Thursday, 21 March 2013

What the bookies say

Bookies and cricket have had a tough time of it in recent years and we are going to make life even tougher for them. Here are The Middle Stump's tips for the 2013 season in the main competitions and we advise our readers to gamble irresponsibly. In fact, put your mortgage on these tips!

Chops...a good bet!

Last year in Division One Warwickshire romped to the title and it is no surprise that they are the favourites at 4/1 with most bookies. Just outside them in the prices are Nottinghamshire and Somerset and I personally feel the winners will come from one of these two this year. The boys from the East Midlands are 11/2 with Bet365, whilst the Cidermen are a similar price with most turf accountants. I think this could be Somerset's year to be honest, having been the bridesmaids in recent seasons. Surely they can't have as bad an injury list in 2013 as they did in 2012?

Just outside these are Durham at 6/1 but seeing as they are as skint as your average Cypriot investor will be next week, I think this offers poor value. The boys at the Riverside or whatever you call it these days are six million in debt, and this year could be a struggle for them.

Middlesex and Surrey offer good value at 8's, and are worth a punt. Sussex are at 9/1, whilst Yorkshire are 10/1 with Stan James. Derbyshire unsurprisingly are 25/1. These two are the bookies favourites to finish in the bottom two as well, but if you are going to bet on this I would plump for Derbyshire and Durham. Saying that, who'd have thought Lancashire would have gone down last year?

We could see plenty of these celebrations this year!

The leading run scorers and wicket takers aren't out yet. The usual names for the batsmen will no doubt be Trescothick and Chris Rogers, both machines when it comes to churning out the runs, but for an outside bet, we are going to stick a few quid on Varun Chopra at Warwickshire. With the ball, Andre Adams will be up there, but here I am going to go for Jack Brooks, and not just because he gave us a great interview for our forthcoming book Cricket Banter, or the fact he is a good bloke, but I really feel he will enjoy the green tops up at Yorkshire. Tim Murtagh, James Harris or Toby Roland Jones at Middlesex, are worth a few bob of your hard earned too!

In Division Two Lancashire are odds on to bounce straight back up. 3/1 at Sportingbet looks the best price on them at present. Behind them Hampshire are 4/1, with Kent, Worcester and Essex around the 6 mark. A long way behind are Glamorgan at 16/1, with Northants, Leicestershire and Gloucestershire bringing up the rear. Remember Derbyshire were in a similar boat last year and won the thing, so who knows?

For the leading batsman then James Vince or Michael Carberry at Hampshire should be up there and with the ball then Matt Coles at Kent, or Saj Mahmood, Reece Topley or Tymal Mills at Essex are worth a few shekels. Dean Cosker will also get plenty of overs at Glamorgan too, with the retirement of Robert Croft.

Carberry...leading run scorer in Div 2?

In the Yorkshire Bank 40 over competition, Somerset are the favourites but Warwickshire and Middlesex at 11's and 12's respectively are surely good value? If you back the Unicorns at 500/1 you might as well give your money to a deserving charity like Factor 50.

In the T20 again the Somerset's and the Warwickshire's of the world lead the running, but Leicestershire can never be discounted in this form of the game and are at 28's! I'd keep your powder dry until counties announce who their big overseas players are on this one.

As usual, these words are our advice only and please don't come running to us in September when you can't pay the mortgage or put food into your children's mouths! And on no account are we liable for the above....