Can the Black Caps pull off another captivating run at the Cricket World Cup, or are they lacking in some key areas? Here's what the bookmakers make of their chances of Cup success.
Only once this century have the Black Caps missed the semifinals of the Cricket World Cup, but the bookmakers are skeptical that a fourth straight final four appearance is on the cards for the Black Caps.
The Black Caps have been rated a $2.20 chance to make the semifinals, and $4.50 to repeat their 2015 final appearance. Their chances of winning – 10-1 – is tied with South Africa as the fourth most-likely side to raise the Cup, and that seems similar to the general consensus about the Black Caps' chances – that they will be right on the cusp of the semifinals.
When it comes to picking their most likely stage of elimination, the Black Caps sit at $1.66 to be eliminated in the group stage. They are at $10 to finish the group stage as top seeds, the same odds as South Africa, but – perhaps in an indication of their greater downside – are at $34 to finish bottom of the group stage, compared to South Africa's $51.
The Black Caps' best and worst case scenarios are both seen as unlikely, but one far more so than the other, with the squad at $12 to go winless, but $151 to go undefeated.
As for their chances of starting with a win? Pretty good actually - they are at $1.30 to beat Sri Lanka on Saturday.
At $11, the Black Caps are ranked sixth to be the team which will produce the highest innings score. The bookmakers have a lack of faith in New Zealand's opening partnership too, placing them at $11 outsiders to have the highest opening stand of the tournament, and at $9 for the highest first 10 overs.
With big scores being predicted at the World Cup, the ability to clear the rope will also be important, and the bookies don't rate New Zealand highly in that regard, coming in at $13 to hit the most sixes.
Additionally, in one of the books with the worst value of all time, Martin Guptill has been inserted at $17 to score the fastest century of the tournament, with Jos Buttler leading the way at $5.50.
When you consider that New Zealand only hit two centuries last World Cup – both from Guptill – and two in 2011 as well, betting on not only a player - any player! - to score a century, but for it to also have to be the fastest of the tournament…. well it's not recommended by the Herald's unofficial gambling correspondent.
While we're talking about ludicrous odds, Colin de Grandhomme is somehow at $5 to score New Zealand's first century of the Cup, ahead of Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham, and tied with Ross Taylor(!).
(De Grandhomme has passed 50 once in ODI cricket.)
But if they do fire…
De Grandhomme does have the far more likely scenario of being New Zealand's fastest run scorer at the World Cup, being placed at $2.50 to have the highest strike rate of the Black Caps' batsmen. If a Black Cap is to produce the power game, the bookies believe it will be either he, Munro or Jimmy Neesham ($3.50) or Guptill ($4.50).
De Grandhomme is also seen as one of the few options to be the most economical with the ball. At $5 to have the Black Caps' lowest economy rate, the all-rounder sits below only Mitchell Santner ($2.75) and Trent Boult ($3.25). The potential for economical bowling and blistering batting is why de Grandhomme remains an alluring option for coach Gary Stead.
Trust in Williamson
Despite Kane Williamson having not passed 57 in 13 World Cup innings, he is still favoured to be New Zealand's top run scorer at the Cup. Williamson is at $2.75 to accumulate the most runs for the Black Caps, with Guptill ($4.33) and Taylor ($4.50) following behind.
Williamson is at $17 to be the tournament's top scorer – seventh overall – with Virat Kohli the favourite at $8. Guptill ($21) and Taylor ($26) are also seen as plausible options, while Munro ($51) surprisingly ranks ahead of the likes of Latham ($81) and Nicholls ($101).
On the other side of the ball, Boult ranks fourth amongst the odds of who will take the most wickets in the tournament. At 15-1, Boult is only just behind India's Jasprit Bumrah (13-1).
The bookmakers also expect Tim Southee to get more game time than fellow seamer Matt Henry, with Southee at $26 to be the top wicket-taker, but Henry at $67. Lockie Ferguson ($41), Santner ($51) and Ish Sodhi ($67) are also deemed just as or more likely than Henry to snaffle scalps in the UK.
Boult is also tipped as the most likely Black Cap to get a five-wicket bag, leading a tightly-contested field at $3.40.
As for the Black Caps who could be named Player of the Tournament?
Well, the bookies think that Williamson ($17), Guptill ($23) or Boult ($26) have the best chance – three figures whose performances will undoubtedly be crucial to the Black Caps' chances of claiming glory come July.