers who also bowl at the death


The popular theory at the moment in cricket betting is that the bowlers who take the most wickets in limited-overs matches are those who bowl at the start and end of the innings. You can see why. Bowling when the ball is at its hardest is more likely to induce edges and it’s at the start of the innings that slips are in place to gobble them up. It’s also at the start of the innings that some batsmen go for their shots because the field is up, meaning there will be chances for fielders at cover and point to be in the game.

When these same bowlers come on to bowl the ‘death overs’ (the last five or six of the innings) they’ll also have plenty of chances. This is either when set batsmen try to go big or when the tail is batting, so wickets could well fall either by batsmen taking risks or…because they’re not that good. Bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult, B. Kumar and Mohammad Amir all bowl at the start and death of the innings meaning that if you believe the theory, they’re the sort of bowlers to go with.


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Middle-over champion spinners


But that isn’t always the case. India’s ‘spin twins’ Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have been brilliant for the last two years or so bowling in the middle overs. That’s generally regarded as the worst time for a bowler to bowl because it’s during this period that batsmen are set and opt to just rotate the strike. The problem for batsmen is that these two are just so good that they don’t let batsmen settle. They’re constantly probing by bowling straight at the stumps bringing bowled and LBW into the equation with just about every delivery.

Weigh up all the factors


The point is that there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to picking a top bowler in limited-overs matches. Consider how many overs they’ll bowl, what the conditions are on the day, the current form of bowlers and their career strike rates before making your decision. At present the bowlers with the best strike rates in ODIs are Rashid Khan (strike rate 22.2, Afghanistan), Hasan Ali (24.2, Pakistan), Corey Anderson (24.7, New Zealand) and Mustafizur Rahman (24.8, Bangladesh).

Of all the factors, the bowlers’ career strike rate is arguably the most important.


Dead heat or down to runs conceded?


A top batsman market is straightforward. The player with the most runs is the winner and it’s dead-heated if two players have the same number of runs.

But with a top bowler market, things can get a bit more complicated.

Let’s consider the following scenario.


You back Mitchell Starc to be Australian Top bowler against England at 5.0 (4/1). He takes four wickets for 40 runs with Pat Cummins taking four wickets for 45 runs.

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Most sportsbooks will dead-heat the market where two (or more) bowlers take the same number of wickets. So in this case you’d get paid out on Starc at half the odds (2/1). Betfred, Ladbrokes and Betfair Sportsbook all dead-heat as per their rules.


Fewest runs conceded

Bet365 are one of the betting companies who take a different approach to top team bowler betting. Rather than dead-heating, when two batsmen have the same number of wickets, they’ll then look at who conceded the fewest runs. They’ll consider that the bowler going for the fewest runs ‘deserves’ to be rewarded for that. So in the example above, it would be Starc who would be deemed top bowler because he conceded less runs in getting his four wickets. If there’s a tie on runs conceded as well as wickets taken then yes, it would then be dead-heated.

So it’s up to you if you’d rather have your bet dead heat or not in case of a tie for wickets. You determine that by choosing which company you want to place your bet with.


Does the bet stand or not?

The rules vary from company to company regarding what happens when matches are reduced in overs by rain or other factors on the top team bowler betting market. For example, with Ladbrokes you’d need at least 50% of the scheduled overs to be played (25 in ODIs, 10 in T20s) for the top bowler bet to stand. Any less than that and it will be void.

So check the rules beforehand to avoid disappointment.


Betting Maestro Top Tip


Most betting companies won’t suspend the top bowler market after the toss. So use all the information you have available to you to make the best betting decision.

Whether the captain winning the toss bats or bowls first is a good clue as to how the wicket may play. In addition to that, it’s worth listening to what he captain says about why he decided to do what he did after he’s won the toss.

But an even better one is listening to what the pundits have to say about how the pitch will play and how the game might pan out. They’re paid to give valuable insight and in the case of people like Nasser Hussain, Michael Holding, Shane Warne and Michael Atherton, they played the game at the highest level for over a decade so ought to know what they’re talking about.

They’ll tell you if it will seam or spin and when batting will be easiest or hardest so make the best possible use of the information.


Remember that sports betting should primarily be seen as a form of entertainment. Please bet responsibly. If you feel you need help with your gambling habits contact



Photo By Daniel Vorndran / DXR [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons
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