Bet365 Cricket: Ashes Series 2nd Test Betting Lines Picks
Can England Beat Australia in Adelaide?
The first test at the 'Gabba was on a knife's edge for the first three days, and if it wasn't for Steve Smith's emphatic score of 141 not out or Nathan Lyon's excellent performance with the ball, we could be talking about a totally different result. Yet Australia did what they do so well in Brisbane and found a way to win, improving their outstanding record at the venue.
Adelaide has also been a happy hunting ground for the Australians in recent years - the home side has only lost two matches in their last twenty starts at the venue. And while England won't have fond memories of the 2006 match (in which they scored 551/6 declared in the first innings and somehow managed to lose), they will be buoyed by their very next appearance at the ground that saw them win by a whopping margin of an innings and 71 runs.
So who will win this one? The fact that the match is the first ever day/night test match between the two sides really levels the playing field, and we are very surprised to see Australia at shorter odds (-163) than they were to win the first test in Brisbane. While the Aussies were our pick in that match (we hope you took our advice), we are much less certain about this one.
The head to head odds indicate Australia are the clear favourites, while England are outsiders at +275. You can also obtain +500 for the draw, however as per our below analysis this is a result that you can definitely forget about. We outline the key arguments for each team, followed by our pick.
The Pink Ball Lottery
So how does this make a difference? It's just a different colour right? Wrong. For whatever reason (and trust me there's been years of research here) the pink ball does not operate in the same way that a red one does. The key difference is that it tends to swing a whole lot more than the traditional ball, and this is further exaggerated after the sun goes down.
Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc is certainly someone who likes to bowl full and swing the ball into a batsman, and he is likely to be lethal with pink ball in hand. In the first domestic match of the summer - a day/night fixture against South Australia in Adelaide, Starc took 8/73. New South Wales and Australian teammate Josh Hazlewood also performed well, which is a good sign for the Aussies.
However the best exponents of swing bowling are on the English team. James Anderson, despite reaching the twilight of his career, is still ranked as the ICC top bowler in the world, and his craft is swing. He and Chris Woakes performed well in their day/night tour match against a young Australian eleven, taking five and four wickets respectively, and will be the ones to watch in what is shaping up to be a bowler-friendly test match.
Unseasonable Weather Conditions Predicted
Rarely is the weather a talking point in Adelaide, although a cold front has blown in late on Thursday afternoon that is expected to bring a heavy deluge of rain on both Thursday and Friday night and will cause issues for pitch preparation.
Rain isn't expected to interrupt the match too much, however cold, cloudy conditions are forecast to be around for the whole five days, which will further aid the bowlers' attempts to swing the ball and get movement off the pitch.
The combination of a different ball and foreign conditions could pose some real problems for the batsman in this match, and it could well come down to which side can best cope with the pressure. It is unlikely that we will see a high-scoring test, and very unlikely (unless rain does interrupt proceedings) that the match will last for more than four days.
The big talking points for this match have been about how the conditions will bring England into the contest, but their relatively inexperienced batting lineup will be at the mercy of arguably the best bowling attack in the world. Australia's quicks were not at their best in Brisbane and rarely misfire twice. England will struggle to notch a decent score against these guys, meaning Australia has a great chance of picking up yet another win in Adelaide.
It is certainly more likely in bowler-friendly conditions, and the Australians are known for their batting collapses, so a good spell or two from Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes could turn the match in their favour. If England can bat like they did in the first innings of the first test - patient and watchful, their bowlers should be able to keep them in the match. They are certainly not as far away as the +275 odds suggest.
This has always been earmarked as the test match England have the best chance of winning, and they have been further boosted by conditions that would not look out of place back in the motherland. Yet the tourists still look to be short of a genuine match winner. Root was solid in Brisbane but not at his best, and if he can't manage a score here it's tough to see his side winning.
Australia are by no means a sure thing, and we feel that the -163 on offer is fairly short, yet there is a sense that their team is simply far too strong regardless of the conditions, which will still suit their world-class bowling attack.
A Hundred To Be Scored In The Match
This is a simple yes/no market regarding both teams and is skewed overwhelmingly in favour of a century being scored. We think this is quite odd for a number of reasons.
There was only one centurion at the 'Gabba test in Brisbane, and while the conditions were certainly not perfect for the batsmen, there were often periods where it looked like the bowlers would never take a wicket. Steve Smith was the only batsman with the patience and application to make a hundred on a pitch where at least one other player should have taken advantage.
The 2016 day/night test match at Adelaide between Australia and South Africa yielded three centurians, however the 2015 edition saw a highest individual score of just 66 so there is certainly some history here. In a match that looks to be a battle of the bowlers it's hard to see anyone, including Smith, making a big score. If our match prediction is correct, this will be a low scoring match with plenty of opportunities generated by the two pace attacks.
Go for 'No' @ +650 and watch a small wager turn into a big win.
1st Innings Score
While there is admittedly a slim chance that someone will make a hundred during the second test, we feel as though there is almost no chance of a team scoring more than 350 runs in the first innings.
Prior to day/night fixtures, 350 would be considered a low score in the first innings of a test match at Adelaide, however the last two seasons have both featured the pink ball and have yielded just 202 and 259 respectively by the team batting first. You will get slightly less than evens for the bet (-138) but this is an absolute steal and a guaranteed win.
Go for Under 350.5 @ -138.
There is a fantastic range of betting lines available through bet365.com for this test match - far too many to list. Make sure you check out their website and explore the different options, and don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook to let us know how you plan to bet on the match.
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