Root's still got it
Punters also benefitted from the benign Bridgetown surface. Another in Grenada (as discussed in the match odds preview) wouldn't go amiss as there are few wagers less stressful than quality players for runs on a road.
Joe Root obliged in the first-innings for top bat and Sportsbook are taking a risk boosting his price to 21/10. It's a bet on two-year form even if three-year form suggests otherwise.
Zak Crawley, on win rates at least, looks to be Root's most likely rival. Sportsbook go 4/1, which is bang on the price he should be. It's a shame Ben Stokes is at 5s rather than 11/2.
But maybe the tops market isn't the one to play. When you have a 'leveller', if you will, like an absolute batting paradise, it can be shrewd to take others out of the equation.
So the 'to score a first-innings 50' or 'to score a century' markets are worthwhile. You don't have to worry about anyone else getting runs.
Root is prohibitively skinny for a fifty at even money with Sportsbook. He's good but not that good. On two year form he has nine half-centuries in 24. He's converted six of those into tons. This means the 11/4 is out by 1.7% on implied probability compared to win rate.
Stokes is 13/8 and 5/1 for a fifty and ton respectively and Crawley 7/4 and 5/1. Neither qualify as a wager on how often they actually 'win' on those markets on two-year form. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.
Top England bat wins/matches last 3 years
Kraigg Brathwaite, he of the Bridgetown marathon, has also been boosted by Sportsbook for top West Indies bat in the first dig. A price of 10/3 from 11/4 is available.
That's just shy of a seven-point swing in the punters' favour on our study (see below). That's punchy stuff.
Sportsbook are keen to take on Brathwaite for a fifty in the first-innings as well. The skipper has a 47% hit rate in the last two years so the edge at 10.6% is massive. It's hard to argue he's not seeing it like a football. No other West Indian has more than two fifties in the same study period.
That's a strong argument for taking the 10/3. But if you decide on the fifty market you are keeping the pitch on your side. Brathwaite is 5/1 for a first-innings century but it's not a rick on win rate. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.
Top West Indies bat wins/matches last 3 years
Ollie Robinson was left out of England's XI for game two. He should come back for this one, giving us the chance to bet him at 3/1 for top England wicket-taker.
We understand why Jack leach has been made 11/4 favourite. After his 95 overs in Barbados, Sportsbook are expecting him to have to do the majority of work again. But most of it will probably be in the second-innings.
There have been hints of help for the pacers in Grenada and if anyone can can get some seam movement it will be Robinson, whose appearance and attitude can be deceptive. Carrying timber and a hangdog expression, Robinson often looks like he'd rather be elsewhere but he was England's best bowler by a distance Down Under before injury took its toll.
Fit and firing again, Robinson should be able to improve on a record of two wins and one tie in nine attempts for top England bowler in the first dig. And most of those included James Anderson and Stuart Broad. The competition is not as stiff.
Top West Indies bowler wins/matches last 3 years
Holder 5 t/17
Roach 4 t/16
Seales 1 2t/5
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