New Zealand beat Pakistan 4-1 earlier in the season, so they might be a little surprised to be ranked as outsiders for the forthcoming visit by South Africa. The best-of-six one-day series begins at Auckland's Eden Park on Friday.

In the betting for the first match, New Zealand are 6/4 to win, while in the Series result market, bet365 are offering 100/30 on the home side.

New Zealand have won their last four one-day series at home, so punters could do worse than to back Stephen Fleming's men. South Africa, in spite of a convincing 3-1 victory against West Indies last month, have occasionally shown signs of frailty with the ball, so the series could be closer than the bookies expect.

The South African Top Team Batsman market is topped - surprise, surprise - by Jacques Kallis, who has excelled in both forms of the game against West Indies, and is fresh from a one-day series in which he scored two match-winning centuries and a 95 not out, and averaged 180. He is 11/4 to top-score for South Africa in the first match. Punters wishing to back Kallis at longer odds should look at the Man of the Match market - 5/1 - or the Top Series Batsman market where he is 100/30.

Other good batsman bets include Jacques Rudolph (14/1 in the Top Series Batsman market) and Shaun Pollock (25/1 in the Top South Africa Batsman market for the first match).

New Zealand's last series against Pakistan was characterised by their solid batting. The captain, Fleming, finished the series with 248 runs at an average of 62, and he is 5/2 favourite to top-score in the first match. In the Man of the Match market he is an attractive 7/1, while punters backing Fleming against the strong South African top order can get odds of 9/2 in the Top Series Batsman market.

Other stand-out bets include in-form Canterbury batsman Michael Papps, who comes in for Craig Cumming. He is 6/1 to make an immediate impression and top-score in the first match at Eden Park.

Jacob Oram has, almost unnoticed, slipped in to the top ten of the PwC one-day bowler ratings. Oram's batting is even less heralded, in spite of an impressive display at last year's Double Wicket World Championship, where he out-hit many of the world's top allrounders. He is a mouth-watering 18/1 in the Man of the Match market - the same odds as Craig McMillan. McMillan himself is generously priced at 16/1 to be Top Series Batsman.

Please note that odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.