After a week off for the players, the Ashes resumes this week with England facing the almost impossible task of coming back from 2-0 down in the series. Defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide mean that the tourists must at least avoid defeat in the third Test in Perth if they’re to have any chance of retaining the famous urn.
Sadly, history is not on their side. England have never beaten or drawn with Australia from 2-0 down. They’ve also not won at the WACA Ground – hosting its final ever Ashes match – since 1978, with Australia winning the last seven meetings there. The outlook really does not look very bright for England.
When thinking about betting on the third Ashes Test, it’s important for punters to look at what’s happened in the 2017-18 series so far. Big first-innings totals have been the key factor for Australia in the opening two Tests, and England simply haven’t been able to score as highly – neither as a team or individually.
The hosts’ ten-wicket win in the first Test gives the impression of a one-sided match. In truth it was closer than the scoreline suggests. In the second Test in Adelaide, England offered a brief fightback as they chased 354 in their second innings, but they were promptly dispatched on the final day.
England have had some good spells during the series but they haven’t sustained enough, while Australia have been better in the key moments. No Englishman has scored a century yet, with Vince’s 83 in the first Test being their biggest innings – so England players may be best avoided if betting on a player to score a century.
Like the Gabba in Brisbane, the WACA Ground in Perth holds many bad memories for England. Having won just once in the stadium's 46 years of hosting Test cricket, England will probably be glad to see the back of the old place when it makes way for the new Optus Stadium in the New Year.
In the 2013-14 series they lost the third Test in Perth on the way to a 5-0 whitewash, and they could well be heading for a similar fate this time around. The hosts are clear favourites among bookmakers once again, priced at 8/15 with many of the leading online sports betting sites.
If, like captain Joe Root, you still believe England are in the series, you can back them at 15/4 with TopBetta to make it 2-1. The WACA is renowned for its fast and bouncy pitch, so early wickets could be on the cards.
Thankfully, Ladbrokes is offering a first wicket market where punters can bet on England to be on under 22.5 runs when their first wicket falls at odds of 5/6, or Australia to be on under 27.5 runs at the same price.
If the WACA pitch lives up to its reputation, it should suit Australia’s fast bowlers. The Aussies certainly have more pace in their attack than the tourists and they’re expected to recall Mitchell Marsh to the squad to add another bowling option.
Mitchell Starc has taken 14 of England’s 40 wickets in the series so far and he’ll be licking his lips at the prospect of a fast and bouncy pitch. The fast bowler is odds of 11/5 with Crownbet to be Australia’s top bowler in the match, and an appealing 15/2 with betway to win the man of the match award.
Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have taken seven each and are priced at 11/4 and 10/3 respectively with Coral to take the most wickets for the hosts this time. For England, James Anderson is likely to be their main weapon, as reflected in William Hill’s odds of 5/2 on the 35-year-old to be his team’s top bowler.
Stuart Broad is best-priced at 3/1 with Ladbrokes, while Chris Woakes, who claimed four wickets in the second innings in Adelaide, is 7/2 with Unibet to take the most in the third Test. It promises to be another great five days of Test cricket, so visit Ladbrokes now and get your bets in before the action starts!