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BettingPro's 3 biggest underdogs at the 2019 Cricket World Cup

Ben Darvill 15 May 2019
Glenn Maxwell after Australia won the 2015 World Cup (credit:JULIAN SMITH/AAP/PA Images)

Could any of these three sides spring a shock and pip favourites and hosts England to lifting the 2019 Cricket World Cup trophy, or will they fall to the wayside in cricket's biggest competition? 

With the World Cup fast approaching, our expert team at BettingPro brings you their three biggest underdogs for the 2019 Cricket World Cup by providing you with reasons to back and doubt them, while we have also provided our tip on how far we think the side will go in the tournament along with their odds of winning the whole competition.


Australia come into this one as a very confusing prospect. Touted as being in utter shambles only a few months ago, the Aussies have somehow turned things around and are on an eight game winning run after coming back to beat India 3-2 before they hammered Pakistan 5-0 in their series. Will the side from down under go from big outsiders to title contenders? 

Reasons to back them

One name: David Warner. Warner may not have endeared himself to the cricketing world last year due to his part in tampering with the cricket ball against South Africa, but viewers who love watching destructive batting will likely choose to overlook this, with Australia’s outstanding batsman one of the very best in the business when it comes to taking on the bowler and scoring quick runs. Steve Smith also returns but is yet to really hit top gear, and it means Australia are in an enviable position with their top-order batting as Usman Khawaja has been a run scoring machine of late, and while captain Aaron Finch has been slightly hit and miss of late, when he hits, it stays hit. Perhaps the people at the top of Australian cricket will have to drop one of Warner, Finch or Khawaja, or they may rejig the order to accommodate three very good batsmen at the top. With the ball the Aussies will look to the likes of Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson and Mitchell Starc, while the experience of Nathan Lyon with the spinning ball will be huge for the side as he has caused more than one batsman problems over his career. Most importantly of all though is their pedigree. Of the 11 World Cups there have been, Australian have won a ridiculous five times and they are the current champions. While Australia may not be in the greatest of form over the last year, when a World Cup comes around, they cannot be discounted, which makes them our ultimate underdog for the 2019 World Cup. 

Reasons to doubt them 

Their troubles over the last year stemmed from the loss of Warner and Smith, and we are inclined to believe that while their return makes Australia’s batting stronger, it weakens their team in a way. If Warner and Smith can fire with the bat then the opposition will struggle to stop them, but if they fail to score runs then the Aussies could implode as they showed during the player’s bans as they clearly relied on their batting ability far too much. It should be taken into account that Australia have improved vastly since their departure with Khawaja in particular stepping up, but they will need to ensue they do not become overly reliant on the pair again. Australia will also have bad memories of the last time they visited England, with the home side hammering the outfit 5-0 in their ODI series before they lost 1-0 in the following T20 contest. However, this was in the middle of 2018 and the Aussies have grown a lot since then, but their mental scars of their last trip to England could come back to haunt them. 

BettingPro’s tip 

For Australia, this World Cup could be coming at the perfect time. Warner is in outstanding form, while the rest of their team seems to finally be moulding into a well-balanced side. While they will want to defeat favourites England and India, Australia will know that they will likely only have to just outlast the likes of South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan to make the semi-finals, with the afore-mentioned three their most-likely competitors for a last four spot. We are confident they will be able to make it to the semi-final then, but that offers little value, so we are instead taking a bit of a leap, and if they are paired against India in the semi-final, we think they have the ability to make it to the final, although we do not fancy them at all if they have to take on England at any point.

New Zealand 

Okay, maybe New Zealand are a side many will question being on this list, but hear us out. First of all, they come in as fifth favourites with Unibet to win the World Cup at 10/1. New Zealand offer the best odds among what you would call an established side that are not currently in free-fall such as Sri Lanka and West Indies. Their blend of experience and power makes them a frightening prospect when they get going which is an incredibly dangerous proposition in a 50 over game. 

Reasons to back them

They currently have two of the best batsmen in cricket turning out for them, with Ross Taylor in particular in the form of his life. Taylor has been awesome lately in ODI cricket and his lowest average over the last three years came back in 2017 as he was averaging 60.50, while he was in incredible form in 2018, averaging 91.29. Taylor is one of those players that just continually scores runs no matter who he plays against, and he will be vital coming in in the middle-order for New Zealand across the competition. Captain Kane Williamson is the other incredible batting talent in the side, and he will be hugely important to the team going forward. In his past two season’s in the Indian Premier League, Williamson has been able to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad to the final in the 2018 before helping them into the playoffs this year as their captain. His experience will be massive for the Black Caps as they look to lift their first ever World Cup trophy. Away from their batting, Trent Boult arrives as one of the bowlers fancied to finish the tournament as the top bowler. The left-arm quick will look to make the most out of England’s grassy and likely overcast conditions, with those same conditions very similar to that of New Zealand, meaning the Black Caps’ bowlers will likely feel at home in England. 

Reasons to doubt them

The main reason to doubt New Zealand in this World Cup stems from the fact they are yet to win the tournament. Their inability to make good on their array of talent in any of the previous 11 World Cups is very worrying, while they have only appeared in one final across their entire World Cup history, which is not good enough for a cricketing superpower like New Zealand. The second reason to doubt them revolves around their recent battle with India. On their own turf, New Zealand were hammered 4-1 by India in their five-match ODI series in a contest that saw the Black Caps look very ordinary. Of course, it should be noted that India are, along with England, one of the best sides in the world, but Williamson will have been hugely disappointed to have been beaten in such a manner, with the touring side making light work of their hosts. New Zealand will have to play India again along with the other top sides in the competition, and if they cannot find a formula to beat the best, then this World Cup will be another that passes them by. 

BettingPro’s tip

If Williamson and Taylor are able to consistently fire, then we can see New Zealand compiling very competitive scores that gives their bowlers something to defend. A very athletic group of players means the Black Caps are not left wanting in the field, but there are stronger sides in the competition, and we wonder about what may happen to their mental state if they are put under the boot in games, with their inability to win a World Cup something that may play heavily on their minds. With this taken into account, we are backing New Zealand to get out of the group, but we think they will fall a step short of the final. 

West Indies 

Like many of the other top teams right now, the West Indies have been struggling of late as they have found living up to the expectations that come from yesteryear very difficult. However, a recent rejuvenation has seen them revive their hopes of winning the World Cup, although, despite this, we still believe they thoroughly deserve their place on this list of World Cup outsiders. 

Reasons to back them

The West Indies’ recent series against England is all the reason we need to believe that they can win the World Cup. While their 2-1 Test series win was the most impressive series victory for the side, they then went on to draw 2-2 with the world’s number one ranked ODI side as they more than held their own against their World Cup hosts. In conjunction with this came fantastic scores from the side of 360 and 389 against an England bowling attack that is very strong. If they can replicate these performances in the World Cup then they will be tough to beat. Two men that will surely be able to provide fireworks with the bat come in the form of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell, and the Windies will put a lot of hope and expectation on their shoulders. The pair have been in superb form of late as they lit up the Indian Premier League with some outrageous hitting. Gayle slammed 490 runs at an average of 40.83 which came along with 34 6’s, while Russell scored 510 runs at an average of 56.66 which came via an outrageous 52 6’s as the two cut loose with their hitting. If either of the two can start the tournament with runs, then we can see the West Indies scoring some massive totals, while they will never truly be out of a game as long as either Gayle or Russell are at the crease. 

Reasons to doubt them

Past Gayle and Russell, we are not overly convinced by their ability to dig in and bat through a period of pressure. John Campbell partnered Gayle in the ODI series against England while Shai Hope came in at three, and while the two are good players, we are yet to be convinced by their ability to play consistently in the pressure cooker of a World Cup. Shimron Hetmyer struggled massively in the IPL this year and comes into this one in no kind of form, while the likes of Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite are not players we would pick as our our choices for digging a team out of trouble. Their bowling attack is also something we are not overly impressed with as while they may be able to score big runs with Gayle and Russell in the team, they cannot always rely on the pair to help them onto massive scores if their bowling attack is not up to the standard of their opponents. What will also worry the side is the fact they have played Bangladesh twice over the last few days and lost comfortably twice, with one of the competition’s weaker sides now holding a huge mental edge over the Windies going into the World Cup. 

BettingPro’s Tip

Unlike New Zealand and Australia, we are not particularly impressed with the XI the Windies can put out. Gayle and Russell always look good, but if they fail it will be incredibly interesting to see how the rest of the team deal with the responsibility of picking up the slack. Despite their impressive series against England, we cannot see them defeating the host nation, while we have big doubts over whether they will get a single win against any of India, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand or Pakistan, while their recent losses to Bangladesh means we also doubt their ability to beat them. While it is a bit of a stretch to claim they will finish bottom, we would not be surprised to see it happen as they have already lost to Bangladesh twice, while Sri Lanka are a side that can turn it on when they really need to, and we think the pressure of the side being the big favourites against Afghanistan could come back to haunt the Windies.

Want more 2019 Cricket World Cup Betting Tips? Follow the whole of the Cricket World Cup across May, June and July with us here at BettingPro.

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BettingPro's 3 biggest underdogs at the 2019 Cricket World Cup

Our team of experts at BettingPro have picked out their three biggest underdogs at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, and we talk you through why you should and shouldn't back them

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