The Ashes 2021-22 Betting Preview, Odds and Tips

The Ashes 2021-22 Betting Preview, Odds and Tips

Quick Tips

The Ashes is upon us again and Australia head into a home series as heavy favourites to win the series with the best cricket betting sites.

The build-up has been dominated by events off the field. Australia have a new captain in Pat Cummins after Tim Paine’s sexting debacle, with Alex Carey replacing him behind the stumps. England, meanwhile, have the Yorkshire racism scandal casting something of a shadow and have to deal with stricter Covid protocols than they're used to back home.

On the field, Australia will no doubt be full of confidence following their surprise win in the T20 World Cup and they come into this series with close to a full-strength squad. England are still without Jofra Archer while veteran strike duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad are probably facing into their last Ashes Series.

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Both teams were beaten at home by India in their most recent series. The England series is officially incomplete but England were trailing 2-1 after four Tests when it was postponed and they have something to prove in the longer format of the game.

Australia bowled out India for 36 in the opening Test in Adelaide last winter on their way to a comfortable eight-wicket win, but were then undone by some fine seam bowling from Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, with spinners Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja also delivering.

England’s summer was mixed to say the least, with Ben Stokes taking time out. Ollie Robinson was suspended for historic tweets before coming back and bowling exceptionally well against India. And the batting once again revolved around captain Joe Root with the top order far from settled.

Throw in the fact that England have not won a Test in Australia since their famous 3-1 series victory in 2010-11, and it is no surprise to see sports betting websites and betting apps pricing up the hosts as favourites.

Ashes Outright Betting Odds

ResultBetting OddsBet With
Australia1/3bet365
England9/2Betfair
Drawn Series8/1Unibet

Ashes Betting Preview - Batting

England’s top-order struggles are well-documented, with Joe Root almost carrying the team for the last few series. Ben Stokes’ return should help but this is an outfit which struggles to make big scores. Rory Burns’ average is in the low 30s and he’s probably the best opener England have.

Burns will almost certainly be partnered by Haseeb Hameed with Dawid Malan at three, with Root four, Stokes five, Ollie Pope six and Jos Buttler seven. On paper, that does not look a bad batting lineup but, as we know, Test matches are not played on paper. Jonny Bairstow will be waiting in the wings for his opportunity although, in an ideal world, these players would have had some practice games to assess their form.

If Pope can stay fit, which is no given, he is very capable of supporting the lower order and Buttler can weigh in with some useful cameos. But the top order remains very much a worry for the tourists.

Marcus Harris looks set to open with David Warner for Australia after Will Pucovski was ruled out of Brisbane with concussion. Stuart Broad might have had Warner on toast in England but the batter is a very different proposition at home and buzzing after the T20 World Cup success. Former Australia captain Michael Clarke is bullish about Warner this series, saying: “I’m telling you, if Davey gets a start in this first Test match, if conditions are good for batting at the Gabba, he will be the leading runs scorer. He will smoke this England attack. No Jofra Archer. He will destroy them in Australian conditions. He’s back confident, played well in the World Cup, has that strut back.”

Then comes the awesome pair of Marcus Labuschagne and Steve Smith with Usman Khawaja and Travis Head battling for the number five berth and Cameron Green in at seven. Wicket-keeper Alex Carey will come in at seven.

Warner, Labuschagne and Smith hold the key for Australia. They should be able to make enough runs for the strong pace attack to defend.

Ashes Betting Preview - Bowling

The absence of Jofra Archer is huge for England as Australian pitches should have been right up his street. Anderson and Broad have been wonderful servants to English cricket over the years, but is this perhaps one series too far in a place they have never felt completely at home?

Anderson had an excellent 2010-11 series, taking 24 wickets at an average of 26. And in the last Ashes in Australia, 2017-18, he took 17 wickets at just under 28. But his overall average in Australia of 35.43 shows he just doesn’t carry the same threat he does back in England.

Why is that? Length and swing. He is the master of swing in English conditions, pitching the ball up and moving it both ways. In Australia, the ball (a Kookaburra rather than the Dukes in England) doesn’t swing much at all. Therefore, the ideal length in Australia is shorter as anything full is reasonably easy to handle.

Broad’s average of 37.18 against Australia is similar although he excelled on the 2013-14 tour with 21 wickets at 27.5. His length is better suited to Australian conditions and he has an excellent record at the Gabba, the venue for the first Test, with 12 wickets at 24.6. That said, he was dropped in the summer and it may be that age is catching up with him.

In four matches at the Gabba, Anderson has taken seven wickets at an average of 75 with a best of 2-50. It is simply not his track and, with five back-to-back Tests, I’d definitely keep him fresh for Adelaide and Melbourne where he has far better records.

Ollie Robinson was England’s best bowler last summer and would be my first name on the teamsheet as far as the attack is concerned. He bowls just a bit short of a good length and, while a couple of more kph to take him into the mid-130s would make him a real handful (see India’s Mo Siraj last winter), he should fare well.

The same goes for Craig Overton who also prefers to bang the ball in rather than pitch it up. He made his debut in the 2017-18 tour, bowling Steve Smith for his first Test wicket. He’s another who should enjoy the conditions.

With five Tests back-to-back, there will be some rotation. Chris Woakes showed in the summer that he is still a force, although he can be easy to hit when his radar is even slightly off. Mark Wood is always threatening with his pace but his fitness issues are well-documented. Stokes is very useful too but his spells will have to be managed carefully over the five Tests.

Jack Leach is the main spin option along with Dom Bess, but expect Root to do his fair share of bowling especially against the left-handers.

Looking at Ashes betting, Anderson makes the bowler markets. He’s around the 2/1 mark to be England’s top bowler in the series which, to me, looks far too short. And it will look ridiculously so if he misses Brisbane (as he probably should). Robinson was the leading wicket taker in the India series with 21 (Bumrah was next with 18 followed by Anderson’s 15) and he should be the mainstay of England’s attack here. At 11/4 with Betfair he should be backed.

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Australia boast a potent pace attack of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc together with off-spinner Nathan Lyon who didn’t have a great time against India last winter. On the other hand, Cummins was outstanding against India and was named player of the series despite being on the losing side. He is the number one bowler in the Test rankings and has been for the last two-and-a-half years (Covid notwithstanding).

Again, rotation is likely with Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser probably getting their opportunity at some point. But with Cummins now captain, he is highly unlikely to be rested at any point. The top Australia bowler market appears to be priced up without that being taken into account and, while Cummins is favourite, the 9/4 with bet365 looks generous.

Ashes First Test Betting Odds

First Test ResultBetting OddsBet With
Australia5/6Betfair
England17/4Unibet
Drawn First Test2/1bet365

You have to go all the way back to 1986 for the last time England won a Test at the Gabba. Since then, it’s been six wins to the home team and two draws. And with the ‘La Niña’ weather system interrupting England’s preparations, it’s hard to see them being ready to hit the ground running.

That said, the long-term weather forecast looks pretty poor and the draw has shortened with a chance there might not be enough time for a result. That would be a good outcome for England, although one cannot help but feel the gap between the sides will soon become clear.

Once the first toss is called in Brisbane, live Ashes betting will be available with the best bookmakers. With the exception of 2010-11, England middle-to-late order collapses have been frequent at the Gabba. As a result, betting on quick wickets and low innings totals in-play could be worth investigating.

Ashes Betting Tips - Specials

With uncertainty over the weather for the first Test, the correct score market could be difficult for bettors. Test match betting aficionados will know that draws have become less commonplace in Test cricket in recent years. However, Sydney is something of a batters’ paradise with four draws out of the last seven matches there (the other three being comprehensive Australian victories).

I am going to have a play in two markets, however, based on my feeling that England will not win a Test. I think they are overmatched in both the batting and bowling departments and Australia should complete a comfortable series win. The 4-0 scoreline with Betfair at 6/1 looks fair, but I really like the look of the 9/4 with bet365 for England not to win a match in the series. All the elements for a ‘Tour From Hell’ are there, not least the possibility of further Covid measures due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, and it could be a long winter for the tourists.

The final bet is something of a strange one. bet365 have priced up a ‘Fastest Series 50’ market with Steve Smith and David Warner joint-favourites at 9/2. There are plenty of variables here with match situations and players, and Jos Buttler is interesting at 10/1. But Warner possesses the second-fastest 50 in Test history at 23 balls set in Sydney against Pakistan almost five years ago. He is bang in form and should pass 50 multiple times this series.

Warner is 3/1 with Ladbrokes to be Australia’s top series run-scorer but, with Smith and Marcus Labuschagne in opposition, that makes little appeal. However, I don’t see too many challengers to the opener in the fastest 50 market and see this as a better bet at 9/2 with bet365.

Ashes Dates

  • 8-12 December 2021, First Test, Brisbane
  • 16-20 December 2021, Second Test, Adelaide (D/N)
  • 26-30 December 2021, Third Test, Melbourne
  • 5-9 January 2022, Fourth Test, Sydney
  • 14-18 January 2022, Fifth Test, venue TBC

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