They may have been the pre-tournament favourites but defeat here for RCB may well spell the end of their qualification hopes. Just two wins from seven matches is a seriously poor record but Pune are just one place and two points ahead so neither team can really afford to lose.
The Royal Challengers remain favourites but no-one will take their 1.66 with Bet365 with any great confidence. Here is a team with their skipper – Virat Kohli – at the top of the IPL9 runs charts but the batters can get no support from arguably the weakest bowling unit in the tournament.
Match Preview & Betting Picks
The Supergiants have been hit by injuries but were on the slide before losing Faf Du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen and Steve Smith, although a win over an impressive Delhi side will give them greater hope heading into this one.
MS Dhoni’s men are listed here at 2.25 with 888Sport.
Betting Pick: It’s always tough to back against the favourites and I feel that RCB are due a huge score that even their bowlers will be capable of defending, so I’ll make a tentative punt on the hosts.
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Top Batsmen Betting Tips
At the time of writing, Kohli heads the race for the Orange Cap with 433 runs at an average of just over 72 so it’s no real shock to see him quoted as low as 3.15 with 888Sport in RCB’s top batter market. That’s still a good option although I like the price of AB De Villiers who follows at 4.50 with 888Sport .
Chris Gayle looks hopelessly out of touch and can be picked up here at that same 4.50 with 888Sport, but De Villiers is far more consistent, has already delivered profits at IPL9 and that is a great price for him.
For Pune, the loss of a number of world class batters makes this tougher to call and the prices aren’t all that exciting.
Against the Daredevils, Ajinkya Rahane continued his great form while Usman Khawaja made a solid debut and both men can be picked up at 2.75 with 888Sport.
It’s likely to be between those two although George Bailey is a shrewd pick and is a value selection at 6.00 with Bet365 while skipper Dhoni usually delivers at least once and is quoted at 8.00 with Bet365 again.
Betting Pick: There are a number of options on both sides but that stand out figure for me is 4.50 with 888Sport on De Villiers for RCB.
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In the last two matches at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, the Royal Challengers have posted 191 and 185 but have been unable to defend those totals. That follows on from the winning 227 they made against SRH so this is clearly a fast scoring ground and we should expect the boundary to be cleared consistently through the game.
Over 16 sixes is on offer at 1.91 with Bet365 and although you may prefer to see this go over the even money mark, it seems a good punt. A riskier bet is to take any player from either side to score a hundred and that is quoted at 6.50 with Bet365.
T20 tons remain rare but this could be the game where we see another huge individual score.
Back to the match and the weak link once again is RCB’s attack. As we’ve seen from those recent matches in Bangalore, the Royal Challengers would really need to post over 200 to feel safe or alternatively, they should look to insert and chase something more comfortable.
The toss is therefore pretty crucial but I think that an AB de Villiers inspired RCB will just about keep their 2016 campaign alive by taking the points.
In The News
 deccanchronicle.com, IPL 9: RCB vs KXIP: AB De villiers show fires RCB to victory, 2016