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Sensible bet

Australia to win –

Australia have not lost in Brisbane since 1988, winning 21 of the subsequent 28 Test matches there.

That run includes six Ashes matches, with the feverish atmosphere that the Gabba is famous for a huge factor.

Joe Root 1st innings: Over 35.5 runs –

Root has evolved into one of the world’s finest batsmen, with a temperament that means he won’t be fazed by the occasion.

Having hit 40 or more in 10 of his last 14 first innings, he is unlikely to be out cheaply when he takes to the crease.

England fall of 1st innings 1st wicket: Under 28.5 runs –

Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc form a fearsome new-ball duo, so look a decent bet to take an early wicket throughout the series.

Particularly while Mark Stoneman is lacking experience at one end.

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{{::outcome.FormattedDecimal}} {{::outcome.Numerator}}/{{::outcome.Denominator}} 5/1

Value bet

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Alastair Cook 1st innings: Under 29.5 runs –

Cook has not convinced in the warm-up matches, having passed 50 just once in four innings.

Since his sensational series in 2010/11, he has also averaged less than 30 in Ashes cricket.

Top Australia 1st innings bowler: Josh Hazlewood –

While Starc’s pace has dominated the pre-series headlines, Hazlewood’s control makes him the best bet to top the wicket-taking charts.

The 26-year-old has taken 32 wickets in his last six matches on home turf.

England 1st over: Under 1.5 runs –

This could be settled within five minutes of the match, but is a nice tempter to get started.

Cook will face up first for England, and is unlikely to attempt anything other than getting through the first over unscathed.

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{{::outcome.FormattedDecimal}} {{::outcome.Numerator}}/{{::outcome.Denominator}} 10/1

Long shot

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Player of the match: Steve Smith –

Smith averages 54 at the Gabba, scoring two centuries in his four Tests there.

Guiding his side to victory in this match with a similar haul should be enough to earn him individual acclaim.

Top England 1st innings bowler: Chris Woakes –

Woakes looked in the best nick of all England’s bowlers in the final warm-up match in Adelaide last week, and is a nice price to carry that form through to Brisbane.

That he is the quicker than his colleagues should give him an edge in batting-friendly conditions, too.

David Warner 1st innings: Under 36.5 runs –

Warner has complained of a neck injury in the build-up to this match, so it is possible he will batting in some discomfort.

Notably, he also averaged just 32.6 in the first innings during the last series Down Under, compared to 90 in the second.

England 1st over: Under 1.5 runs –

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{{::outcome.FormattedDecimal}} {{::outcome.Numerator}}/{{::outcome.Denominator}} 40/1

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