Ed Hawkins says England are the value in Hobart tomorrow morning with Australia missing key players and favourable bowling conditions likely to help them
"The odds make it a no brainer. Australia are 1.654/6, England are 2.56/4. If you are not going to back England now, you never will."
Australia v England
Start time: 03.20
TV: live on Sky Sports
The home side have made more changes with their final berth almost guaranteed following two wins from two. David Warner, Shane Watson and George Bailey all miss out.
Warner has been given some time out of the limelight with criticism still ringing in his ears about his aggressive on-field behaviour, Bailey has been banned for a slow over rate (Steve Smith will lead) while Watson has a tight hamstring. In addition, there will be no Mitchell Johnson because of personal problems and Josh Hazelwood has a minor niggle.
Shaun Marsh will open the batting with Aaron Finch therefore and Cameron White has been recalled for his first ODI in four years. Moises Henriques takes the all-rounder slot.
England received a huge confidence boost from their nine-wicket win over India in Brisbane. It confirmed to them that their plan for the World Cup could work. So it would be a surprise if they made any changes to a winning formula.
Steven Finn, who took five wickets against India, and James Anderson, who took four, could share opening duties. It was noticeable that Finn was second change in Brisbane. Ian Bell and James Taylor both found welcome form with half-centuries.
The Bellerive Oval has been pretty reliable for batting in the last ten years. During that time ten ODI have been played and the average is 254. More than 275 has been breached four times in that sequence. England bowled out Australia for 230 in 2011 but lost. Last year Australia were restricted to 247 for five by Sri Lanka and won. In the last 10 List A matches, not including internationals, the first-innings average is 233. There were three scores of 275 or more.
So will there be enough seam, swing and pace in the Hobart wicket to reduce the gulf between the sides? Well, the first-innings averages will hardly put off England. They will also remember that Ajmal Shahzad and Tim Bresnan, classic swing bowlers, did damage in 2011.
James Anderson also took four wicket there in 2007 when England beat New Zealand by three wickets after restricting them to 205. Anderson is No 4 on the top wicket-taker lists in the last ten years and it is dominated by swing bowlers.
England have a sniff, then. Maybe they have even more than that. Let us not forget that this is an Australia reserve side. They are without five probably automatic picks, including captain Michael Clarke. England are at full strength.
The odds make it a no brainer. Australia are 1.654/6, England are 2.56/4. If you are not going to back England now, you never will.
We are, of course, fully aware that if England swing it, Australia could too. Mitchell Starc, who terrorised England in Sydney, will form a potent partnership with Pat Cummins. But does that justify the gulf in price? Of course not.
Top Australia runscorer
Marsh returns to the Bellerive where he has a good record against the English. He hit a century in 2011 and also notched three figures against England Lions there in 2013. His other innings for Australia at the ground saw him make 77. He is 4.77/2. But beware he has batted only three times this year, scoring 73, one and 79. Finch is 3.9.
Top England runscorer
Taylor would be a shrewd pick for honours. In 2013 for the Lions he made 78 not out and 79 at Bellerive so he should feel good about a return. He is 4.94/1, Bell is 4.3100/30. Eoin Morgan is 5.49/2.
Back England @ 2.56/4
Ed Hawkins P/L
2014: +325.10 (ROI 28.5%)
2013: +250.80 (ROI 25%)
To £10 level stakes, based only on available prices
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