Betting Week in Review: Test Cricket and the Premier League
England were the surprise victors in their first Test against India, Joe Root the hero with the bat. Tottenham had a week to forget in football, Manchester United and Liverpool lost ground, and Fulham took three vital points in their game against Everton. Join us as we recap the action.
England Ground High-Flying India
Few gave England much of a chance against India. Tied on 188 ranking points with New Zealand, India has lost just one Test at home in eight years. So dominant in games, of the 28 wins from 35 matches, 12 of these wins have been by an innings.
Last month, India took on the mighty Aussies in Australia and completed one of the greatest comebacks of all time. In the first Test, India suffered the humiliation of being bowled out for 36 in the second innings, their lowest score in Test history. They led after the first innings, Virat Kohli leading the runs charts with 74 before being run out. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane contributed 43 and 42 runs respectively to their first innings total of 244. Australia’s first innings total was 191, Tim Paine Australia’s leading scorer on 73.
India’s second innings was nothing short of a disaster as Australia made short work of the batting order. Only two Indian batsmen scored more than five, Mayank Agarwal on nine and Hanuma Vihari on eight. Tim Paine made five catches with all ten wickets gone in 21.2 overs. Australia lost just two wickets chasing the 93 required. Unbeaten Joe Burns scoring 51 runs off 63 balls, scoring seven 4s and a six. The only two wickets to fall were Mathew Wade, who was run out by Saha on 33 and Agarwal caught Marnus Labuschagne on six from an Ashwin delivery.
India Fightback to Claim Historic Win
Going into the second Test, injuries decimated the Indian team. Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar never made the trip, and Mohammed Shami broke his arm in the first Test. Umesh Yadav pinged his calf and arguably India’s most exciting bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, strained his side in Sydney. Other casualties included Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin meaning the Indians were without their five best fast bowlers, two spinners and their leading wicket-taker.
In Melbourne’s second Test match, India retaliated for their first Test defeat by playing with polish and control, dismissing Australia easily and winning by eight wickets. A draw in the third Test in Sydney set up a thrilling final Test match in Brisbane, Australia’s invincible fortress where they hadn’t tasted defeat in 33 years. The contest went to the final day, India needed 328 runs to equal the Aussie total, an almost impossible task. Yet, by the end of day 5, India shocked their hosts, winning by three wickets with just 18 balls left. Rishabh Pant’s 89 not out helping India complete a record-breaking chase.
Joe Root Double Century As England Stun India
With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why England was priced as high as 6/1 to win the first Test.
Even the most ardent Barmy Army supporter wouldn’t have expected the performance with the bat in the first innings with Joe Root scoring a double century before being dismissed lbw on 218. Rory Burns (33) and Dominic Sibley (87) opening well. Ben Stokes contributed with 82, and Ollie Pope (34), Jos Buttler (30) & Dom Bess (34) all hit double digits as England were all out for 578.
England’s first Test scores of 578 and 178 all-out over India’s 337& 192 all-out gave the visitors the win by 227 runs.
A big shock but, just as India fought back after losing their first Test against Australia, they are doing the same in the second Test with England. As play resumed on Monday, India’s scores of 329 & 286 mean England are chasing a run total of 482. India are 1/40 on to win; the draw is priced at 80/1 with an England victory priced at 12/1.
Bookmakers Toast Tottenham Draw With Everton
Tottenham fans who back their team in the betting market have not had the best of weeks. Last Wednesday, they drew 4-4 with Everton in the FA Cup, wiping out ‘to win’ bets. To make matters worse, they were knocked out of the competition due to a goal scored by Everton’s Bernard in the 7th minute of extra time. There was some joy for backers of the multi-goalscoring market though. Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez scored two in normal time (4 min, 57 min) as did Everton’s Richarlison (38 min, 68 min).
At the weekend, Tottenham faced the league leaders Manchester City and had a chance to improve on their 8th place in the league. After scoring four in midweek, Tottenham were fancied in the BTTS market. The Home/Away betting market had City priced at 20/100 with Tottenham at 4/1, representing a payout rate of 92.6%.
The odds suggested an 80% chance of a Manchester City win and City duly delivered in a rather routine 3-0 win. Ilkay Gundogan kept up his great scoring run by scoring twice after a Rodri penalty had given City the lead in the 23rd minute.
A telling stat is that after the two teams last met, a 2-0 win for Tottenham in November, City then went on a run that saw them pick up 41 out of 45 points. Tottenham, who were league leaders in November, have collected 16 points out of 42 points.
Klopp Concedes Title After Foxes Defeat
Lightning struck twice for Liverpool as another goalkeeping error helped Leicester City to a 3-1 win over the champions. Two howlers from Liverpool’s Alisson had gifted Manchester City two goals in their 4-1 defeat, and Allison was again involved, clashing with debutant defender Ozan Kabak to allow Jamie Vardy to score into an empty goal to give his side a 2-1 lead. Mohamed Salah had given Liverpool the lead on 67 minutes before James Maddison equalised, nine minutes later.
With five minutes left on the clock, Harvey Barnes added a third for Leicester that sealed the points. A remarkable comeback from Leicester who scored three goals in a mesmerising seven-minute spell. After the game, manager Jurgen Klopp was asked if the defeat meant the title race was over for Liverpool, the German replied, “yes, I can’t believe it, but yes”.
Leicester were priced @ 3/1 pre-game with Liverpool 1/1.
Baggies Boost Bookies Returns
The biggest surprise of the weekend, odds wise, was the 1-1 draw between West Bromwich and Manchester United. Pre-game the draw was priced at 5/1, the home side 8/1 with United odds on at 30/100.
You can understand why bookmakers expected a landslide victory for the visitors. United faced Southampton, another team struggling earlier this month and won 9-0, equalling the league record. They scored three times against Everton and scored in the 1-0 FA Cup victory over West Ham. The Baggies leak goals, five against Manchester City, two against Fulham and two against Tottenham in recent games. West Bromwich have conceded nineteen goals in their last five games at home before this game.
It took West Bromwich just two minutes to take the lead, Mbaye Diagne giving the home side the advantage after 83 seconds. The 29-year-old is on loan from Galatasaray and used his strength to beat Victor Lindelof to head home from a cross from Conor Gallagher. United didn’t kick into gear until late in the half, their star man Bruno Fernandes scoring with a great volley to level the game in the 44th minute.
United had chances to take the lead; Mason Greenwood went close, and Scott McTominay had an effort cleared off the line. Former Manchester United Sam Johnstone made some good saves to deny his former club, most notably an effort from Harry Maguire which he tipped onto the post. West Brom had a chance to steal the game, Diagne nearly doubling his tally but sending his shot over from close range.
Fulham Boost Survival Chances
Also on the list of surprises was Fulham’s 2-0 win away to Everton. In Sunday’s late game, two goals from Josh Maja, who was making his debut for Fulham, gave Fulham three vital points. It was Fulham’s first win since beating Leicester 2-1 in November and ended a twelve-game winless streak. The win takes them within seven points of Newcastle in 17th.
Bookmakers were happy with the results. Kindred’s Ali Gill said: “A great weekend for layers in the Premier League as the top teams continue, on the whole, to make things difficult for themselves.
“Everton’s defeat to Fulham gave our best result of the weekend, but Liverpool’s loss to Leicester and Manchester United being held by West Brom were both close behind. All three did a job in taking a selection of accas along with them too,”
Chad Yeoman from Betway agreed, saying: “You’d have to say that there were a few surprise results this weekend and that all started with the opening match between Leicester and Liverpool. Liverpool were well-backed on Saturday morning, but their capitulation in the league continues.
“West Brom holding Manchester United to a draw at The Hawthorns was a very good result with United being well-backed and also very popular in accas and multiples across the weekend,” Yeoman added.