Going by the odds, perhaps for the first time in the 50-over format, India are favourites to win the cricket World Cup.The betting odds that opened on Wednesday evening indicate that India, Sri Lanka and South Africa are among the top three teams to win the Cup. It is perhaps the first time in the last 15 years that three-time world champions Australia do not even figure among the top three teams to win the title.
The 'grey market' bookies have fixed the rate for India at R 3.25, which means a R 1 lakh bet on India winning the World Cup would give a return of R 3.25 lakh.
For the West Indies, the rate is Rs 21. So, if a R 1 lakh bet is placed on the Calypso kings lifting the trophy, the returns could be as much as R 21 lakh.
"The odds are in favour of India this time around because of their record on sub-continental pitches. We are expecting a R 30,000 crore business turnover from India, Pakistan and the Middle East alone," said an Ahmedabad-based bookie.
Because of the ambiguity surrounding the Pakistan team captain, not all punters had started accepting bets on them till Friday evening. "We did not accept bets on Pakistan as their board had not announced the captain for the World Cup," said another bookie.
Bet it right
This time around some bookies based in north Mumbai are claiming to be using a new algorithm-based calculation for accurate estimation.
"That would give you precise rates during the match; the rates can be changed from ball-to-ball," he said.
This is an improvement over bookies limiting the betting intervals during the Twenty20 World Cup.
Quite a few bookies had incurred losses during the 2009 Indian Premier League because of accepting bets on outdated rates, as the match could change in a mere two or three balls.
The bookies are also planning to bring in some international betting trends during the World Cup.
"Once the event starts, we will accept bets on the highest run-getter and the highest wicket-taker in the mega-event," said another Ahmedabad-based bookie. This type of betting was first introduced in Twenty20 events in 2009 by many international betting websites.
Though the odds favour India to win the prized trophy, a Dubai-based gentleman's 'gut feeling' says India might not make it. "I have placed my bet on Australia and Pakistan. India tend to fall short of expectations when they are favourites," he claims.