On Wednesday the 2013 Ashes Series starts at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, the first of five Tests this Summer. Here’s a guide to what to expect on the field, and how to benefit as a bettor

Recommendation

Australia to win the first Test at 100/30 Unibet

Using this offer: Bet on the match winner and if England win the test, Unibet will refund losing singles with a free bet up to £25.

First things first, the toss is crucial at Trent Bridge in these conditions.

6 of the last 9 Tests have been won by the side batting first and winning the Toss and furthermore recent very hot and very dry weather means the pitch is likely to be dry and possibly with the beginnings of cracks and this is a toss to bat first, build up a score and let the other team worry about batting last on a pitch that should have deteriorated.

Traditionally in the last few years Trent Bridge has favoured swing bowling. Ground alterations and enhancements mean that the ground is now surrounded by tall stands that mitigate against any breeze, and there has been a noticeable increase in swing since that last development. Because of this, Trent Bridge has increasingly become a results ground, with very few draws, in all forms of cricket.

The pitch was revealed for the first time yesterday during practice. It looked dry and bare. That, and the hot weather, may mitigate against traditional swing and favour instead reverse swing and spin. In both these categories England are well served compared to Australia

England fast bowler James Anderson on the swing prospects: “”All the feedback we’re getting is that it’s not swung as much this year. The pitch is very flat and very dry.”

Chris Rogers the Australian opener “It looked like there were a few cracks in it. I think they’re trying to keep some moisture in it. It’s been hot here and I think that’s going to dictate how the pitch plays.

“If you look at the wickets next to the pitch they are fairly abrasive already, so everyone realises the ball will scuff up a fair bit. Therefore reverse swing comes into it. Spin is going to have to do a huge role to help out the quicks as well.”

Nottinghamshire Captain Chris Read:

“I certainly think that for the majority of our games this year there has less assistance to all the quick bowlers.”

So the toss is crucial. At the time of writing England are odds on 10/11 and that will shorten if they win the toss. They will look to bat for two days and then apply pressure on a wearing pitch. If so, this will be the acid test for an Australian top order with much to prove

Australia at 100-30. If they win the toss the situation is interesting. Can they put England under pressure in the field?

So much uncertainty and beting before the toss is fraught, because prices and value can change in an instant.

Fortunately for us, various bookmakers have offers that enable us to extract some value irrespective. The Unibet offer detailed in the recommendation allows you to back the underdog, and get your stake back as a free bet if England win.

As detailed above, the least likely of the three possible results is a draw, so this looks appealing as an offer at this stage. Please note the Terms and Conditions of the offer, some of which are detailed here

Recommendation

Australia to win the first Test at 100/30 Unibet

Using this offer: Bet on the match winner and if England win the test, Unibet will refund losing singles with a free bet up to £25.

Please see the Terms and Conditions including:

Maximum refund for stakes of £25 and higher is £25
Maximum of one refund per customer, per account
Offer only applies to all new/existing Unibet customers residing in the UK and Ireland
Offer open 17/06/13 – 10/07/13 at (10.30BST)
The offer is only valid for the FIRST non-live bet placed on the first Ashes test match at Trent Bridge between England v Australia on the outright winner market between the above dates and times.
Offer only applies to single bets, multiple bets do not count.