Ahead of the India-Pakistan World T20 encounter in Eden Gardens on Saturday, as keenly awaited by punters as by cricket fans, bookies predicted that more than Rs 800 crore would be bet on the match. Despite losing to New Zealand, India are favourites to beat Pakistan.
According to the odds on Friday, an India win would fetch you Rs1.70 for per rupee bet, while a Pakistan win would earn you Rs2.40 per rupee.
These odds fluctuate constantly in the run-up to any match and are finalised the day before the encounter. The weather, pitch condition and injuries to players are among the factors that influence these odds.
Bookies are backing India because Pakistan has never beaten India in World T20 match. India has won all four previous encounters – two in 2007, one each in 2012 and 2014.
Virat Kohli, considered the top batsman in the Indian team, is the bookies’ favourite to score a half century (a Re1 bet would earn you Rs3.50) and a century (a Re1 bet would earn you Rs5).
By comparison, betting Re1 on any other player scoring a fifty would earn you around Rs20, and a century Rs26.
According to bookies, punters lost around Rs 700 crore by betting on India to beat New Zealand match in Nagpur. They blamed poor team selection on the loss, saying that India should have gone in with three fast bowlers instead of three spinners.
Mumbai has a reputation as a hub for cricket betting, and several rackets have been busted in the past. In 2013, the Mumbai crime branch unearthed a major racket during the Indian Premier League, leading to the arrests of, among others, Bollywood personality Vindoo Dara Singh and Gurunath Meiyappan of the Chennai Super Kings.