County Cricket Betting
COUNTY CRICKET The main competition is the County Championship, with 18 counties split into two divisions, playing each other home and away between April and September. The winners of Division One are considered the champions, the bottom three are relegated and the top three from Division Two are promoted.
Home sides tend to have a slight advantage. In 2003, 43 matches were won by the home side and 31 by the visitors.
You have a decent chance of making a profit on Championship matches because bookmakers bet to between 98 and 103 per cent between them. All operate on a draw-no-bet basis in order to take the unpredictability of the weather out of the equation.
The layers are not as clued up on championship games as other forms of the game and if you work hard on finding out team news early you can take advantage of wrong prices.
Look on the internet at local newspaper websites or even phone the club itself for injury news. Knowledge of the pitches is important. If a side is not performing with the bat you don't want to be backing them on a ground which historically favours the bowlers.
To pick a winner for either division you need to have a thorough study-up of the squads.
The men that make the difference are the overseas players because every county side has its fair share of decent batsmen and bowlers who can swing the ball in English conditions.
The best example of this was when Pakistan spinner Mushtaq Ahmed signed for Sussex in 2003. He was able to bamboozle English batsmen and Sussex duly romped to their first title. They were 40-1 at the start of the season.
If a team has a good spinner then they are invariably a good value betting proposition. Surrey were able to call on Saqlain Mushtaq for their period of domination while Northamptonshire were promoted in 2003 thanks to spinners Jason Brown and Graeme Swann.
The golden rule is to be wary of sides that have a lot of England players. Due to central contracts they very rarely play so although Steve Harmison is in the Durham squad, don't back them on the strength of that as he rarely turns out for them.
Another handy tip is to look at bonus points for the previous year. Teams are awarded points for the amount of runs and wickets they take so you can gauge strengths and weak-nesses and then compare them to the players they have signed.
Otherwise it is important to read the broadsheet newspapers, which all have in-depth reports on Championship matches, and listen out for any rumours of dressing-room unrest, which can destroy a team.