It’s cricket’s oldest rivalry and arguably the fiercest. The Ashes.
As the First Test gets underway at Edgbaston on Friday, England look to regain the urn for the first time since 2018.
Australia, meanwhile, are bent on more Pom bashing away from home as they seek to extend a five-year spell in charge.
Held earlier than normal to accommodate The Hundred in August, a June start to the Test series will feel a little surreal for many.
Nevertheless, Ashes fever is again at boiling point for a series that could rival the 2005 edition; a contest many feel is still the best Test series in the modern era.
Lets take a look at the outright betting for the summer.
Robbo to run riot
If England are to regain the Ashes, their bowling unit must click.
As both James Anderson and Stuart Broad play potentially their final series against Australia, England’s trusty old guard will be on hand.
It could however, be the home Ashes debutant, Ollie Robinson who steals the show.
Having sampled this contest 16 months ago, the Sussex right-arm medium shone in glimpses in New Zealand earlier this year.
Having blown away South Africa last summer, the 29-year-old in ready to shine.
Taking 10 wickets Down Under last time out – despite injury problems throughout the series – Aussie scalps will be at play.
For Robinson to be England lead wicket-taker, he is the current favourite but still at a decent treble-your-money 2/1 with BetVictor.
A Head for scoring
Basking in defeat of India to win the World Test Championship at The Oval this past week, Australia are on a high.
Boasting one of their strongest sides in England for some time, the tourists’ batting order looks strong.
In terms of the Top Australian Batter market, thoughts might turn to English cricket’s kryptonite, Steve Smith.
Having surrendered the captaincy after Sandpaper-gate, Smith has still been part of a side to either win or retain the urn since the 2017-18 series.
However, though Smith put on an ominous ton against the Indians, it was Travis Head that stood out from the crowd, scooping Man of the Match.
Part of the last two victorious Australian squads, Head was leading run scorer in 2021-22.
Like Smith, Head notched a century during the first innings in the WTC final, putting on 163.
Head has the feel of a player who will rise to the occasion in the Ashes and at 11/2 with BoyleSports to be top Aussie with the bat, Travis could turn heads.
His chances of Player of the Series are equally well-placed based on form alone at around 12/1 (check your bookmaker for latest odds).
Scottie too Hotty?
Australia’s bowling attack looks in no less fine fettle.
Indeed, it may well be the most versatile bowling pool since the early 2000s of Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and the sadly missed Shane Warne.
Spearheaded by the impressive skip Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood‘s fitness concerns however, could become an issue.
Cue Scott Boland.
The man who made his Test debut in the Boxing Day Test the previous Ashes series, Boland went on to take seven wickets including 6/7 in the second innings.
Snagging a further 18 wickets in the following three Tests, Boland clearly loves playing the enemy.
Notching five wickets against India, the English conditions will suit the Victorian down to the ground – especially if the ground stays firm.
Looking one of the first names on Andrew McDonald’s teamsheet, at 4/1 to be the Aussies’ star bowler – again with BetVictor – Boland might be shrewd betting.