With less than a fortnight remaining before the 12th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup gets underway in England and Wales, the squads for all the 10 participating teams have been announced and the race to predict the winner is gathering steam.
Most online betting websites expect host England to win the tournament. Ladbrokes, for instance, pegs the odds of an England win at 15/8, followed by India (at 3/1) and then defending champions Australia (at 9/2). Simply put, 15/8 is the fraction the bookie is willing to multiply your stake by.
Mathematically, 15/8 implies 15 divided by 8, or the fraction 1.875. So if you bet on England with the odds currently placed at 15/8, the amount you bet will be multiplied by 15 and then divided by 8. The winnings, on this case, will be the result of the above-mentioned fraction plus the amount you originally bet.
For example, bid money Rs 50,000. Odds: 15/8. If you win, the total amount you get will be:
(Rs 50,000 x 15)/8 + Rs 50,000 = Rs 1,43,750
Remember, most websites do charge a small commission on the winnings as well.
Ireland, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan are placed at the bottom of the pyramid with the odds for winning placed at 1000/1, 1000/1 and 100/1, respectively.
Another online betting site, Betway, also expects England to win the ICC World Cup (odds at 3.25), followed by India (odds at 3.75) and Australia (odds at 4.5). It, however, places Sri Lanka (51), Afghanistan and Bangladesh at the bottom of the winners pyramid with odds of 81.
And the prediction does have a solid reasoning. England skipper Eoin Morgan will have the company of Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Joe Root in the batting department - and all of them have been in good touch.
As regards India, Virat Kohli will lead the side and will to play a crucial role in the batting line-up along with Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and MS Dhoni, who is a seasoned wicket-keeper and a true 'game finisher'. READ TEAM SWOT ANALYSIS HERE
Given this, there is no surprise that bookies expect the Indian captain, Virat Kohli to emerge as the tournament's top run scorer.
Ladborkes places the odds for Virat Kohli to score the maximum runs in the tournament at 6/1, followed by Australia's David Warner (10/1), Joe Root (12/1), Jonny Bairstow (14/1) and Quinton de Kock (14/1). Shikhar Dhawan (14/1) and Rohit Sharma (16/1) are the other two Indians to figure in the likely top 10 run scorers during the tournament.
Warner's scored an impressive 692 runs in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL). Virat Kohli who captained Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2019, on the other hand, scored 464 runs in 14 matches at an average of 33.14 with a strike rate of 141.46.
Jasprit Bumrah (14/1), Yuzvendra Chahal (16/1) and Mohammed Shami (18/1) are the three Indians to figure in the top 10 bowlers. Pat Cummins, who is co vice-captain of the Australian national cricket team in all formats, is pegged to be the top wicket-taker according to Ladbrokes with odds of 12/1.