If you are looking to start betting on cricket then the first thing you need to do is fully understand the different markets that are available. Cricket betting is a little different to other sports and knowing the rules around your bets will make sure you don’t make any mistakes when placing them. The majority of markets are self-explanatory, but one or two are a little harder to understand as you will find out
One of the most important differences to understand is the difference between betting on an international cricket match and a domestic match when it comes to the test or four-day version of the game. If you bet on a test match you will be given three options, the home team, the away team and the draw. Here all three results count and are paid out depending on the outcome, you can back the draw and if the game ends in a draw that is what will be paid out.
However, on domestic four-day games, the majority of bookmakers create a two-way market, where you bet on which team you think will win. If the game is a draw here then you will receive your stake back, you are essentially betting on a ‘draw no bet’ market, where bets are void if the game is a draw.
It is very important to understand the differences before you bet and what needs to happen for you to win or receive your money back on a bet. When it comes to one day games, the markets are all two way regardless of the competition and here you are simply betting who you believe will win the game.
The Weather Effect
Anyone who watches cricket will know how important the weather is for a game, especially for the longer format of the game. Weather can not only have a huge effect on the game, but it can also have the same effect on your betting, so it is vital you take it seriously. Before placing any cricket bet I will always make sure I take a look at the weather to see what is coming up and factor that into the bet I am placing. This is often a check to make sure I still fancy the bet I am placing, but the weather can also sway my decision and make me choose a different selection to bet on.
Being able to bet on the draw in test matches means that if the forecast shows rain, you can bet on the draw knowing there is a good chance the game will be shortened, making it more likely to happen. Of course, if the bookmakers see the same weather forecast they will shorten the price, but if you can get your bet on quickly, the draw will often give value if rain is a possibility.
Another way of trying to get value is to back a team to win, despite rain being forecast. If you think a team are good enough to win the game, despite it being shortened due to rain then they will often be value because of the weather forecast. It is harder for them to win in a shorter game, but if the bad weather hangs around then it is not rare to see a lot of wickets fall due to the clouds and moisture in the air.
With regards to the weather, if your bet is weather dependant then I advise you to make sure you check the weather forecast and only after you have checked it decide whether the bet gives you value.
Distinguishing Between Domestic Competitions
For those looking to bet on domestic cricket, make sure you are able to sort the different competitions and how they can affect different teams. With the County Championship, One Day Cup and Twenty20 Cup played throughout the season teams often make big changes to their team depending on what competition they are playing in and how significant the game is. By being one step ahead when it comes to this gives you an edge of the bookmakers.
The biggest area this affects is the Twenty20 competitions out there. A domestic team may be struggling in the County Championship but when it comes to the Twenty20 competition they may come to life, making them an attractive betting proposition. This is because they may have a couple of Twenty20 specialists in their team who struggle with the longer format and they would also have an overseas Twenty20 player who also plays. Adding three specialist players into their team for the Twenty20 tournament would make them a lot stronger although according to form they have lost their last five games. This should, in theory make them a good price to bet on and worth a wager if you are able to find a team like this with a bit of research.
This is something that requires a lot of research and a good knowledge of the game, but the rewards for finding teams like this can be very good. It also works the other way, if a team is performing very well in the longer formats but you feel they will struggle in the T20 tournament, try to oppose them early on. They will often be priced up based on their good recent performances, which have come in a different format meaning their opponents will be a much bigger price than they should be.
For those looking to bet on something else other than the result of the game, a whole host of additional markets are now available from the bookmakers. These markets offer an opportunity to place a bet on the game without actually wanting or needing a team to win and offer the chance to try and find some value. These are often seen as fun bets by many people and if you are simply looking for something to cheer on for interest then make sure you check out the markets that offer that.
This is my favourite market to bet on in cricket and ideal for those looking to place a bet on either a game where the favourite is long odds-on, or a winner can’t be found as it is too close. In games where teams bat for two innings, this market is settled on the result from the first innings only, this is very important to understand before you place your bet.
There are two ways to bet on this market. Firstly you can bet on the top batsman or bowler from the entire game or secondly you can bet on the top batsman or bowler for a specific team, I like to do the latter. Both markets have the same rules in place and both are very easy to understand. In the batsman market you are betting on which player will score the most first innings runs and in the bowler market, you are betting which player will take the most wickets. If your bet includes every player from both teams it is settled on that, or if you bet on the market, which is for a specific team, then your bet is settled on that team’s top batsman or bowler, not including the opposition.
With a small amount of research, it is possible to quickly narrow down the field when it comes to this market. For a batsman, I always look at recent form, how they have previously played under the current conditions and if there is anything special to them about the game or venue that might give them an edge. The bowler market is similar, I look at recent form of the players, and how they can bowl in the current conditions, along with their previous history at a ground to see if they have bowled well there in the past. I would definitely recommend this market to anyone looking to place a small, fun wager on a cricket game.
There are many different ways to get into cricket betting and with so many markets to choose from you are sure to find something you like. If you are looking for a small interest then take a look at the top batsmen/bowler markets which are great fun and will also enhance your knowledge of the game as you bet on them.
For those who want to bet on teams to win games then my biggest piece of advice is to understand the markets and know what happens if your game is a draw. With the weather having a big effect on cricket games it is vital to know what happens if the game is a draw, and also to know whether or not backing the draw is a good thing to do.
After you have got to grips with the rules surrounding the different formats, you will be able to place cricket bets on all types of games and hopefully find some great value winners.