Welcome to the Ultimate Cricket World Cup 2023 Betting Guide!
First held in 1975, the Cricket World Cup is the pinnacle of the limited-overs version of the sport. Every four years, the top nations battle it out over the course of six weeks to decide the world champions of one-day cricket.
With no fewer than 48 matches in this year’s edition, at a rate of at least one game per day, it’s a veritable feast of cricket betting opportunities with a huge range of markets to get stuck into.
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Outright odds, ie. backing the overall winner, are up for several months before the event with most of the best bookies. Each-way betting (half the odds in some cases for reaching the final) is available.
Nearer the time as more squads are announced, a number of special markets will comes out. These include the likes of tournament top batsman and top bowler, team top batsman and top bowler, odds to reach the knockout stages, odds to reach the final, and to finish bottom. And, of course, there are odds for individual matches.
If matches are interrupted by rain, the number of overs may be reduced in length with the Duckworth-Lewis method possibly coming into operation. This calculates a required score for the chasing side, but both sides need to face a minimum of 20 overs apiece for there to be a result.
Since the advent of T20 cricket - which we created a handy betting strategy guide for - there have been several tweaks to the 50-over format to make it more exciting. Powerplays, periods when fielding restrictions are in place, were previously chosen by the bowling or batting side but these have now become fixed as follows:
This combined with more batter-friendly pitches has led to a sizeable shift in strategy with hard-hitters often opening to take advantage of the lack of fielders on the boundaries. One popular market is which team will score the most sixes. You can bet under or over on the number of runs a team scores in a set number of overs, like the 10 overs of the opening powerplay. That figure will change in play.
Run rates have risen dramatically in recent years. All of the top 20 team scores in ODI history have come since 2006 with half of these made in the last five years. It is still vital for a team to play out their overs with all but one of those totals coming from 50 overs. The exception was one ball shy of the full allocation.
Despite that uniform increase in scoring rates, pitches and climatic conditions are still important things to take into account. The characteristics of pitches vary markedly across the world, and is something to take into account when considering your cricket betting strategy.
Cloud cover in England helps the ball swing in the air and there is ample seam movement off the pitch. India, where the 2023 World Cup will be played, tends to have slower pitches which favour spin. It can certainly pay to analyse how bowlers and batters have performed previously in the host country.
Form obviously has a big bearing on how teams will fare with a settled squad undoubtedly a positive sign. As for assessing individual player form, the IPL ends less than a month before the World Cup, and each team has two warm-up games in the host nation the week before the start of the competition.
Home advantage is usually a big plus. Similarly, if someone struggles to score runs in a particular place, there is usually a good reason why. For instance, Australian batters have coped pretty poorly with the moving ball in England in recent years so they might toil this time around.
For 2023, some bowlers will have had unsatisfactory experiences of touring India in the past. Will an out-and-out quick prove expensive on the dead pitches out there? There is a wide range of stats websites - Cricinfo and HowSTAT to name just two - where you can pinpoint accurately how a player has performed in certain conditions. Consult these first before deciding who to back outright, and who to back in top batsman and top bowler markets.
With five triumphs in 11 competitions (up to 2019), Australia are by far the most successful team in the history of the Cricket World Cup. They had been long seen as ‘hard but fair’ competitors before the ‘Sandpapergate’ scandal which saw Cameron Bancroft, vice-captain David Warner and skipper Steve Smith suspended from international cricket.
Warner and Smith have recently returned to the fold and the ‘Baggy Greens’ are back on song. Victory in England would see them retain the crown and make it five wins in the last six World Cups.
After Australia, India and the West Indies boast two wins apiece although the men from the Caribbean have not been victorious since taking the first two editions in 1975 and 1979. Pakistan (1992) and Sri Lanka (1996) are the other countries to have won it.
England are the most obvious side missing from the list of previous winners have been runners-up three times. New Zealand reached their first final in 2015, losing out to co-hosts Australia, while South Africa - who played their first World Cup in 1992 after Apartheid - have been beaten four times in semi-finals.
After several format changes over the years, the 2019 edition provides a rough template for the future with 10 teams in the competition. Whereas previously there was a risk of the host nation making an early exit, now all 10 teams will play each other once with the top four going through to the semi-finals.
The Super Sixes stage from past renewals has been scrapped meaning each team is guaranteed to play nine times before the semis and the final. This places an emphasis on squad depth with teams who perform well early on having the option of resting players before the semi-finals. Similarly, teams who start poorly still have a chance of winning the competition.
For the outright market, there is a choice to make during the tournament. Back the first team to book their place in the last four knowing they will be able to keep key players fresh for the business end. Or pick the team which finishes the round-robin strongly in the hope they carry that ‘momentum’ through to the knockout stages.
In-play betting: This has revolutionised cricket. There are so many markets to bet on from normal match betting to the number of runs in an innings, partnership, or even over, and next man out. Another popular market is ‘method of next dismissal’.
Match betting: This can change in an instant thanks to a big over for the batting or bowling side. Markets are suspended at the fall of a wicket in order to give traders time to update score ranges and match odds and provide new markets for the incoming batter.
Betting on exchanges: It is very possible to lock in a profit by backing a team at one price and then laying them at a shorter price as the match progresses.
Death bowling is vital in ODIs with teams usually keeping back their best pacemen for the closing overs. Expect to see plenty of slower balls and yorkers in the dying stages as the bowling side tries to prevent a match-changing cavalcade of boundaries. The batting side will almost always try to make sure the better ball-striker faces more deliveries, especially when chasing a target.
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