Cricket has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, largely down to the introduction of Twenty20 cricket and the emergence of the Indian Premier League (IPL). This traditional game has gained a whole new following among younger fans interested in these new, exciting formats.
Cricket betting sites have piggybacked on the growth of the sport and it’s now commonplace for even US-oriented sites to host wagers on cricket. Sites that cater to other parts of the world often have a broad and deep variety of wagers on both major matches and lower-profile games.
Of all the sports in the world, cricket is particularly well-suited for wagering. The variety of possible wagers on any given match is almost endless. There are straight up wagers on who will win, bets on the top run scorer, most wickets taken, the points total and more. On top of all that, cricket is never really out of season. There’s always something to bet on somewhere.
Where to Bet on Cricket Online
Choosing a betting site is the most important task you have as a punter with the safety of your funds being the number one priority. Deposit bonuses, betting options and all the rest are nice, but nothing ranks higher in importance than ensuring your money is kept safe and your winnings are paid.
This is the hardest part for newbies to get right because knowing where to play is a matter of experience. Once you’ve been involved in the industry for as long as we have, you start to collect experience. You’ve played at enough sites, read enough industry news and talked with enough real gamblers that you start to get a sense of which sites are in it for the long haul and which are best avoided.
The sites that we recommend on this page are all very established in sports betting. Most of these sites are a decade old at the minimum. Some have been online since the 90s. This kind of staying power indicates financial stability and an ability to maintain good standing in the industry.
Anyways, that’s the main thing we look for in any bookmaker. Other things that go into consideration are how many events are covered, what types of wagers are offered, the welcome bonus and customer support. Only the sites that get all the most important things get a mention here at OnlineBettingSites.com.
Formats and Variations of Cricket
Cricket is played in a variety of forms, both internationally and domestically. International test cricket is a traditional form of the game and remains very popular. It is largely considered the most challenging form of the sport. A test match is played over five days, with each of the two competing teams getting two innings. Most test matches are played as part of a series of four of five matches, usually spread over a couple of months. Test match cricket provides plenty of betting opportunities throughout a series.
Domestically, most cricket-playing nations have leagues where club teams compete in a season of one day games. These games usually see the teams have one limited overs innings each. Betting on domestic matches is particularly common in nations such as England where there is a rich history of the game.
One Day Internationals (ODI) provide more opportunities for betting on cricket. An ODI match will see two competing international teams play one innings of fifty overs each. Like test cricket, these are often played as part of a series between two nations or as an international tournament – such as the ICC World Cup.
Twenty20 cricket is a relatively new form of cricket but has proved phenomenally popular, at both club level and internationally. It is a much faster paced game, which each team getting just one innings of 20 overs. The recently introduced Indian Premier League is played in this format and the IPL has gained a worldwide following as probably the world’s most glamorous cricket tournament.
Types of Cricket Bets And Wagers
Between the different formats of cricket, the complexity of the sport and worldwide interest in the game, bookmakers have a lot of fodder for coming up with wagers. It’s not uncommon to find several dozen wagers offered on a single high-profile match. It’s like we said before – cricket is a great sport for betting. Let’s take a look at some of the wager-types that you’re most likely to see on the internet.
- Match Betting (Fixed Odds) – Match betting can be done on any cricket match in any format. In short, you select the team you think will win and place your bet on them. If your selection is correct, you are paid according to the listed odds. The odds are usually presented in either a fraction format (for example 2/1, which means you would win $2.00 for every $1.00 bet, plus your stake back) or decimal format (for example 3.0, which means you would see a return of $3.00 for every $1.00 bet, including your stake).
- Moneyline Bet – This is basically the same thing as a match bet except with a different odds format. Money line odds (also known as American odds) are used to show how much you are being asked to risk and how much you stand to win. For example, Team A vs. Team B might have the odds set at Team -600 and Team B at +400. In this example, Team A is a big favorite. The -600 means that you would have to risk $6.00 for every $1.00 in winnings whereas the +400 shows that a $1.00 wager on Team A would net you $400 in winnings.
- Top Run Scorer – The top run scorer is another particularly popular bet due to its simplicity. You choose who you think is going to score the most runs and make your selection. In an individual match, there will usually be a market for the highest run scorer in the match and a market for the highest run scorer on each team. In a series or tournament, you can bet on the highest run scorer throughout all the matches.
- Top Bowling Figures – This is similar to the top run scorer bet except you are betting on which bowler will take the most wickets. Again, you can bet on individual matches or across a tournament or series.
- Futures or Outright Bets – An example of a futures or outright bet in cricket would be betting on the winner of a particular tournament or series. For example, at the start of the ICC World Cup, you would choose which nation you believe will triumph in the tournament and make your selection accordingly.
- Over/Under Bets – These sorts of bets are common in cricket and there are usually a number of markets open in most matches. In cricket an Over/Under bet might be on the combined number of runs both teams will score. A bookmaker will set an amount, for example 500 runs, and you must select whether the actual amount will be over or under that figure and place your bet accordingly. Over/Under bets can also be made on the number of wickets a specific bowler will take, the number of catches throughout the match, the total number of boundaries hit and many other outcomes.
- Specials/Prop Bets – Specials, or prop bets, are not as common in cricket as some other sports, but most bookmakers offer some such bets on the major matches at least. Special bets could include markets such as whether the total number of runs is an odd or even number, who will score the most boundaries or who will hold the most catches..
Major Cricket Events, Leagues, and Markets
Some of the biggest cricket events in the world deserve their own dedicated page. If you have an interest in a specific competition, see the link below to read more and get the heads-up on the best places to bet on that particular event.
- Betting on The Ashes – The Ashes is a test cricket series that is played every two years between England and Australia. The series has been contested since 1882 and is arguably one of the most famous international rivalries in world cricket. Each Ashes series consists of 5 separate test matches under standard test match cricket conditions. Most test match series offer plenty of online cricket betting opportunities for sports bettors, and the Ashes is one of the greatest cricket event of all to bet on. This pages looks at some of the more popular cricket bets and wagers that can be made on the Ashes as well as the background of the test series itself.
It is fair to say that the Ashes is one of the most famous test cricket series in the world. Even though it is only ever contested between two nations – England and Australia – it attracts audiences from around the world. The first test match between the two nations was played in 1877, though it was not referred to as The Ashes until a few years later, in 1882. The name came about after England lost a test match to Australia on British soil for the first time. A British newspaper – the Sporting Times – declared that English cricket died and, to quote, “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”.
During the following English tour of Australia, a small urn was presented to the England captain – Ivo Bligh – which was rumoured to contain the ashes of a burned bail. Ever since then, the term The Ashes has been applied to the test series. Since the test series in 1998, a Waterford Crystal replica of the Ashes urn has been introduced as the official trophy to be presented to the winner of the series.
- Betting on the Cricket World Cup – The ICC Cricket World Cup is the biggest tournament for men’s one day international (ODI) cricket. The ICC (International Cricket Council) views the ICC Cricket World Cup as the most important cricket tournament in the world.
The ICC Cricket World Cup is held once every four years and is contested by the ten major test and ODI playing cricket nations plus additional teams who must earn their place through a qualifying process. The very first Cricket World Cup was held in England in 1975, and contested by just eight teams – with the West Indies beating Australia in the final. England also went on to host the next two tournaments, before India and Pakistan held the 1987 tournament.
The most successful team in the history of the tournament has been Australia, who have taken an impressive four titles. As recently as 2011, India became the first team to win the ICC Cricket World Cup on home soil, when they were co-hosting the tournament with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Online Cricket Betting Strategy
Unlike many sports, cricket doesn’t require absolute dedication from its punters. Having some knowledge about the game is useful of course, and the more you know the better your chances of turning a profit. However, it is possible to be a winning cricket bettor without being an avid watcher of the sport.
Cricket generates a plethora of statistics such as bowling figures, batting averages, historic matchups, centuries, strike rate, run rate and so on. Thanks to the internet, these statistics are readily available for you to access and provide a valuable insight into the form of both the individual players and the teams. When betting on markets such as top run scorer, a bit of time studying the form of the players involved is sometime better than merely watching the game.
Many cricket matches see two teams of a similar standard competing, with no major favorite or big underdog. If you are placing a match bet or moneyline bet on such a game, knowing the form of the respective teams is invaluable and gives you a greater chance of picking the winning team.
Having said that, it still wouldn’t hurt to stay up to date and catch as many matches as you can. The game is well televised and reported upon so try and watch so you might as well take advantage of all the free viewing out there.
It is equally important that you use a reputable cricket betting site with competitive odds. Even better, sign up for an account at a couple of sites and shop around for the best odds before you place each bet. Even small differences in the odds add up over time.
Bankroll management is another must-have skill for long term success. There is absolutely no need to place a wager on every match. Take your time, wait for lines that make sense and only place wagers when you have a good reason to believe you have the advantage.
Check the Forecast
The weather in cricket plays a big role, especially in the longer formats. As you may well know cricket simply isn’t played in the rain or in bad light, mainly for player protection. Different weather conditions impact how any given game pans out. A dry, sunny, warm day will favor the batsmen due to the fact that the ball will deviate less in those conditions. A damp, overcast and humid day will assist the deviation of the ball in turn making batting harder and favoring the bowling side.
Establish the Standard of a Team for Each Discipline
The game of cricket can take many different forms with the main three being that of test match, one day limited over and Twenty20 cricket. Each format will favor some teams over others and it’s important to establish which teams are best at which format. A team that may lay number one in the world in test matches may be woeful when it comes to Twenty20 and vice versa. Establishing which teams are strongest with each discipline will put you in good stead for each variant of the game.
Note Head to Heads
Check historic matchups between teams before placing a bet. For whatever reason, some teams just seem to have the advantage over others. Poor matchups can kill teams that should otherwise be favored. The average person doesn’t do this type of research and the lines don’t necessarily reflect the reality of the matchup.
Check Form of Teams on Specific Grounds
Similarly to having a bogey team, some teams have a bogey ground where no matter how many times they have played there they have failed to win or rarely been successful. This comes more into fruition when teams from other continents travel around the world. A quick example would be of England’s poor record at sub-continent countries such as India and Sri Lanka where wins over the past 20 years have been few and far between. This comes even when they have been, on paper at least, the far superior team.
Establish Strengths and Weaknesses of Both Sides
Before betting on any cricket match, it’s imperative that you work out which are the strengths and weaknesses for each team. Once you have established this you can then compare to see where one team may have the edge over the other team and see if the odds from bookmakers yield any value from your research.
Apply Average Scores
Noting what the average first innings score at a ground is vitally important, especially in the shorter formats of the game such as one day internationals and Twenty20. With each ground have different variables such as size of ground, condition of pitch, overhead conditions and even atmosphere in the ground, all of which will contribute as to what’s a good score and what’s not so good. From this information we can quickly determine how the team batting first has fared and then look at the odds to see if they favor from our findings.
Select a Comprehensive Betting Site
Cricket coverage can be spotty depending on where you wager. It’s important to first work out which sort of markets you want to target for your cricket betting and then find a bookmaker which can accommodate your specific needs.
It’s worth spending a little time to check out a few sites before you sign up. You don’t even have to sign up for an account to at least look at the betting options and see what they have on offer. In our experience, the best sites tend to be those with an international focus.
Take Advantage of Live Betting
The live betting scene is one that is now in full flourish via an array of online betting sites. Cricket is a sport that hasn’t been left behind and you can find a host of live markets from a number of the larger sites. Live betting allows you to take advantage of your cricket knowledge and apply it to each game.
You can react to changes in the game and more importantly spot times where the games may have a momentum shift and allow you to get in and out with a good price. Live betting markets do fluctuate quickly so it’s important that you’re quick off the mark with these markets to take full advantage.
Expand your Markets
These days, many of the larger betting markets actually occur in India with the likes of the IPL drawing large audiences. There are some serious opportunities to be had in emerging markets that don’t yet get the coverage they deserve.
Even the biggest betting sites only have so many resources to expend on setting the lines for smaller, less popular leagues. Less time spent on setting the lines results in inefficiencies, and inefficiencies result in opportunities for the savvy handicapper. If you’re willing to put in the time to study those smaller cricket markets, you’ll find that there is some serious money to be made.
The spread betting markets are some of the most underused and undervalued in a lot of UK and European based sports with cricket being no exception. Due to the large variables in cricket (runs scored, wickets taken, batting partnerships, bowling spells etc.) the possibilities on spread betting are endless and massively disregarded by most bettors.
In a spread wager, the bookmaker picks a range of potential outcomes. You then can then place a wager that the actual outcomewill be more than or less than the bookmaker’s predicted spread. The more right you are, the more you get paid.
For example, let’s say the line for runs scored was set at 280 to 300 for the first innings. If you think the total will be higher than the spread, you could wager an amount of money per run scored in excess of the spread.
An example from a historic matchup between the West Indies and England had the bookmaker set a line of 370-390 for the West Indies’ first innings. One anonymous punter took the over on 390 at £2 per point and the West Indies managed to amass a staggering 767, netting the bettor a cool £754 for his troubles.