England were impressively destructive in their second innings at Trent Bridge. And presumably they reckon they cocked a snook to their critics.
We're not fooled, though. Punters have a difficult relationship with England because of the weight of patriotic money almost always makes them too short. Their record is now three wins in their last 19 Tests.
England are probably turning the corner and developing a style which, if anything, renders the stalemate almost irrelevant. As discussed in the match preview, England are fair favourites for what they have done in the series, or rather what New Zealand haven't done, so we can understand the pricing.
We draw a line, however, with getting carried away by individual performances. Under Sportsbook's top-bat list for the first dig there is not a single player in the top seven who is value. Craig Overton is the only potential starter who could be considered overpriced at 25/1 but his study sample is small.
Ollie Pope has been cut from 5/1 to 7/2 after a ton on a road. And he didn't even win. Zak Crawley is into 4s from the same despite a duck and four. Joe Root has been boosted to 21/10 but on win rate is more like an 11/4 chance. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.
Top England bat wins/matches last 3 years
Tim Southee had a poor game at Trent Bridge while team-mate Trent Boult was the only Kiwi pacer to come out of the game with his reputation maintained. For that reason it is fair that Boult is favourite for top New Zealand bowler in the first innings.
Boult gets a quote of 9/4 from Sportsbook and Southee 11/4. However, they have identical records on recent win rates. Compared to Sportsbook's implied probabilities both would be a wager at 9/4. But only by a slither - 0.2%.
Southee, therefore, is giving us a considerably bigger edge of more than 4.3%. The seam and swing that Headingley offers should certainly give him confidence to restore his mojo.
Presumably his memory is good, too. In 2015 at Leeds Southee took four first-innings wickets, outbowling both Boult and Matt Henry. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.
NZ top bowler wins/matches
Southee 9 2t/29
Wagner 7 2t/28
Jamieson 4 2t/12
(t = ties)
Kane Williamson missed the second Test because of Covid. Previously at Lord's he looked desperately in need of game time to shake off the batting blues that were embedded in his brain from the IPL.
Sportsbook recognise that he may be rusty and have boosted his odds to be top New Zealand bat in the first-innings to 3/1. That makes him a wager on win rate.
With a five-day isolation period mandatory, hopefully Williamson has been able to do plenty of work in the nets. On value grounds we really should be betting him.
It is possible that a huge score may not be required to win. To that end, Southee may not the worst bet in the world, particularly as he could bat as high as No 7. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.
NZ top batsman wins/matches
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