While many see in-play betting as an area for quick-thinking punters who bet with their gut, certain sports afford fans the luxury of thought and consideration. Test cricket is a prime example, although it has potential rewards for the spontaneous among you too.
There are two things every punter should take into a test match. Firstly, a sound knowledge of the stats: batting averages, wickets and performances in certain conditions are vital information when planning where to place your bets, and they're easily available from sites like ESPN. Secondly, an open and flexible approach to the wide array of markets available in-play.
Early in a match, when wickets are often slower to fall, it is best to focus on the 'runs' markets. Bet365 Sports offers in-play odds on a great variety of them, including 'runs off the next delivery', the 'next over', 'next 25 overs', 'next 30 overs' and the 'innings total'. All of these are offered in over/under format, for example, betting on over 0.5 runs off the next delivery means you're betting on a run being scored from the next ball. You can expect a bet like this to pay between 2/1 - 3/1 in a tight test match, but these odds will change, as should your choice of market, depending on who's at the crease. If the batsman's hitting the bowler all over the place, jump right in - if not, you're more likely to find value in the long game, for example by betting on a low score over 25 - 30 overs.
The next place to look is the 'wickets' market. With the time you have to ponder strategy and performance, you can assess how well a batsman's holding up. Is he on the defensive and looking solid? If so, bet against the wicket in an over for a safe, low return. More interesting, though, is an attacking batsman chasing a runs target. Even if he's on fire, the risky strategy makes it worth a punt on a wicket falling.
Another market to factor in at this point is the 'next man out' market. A solid cricket match is built on partnerships, and solid cricket betting is based on how you assess a pairing. Usually bookies offer odds around evens on either of the pairing being next out, so having an inkling of who's next can be a nice boost to your match pot.
Those of you who gamble with your gut, meanwhile, can find ample opportunity to win big when you spy a team on the up, or on the brink of collapse. Take the first matches of the Ashes taking place in November 2013. A spontaneous and shrewd gambler could have earned a pretty penny from England's collapse in their first innings. Bet365 Sports offered odds of up to 7/1 on a wicket falling in each over, and even when wickets were falling left, right and centre, the figure rarely dropped below 3/1. So if you'd taken advantage during that 10 over period in which England lost 6 wickets, you could have profited handsomely.
But the greatest advantage of betting on test cricket is time, which affords flexibility in your selection of in-play markets. Visit Bet365 Sports today to examine the markets for yourself, and remember to choose wisely.