Where is the value in game one in Birmingham?
<div><h2>England vs Australia, Edgbaston</h2><h2>1 August 2019 at Edgbaston</h2><p>An Ashes series is always eagerly anticipated. But there is an irony to the hype this time around: these are two poor teams, the weather forecast is not the best and it could be that we see some very average cricket played. Not that the believers will care a jot. Prediction: by the end of the five-Test series cricket will congratulate itself that the longer format is alive and well despite techniques and temperaments to have been exposed as not fit for purpose.</p><p>To say we expect the bowlers to do well at Edgbaston is an understatement. Batting has been tricky there historically and last summer, when England squeezed home against India, only the batting God that is Virat Kohli showed any skill for the challenge. Scorecards history consistently show the bowlers holding sway and two matches in ten years have failed to produce a centurion. That’s eight games.</p><p>Now for the weather. We have expected cloud cover on the first two days. This should enable the seam and swing bowlers, of which there are plenty, to do their best work. England are more dangerous with the ball because they are masters at making the Dukes ball talk. James Anderson, possibly the greatest exponent of all time, could be lethal. Stuart Broad will play a more holding role but Chris Woakes, on his home ground, is primed to take over from Anderson as attack leader when the Burnley man calls it a day.</p><p>Australia are no mugs but they will need time to settle. At home they use the Kookaburra ball, which has a less pronounced seam. This means the ball does not move as much as the Dukes. This difference in balls explains why eight of the last nine Ashes series have been won by the home team. It’s that simple.</p><p>But for the purposes of this Test, there should be enough in the air and off the deck to keep Australia interested. Not least because England’s top three in the batting order is woeful.</p><p>So, the bet of the round is a corker with all of that in mind. Pile into the 2.0 (even money) that Bet365 offer about no century to be scored in the first innings for England or Australia. Bowlers should rule and the batsmen are, frankly, about to be exposed.</p><p><strong>Best Bet</strong></p><p><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Ashes 2019 Betting Odds"><em><strong>No century in first innings 2.0 Bet365</strong></em></a></p></div>