As matched bettors, the upcoming Ashes series between England and Australia could provide us with some excellent money making opportunities, if bookmakers list special promotions for the event as they have done in the past. If they do, we will explain how you can turn each offer into a profit by backing a selection at a bookmaker and laying the same selection at a betting exchange such as Smarkets. You can check out more about this exchange in our Smarkets review.
While we wait for some great matched betting friendly offers to be announced, we can take a look at how both sides are shaping up for one of the biggest sporting events of the year. The Ashes is notorious for its entertainment value, and both sides seem to take turns in having success.
Explaining The Ashes
If you have never seen the Ashes before, it is a Test cricket series that is played between England and Australia. It consists of 5 Test matches and whoever wins the most Tests wins the series. Whoever wins the series gets to keep the famous Ashes urn until the next series takes place. The urn may only be 15cm tall, but it remains one of the most important trophies in world sport. The Ashes actually began way back in 1882 and since then 69 series have been played overall.
Incredibly, both Australia and England have won 32 of those series’ each, with 5 being drawn. The 2017 Ashes, unless drawn of course, will put one of the two countries ahead of the other in total wins for the time being. Though they have won the same number of series’, it is Australia that have won the most Test matches overall, racking up 130 Test wins compared to England’s 106. 89 of the Tests have been drawn so far.
The current holders of the Ashes are England, having won the 2015 series by 3 wins to 2 on home soil. Of course, that means this year’s series will be taking place down under, which makes Australia favourites to take the Ashes back. The first Test is due to begin in Brisbane on 23 November, and the England squad has been recently announced to very little fanfare. Vice-captain Ben Stokes had been included in the 16-man squad, even though he was arrested after an incident outside a nightclub on Monday. Since then, Stokes and Alex Hales have been dropped by England and will not be considered for selection until further notice.
Ashes Series 2017-18
- 23-27 November – 1st Test, Brisbane
- 2-6 December – 2nd Test, Adelaide
- 14-18 December – 3rd Test, Perth
- 26-30 December – 4th Test, Melbourne
- 4-8 January – 5th Test, Sydney
Other notable additions to the squad are Hampshire batsman James Vince and Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance, but many experts and fans are not too happy about the side as a whole, stating it is the weakest England side to go into an Ashes series in the last decade. BBC’s cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew is far from impressed:
“This is one of the weakest squads I’ve seen. The dilemma facing the selectors has been known for months and the scale of the top-order batting problem is laid bare. The pressure on Alastair Cook and Joe Root in this series will be immense, and that’s without taking the current uncertainty created by Ben Stokes’ predicament into account.”
A look at the betting odds
England will be desperate to avoid a repeat of the 5-0 whitewash they received on their last Ashes tour to Australia, but there are a lot of punters backing that exact scenario. According to Oddschecker, there has been a huge surge of bets placed on Australia to beat England 5-0 since the England squad was announced. In fact, over 90% of the overall bets on the series correct score market have been on the 5-0 Aussie win.
The best odds on England being whitewashed are 16/1 at bet365, with most bookies offering 14/1. Ladbrokes and Coral think a 5-0 is quite likely, offering odds of 8/1. The English are known for their pessimism, which probably explains why not many punters have high hopes for the national team’s chances. If you are a great patriot, then England to win the series 5-0 can be backed at best odds of 66/1 at Ladbrokes and Betstars. The majority of bookies believe that the most likely scoreline is Australia taking the series 3-1, with one match being drawn. This can be backed at odds of 11/2 across the board. In an Ashes series though, you can never be sure!
Regarding the large number of bets on an Aussie whitewash, Oddschecker spokesman George Elek had this to say:
“It’s not unusual for the British to be pessimistic ahead of a big sporting event, even within the month leading up to the 2015 Ashes series, the most popular bet was Australia to win 5-0.”
The overall series winner market is a lot closer, though the odds on an Australia win have been cut by at least five bookmakers since the England squad announcement was made. Unibet have the best value at the moment, offering 3/5 on the Aussies to regain the urn but some bookies including Coral, Sportingbet and Winner have them as short as 1/2. If you fancy England to retain the Ashes on enemy soil, they can be backed at best odds of 11/4 with a number if bookmakers, including Ladbrokes and Coral. A draw is more unlikely, with best odds of 13/2. If you were to offer many England fans a draw before the series begins, many would take it due to the fact that it would mean they keep hold of the urn.
Bets will also be taken on which side will be holding the urn at the end of the series, which of course takes a draw into account. Australia can be backed to regain the Ashes at 8/13 with Paddy Power and William Hill among others, while England can be backed to retain the Ashes at best odds of 6/4 with Betfred.
As mentioned earlier, we are very hopeful that there will be plenty of offers listed throughout the Ashes series that can be turned into a profit with matched betting techniques. If there are, a subscription to a premium matched betting site such as OddsMonkey, Profit Accumulator or MatchedBets would be very useful as they explain how to complete each offer.