What an intriguing prospect we have in store for Qualifier 1 on Tuesday: the Gujarat Lions, who have occupied the top four in the league table since the first week of the competition, taking on a Royal Challengers Bangalore side that booked their place with some outstanding late performances.
Who will win? Checkout our betting picks and selections, its not as easy as it once was.
Match Odds & Game Preview
The Lions have enjoyed a fine campaign in this IPL 9, and they enter this first knockout match in good form with three wins from their last four. That sole defeat came at the hands of the Royal Challengers, however, and what a heavy demise it was too: 144 runs is a cavernous margin of victory by T20 standards.
Other than that, Gujarat topped the league table and cannot be written off heading into this match.
The RCB story is an extraordinary one. Seemingly down and out of the competition a matter of days ago, somehow they caught fire – helped by Virat Kohli’s magnificence, of course – and four wins on the spin has landed them in a position of real authority here. It would be foolish to suggest that this is a one man team however, and it appears as though their bowling unit is starting to come to the party; as is Chris Gayle, who bludgeoned eight maximums in his knock of 73 from 32 balls – what a time for the burly West Indian to be hitting form.
Two factors could be definitive here in what appears to be a close match on paper. Firstly, RCB’s dominance at their M. Chinnaswamy Stadium home in Bengaluru simply cannot be ignored. They have triumphed in three of their last four outings there, scoring 211, 248, 151 and 195. It is a ground on which they seem to bring their A-game more often than not.
Betting Tip: Secondly, we cannot ignore that huge defeat that RCB handed to the Lions little over a week ago. It was as comprehensive as it gets, and the psychological scars are likely to be a factor. We have to back the hosts then, and are happy to do so at 1.66 with bet365.
Top Batsmen Betting Picks
Batting is an area in which Gujarat have struggled at times during this IPL 9 campaign, with four different batsmen employed as an opener in an attempt to find a winning formula. As yet, nothing Suresh Raina has tried has worked with any authority.
It is telling that Kohli and De Villiers have scored more runs than the Lions’ top five combined, and a lack of a consistent line-up is another hindrance to their efforts. So, we have to back somebody who has been a reliable presence at number three, Raina himself, a man who has top-scored for his side in both of his last two outings. A price of 4.00 with 888sport makes sense.
In this market you can look for trends, current form or a batsman who thrives at a particular ground. Or, you can simply back Virat Kohli and sit back with a sense of smug satisfaction in your investment.
Betting Pick: In his last four innings in Bengaluru, RCB’s skipper has notched three centuries; to say this is a track he loves batting on would be something of an understatement. He absolutely destroyed the Gujarat bowling attack in that huge win just over a week ago, so we simply cannot look past Kohli here. Odds against at 2.80 with 888sport, we have to get involved.
Must Read: BCCI Rests Kohli, Dhawan and Sharma For Zimbabwe Tour, who are the new faces?
Other Bet Selections
Match Winner Selection: Here’s a statistic to wet the appetite: RCB have hammered 45 maximums in their last three matches at Bengaluru. Quite simply, we must back them to score more sixes than their opponents here at a best price of 1.62 with Betfair.
In the News
 espncricinfo.com, Table-topping Lions start as underdogs in RCB’s fortress, 2016