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County Championship: Prediction, Tips and Odds

The 2024 County Championship season starts on Friday and last year's Division One champions Surrey are 13/8 favourites to retain their title.

However, the Brown Caps can expect a serious challenge from 2023 runners-up Essex while Yorkshire, 2/1 to win Division Two, may not have things all their own way either.

County Championship betting tips and predictions

Essex to win Division One - 5/1

After topping the Division One table in 2022 and 2023, Surrey are aiming to give their director of cricket Alec Stewart the perfect send-off by sealing a hat-trick of triumphs this summer.

Club legend Stewart will stand down as director of cricket at The Oval at the end of the season and his squad, bolstered by the signing of Dan Lawrence from Essex, sets a high standard in the four-day game.

However, Essex have responded smartly to the losses of Lawrence and England's record Test runscorer Sir Alastair Cook, who retired at the end of the 2023 campaign.

Former South Africa captain Dean Elgar looks a terrific replacement for Cook, having scored his final international century – a brilliant 185 against India – in last year's Boxing Day Test at Centurion.

Elgar joins compatriot Simon Harmer, the leading wicket-taker in Division One in 2019 and 2022, at Chelmsford and dashing young wicketkeeper-batsman Jordan Cox looks an exciting signing from Kent.

Essex finished only 20 points behind Surrey last season and they should face less disruption from England call-ups than the champions.

Their settled squad features ace county seamers Jamie Porter and Sam Cook while captain Tom Westley was the second-highest runscorer in the top division last summer so another bold title bid is on the cards.   

Hampshire to win Division One - 10/1

Hampshire finished third in Division One last term, winning eight of their 14 matches – the same number as champions Surrey – but earning only 18 batting bonus points, two fewer than eighth-placed Kent.

The signing of highly-rated Sussex opener Ali Orr should help the county post more competitive totals this season and classy skipper James Vince passed 1,000 runs in the Championship last season.

Spinning all-rounder Liam Dawson is one of the Championship's most valuable players, scoring 840 runs and taking 49 wickets in 14 appearances in 2023, and overseas seamers Kyle Abbott and Mohammad Abbas have proved to be outstanding signings for Hampshire.

Australia's Michael Neser, unfortunate to have played only two Tests, may be available for some four-day fixtures before his T20 Blast stint at the Rose Bowl, and there should be more to come from young opener Fletcha Middleton.

Middlesex to win Division Two - 11/2

Middlesex and Northamptonshire were relegated from the top flight last season and both are prominent in the Division Two betting.

Yorkshire are favourites for the title although they would have fallen short of the promotion places even without last season's hefty points deduction.

There were a huge number of draws in the second tier in 2023, with 12 of Glamorgan's 14 matches ending in stalemate, so Middlesex's pace attack could give them the edge over their rivals when it comes to claiming 20 wickets on a regular basis.

Warwickshire's Henry Brookes joins Tom Helm, Ethan Bamber and captain Toby Roland-Jones in a strong seam line-up and all-rounder Ryan Higgins scored 955 runs and took 31 wickets last term.

Spinner Joshua De Caires took 8-106 against Essex towards the end of the 2023 campaign and Leus du Plooy is a cracking signing from Derbyshire.

Du Plooy was the second-highest runscorer in Division Two last season, amassing 1,236 runs at an average of 82.4, and the 29-year-old, who has an excellent first-class average of 47, could help Middlesex win promotion in style.  

Read more cricket betting tips and predictions on site.

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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