Ashes hosts all the rage

  • Last Updated: July 10 2013, 17:08 BST

Bookmakers fear another battering from patriotic punters this summer, when the eagerly anticipated Ashes series begins in Nottingham on Wednesday.

Punters only want to back England ahead of the Ashes
Punters only want to back England ahead of the Ashes

England are red-hot 4/11 favourites to win the five Test series, and have been backed from even money to 5/6 favourites to win the opening match at Trent Bridge this week, a result that would hit bookies already reeling from Andy Murray's historic Wimbledon win and the Lions success Down Under.

Coral's David Stevens said: "Over 80% of the bets taken so far are on England winning the series, and that figure rises to nearly 90% when it comes to the first Test, so very few punters can see beyond a home win in the first of this year's two Ashes series.

"Even the weather looks to be onside, with the fine forecast set to continue, so there is every chance of five full matches, giving hope to those that have backed a 5-0 series whitewash for Alastair Cook's men."

William Hill are 4/5 that England get the Ashes off to the perfect start with Australia offered at 11/4 - the fair-weather forecast has seen the draw drift out to 11/4.

Alastair Cook is 7/2 to score a century in the first innings with Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen offered at 4/1 to hit three figures.

The betting for man of the match is swerving towards Jimmy Anderson, who is the 8/1 favourite with KP also popular at 10/1.

"Considering that the opposition is Australia, the weight of money for England is extraordinary, said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

"Almost to a man our customers are backing Cook and co."

The two best prices in the village at the time of writing are 10/11 at Sky Bet for England to win the first Test with Australia 10/3 (Stan James). Head for Boylesports if you fancy a draw with them going 10/3 as well.

In addition, English punters are extremely confident that a 5-0 Ashes whitewash is on the cards, according to Ladbrokes.

Without a ball even being bowled that outcome has been backed into 12/1 (from 25/1) with a first Test win at Trent Bridge a 4/5 chance.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: "Punters have never been so bullish about an Ashes whitewash. A ball hasn't even been bowled yet and the odds have halved into 12/1.

"Normally there would be some money knocking around for the Aussies, but that simply isn't the case this year, and it speaks volumes about the exciting summer of cricket ahead."

Graeme Swann is the man bet365 customers want to be with in both the 1st Test and the Ashes series outright.

Spokesman Steve Freeth said: "Punters are speculating it's Graeme Swann's turn to step up to the plate in what has so far been a great summer for British sport."

He is now 14/1 to be man of the match at his home ground, 5/2 to be top English bowler of the series and 4/1 to be top outright bowler.