Cricket Betting: Third Test England V West Indies
England's price gets bigger almost with every drop of rain.
SJA Betting Writer of the Year, Ed Hawkins, analyses the final match of the Test series between England and the West Indies.
There has been a bit of a brouhaha about the decision to rest James Anderson for this match. It can be explained simply by there being very little else to get over-excited about. England are winning and winning well, so drama needed to be found.
Stuart Broad could also be rested and Andy Flower, the coach, has refused to rule out the fast bowler sitting this Test out. So both Steven Finn and Graham Onions could play. Otherwise Jonny Bairstow is under pressure for runs following his lean return.
Not much has been going right for the tourists. With the series gone they could have done with some much-needed game time in a tour match against Leicestershire but the match was washed out. They have also lost Kemar Roach, their most impressive bowler, to injury.
Sunil Narine, the uncapped spinner, has replaced Roach but he doesn't look like being much use on a damp Edgbaston surface. Tino Best and Fidel Edwards would be better stand-ins but both needed that match against Leicestershire to show what they could do.
Venue and conditions
The forecast for Birmingham is poor. Rain is expected all day on the first day with intermittent showers affecting proceedings on the following two. It is a result pitch, however, and one would reckon that cold and damp conditions will severely test West Indies once more against a moving ball. In the last ten years (eight Tests) there have been only two draws. The first-innings average over that period is 315.
England's price gets bigger almost with every drop of rain and they are now (3.65) for victory over West Indies, who are (170.0). The draw is (1.50). and that will get shorter one would reckon before a ball is bowled.
The problem for punters is that they will soon start to believe that England are value, an opinion which will be tempered by a nagging doubt that the odds will keep drifting. Certainly England are tempting indeed at such a price.
Even if day one is a washout, they could still be too good for West Indies in the remaining four. But, of course, they'll be bigger than the (2.68).
A left-field ploy then is to go with West Indies as a back-to-lay. They have had their moments in the series and no doubt they can have some again in favourable bowling conditions (providing England bat first). Also, let's not forget that England's attack is weakened by their own hand so the price is unjustified.
Recommended Betfair Bet
Back-to-lay West Indies @ Betfair odds of (17.00).