Sri Lanka v England 7th ODI Betting: Big but bizarre price on the hosts

Sangakkara has been in great touch
Sangakkara has been in great touch

Ed Hawkins previews the final game of the series at the RPS Colombo on Tuesday and can't understand why the home side are the biggest they have been so far...

"We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t point out the odds are hopelessly wrong and Sri Lanka are therefore great value. To highlight how wrong the price is the traditional bookies are a fractional 1.574/7."

Recommended Bet
Back Sri Lanka to Win @ 1.684/6


Sri Lanka v England
Start time: 09.00
TV: live on Sky Sports


Sri Lanka

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, great friends and legends of Sri Lankan cricket, will make their final home appearance together. Sangakkara has consecutive scores of 91 and 112 while Jayawardene has two successive failures.  

The hosts could tinker with their XI now the series is won. They are keen to give chinaman Lakshan Sandakan a go while in their quest to find an opening partner for Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dimuth Karunaratne is available. 


England

Alastair Cook is under pressure for runs as his poor form continues. He is averaging just 17.40 in the series. A score here should all but confirm he will lead the side at the World Cup.

We don't expect many England changes. Unlike Sri Lanka, they have solved problems in this series and have certainly learned more than their opponents. There might be a temptation to give Alex Hales and Ben Stokes a game but when you look at the line-up the only possible room for manoeuvre appears to be with Ravi Bopara. 


First-innings runs

We are back at the RPS in Colombo. The first-innings average in the last 13 ODI is 253. In this series, the first dig scores read: 317/185/265. England are responsible for the last two. Sri Lanka should find it easier to score runs than England, who in 13 of their last 18 first-innings in Asia against top eight sides have not busted 275.


Match odds

Sri Lanka are 1.684/6 to win the final contest of the series. What is strange about that price is that it is the biggest they have been all series. A side drifting despite clearly being superior? That makes us feel a little uncomfortable.

Perhaps there is a belief that Sri Lanka will take their foot off the gas. After all, the series is won and they can now turn attention to the World Cup. As we have said, it is possible they could experiment. However, it is worth checking how the Lankans fare when the pressure is off.

In their last 10 dead rubbers against top eight opposition, they have won five and lost five. Two of those defeats came in their recent whitewash in India where they were a grumpy outfit who didn't try a leg. 

It is hardly a record where we can definitely say yay or nay about backing the home side, although we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't point out the odds are hopelessly wrong and they are therefore great value. To highlight how wrong the price is the traditional bookies are a fractional 1.574/7.

Still, the maxim 'it's only a wrong price if you know why' rings true so just be wary that there may be some folks who know more than us. Perhaps Sri Lanka will rest a raft of players and we are not aware yet. 
England, for what it's worth, are not a side who often take advantage of a dead rubber. In series away from home against top eight sides, they have lost four of their last five. So don't expect them to suddenly be able to relax and play better cricket.

The RPS is not their favourite ground to play on, by any stretch of the imagination. They have really struggled against Sri Lanka's spin bowlers there and they face another trial. Sri Lanka opened the bowling with twirlers last time in Pallekele and they look sure to do the same here.
In the three games previously in the series at the venue, England were well beaten in two out of three and although they had a sniff in the first encounter, they still lost by 25 runs.


Top Sri Lanka runscorer

Dilshan, Sangakkara and Jayawardene top scored in the three RPS games. But Jayawardene was the most consistent, notching two half-centuries and a 44. He will be well backed at 4.77/2 given it's his swansong. Dilshan and Sangakkara are 4.77/2 and 3.613/5 respectively. Look out for Karunaratne at 6.611/2. Angelo Mathews is big at 6.411/2.


Top England runscorer

Moeen Ali hit a ton in game one at the RPS and is 4.94/1 for honours. Cook is a whopping 5.85/1 and it wouldn't be a surprise if his famed mental strength saves him again. Joe Root is 5.24/1 and James Taylor 5.39/2.


Recommended Bet
Back Sri Lanka to Win @ 1.684/6


Ed Hawkins P/L

2014: +334.80

2013: +250.80 (ROI 25%)

To £10 level stakes, based only on available prices

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