The T20 World Cup has advanced to the knockouts with the semifinals scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. Odds Shark takes a look at the best Cricket World Cup prop bets for both matches, with odds from Betway.
Game: England vs New Zealand, November 10, 2021
Prop Bet #1: England Top Batsman In The Match: Jos Buttler (+200)
It’s not like Buttler lost some of his form after missing the second half of the IPL due to the birth of his child but he has regained his momentum, and rapidly! He has already scored a hundred and a fifty in this tournament to set the tone for England right at the top.
He started the tournament with an unbeaten 24 against West Indies followed by 18 against Bangladesh. Scores of 71* (against Australia), 101* (against Sri Lanka) and 26 (against South Africa) have kept England in sparkling batting form because this is a tournament where the openers have been expected to do the majority of the work early against the harder, new ball. And he has delivered.
For this particular market, it might be important to note that England’s opening partner Jason Roy has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament after picking up a calf injury while attempting a run against South Africa. That will result in another batsman, potentially Jonny Bairstow, move to accompany Buttler. Bairstow is expected to be the more aggressive of the two, and therefore has a higher probability of being dismissed before Buttler.
“He’s obviously a quality player and first and foremost you don’t want to see anyone go down injured like that,” New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said of Roy. “I expect someone like Bairstow to probably go up to the top of the order and they’ve got a number of players that can do that.”
Besides, odds of +200 for one of the best batsmen at this tournament will make this more than just a possible outcome. And so, Jos Buttler to be England’s top batsman against New Zealand makes our cricket World Cup predictions for this semifinal.
Prop Bet #2: Total runs in match: OVER 285.5 (-134)
Abu Dhabi has been a bit of a polarizing venue at this event, in terms of favor to batsmen or bowlers. The average output has been its faster pitches have been more favorable to batsmen despite the longer boundaries on both sides.
While the boundaries are sizable hits away, the nature of the surface has continued to play true, with the absence of diabolically slow, gripping pitches like Sharjah. Instead, the ball has come on to the bat nicely, which has aided hitting the ball on the up through the line of the ball. In the last few matches, here are the scores at this venue, apart from New Zealand’s comfortable chase against Afghanistan in their final group-stage game.
Australia cruised to an eight-wicket win while chasing 158 against West Indies with 22 balls remaining. Sri Lanka scored 189 for 3 followed by West Indies falling just 20 runs short, India thrashed Afghanistan for 210 runs at Abu Dhabi as well. Pakistan cruised to a score of 189 against Namibia.
This is all recent evidence of Abu Dhabi being a high-scoring venue, easily the highest among the three stadiums used for this tournament. This handicap of 289 runs is incredibly light because a high total of perhaps 160-170 will certainly ensure that the total flies OVER 289 because neither of these teams are likely to spectacularly collapse with their deep batting lineups.
What was said?
“I haven’t heard anything spoken about it (the 2019 World Cup final here),” Stead said. “I think the guys are looking forward to the prospect of facing England again. As I said, they’re a quality side and yes, we just look forward to the challenge of playing the best side as well. So, I’m not sure there will be anything from the 2019 game that will come into it ... maybe a Super Over it might.”
Game: Pakistan vs Australia, November 11, 2021
Prop Bet #3: Total Sixes In the Match: OVER 9.5 (-110)
This is another situational inclusion for our Cricket World Cup predictions based on precedence, historical evidence and a bit of instinct. While Pakistan’s openers prefer to play orthodox cricket, the rest of the batsmen are mostly gung-ho in their approach.
Australia is one such team that attacks from the outset in almost all formats through one of the most proficient batsmen in recent world cricket in David Warner as well as captain Aaron Finch. Mitchell Marsh’s return to form and Glenn Maxwell’s incredible year will add to a growing list of reliable reasons to back OVER 9.5 sixes in this match.
“I’ve also seen teams go the other way and try and hold wickets back to make sure they could go at the back end and give themselves the opportunity to play with freedom in the back end,” Maxwell said of Australia’s approach. “But I suppose for us, it’s probably playing with freedom at the start and really trying to make the most of the powerplay and putting the opposition on the back foot.”
The handicap has been lowered on account of the efficiency of both these bowling units. While that will certainly be a reason, it might not matter if this is a high-scoring contest. The other vital factor to consider is the size of the boundaries at Dubai.
This stadium has had one short side, with a well-timed flick or a top edge away from adding to the sixes tally for this match. In the last match that didn’t involve a collapse, Martin Guptill himself hit seven sixes at this ground in a match that included a total of 14 sixes. The pitch has been a bit slow, which has not exactly aided hitting through the line like Abu Dhabi, but this is unlikely to be a low scorer considering it’s a semifinal.
It might seem like the UNDER is enticing with the low scores at Dubai but my feeling is that the runs and big hits come out on Thursday to help take the sixes tally OVER a reasonable handicap of 9.5.
What was said?
“I think any time you can take wickets in that powerplay by using your best bowlers and using your right matchups at the right time, it certainly puts the opposition on the back foot,” Maxwell said. “We’re playing the extra batter. We’ve got a fair bit of batting there. To know that we probably barely used our five, six and seven throughout the tournament probably shows how good our top few have been.”
Bonus Match Prediction: Australia +100
The second semifinal will see a resurgent Pakistan, unbeaten at this 2021 T20 World Cup, face a solid Australia team that has not quite found their best rhythm. Yet, they have eased their way to the knockouts after coming through a competitive group, which also included a solid South Africa, an enigmatic West Indies team and two teams in poor form in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, but capable of an upset on any day.
Let’s break down the matchup as best and as quickly as we can. First, Pakistan has been a bit top-heavy at this tournament, with Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam doing the bulk of the scoring. While Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali have stood up at various points, facing this Australian bowling unit will be a different kettle of fish to the rest.
Pakistan’s bowling will be the sticking point for Australia because that core, which consists of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali, will be tricky to face. At the end of an innings, Australia will rely on their incredible death-overs batting, which will likely include Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade, a lineup that is loaded with confidence, experience and, more importantly, form.
Australia’s bowlers have been in stellar form, one bad night against England in Dubai notwithstanding. Adam Zampa has picked up 11 wickets while Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc have been in lovely bowling rhythm. Their weakest link at this tournament might be Pat Cummins, one of the best bowlers in the world, which is indicative that Australia’s odds of +100 are far too compelling to ignore. At these odds, this is an excellent choice for our Cricket World Cup predictions series for the semis.
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Odds Shark Staff Thu, Feb 17, 9:14amICC World Cup