The two new franchises have played their part in lighting up the start of IPL 9 and with a win each from their opening fixtures, we should definitely be taking Pune and Gujarat very seriously. Home advantage means little here as the Rising Supergiants sneak ahead in a tight betting market so how will this one go and who are the key players?
Gujurat Lions play host in Rajkot on Thursday but they are the outside bet to take the points here at 2.00 with Bet365, leaving Pune to take a marginal favorites berth at odds of 1.85 with 888Sport. So it’s close but just why have the Supergiants been given that figure, considering that they concede home advantage to their opponents?
Well, we’ve seen that this Pune side carries some of the best players from the suspended CSK squad and we know that the bookies always favored Chennai above everyone else. MS Dhoni, Faf Du Plessis and R Ashwin have also been joined by some serious talent in the shape of Kevin Pietersen, Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane so yes, they are going to be tough to beat.
In the opposite dugout, an old Chennai team mate awaits and Suresh Raina led his side to an impressive opening win over Kings XI and the key for me is their bowling attack. Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner and Dale Steyn are three of the best death bowlers in the business and they will get this Lions team across the line in tight finishes.
Aaron Finch did most of the damage for the Lions as they chased down Kings XI’s target and the Australian heads Gujarat’s top batsman market at 3.75 with Bet365. We know that Brendon McCullum can be a threat however and the Kiwi is priced at that same 3.75 at Bet365, while Raina is always worth watching at his 4.33 with Bet365 again.
I feel that it’s time for McCullum to fire but you can also consider the usually reliable Dinesh Karthik at 7.00 or Ravi Jadeja at 15.00 – both with Bet365.
There is even more choice in a Supergiants market where Rahane – after his blistering start to the tournament – is a short priced favorite at 3.50 with Bet365. Du Plessis at 4.00 and Pietersen at 4.5 with Bet365 follow on while a standout option for me is Steve Smith at 5.50 with Bet365.
Dhoni will always attract attention and you can claim the skipper here at 9.00 with Bet365 but the value in this market lies with that 5.50 for Steve Smith.
I thought we were going to see the first hundred of IPL9 when David Warner set about chasing down RCB’s big target on Tuesday but he was one of three players to ultimately fall short of that century mark. If you think any player will score a ton in this fixture, Bet365 are quoting 7.00 but that looks a little too skinny in a market that can climb over 9.00.
Instead, the most sixes betting shows Pune as surprise outsiders at 2.05 with Bet365 and there is definite value in that figure.
I’ve been fairly certain over my picks for this tournament so far but I’m unsure about this one. I feel the key battle is between that impressive Supergiants batting line up and the Gujarat death bowlers and will just side with the Lions here.
For side betting, Smith to top score for Pune and McCullum for Gujarat are the shouts while a larger stake on the Supergiants to hit most sixes is the biggest recommendation.