It does not happen often but, for once, England represents the value option in a tournament winner market on a major international competition, namely the Cricket World Cup that gets under way in Australia and New Zealand on Saturday.
Punters have looked at the Cricket World Cup draw and they have backed Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as if the Australians, Black Caps and Proteas are the only three winning chances. One understands why Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have attracted support but one feels that each of them has been over bet and Cricket World Cup punters have missed a trick in not backing England as heavily. For those of you that followed our tip of Australia to win at +275 , you can have the luxury of also having a bet on England, and still be ahead of the bookies best price of +200 on the Aussies.
The Cricket World Cup draw is lopsided insomuch that, unless India, Pakistan and the West Indies experience a big upturn in form over the next couple of months, South Africa is the only legitimate title contender in Pool B. South Africa is likely to qualify for the Cricket World Cup last eight with a 100 per cent Pool B record but, in reality, reaching the quarter-finals should be a no-brainer for any team that holds championship aspirations. At the risk of offending Cricket World Cup administrators, the first month of the tournament is an exercise in generating money through the scheduling of largely meaningless matches that are likely to deliver the eight favourites as the eight quarter-finalists. South Africa has been over bet because what it accomplishes in Cricket World Cup Pool B – even if it wins every one of its six group games – will have very little bearing on how its fares in the business part of the competition.
Cricket World Cup punters have over bet Australia and New Zealand because they are the host nations and there is an expectation that they will avoid South Africa until the semi-finals at least. Australia’s Cricket World Cup hopes have taken a hit with James Faulkner’s injury that has the potential to prevent the multi-talented all-rounder from pinch hitting and death bowling for the Australians. One appreciates that, realistically, Australia may only need to win back-to-back-to-back home matches to lift the Cricket World Cup but odds of +200 with many bookmakers, are nothing more than fair – those odds equate to -227 multiplied by three. New Zealand traded at odds of +2000 not long ago so backing the Black Caps at odds of +550 with several firms, including Bwin and Winner, to lift the Cricket World Cup would be the act of a punter who has missed the boat.
England is the Cricket World Cup value bet at odds of +1200 with Betfred and Totesport. Provided that England qualifies for a Cricket World Cup quarter-final versus a Pool B team other than South Africa, which one thinks is more likely than not to eventuate, it should have an excellent shot of making the last four and being just two wins from glory. One thinks that England should not be considerably longer odds than New Zealand to win the Cricket World Cup because the final is locked in for the Melbourne Cricket Ground so the Black Caps are not going to have home advantage in the championship game if they manage to progress that far.
Back England to win the Cricket World Cup at odds of +1200 in the expectation that it qualifies for the semi-finals, at which point one can either cash out with a guaranteed profit or let one’s bet ride and go for gold. England will not be trading at Cricket World Cup odds of +1200 if it makes the last four and, who knows, something may befall Australia, New Zealand and/or South Africa along the way.
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