Doubts about the potential of England's Ashes Tour gathered pace during the Ben Stokes drama that emerged in September – and a ten-wicket defeat since has only added to the confidence of bettors who took the odds on Australia winning the Ashes Test Series. England emerged from the game with significant credit though.
Most pundits agree that such a heavy paper loss truly flattered the Australians. And with a historic Ashes second test to be played under lights and potentially damp conditions, the tourists won't get a better opportunity on the Ashes tour to defeat the Aussies and reward their cricket betting fans!
When England took to the field for the first Ashes Test at the Gabba, they faced a daunting task. Australia had won 29 matches in a row in Brisbane, making them look a banker cricket bet for those following betting trends.
Seen in this light, the post-game prognosis might not be so bad after all for England, who displayed flashes of potential, despite a ten-wicket defeat looking bad at face value. As noted by Australian legend Glenn McGrath:
"Those first three days were compelling cricket. England will feel like they had opportunities but didn't take them. For Australia to win by ten wickets was not a fair reflection of the game."
There were questions around why James Anderson was rested when the Aussies were seven wickets down in their first innings, why James Vince was run out when on his way to a potential century and why the hosts relied largely on Captain Steve Smith's 141 not out to save his side from a shaky looking 76-4 in the first innings.
Indeed, while Cameron Bancroft came alive to showcase his talents with 83 not out in the second innings, the Australian battling pedigree through the side looks questionable. All in all, Australia's odds of 8/13 with William Hill to win the second Test in Adelaide look poor value, with 11/4 about England more interesting.
And that's predominantly because of the nature of the Second Test, which takes the shape of a day:night format. Add in the predicted damp weather and the conditions may create a decidedly tricky batting proposition. Both sides could benefit, England's seamers are being touted to take advantage.
This wicket that may act like a 20:20 home soil track in Yorkshire on a blustery late summer's afternoon. If this proves right, James Anderson and Stewart Broad (who returned a combined 5-99 at the Gabba) could have the infamous 'pink ball' causing all sorts of trouble for the questionable Aussie middle order.
One of the highlights of the first Ashes Test was the performance of two young batsmen from each country. For Australia, Cameron Bancroft impressed with 82 not out in the second innings, while James Vince accounted for 83 runs of England's first innings total of 302.
Cameron Bancroft is 5/1 to be the host's top scoring batsman and odd of 14/1 to be Man of the Match, while James Vince sits at 11/2 for England's top batsman and odds of 20/1 for MOM. Both players look fair value to lead the run counts for their respective sides and their MOM odds both look very tempting.
One major eyebrow raiser from the first Ashes Test Match was Joe Root's decision to not let James Anderson loose on the Australians when they were seven wickets down in the first innings. This breather received a lot of media attention, so it's unlikely to happen again under such circumstances.
In addition to Anderson getting more action, the lively wicket and humid conditions are perfect territory for the Englishman. He's an appealing bet to be England's top wicket taker in the first innings at 5/2 with William Hill. If the wicket does prove to be a fire bed of movement and England beat Australia, his MOM odds of 10/1 look good.
Day:Night Test Matches might not be something that cricketing purists embrace – but they're about to enjoy their debut in the Ashes when the sides take to the field at the Adelaide Oval. While long-term statistics can't yet be relied upon, the Test Matches played at the ground to date seem to indicate the potential for low scoring games.
Indeed, while the average score in the last ten first innings at Adelaide totals 419, the two Test Matches played at the venue have only seen a score over 300 achieved once. Similarly, wickets fell like skittles when South Australia played New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield at the Oval, with both sides failing to top 250 runs when facing the day to night scenario of the pink ball.
While it wasn't a Test Match, South Australia only managed 95 runs in their first innings. The hint that day:night games at the ground may favour quick wickets and low scores is therefore an interesting cricket betting pointer, with the potential for plenty of moisture to create scope for seamers – and some very tricky battling conditions.
If this proves to be the case, then backing Australia to lose their first wicket at Under 32.5 runs at 5/6 and similarly England at Under 28.5 runs at 5/6 looks appealing. The Third Test will take the teams to the WACA, a venue where their hope of success has literally turned to a smouldering wreck during past tours, with no win there since 1978.
With England well aware of the task ahead, bet on them to attack the Aussies with aggressive bowling in the hope of taking full advantage of potentially favourable conditions in the second Ashes Test. Visit William Hill betting today for the latest odds on the World Cup Final!
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