Birmingham: India will have a higher score after 15 overs, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to be top batsman and Tim Bresnan to be best bowler. These are some of the tips for placing online bets on Sunday's ICC Champions Trophy final between India and England at Edgbaston.
Even as rain threatens the grand finale, England are bidding to win their first major ODI title at home. However, India start favourites, according to UK's top online betting sites. According to betting-directory.com and Ladbrokes, India are 8/11 odds on to win this weekend's final. Alastair Cook's men, who beat South Africa in the semifinals, are at 11/10. (Read preview)
Almost all online betting sites are tipping India to win the tournament, the last time it is being played. But there is a weather warning: don't bet till the toss because the forecast isn't great.
There has been a surge of bookmakers introducing live betting. Seventy per cent of all sports betting is made online and this betting market is not a small one. According to a betting website, online betting accounted for about 12 billion Euros of revenue in 2012 and it's growing!(Also read: Dhoni and Kapil want Umesh to be all brains and less brawn)
The fun of live betting on cricket means one can bet as the game unfolds and it can go right up to the last ball. Most bets around Indian Premier League matches are placed before a game starts.
By virtue of their unbeaten streak and the consistent performances from their batsmen, India seem to be enjoying pole position in the batting stakes. The left-handed Shikhar Dhawan, who has struck back-to-back centuries and amassed 322 runs, is 5/2 to be his team's top batsman. Virat Kohli is second at 10/3 and Rohit Sharma is third at 7/2. (India, England and their last 10 ODIs)
With his top order doing the job in most games, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni hasn't had much chance to shine. Like his jersey number, he is No. 7 on the bookies list. Someone with a ODI batting average of 51.67 and with skills to turn the complexion of a game single-handedly, Dhoni has a best price of 8/1 to be top batsman. Interestingly, Murali Vijay, who is yet to play a game, is fourth at 9/2!
On the bowling front, England's pacer James Anderson has the edge. Anderson has taken 10 wickets at 12.70 during the tournament so far and it is no surprise to see he is 9/4 to be top England bowler. Tim 'just daddy' Bresnan is at 7/2 though as he is expected to come back into the side at Edgbaston, where he took 2 for 45 and found some extravagant reverse swing against Australia earlier this summer.
Most betting sites quote their odds purely on the basis of a player's performance, nothing else. It eliminates 'spot-fixing' because neither players nor their team officials are associated. It's purely the test of a person's acumen and reading of the game and of course, a huge slice of luck. (Related read: The men who stood up and became heroes)
For example, Jonathan Trott, who has scored 209 runs at a strike-rate of 89.69, is 3/1 to be his team's top run getter. Trott will be the best man to read the wicket because his County side Warwickshire is based at Edgbaston.
India travelled from Cardiff to Birmingham on Friday afternoon. England had an off day too. It will be business as usual from Saturday as Birmingham reported fair weather and a perfect build up to the Champions Trophy final.