The experts, pundits and analysts have all spoken plenty on tonight’s big Pakistan-India match. But the problem with all the opinions and analysis is that they go in every which way. One guru might say India are the favourites and the other would guarantee a win for Pakistan.
Under this mishmash of perspectives, the most the fans can expect is a vague idea of who the favourites are. The picture painted can never quantify the advantage(s) or tell that if Team A is the favourite, it is so by how much and if Team B is the underdog, then how big or small an underdog it is.
One of the easiest and clinical ways to find that out is by turning to oddsmakers – the folks that, as their name gives away, make odds for sporting events. Their research can dwarfs analysis by a regular expert as they incorporate the tiniest, most minute of details into the odds they make.
Before we begin, here is a little something on what odds really are. Odds are the lifeblood of the gambling industry. In technical terms, they provide a measure of the likelihood of a particular outcome. And in layman terms, these are the numbers that decide what payout a gambler gets when betting a certain sum on a particular outcome.
Ahead of the big Pakistan-India game, Dawn.com perused the gaming world to find out what’s the oddsmakers and sportsbooks’ view is and who they think are the favourites and underdogs.
Who will win the match
India are big favourites for the match as evident in odds of 1.44 assigned to them by British gambling company Bet365. It means that if a gambler stakes Rs100 on India and wins the bet, all they’d get in return is Rs144 – a profit of a mere Rs44.
On the other hand, if a gambler were to stake the same sum of Rs100 on Pakistan and he wins the bet, his payout would be Rs275, which represents a profit of a whopping Rs175.
The disparity in payouts should indicate how much faith the oddsmakers have in India's ability.
Highest run scorers
Virat Kohli has a tremendous T20I record against Pakistan. It’s his average of 84.66 against Pakistan in the format that makes 22Bet think he would again be the India’s top runs scorer tonight. He has the shortest odds (3.24) for this particular event among all Indian batters, which means he is the most likeliest to do so. Surprisingly, after Kohli, the man most likeliest to top score for India is not Rohit Sharma but Lokesh Rahul (3.68). Sharma is third with slightly greater odds of 3.72.
But Pakistan captain Babar Azam is an even bigger favourite to top score for his side than Kohli is for his. The odds on him doing so for Pakistan, according to Dafabet, are 2.80, followed by Mohammad Rizwan (3.40) and Fakhar Zaman (5.40).
Highest opening partnership
Babar and Rizwan’s opening partnership averages 55.26 for Pakistan in T20Is but oddsmakers believe the Indian pairing of Sharma and Rahul is more likely to provide a greater opening stand than the Pakistani duo tonight. According to 22Bet, odds on India to score more for the opening wicket are 1.784 whereas the odds on Pakistan are 2.0, with a tie priced at a whopping 20.0.
MelBet believes India's Jasprit Bumrah is the bowler most likely to have the greatest impact on the match for India. He's been priced at odds of 3.24. Mohammad Shami is the next one in line, with odds of 4.3.
Meanwhile, from the Pakistan side, Shaheen Afridi, who has not had a great 2021 statistically, is still the bowler most likely to finish with the best stats, including most wickets, as indicated by odds of 3.2 on him. Hasan Ali is next in line (4.32), followed by Shadab Khan (4.5)
Best player of the match
According to odds provided by MelBet, the player most likely to finish as the man of the match is Kohli (8.8), closely followed by Babar (9.0). The next three players on the list are all Indians, namely KL Rahul (9.3), Sharma (9.7), Bumrah (10.5). Then comes surprise entrant Ishan Kishan (11.0) and Rishab Pant (11.0) and Shaheen (11.0).
Player to score most sixes
When it comes to power hitting, the mind drifts towards names such as Fakhar Zaman, Rohit Sharma, Asif Ali and Hardik Pandya. But according to odds hosted by Bet365, the men most likely to hit the most sixes in tonight's match are Rishabh Pant (7.0) and KL Rahul (7.0).
They're followed by Mohammad Rizwan (7.5), Ishan Kishan (8.0), Rohit Sharma (8.0), Virat Kohli (9.0), Suryakumar Yadav (9.0), Babar Azam (9.0) and Fakhar Zaman (9.0).
Note: Odds can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, and can change frequently.