England don't need to win
England and New Zealand odds flipped from day two to day three. England started it at 13.50, New Zealand ended it at 14.013/1.
Despite the wicket resembling the nearby M1, England suddenly are the more likely winners in terms of the match situation. We include that caveat because, with a 1-0 lead pouched, they are likely to have little interest in moving the game on at speed on day four. Bet the match odds here.
At 3.8014/5, they might be a little skinny and it is perhaps surprising to see the stalemate resolutely in that 1.402/5 region. It's not done much shifting at all.
Ordinarily at this stage of a Test match we'd be arguing that sort of a price was a lay. However, there seems precious little evidence that either team will be capable of bowling the other out quick enough for a win.
The signs to look out for are variable bounce and the little puffs of dust off the surface after the ball pitches. There was a hint of differing bounce for the innocuous Michael Bracewell but we're not sure the Kiwi is anything but a stop-gap at this level. Jack Leach is only marginally better, sadly. As for signs of the surface breaking up. Nothing.
England should bat and bat and bat, particularly as Kyle Jamieson may not be able to bowl after being forced off with an injury. That will force their price down on day four. But the draw really should be contracting the quickest.
As for New Zealand, they will face some pressure and potentially nervous moments with the first new ball. But if they get over that, this looks like a stalemate.
Kiwis need grit
When reaching the heights of world No 1 New Zealand were most famous for mental grit. They will need plenty of it in the third-innings to avoid an ignominious defeat.
One suspects they have it in spaces, particularly as the surface has so few demons. The data supports this view.
Here are the third-innings scores at Trent Bridge in the last five years: 303-353/7d-343/9-253-391-9/375.
It's quite the collection of rungetting. It works out an average of 36.6 runs per wicket.
Over the same study period, New Zealand have an average runs per wicket of 35 in this third innings. With the ball, England conceded slightly less with an average runs per wicket of 30.
These statistics suggest New Zealand are good for at least 300. One suspects the runs line will be higher given that flat wicket and time left in the game. Bet the Sportsbook odds here.
Tom Blundell will stand out as top New Zealand bat value in the third innings. At Lord's he went off close to 9/1. We would expect the same.
Henry Nicholls is one to keep an eye on. Nicholls fared well in his first outing since injury in the first dig, enjoying vital crease time.
For a big number, consider Michael Bracewell down at No 7. Bracewell is a proper batter who has been manufactured into a spinning all-rounder. He bats at four domestically in New Zealand.
We remain keen on Jamieson but would require at least 40/1. It is a worry, however, whether his batting will be upset by that injury. Bet the Sportsbook odds here.
Last 3 years top bats wins/matches in 2nd innings