England under the pump
The beauty of being dispassionate punters is that we can views things the way they really are. We do not - or should not - have our judgement clouded by patriotism or favour.
So we see you England. For all the talk of a red-ball reset and a new era for the Test team, this was vintage England. They dropped catches, they bowled like drains and, for good measure, they even suffered an injury to a key pace bowler.
It's as if the Ashes had never finished. And, of course, why would it be any other way? They closed day three priced at 9.08/1. The draw is 1.834/5 but West Indies, as we'll explain, could be the value at 2.809/5. Bet the match odds here.
English cricket's failing is mired in administrative failings for several years. They are picking from the same talent pool which has been sucked dry by greet money men who have prioritised the white-ball.
So in situations like this, with England under the pump in the third innings, what to they have to fall back on? Not much at all.
All they can rely on, or rather who they can rely on, is some genius from Joe Root or something strong-armed from Ben Stokes. They are absolutely a team which relies on individual brilliance to gloss over the fissures.
Jonny Bairstow did in the first dig. Where would they be without his ton? Beaten by now. West Indies are the same. Without Nkrumah Bonner's equally impressive innings, they would have also been in a spot of bother.
These are two well-matched teams then. And it could make for a ding-dong affair over the next few days and weeks.
The important point to remember, though, is the narrative that those with rose-tinted spectacles are spinning is that it shouldn't be this way. And that England should be dominating. They're not, they won't. (Probably).
How to bet then? Well, we're admittedly fighting a little shy of this Antigua surface. As discussed in our day two report, we are now in the third innings where historically it has gets flat. And you thought it was flat already.
That might save England. But England are a terrible team when chasing the game. Foibles and fumblings appear in their techniques, which aren't up to much anyway. A risky wager, but a fun one nonetheless, is to prepare for a dash on the Windies in a fourth-innings chase.
Without Mark Wood England will be mighty nervous. And their batsmen now find themselves in a position where they are batting to save the game, rather than win it.
If England scored at even an improbable three-and-half an over in, say, 90 overs on day four they would still be only 253 ahead. And that's without West Indies adding to their overnight score. The panic will be a constant.
There is a bet on top bats. With pressure in play, Chris Woakes is attractive at 25s. He should be shorter on win rate. Bet on the Sportsbook market here.
Second-innings top-bat wins/matches
Cricket...Only Bettor on the genius of Shane Warne