New Zealand v South Africa
TV: live on Sky Sports 5
New Zealand are back level after a strong performance in game four. They chased 280 with five overs to spare thanks to Martin Guptill's brilliant unbeaten 180.
It was some return from Guptill, who had missed the entire series with a hamstring problem. If there had been any doubt about his importance to the team, there isn't now.
Ross Taylor's half-century was a useful anchor. Expensive showings from Trent Boult and Tim Southee had more to do with pace of the pitch than a loss in form.
Indeed, Matt Henry, another pacer, has been called up to the squad. He could play instead of Jeetan Patel, the spinner.
The number one side in the world are being severely tested by New Zealand. After bowling them out for 112 in game three it looked as if they were going to coast to an early series win but a slow pitch in Hamilton exposed frailties against spin.
Their batting has not quite fired yet. Indeed, the players that demand prohibitive prices - Faf Du Plessis, Hashim Amla, David Miller, JP Duminy - have one 50 between them. Much vaunted all-rounder Chris Morris has also disappointed. AB De Villiers and Quinton de Kock have done it on their own.
The temptation to bring back Farhaan Behardien is likely to be resisted. Andile Phehlukawayo is poised to return from injury. Kagiso Rabada, despite being in badly need of a rest, will go again.
The last 12 completed ODI at Eden Park scores (most recent first with 1-2 denoting game won by side batting first or second) read: 286-1/307-1/290-2/281-2/287-2/222-1/151-2/314-tied/156-2/185-2/202-2/311-1. That is an average of 249. So we don't expect big runs with 300 breached only five times in 22.
New Zealand are into [2.5] from [2.7] from game four with South Africa [1.65]. Do we really want to be on the Saffers at those odds given that, four contests in, the sides can't be separated?
No. And what confirms it for us is another toss bias. Under lights at Eden Park there is an advantage to fielding first - 16 from 24 with one of those a tie.
South Africa don't lose back-to-back matches often. The last time it happened was February 2016 against England. But then we're not actually saying New Zealand are going to win the game. They are just the wrong price to do so.
Of course, we have concerns about their middle order. But South Africa are hardly pulling up trees there at the moment, either. So the advice has to be to side with the overpriced team against a well-matched opponent. Throw in the toss bias for a comfort blanket. It's very simple.
Guptill will be all the rage for this one after his 180. He is 5/2 with Sportsbook for honours. He is also 10-11 for 36.5 runs or more. Guptill has a fine record at the ground. No one has scored more runs there than him and he averages 66 with two centuries and five fifties in 14 knocks. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor have average records there.
De Villiers, who almost led his team to a World Cup semi-final win on this ground, averages 151 from three innings. Du Plessis and AB De Villiers have also notched fifties there. De Villiers is 11/4 with Sportsbook, Faf 4.1 and Amla 7/2. De Kock is 3/1.
2pts New Zealand if they bowl first at [2.5]
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017.
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