Change is almost universally feared. None more so in gambling. Punters love the status quo. They need the formbook holding, history repeating and things the way they always were.
England's apparent resurgence as Test match force, therefore, is concerning. It is as if Jonny Bairstow has taken a pill shot to an entire belief system. With every bludgeoned four and thrashed six in four successive chases in the fourth innings, the dogma has been taken apart.
Or has it?
Cricket gamblers find themselves in a curious position as to how to react to Bazball (is this even a real thing?) and its consequences.
It's best to probably start with the now colloquial phrase. New coach Brendon McCullum said he wasn't even sure what it meant or was. So it's taken him by surprise. McCullum promised to help England's players to play with more freedom and less fear. He has achieved that but even he must be surprised at how readily the group have lost any anxiety about defeat.
In the three Tests against New Zealand and one against India, England could taste the barrel of the gun. And yet they didn't flinch.
Now, why the hell was that? Was it purely because McCullum had given them a pep talk? That their positions were safe for the summer? It might have been more than that. A little-known fact about McCullum is that he once employed the assistance of a psychological guru, whose methods (often bizarre) were designed to assist an athlete producing 'superhuman' performances. His name was Kerry Schwalger. You can read about him and McCullum here.
Similar sentiments from skip Ben Stokes are also key. He was so gung-ho that he has become a caricature of 'Bazball', wildly trying to split the seam from every delivery.
Or maybe it a collation of the above and two other huge factors. One, that the fourth-innings pitches at Lord's, Headingley, Trent Bridge and Edgbaston were road-like even in the fourth dig. And two, that Jonny Bairstow transitioned to a sporting Shangri-La, the place which is spoken of in mythical terms by the great and good of the athlete world. The place which McCullum's guru tried to help him access.
Everything we have ever known about elite cricket, tells us that, at some stage, Bairstow will come back from this higher place and be a mere mortal again in the context of his peers.
Retaining that faith is tricky, though. For a start the rationale response to England's record-breaking chases is to dismiss them as, well, something of a fluke. A combination of factors, as discussed, which came together perfectly to produce perfect conditions for the extraordinary. New Zealand's undercooked nature might be added to that reason, likewise the curious case of the dodgy batch of Duke's balls which went soft and wonky.
Moreover, as a study sample four games is nothing. We should look at the bigger picture, the greater length of study and then draw conclusions. Those who make calls off the back of an hour here, or a day there in this game will suffer from a calamity of consistency.
There is a nagging doubt here. For hundreds of years, going after even moderate targets in the fourth innings has been. So much so that it has become ingrained in the psyche of the cricketer. 'More than 250 in the fourth, no chance'. They know it. They hear the words before they go off to sleep.
So do we. For yonks profit lines have been often been determined by the tried and trusted strategy of laying the side batting last. But now we're questioning that plan.
In the last three years there have been 15 chases of 250 or more in Tests in the fourth. Nine have been successful, six of them by England. In the previous three years there were 15. Only three were successful.
This could be the tipping point. Or it could be another fluke, a set of circumstances which have contrived to reset the balance briefly. One possible theory is that, post-Covid, wickets have been designed to be flatter and harder to make sure as many games as possible go the distance to refill the ticket coffers.
Unfortunately, if that's true, and England inspire other teams to play in a similar way - Australia were notably aggressive versus Sri Lanka - the great fourth-innings gravy train may have finally be derailed.