Ed Hawkins finds two top-bowler bets for Thursday which gives bettors a big edge - plus it's Kohli love-in...
"Betting a favourite in such a market is rare. It makes us a little twitchy. But we only ever do it if the odds are proved to be too big for a player’s chances of winning"
West Indies v India
Thursday 22 August 14.30
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
Edging out Pujara
This column has a love-hate relationship with Virat Kohli. We love it when our man takes his skinny price down. We hate it when we bet him and he fails to bat like the God he is. So brace yourselves to be disappointed in North Sound over the next few days - we are on Kohli for top India runscorer honours.
Betting a favourite in such a market is rare. It makes us a little twitchy. But we only ever do it if the odds are proved to be too big for a player's chances of winning. And as you can see from the statistics below, Kohli should be shorter than 2/1 (Betfair Sportsbook).
The nerves won't go away, though. Kohli left us sore in the Twenty20 series when three times he was too big and three times he failed, twice when the win was in his pocket. Then in the ODI series which followed he scuppered our bets on Rohit Sharma, who was the man overpriced.
The greatest threat here is the metronomic Chet Pujara. At 7/2, the data below suggests there is a 6.8 percentage point swing in the punters' favour on implied probability. By all means bet him, but bear in mind that we won't be doing so because the edge in Kohli's court is 13 points.
Roach and Ashwin outstanding value
That win rate for Kohli is one of the highest we have seen. Coming up on the rails is Kemar Roach's hit number for top West Indies bowler. He has an astonishing seven outright wins in his last 15 Tests, with two dead heats into the bargain. That's 46%.
Sportsbook make Roach favourite at 9/4. Good call. But not good enough. In terms of percentage points swing to us, it's massive - 15.2.
What is particular pleasing about Roach is his record at North Sound. He has destroyed England and Bangladesh in his last two visits. In four matches he's taken 25 wickets with a strike rate of 29.3.
The layers have the wrong favourite for top India bowler. Ravi Ashwin should be 13/8 in our book. We can barely believe the 4/1 that is available.
Last two years India top batsman wins/matches (t = 1 tie, 2t = two ties etc)
India top bowler wins/matches
Bumrah 2 t/10
Ishant 1 t/15
Ashwin 5 2t/13
Kumar 1 t/3
West Indies top batsman wins/matches
S Hope 2/18
Hetymer 2 t/10
K Brathwaite 3/18
Daren Bravo 1/3
K Powell 2/15
Dowrich 1 t/18
DS Smith 1/5
West Indies top bowler wins/matches
Gabriel 2 2t/17
Roach 7 2t/15
Bishoo 2 t/12
K Brathwaite t/18
2019 - points p-l: +42.03 (93 points staked)
2018 - points p-l: +9.86 (89 points staked)
2017 - points p-l: +5.29 (26 points staked)