England and Australia face-off in the second test match of the Ashes series with play getting started on Wednesday 14 August, the coin toss expected around 11.00am GMT. Lord’s in London plays host and that’s a fitting venue as the host nation aim to fire themselves back into contention following a surprise defeat in the opening match.

The stands will be packed but those who can’t make it along to the London venue won’t be left out in the dark thanks to the live coverage offered up by Sky Sports. Get TV coverage, expert commentary from pundits and former players as well as a highlights show every evening, designed to fill in the gaps for those working during the afternoon who missed it the first time. There’s now no reason to fall behind with your Ashes coverage and we’re predicting an exciting second test.

Plenty to Bet On

One way to add a bit more drama to the occasion is with a bet on the outcome and bookmakers have you covered on that front. The major firms in the online gambling industry offer dozens of markets on the test, covering everything from test winner and series winner, top England batsman and top Australian bowler. You’ll never be left looking for a bet to hold your interest as the money men really have pushed the boat out here to match the increased level of interest amongst punters.

The love for English cricket is at an all-time high at the minute on the back of that famous ICC Cricket World Cup win and even casual backers are racing out to have a financial interest on a sport than was, until recently, popular only with dedicated supporters.

Test Match cricket is very different to the one-day international stuff we saw in the UK this summer at the World Cup, however. The first test match was played out over a five-day marathon and that chances the betting. The ODI games are fast and furious but international test cricket is a more patient affair. You can back short-term bets, like next ball or method of dismissal, but it lends itself more to tactics with backers asked to put a bit more thought into their predictions.

Take Advantage of In-Play Betting

That’s where betting in-play comes in handy. With in-play cricket betting on the Ashes you’ll notice many of the best and brightest pre-match markets remain live throughout the course of play, with odds updated to keep pace with the action. Markets such as top England run scorer or top England wicket-taker are updated regularly to reflect what’s happening on the field of play.

In-play betting works extremely well with live cricket. Watch the play closely enough and you’ll notice a pattern emerge, such as a form player or weak link. Act quickly, getting your cash down before the trader can respond and you’ll land a better price about your selection. It’s all a battle of wits and the fastest finger usually wins. You are pitting your cricket knowledge against that of the trader working on the match in play. The more you know about this fixture and the more attention you are paying the better the chance there is of you boosting your betting balance with a winner.

Australia Get Off to a Stunning Start With 1st Test Match Lead

We can get an idea of what to expect in the second test match by looking back at how things went in the opener that started on the first day of August and ended five days later, the players having to endure a marathon. That took its toll on the men involved but they must dust themselves down and fire back if they are to have any chance of coming out on top here. England went into the 1st Test Match as betting favourites and that came as no shock to followers of the sport but things didn’t go according to plan with Australia getting off to the best possible start and winning the opener.

Not only did they upset the odds to beat England, they did it in some style too, hammering their hosts and knocking the wind from their sails following that World Cup success. The tourists took charge from day one and, at the end of the test, the scoreboard read Australia 284 all out and 487-7 dec against a poor 374 all out and 146 all out of England. That left the home fans with the bitter taste of disappointment in their mouths and it now means the local players must improve dramatically at Lord’s if they are to stand any chance of saving this Ashes series.

If England can pull it back to 1-1 they will move to being favourites for the outright win with bookmakers, but if the Aussies are good enough to pile on the pressure and take a 2-0 lead it’ll be done and dusted and the pressure will flood down from the stands. The England support aren’t the most demanding in the world, they have watched their team come through good times and bad but a below-par performance against bitter rivals Australia will never be accepted and the players will know all about it if they put a foot wrong in the second test match. If the locals felt the pressure going into the month they’ll really know what it’s like to play in an Ashes series now as there can be no room for error on the back of that defeat.

What kind of response will we see from England in the second test? It will have to be a major improvement if they are to have any chance of tying the series and Australia must also go off the boil a little as the tourists were simply sublime first time out. They didn’t put a foot wrong and once they had a smell of blood and weakness they were on it, clamping down on their opponents and going in for the kill. The first test match win would’ve done wonders for an Oz side packed with confident players. Everyone will be utterly convinced they have it in their armoury to go and do something similar again. Did they catch England off-guard or were they really just that good? We’ll find out over the course of the 2nd Test Match, that’s for sure.

Bookmakers Resist a Knee-Jerk Reaction

The betting makes for very interesting reading and traders haven’t been quite as hard on England as we would’ve expected. They lost profit due to the host’s poor start but have resisted the temptation for a knee-jerk reaction. The betting for the second test match is much more competitive than we imagined and there’s not an awful lot between the nations at the time of writing.

England has been priced up at 13/10 – best price with Betfair – to fire back and win the 2nd Test Match. If you fancy them to do just that, we’d advise taking advantage of the generosity shown by the Betfair traders as many firms are offering just 5/4 on the same bet and that will never do. Backing England to respond with a win is difficult enough without taking less of a price about your selection. That’s like tying your hands behind your back when it comes to making a profit. William Hill is top offer on the draw at 11/2 but that’s a result that would suit Australia more than their opponents, edging them closer to winning the Ashes trophy.

If more of the same is your idea of a great bet, you can have your stake money down on the away win and we certainly wouldn’t be in a rush to put anyone off that if it was their preference. Australia was fantastic in the first test match and it looked like they had plenty more in the bag. Will we see it here? The Aussies played like a team who were streets ahead of England in terms of quality last time out and we really don’t think a lot would’ve changed since then.

Traders at bet365 are offering market best price on an Australian win and you can get your hands on a fantastic 5/4, better than the 6/5 that’s generally available with other respected betting firms. We were shocked to find a price as generous as that and are more than happy to have the away win in our betting tips and predictions. Australia certainly didn’t play like a 5/4 shot last time, they looked more like an odds-on team and that makes them value.

There’s more to be had when playing the specials markets associated with this match. If you expect Australia to win, you can predict who is going to lead the line for them. Get your stake down on the top Australian batsman market and choose from the likes of Steve Smith at 7/4, David Warner at 4/1 with Paddy Power, Usman Khawaja 5/1 (Paddy Power), Cameron Bancroft 7/1 and Marcus Harris who is also available at 7/1 in places. Joe Root is market leader in the top England batsman market and backers will get their hands on 5/2 when betting on him at Betfair.