2019 ICC Cricket World Cup Betting Odds, Preview: Which Teams Can Compete with England?

2019 ICC Cricket World Cup Betting Odds, Preview: Which Teams Can Compete with England? article feature image

ICC Cricket World Cup. Pictured: Team England

  • The ICC Cricket World Cup begins on Thursday, May 30 and runs until Sunday, July 14
  • England, the host nation, are 2-1 favorites to win the World Cup with India (11-4) and Australia (4-1) right behind them.
  • Vik Chokshi breaks down the odds and sizes up the contenders and a dark horse that could make some noise.

Cricket fans and bettors, it is time to get excited. The 2019 ICC World Cup (WC) starts on Thursday, May 30 and continues until the final on July 14.

While cricket may not be a sport a lot of you watch or follow, the ICC World Cup is a real spectacle and may end up being the most-watched sporting event this summer. And what better way to get introduced to cricket culture than by taking a shot (responsibly, of course) on a future or two.

As an avid cricket fan, I’m happy to introduce this sport to you and hopefully help you learn to love one of the world’s most popular sports.

The Basics

The WC will follow a single round-robin, group-stage format, with the following 10 teams playing each other once.

Basically, each team plays nine group games. Every match matters because at the end of the group stage the teams ranked in the top four qualify for the semi-finals.

Australia are the reigning champions and this year’s tournament will be played in England.

Here are the 10 teams participating in the tournament:

2019 ICC Cricket World Cup Odds

  • Afghanistan 100-1
  • Australia 4-1
  • Bangladesh 80-1
  • England 2-1
  • India 11-4 (+275)
  • New Zealand 8-1
  • Pakistan 16-1
  • South Africa 8-1
  • Sri Lanka 80-1
  • West Indies 16-1

The Favorite

England (2-1)

The hosts open this tournament as the favorites thanks to their home-field advantage. Since 2016, England is 29-4-1 at home and have won their last eight series.

They come into this tournament with quite possibly their best run-scoring team ever. They are a batting juggernaut and have scored more than 300 runs 38 times since 2015.

While bowling (what Americans would think of as the ‘pitching’ part of cricket) has been their Achilles heel in years past, playing at home will help them in that regard as their team is set up to take advantage of flat pitches (fields). These pitches provide lower levels of bounce and motion, which is exactly what their bowlers will try and exploit in every match.

The English were embarrassed in the 2015 World Cup, so you can be sure they will be playing with a chip on their shoulder in front of their home-crowd.

That being said, being favorites is something that not every team can handle, especially in front of their home fans. As long as they don’t tighten up under that pressure, they should easily make the semi-finals.

Players to watch

Joe Root is one of most consistent hitters in this WC. He comes into this tournament ranked fourth in test batting and fourth in ODI batting rankings. England’s batting depth allows Root to play with confidence and freedom. He knows that if he gets out, they have other guys who can step up, a luxury that most other countries do not have.

Adil Rashid is one of the best bowlers in the tournament, with his ability to spin the ball either way. His consistency combined with his knowledge of the English pitches should enable him to pick up timely wickets all tournament long.

Other Contenders

India (11-4)

Not only does India have Virat Kohli, one of the premier players in the tournament, but they also are in great form. The Men in Blue have won 65% of all matches since the 2015 World Cup.

Offensively, the trio of Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are averaging 185 runs per game since the last WC. They are arguably the best batting trio in the world.

While Kohli is the headline-grabber, don’t forget about India’s bowlers — especially Jasprit Bumrah. He has the ability to bowl at 145 kph (90 mph), and literally can get anyone in this tournament out at one throw of the ball.

Few other teams can match India’s bowling staff, which gives this team balance on both sides of the ball. India’s only weakness is fielding, but as long as they don’t make any big mistakes in the field, you’ll see them in the semi-finals.

Players to watch

Virat Kohli comes into this tournament as the world’s top-ranked ODI and test batsman, scoring the highest number of runs since the end of the 2015 WC. Kohli has scored 4306 runs in 69 games since then, including an amazing 19 Centuries and 16 half-centuries. Yes, he is really that good, and comes into this tournament in perfect form.

MS Dhoni has been kind of the forgotten man on this team, but having him batting in the No. 5 spot is an added bonus for the Blues. He had a terrific India Premier League (IPL) season and is looking like the Dhoni of old. If he is back, the world needs to watch out, because India will be hard to take out.

Australia (4-1)

The Aussies have traditionally always had success in the World Cup and are coming off a win in 2015.

The defending champions aren’t being talked about in the same respect as England or India, but that is usually when they are most dangerous.

David Warner and Steve Smith are two of the best players in the world, and are back from their ball-tampering bans. As long as both are mentally ready, the Aussies have the balance and bowling to make a deep run in this tournament. I would be very surprised if they did not advance out of the round-robin.

Player to watch

David Warner dominated IPL, finishing as the top scorer with 692 runs (69.2) on average. He also ranks sixth in test matches. He will put up runs in this tourney no matter what.

New Zealand (8-1)

New Zealand is another country with good history at the World Cup, having made six semi-finals and one final since 1975.

The Kiwis aren’t in the same echelon as the three favorites, but there’s a chance that the odds underrate them. The Black Caps have pretty poor home-road splits, as they have a 70.45% win percentage at home vs. a 37.5% win-rate on the road, but that may not be as big a problem in England.

No other country’s grounds and conditions mirror England’s like New Zealand’s.

The Kiwis have a very unique style of play, so these flat surfaces will only help them this tournament.

Player to watch

Kane Williamson has to be the guy if New Zealand wants to make a deep run. His strike-rate is in the low-80s and he can go for long innings.

South Africa (10-1)

If the Proteas want to win this tournament, their young guns will need to step up, most notably Quinton de Kock. De Kock is currently averaging 50 runs per game and arrives in great form. South Africa will also need more production from Hashim Amla, whose numbers have fallen off a cliff since 2018.

The absence of AB de Villiers on this roster is a big one, as cricket fans everywhere were hoping this WC would be his swan song. Without him in their lineup, this team is kind of in transition and has lost some of their old luster.

Player to watch

Kagiso Rabada is the best fast bowler in the world, picking up a 106 wickets in 66 games with an excellent strike-rate. He has the ability to take clutch wickets against all of the world’s best batters, as he displayed in the IPL in a classic battle vs. Andre Russell.

The Dark Horse

West Indies (14-1)

The West Indies barely qualified for the World Cup, but they have a ton of talent littered across the roster.

Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis are a very good opening partnership and can go long innings and will put up some runs when they are at their best.

Behind them are a trio of young, talented players, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer, followed by the big guns — Jason Holder and Andre Russell.

The question for this team will be its consistency. Each team plays nine matches, so you have to win five or six to move onto the semis. On its best day the Windies can beat any team in the world, but they are also so inconsistent that they can lose to a lesser team.

Players to watch

Chris Gayle had a terrific IPL season, scoring 424 runs and a record 39 sixes. Gayle also played terrific against England recently, and is known as a cricket legend. With this being his last WC, you know he is going to go out in a blaze of glory. I expect at least three “Gayle storms” before it is all said and done, and that is being conservative.

Andre Russell is a monster, and reminds me of a cross between Steph Curry and LeBron James. LeBron because of his physique and Steph because of his ability to change the game in just a few balls.

If you watched the IPL this season, you know who ‘Dre Russell is, as he single-handedly carried the Kolkata Knight Raiders to wins with his power. He has the ability to takeover the game against any opponent in the world, and is must-watch television anytime he is up to bat.

My Picks

While my heart is with India, my pick to win it all is Australia (4-1). The Aussies have the experience and have dominated the event over the last two decades. They are this tournament’s Golden State Warriors, with Warner and Smith being their version of the “Splash Brothers”.

West Indies (14-1) is also worth a sprinkle, especially if you are looking for a team with some long odds capable of making a deep run.

Odds courtesy of the Westgate SuperBook and current as of May 28.