As is the case with most sports, cricket offers punters a variety of options on a match-by-match basis. Below are the most common betting markets and a brief explanation of what is involved.
To win the match: Not much to add here. It’s a simple case of which side you’re backing to claim victory. In Tests, there’ll also be the opportunity to bet on a draw but in limited-overs games, you’ll have to specifically request odds for a tie (they are very rare)
To win the toss: Itching for a bet before the match starts? Well, there’s a 50-50 chance to picking heads or tails.
Top team batsman: Here, you are trying to pick the player who will make the most runs from a certain team. For instance, you could pick Virat Kohli when India play or Joe Root for England.
1st over total runs: This bet is usually done in an over or under format. For instance, the bookmaker will place odds on more or fewer than 5.5 runs being scored in the first over. You just decide if you think it’s going to be a fast or slow start for the batsmen.
Total runs in the match: Each innings in a one-day game, or all four innings in a first-class match, added together. Again, this will generally be presented in an over or under format by the bookie.
Top team bowler: This relates to the number of wickets taken by bowlers over the course of the game.
Total match sixes: The number of times the ball clears the boundary in the entire game.
Total match fours: As above but for fours instead of sixes
Total team match sixes: The number of times a specific team clears the boundary over the course of their innings.
Total team match fours: As above but for fours instead of sixes
Batsman match runs: You can gamble on whether a specific player is going to score more or fewer than a set number of runs in the game. For example, odds will be placed on Chris Gayle score more or fewer than 27.5.
First innings score: The total number of runs scored by the team batting first in the match. Again, this will be presented in odds of over or under a benchmark number (eg 245.5)
Man of the match: The player who is presented with the man of the match award. For more details on this bet click here.
Batsman to score a 50/100: Punters will be presented for yes and no options for whether or not each individual player will make a half-century or century in the game (ie Steve Smith yes 1.70, Steve Smith no 1.30).
Highest individual score: Another over or under bet, focusing on the top score by any player, from either side, across the match.
Fall of the first wicket: How many runs will have been made by the time the first wicket falls (eg over 28.5 – 1.90)
Mode of the first wicket: How will the first batsman to out lose his wicket? Bowled, caught, lbw, stumped, run out or ‘other’ are generally the six options presented by the bookies. Remember, caught is by far the most common.
Match handicap: Bet on the overall result of the game with a bookie’s weighting. For example, odds will be given on Bangladesh beating England with a 10.5 run head start. It is more common to place a handicap bet on cricket at the halfway stage, after one side has completed its innings. In Test cricket, you are more likely to see odds on the margin of victory than on handicap.