There are loads of cricket matches taking place just about every week of the year as the International Cricket Council (ICC) has put together a very busy schedule for its cricketing members consisting of Tests, ODIs, and T20 games.

With cricket games taking place so frequently, bettors are always looking to place wagers on different cricket games and different cricket bets. The most popular bet for novice cricket bettors is to bet on the final outcome of the game, however, the top batsman betting and top bowler betting markets are two of the most fun betting markets.

We list out key factors that will help you increase the odds of getting your wager correct and finding the best bowler in tests, ODIs, and T20 matches taking place all over the world.

Top Bowler Betting Guidelines

Predicting the top bowler of the match is easier said than done. While the first thing we have to keep in mind is a variety of stats like average, strike rate, past record, and current form (mentioned in depth in the sections below), a lot depends upon the actual goings-on in the game.

A tricky situation in the match may force the captain to turn to a part-time bowler that nobody would’ve fancied, and they might turn up grabbing wickets in a bunch. However, situations like these are scarce and solely happen if lady luck is bent upon not favoring you on a particular day. But then, no bet was won without a little bit of good fortune.

Most of the time, you can make a calculated bet on which player might be among the wickets more than others by studying their stats carefully.

Top Bowler Betting Sites

How Do I Pick The Best Bowler And Bet Correctly?

Apart from the wagers placed on the outcome of the match, several side bets keep betting sites and punters alike busy and active, as most of these results can be seen before the culmination of the match.

Bet categories like best batsman, most catches, most boundaries, and sixes, runs scored or wickets taken during a particular session/phase and best bowling performance are some of the popular cricket side bets.

Cricket is currently played across three formats, Tests, One Day Internationals (ODIs), and Twenty-Twenty (T20). Well, a couple of other formats like T10 and The Hundred have also sprung up, but we will stick to these three recognized formats for our guide.

Naturally, all these formats unfold at different paces, and hence it becomes pivotal for players to adjust their gameplan accordingly.

How Is The Top Bowler Decided?

The first area we should address is how the top bowler for the game is decided? Well, no surprises there, as in most betting markets, the top bowler of the match is the one with the greatest number of wickets against his tally.

In the case of a tie between two or more bowlers, other statistics like runs conceded come into play. In case two bowlers still clash on the same figures, the bet results in declaring them both as winners, albeit their odds are halved.

Bets on T20 matches are more likely to finish in a fraction of the time it might take for an innings of a test match to be concluded. In fact, T20 matches finish in lesser time than even a single ODI inning.

This means that a variety of factors like the quota of overs, phase of bowling, pitch conditions, defending a target et al come into play in online cricket betting. We will delve into all these and more in the sections below.

For example, let’s consider an ODI match between India and Australia, where Pat Cummins has odds of 4 and Josh Hazelwood has odds of 5 to be the best bowler. If they ended with figures of 3-41 and 3-56 respectively, Cummins would be deemed the best bowler with the dividends of 4x your bet amount.

However, if they both scalped 3 batsmen each and gave away 50 runs each in the process, punters who bet upon them both will win, albeit now on 2x and 2.5x, respectively.

Key Factors To Help Predict The Top Bowler

Here are the factors that you must keep in mind while choosing your bet for the best bowler:

Career Average and Strike Rate

As they say, numbers do speak for themselves. In cricketing terms, a player’s bowling average refers to the number of runs conceded per wicket. On the other hand, bowling strike rate infers to the number of balls delivered per wicket.

Both these are very important stats that help to create a trajectory of a bowler’s wicket-taking ability over the years. While batting average and strike rate are higher the better, the case is the opposite with bowling, as the lower the numbers, the better the performance.

Record in the Country Playing

Whether it is a bilateral series, a T20 league, or an ICC tournament, there are bound to be both visiting teams and a home team, who play the host. As the countries where the matches are being played change, so does the weather, and as a result, the playing conditions.

Now, it is no secret that most players perform better on home soil, having lived and played in the same conditions all their lives, thus having more experience of how the weather will play out. However, some exceptional players also perform better than how they fare at home, so that is one factor you have to keep an eye out for.

For example, if a test match is being played in the Indian subcontinent, it is highly likely that a spin bowler would end up with the highest number of scalps.

This is because the sunny, hot, and humid weather conditions assist spinning deliveries, while the dryness in the pitch renders pace bowlers unable to extract swing or bounce that might trouble the batters.

Record in the Ground Playing

As with the home country advantage, some players enjoy a home ground advantage. There is something special about performing in front of a sea of spectators in the city you call home, and quite a few players have proven it time and again.

Let’s take an English speedster for example. James Anderson, arguably the greatest fast bowler in test cricket, has struck a whopping 103 times in 23 tests with an average of 23.89 at the Lord’s.

So every time England is playing a test at the Mecca of Cricket, more often than not, you can expect Jimmy Anderson to lead the wickets tally.

Record Against The Opposition

It is also true that some players favor playing against certain opposition more than others. Aussie legend Shane Warne accounted for 195 English wickets in his Test career. In current times, Afghan spin wizard Rashid Khan has taken 34 wickets in 13 matches against Ireland.

In the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bowling mainstay Dwayne Bravo has accounted for 33 Mumbai Indians wickets, the most by any player. Contests like these make for interesting match-ups, and help bookies decide whether the player concerned deserves different odds than their regular ones because of the same.

Current Form

The class might be permanent, but when we are looking at it from a betting perspective, the current form of a player is perhaps the single most important factor to take into consideration.

A bowler who’s at the peak of his career is more likely to keep going and take more wickets than someone whose performance has gone downhill and is looking for a couple of good games to bounce back.

If you have to take a punt at predicting the best bowler for the upcoming T20 World Cup down under, for example, your money would be safer on someone like Jasprit Bumrah, who’s enjoying the form of his life, rather than, say someone like Mitchell Starc, who is recently back from nursing injuries and looking to regain his lost touch.

Top Bowler Betting Tips In Test Matches

Most betting sites offer the top bowler betting option only for the first innings, while second innings performance takes a back seat, usually featuring as an in-play side bet. Imperatively, factors like team bowling first, weather condition, swing, bounce, and turn come into play here.

Ergo, it is vital that you conduct deep research before making your bet. Also, as the number of overs bowled is not an issue, the law of averages suggests that the bowler who delivers longer spells and bowls more overs is more likely to get more wickets.

For example, if a match is being played between India and South Africa in Johannesburg with India batting first, it is nigh possible that the sharp bounce on offer will be enjoyed by a bowler like Kagiso Rabada who hits the deck hard and fast. In the same innings, the gentle spin bowling of Keshav Maharaj would serve as a breather to Indian batsmen, and he would not be much of a threat.

On the other hand, if the match was to be played in Chennai or Ahmedabad with South Africa to bat first, the spinning track would enhance the wicket-taking ability of a spin maestro like Ravi Ashwin, while the pace of Mohammad Siraj would actually enable the batters to score more freely.

Top Bowler Betting Tips In ODI Matches

Fixing upon the best bet in limited-overs cricket is a tricky business. All the factors mentioned above play their roles here too. But with only ten overs to play with, another vital question enters the frame. At which stage of the match are your bowlers bowling their quota of overs?

Traditionally, and with the inception of the powerplay, batsmen look to go hard in the first ten overs to give a flying start to their team, laying the foundation for a big score. And while it is a useful strategy, it also means that rash shots played may lead to wickets.

Similarly, batsmen look to go hard in the death overs, aiming to accumulate as many runs as possible before the inning is over, and that, more often than not, results in wickets too.

Therefore, somebody like Bumrah who bowls in both these phases has a high chance of getting the most wickets more often, as compared to Yuzi Chahal or Ravi Jadeja, who bowl out their quota in the relatively quiet middle overs.

Top Bowler Betting Tips In T20 Matches

Similar to ODIs, T20s also have a limited number of overs per bowler. Naturally, the same rules apply to them. But owing to the fact that T20 is a very volatile format and its slam-bang nature means batsmen lashing out every chance they get, it is a thin ice to walk on.

However, insights tell us that more often than not, bowlers bowling in the death overs claim more victims than other bowlers, as the last few overs is a literal no-holds-barred battle between batsman trying to hit it out of the park and bowlers looking to fox them just so much that the ball finds the fielder.

One good example of this is Harshal Patel’s phenomenal bowling performance for RCB in the 2021 IPL, where he ended up claiming the purple cap for most wickets in the tournament.

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