KKR went back to the top of the table with their most recent win over Delhi and it’s been a really positive start for Gautam Gambhir’s men. What’s been really impressive is their depth with players such as Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan stepping up when needed while key batters such as Gambhir and Robin Uthappa have also been in the runs.
Wickets have been shared around a balanced bowling attack so is another win just a formality when the Knight Riders tackle struggling Gujarat on Friday?
The market is closer than you might think although Kolkata are the favourites and available at best odds of 1.83 with Betfair for the win. The Lions, meanwhile, are quoted at 2.05 with Betway but can they upset those odds?
Suresh Raina’s men currently sit right at the bottom of the pile with just one win from five but there have been more positive signs recently. Brendon McCullum is back in the runs so Gujarat need him to fire once again but the Kiwi needs better support, particularly from other overseas imports such as Aaron Finch and Jason Roy. There is a chance but the table doesn’t lie and KKR’s greater depth and quality should guide them to the points.
Match Odds Summary: Kolkata Knight Riders: 1.83 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), Gujarat Lions 2.05 (Betway)
It’s easy to say that I was tempted by Manish Pandey after backing Gambhir last time out but the calm way in which the 27 year old guided KKR home after a poor start against Delhi was outstanding. Pathan was great too with a different method so I have to take these two more seriously.
Gambhir still head’s KKR’s top batsman market with the skipper quoted at best odds of 3.60 with Betway while Robin Uthappa is on offer at 4.00 with both Betway and Bet365. Pandey is now at 5.00 with Betway while Pathan is quoted at an excellent best of 9.00 with Bet365 and it should really be between these four.
For Gujarat, the market should be a little clearer with McCullum hitting back-to-back half centuries. The Kiwi looks to be in his best form since quitting international cricket and starts here at 3.75 with Bet365.
McCullum looks to be the obvious bet here but I’m backing Raina at 4.33 with Bet365 as the skipper has hinted at a big score and really needs to deliver now that his side are in trouble. Other options for the Lions include Finch at 5.00 with Bet365 and Roy at 4.33 – also with Bet365.
Top Batsman Odds Summary: Kolkata Knight Riders: Gambhir 3.60 (Betway), Uthappa 4.00 (Bet365) Pandey 5.00 (Betway), Pathan 9.00 (Bet365).
Gujarat Lions: McCullum 3.75 (Bet365), Rainia 4.33 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick), Roy 4.33 (Bet365), Finch 5.00 (Bet365).
Other Side Bets
We’ve done quite well in top bowler markets across this IPL and while there is definite value in KKR’s list, there may just be too many options. We opted for Chris Woakes last time but it was Nathan Coulter-Nile who delivered in the end and interestingly, they are two of six players who start the Gujarat game at best odds of 5.00 with Betway.
We’re edging to Woakes again but for a slightly safer tip, we’ll finish on a market with fewer options. Despite being favourites to win the game, KKR are the outside bet to hit the most sixes at a tempting best price of 2.88 with Betway but Gujarat Lions are the tip in this particular market at 1.86 with Bet365 and should deliver even if they lose the match.
Most Sixes Odds Summary: Gujarat Lions 1.86 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick), Kolkata Knight Riders 2.88 (Betway), the Tie 7.5 (Bet365).
It would be wrong for the Knight Riders to dismiss Gujarat as a one man team but McCullum is clearly the key wicket. I expect KKR to get him cheaply on Friday and continue to cement their grip on a top four finish.