Ed Hawkins reminds us of the principles of picking only wrong prices ahead of Sunday's decider at Sydney's Olympic stadium
"When a price is wrong, the shrewdies are supposed to gobble it up even if there is a nagging doubt"
https://sports.betfair.com/?mi=101052681&ex=2&origin=SNG">South Africa at 2.8815/8
B Dunk top Australia bat at 5.24/1
Australia v South Africa
Start time: 08.35GMT
TV: live on Sky Sports
The home side are expected to remain unchanged after levelling the series with a comprehensive victory at the MCG. They restricted South Africa to just 101 on an admittedly helpful wicket. James Faulkner, with three wickets, pinched the headlines to prove what an impressive allrounder he is, but Pat Cummins and the spinner Cameron Boyce will be chuffed, too. Their economy rates were 2.75 and 3.75 respectively. Australia chased the target in just 12.4 overs with Aaron Finch top scoring with 44 from 30 balls.
"In some ways I'm happy that we experienced this. It was all bells and whistles after the first game, everyone was on a high so it's good to experience this, especially as a young side. We need to come back stronger on Sunday."
So said JP Duminy, the South Africa captain after the misery in Melbourne. It is doubtful punters are so pleased, JP, particularly as you had looked a different team in game one in Adelaide. Worryingly it was the experienced pros who let them down, so pinning it on a young team just doesn't wash. The tourists will probably make changes. Marchant de Lange looks certain to replace Kagiso Rabada, who has been fodder for Australia's hitters.
Irritatingly, this one is being played at the Olympic Stadium instead of the SCG so our form guide consists of just three internationals. The scores were 171-137-195. Not that they may be that relevant anyway considering this will be a drop-in pitch. Last season's Big Bash trip was a consistent battle between bat and ball with first digs of: 128-165-155-153. Be aware that the ground has short, straight boundaries.
This is a test. Before the second match, when South Africa were once again comfortable outsiders, we could have written this section of the preview safe in the knowledge that the odds would be skewed in favour of the hosts.
And we would have backed South Africa, regardless if they lost. A problem has arisen, however. South Africa were so woeful in Melbourne that our confidence has been hit.
There was something inexplicable about their batting at the MCG. Their run rate was just five an over. The strike rates of Farhaan Behardien, Davild Miller and even JP Duminy, who top scored, were out of character.
The market has reacted. Australia have never been shorter in the series at 1.548/15 with South Africa 2.8415/8. We know those odds are wrong. We know the Aussies should not be as skinny as that, although they are, for the first time, deserving of jolly status.
It is a test of the principles of value. When a price is wrong, the shrewd punters are supposed to gobble it up even if there is a nagging doubt the side they are backing are not right.
So we have to take the odds on South Africa and remind ourselves that if it were not for being disciplined and using the head instead of heart, those numbers in the profit-loss box below would not be that big.
Top Australia Runscorer
Ben Dunk has been returned to his favoured opening role. He is no 5.24/1 chance. Finch is 3.1511/5 which is one of the skinniest top-bat prices we can remember for some time. Cameron White went well against England on this ground in February but that was as an opener and he is out to 8.07/1.
Top South Africa Runscorer
South Africa have not played a match before on this ground. Quinton de Kock, a duck last time, is 3.65 jolly. Duminy is 4.67/2. Miller has a little appeal at 7.413/2. Rilee Rossouw is 4.94/1.
Ed Hawkins P/L
2013: +250.80 (ROI 25%)
To £10 level stakes