In general terms, outright betting markets focus on the outcome of an entire tournament, league, Test series and so on, rather than a specific game. So, in the world of cricket, this could include bets such as series winner, series correct score, top bowler (wicket-taker), top batter, total sixes, etc. There are plenty of options but here we want to focus on the biggest outright market of them all, which is ‘to win’. You can find this market across any major cricketing event and it involves just predicting the ultimate victor of a tournament or league.
Unlike the day-to-day match betting, ‘to win’ outright betting requires a broader perspective, as you’re not just picking a winner for a single game, but for the entire competition. Rather than it just being a choice of Team A or Team B, you have to take your pick from all the sides to feature in the competition (or those that are remaining!). This makes it a more challenging wager than most but the potential payouts do reflect this.
While sometimes difficult to call correctly, the tournament/league winner market is among the most straightforward you will find in cricket. If you pick the team that wins the event, you have yourself a winning bet. If they fall short of victory, your bet is a loser (the exception being if you placed an each-way bet on a team and they reach the final, but we’ll discuss this more later). What this means is that you can bet on the winner of major international tournaments like the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and T20 World Cup or domestic leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL) or the Big Bash League (BBL).
Given the popularity of cricket, especially in countries that have a strong gambling culture, outright betting has long been widespread and is readily available at most online bookmakers. You can usually place outright bets many months (sometimes years) in advance for the largest competitions, although often just the ‘to win’ market is available to begin with. Small tournaments will typically have fewer outright markets but the competition winner is always the primary one that is available.
Alternative Outright Winner Markets
- To Reach the Final – Not sure if a team will have quite what it takes to win but fancy them to reach the final stage? If this is the case then you will want to back them to reach the final. Here your bet is a winner regardless of what happens in the final, provided they are one of the two teams involved
- To Reach the Semi-Final – As above, only you need the team to reach the semi-final rather than the final
- Straight Forecast – With this market, you will be picking the team you think will win the tournament and the team you think will be runner-up
- Name the Finalists – Very similar to the above market only that you do not have to predict the outcome of the final. Instead, you just need to pick the two teams you think will contest the showdown match. Effectively it is a reverse forecast bet where you back 1st and 2nd place in any order
- Top 4 finish – This is a bet you may find for cricket leagues and it allows you to bet on a team you think will finish within the top four places of the table. Although four is a common pick, you may also find top 3, top 6 etc. depending on the bookmaker and size of the league
- To Win Group – For any tournament that divides teams into groups initially, you can bet on a team to be the winner of their group. This market will only be available once the draw is made
It is worth mentioning that the main competition winner, and these alternative options, tend to stay open until the market has been settled. So, you do have the possibility of placing your bets mid-tournament if you prefer. This can sometimes work in your favour but the more teams that face elimination, the shorter the odds will get for the remaining sides.
Cricket Outright Betting Rules
Backing a team to win a cricket tournament or league is rarely the type of bet that brings any confusion or uncertainty with it. There are a few unlikely events though that can occur, which may impact your bet (but not always). To see what these are, take a look at the general rules below.
- Changed Dates – Usually bets will stand if a tournament takes place during the same advertised year, even if there is a change to the exact start/finish date. Otherwise, bets will be made void
- Change of Venue – Bets will usually stand in the event that there is a change in venue for some or all of the competition
- Withdrawals – If a team withdraws prior to a tournament, bets are usually refunded. Bets will not be refunded, however, if they simply fail to qualify
- Disqualifications – If a team is disqualified mid-tournament, this will usually be considered a losing bet. Any disqualifications, points deductions etc. that occur after the final result has been officially declared though have no impact as bets will have already been settled
Strategy for Cricket Outright Betting
Although cricket outright betting can be as simple as picking a team, you do not want to just pick the first name that comes to your head. Doing your research and considering some important variables can significantly enhance your chances of success. Here are some key strategies to consider:
- Know the Teams – It may sound obvious but knowing the teams’ strengths and weaknesses is paramount. Do not just look at the team you want to bet on either, you have to know the opposition too as you may discover they are better than you first thought. When judging teams, look at elements such as recent performances, individual player form, preparation, record in similar tournament formats – in fact anything you think might impact performance
- Venue – This does not apply to leagues but for any tournament make sure you know where it is being held. Playing on home soil can often act as a considerable advantage
- Injury Updates – Keep an eye on injury updates for key players. A star player’s absence can impact a team’s performance, making them less likely to win the tournament
- Consistency – Betting on the competition winner usually favours teams that can perform on a consistent basis, rather than those that experience extremely good and extremely bad days. While underdogs with their big odds can be appealing, it’s essential to remember that winning a league or tournament requires a consistently high level of performance
- Timing – Making an outright bet pre-competition is a very popular thing to do, especially in the days or weeks prior to the start. This may not always be the optimal time though. Sometimes you can get great value going months in advance if you believe a team will get better as the competition draws nearer. Waiting until the tournament starts has its merits too though, as sometimes the opening encounter tells you a lot about a team
- Each-way betting – The final consideration when backing a team to win a league or tournament is if you want to place an each-way bet. With an each-way punt, you will effectively be placing two bets, one on the team to win and one on them to ‘place’ which in knockouts, usually means to finish in the top two places. In league formats it may be the top three or even four. The ‘place’ half of the bet is usually paid out at half the full odds for cups and a third or quarter where more places are offered. This type of bet acts almost like an insurance policy for a losing finalist as it ensures you will still get some money back
Other Outright Betting Options
We have covered some of the outright options other than the tournament/event winner in our separate feature on series correct score betting. However, here is a summary of some of the other most popular outrights you can bet on, though not all will be available for every competition.
- Top batter – who will score the most runs in the league or cup, either overall, or for a specific team
- Top bowler – as above but who will take the most wickets
- Batter/bowler head-to-head – which of two players will either score the most runs or take the most wickets
- Tournament 4s, 6s or boundaries – how many 4s, 6s or total boundaries will be hit in the entire event, usually offered in bands, for example 100-130, or as an over/under bet, for example over/under 241.5
- Correct score – what will the score in matches be in a Test, ODI, or T20 series
- New winner? – will the tournament be won by a nation/side that has not previously lifted it