Match 29 – Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore Preview

They may be third from bottom of the table but there is a sense that the Royal Challengers are back, now that Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers are available, Chris Gayle has made some runs and they seem to be settling on their best mix of overseas players.

Fourth placed Delhi are on the same number of points so knockout places are still up for grabs and RCB may be able to take advantage of a KKR side who have just lost to struggling Gujarat.

Match Odds

The Knight Riders may be four points clear of Sunday’s opponents and they have the home advantage but right now you can get the same prices on both. The result market shows a best price of 2.00 on KKR with Bet365 while the Royal Challengers are quoted at that same 2.00 with Betfair.

It’s undoubtedly as tough as the market suggests but for me, the positive signs from RCB’s win over the Lions last time out indicates that they may just be the smarter bet. Firstly they made a big total with Gayle making a decent contribution at last and while they let Gujarat get to 192-7, Yuzvendra Chahal was back in the wickets so maybe the key players are peaking at the right time. Momentum is with Bangalore and so is my money for this one.

Match Odds Summary: Kolkata Knight Riders: 2.00 (Bet365), Royal Challengers Bangalore 2.00 – (Betfair – Editor’s Pick)

Top Batsmen

The Knight Riders’ player who needs a score most is the skipper Gautam Gambhir who is short of runs yet still heads his side’s top batsman market at a best of 3.6 with Betway. Robin Uthappa, meanwhile, seems to have settled away from his customary openers slot and is available at 4.00 with Bet365.

Elsewhere, Sunil Narine somehow continues to make runs in his pinch hitting role and may tempt some at 7.00 with Bet365 and Betway while my preference would be Manish Pandey. He’s calm and consistent and for this game is listed at a generous top price of 5.00 with Betway.

Over to RCB and Gayle’s overdue return to form sees him shorten just marginally to a best of 4.33 with Bet365 in a market led by Kohli at 3.00 with Bet365 again. De Villiers is at 3.75 with Bet365 and while they are the main contenders, Shane Watson usually delivers at least once in the tournament and the Aussie can be backed here at 6.00 with Betway.

I feel it’s time for Kohli to really start making some big scores as we reach half way in the groups and while he looks a little short at 3.00, the skipper is my tip.

Top Batsman Odds Summary: Kolkata Knight Riders: Gambhir 3.6 (Betway), Uthappa, 4.00 (Bet365), Pandey 5.00 (Betway), Narine 7.00 (Bet365).

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Kohli 3.00 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick), De Villiers 3.75 (Bet365), Gayle 4.33 (Bet365), Watson 6.00 (Betway).

Other Side Bets

I feel this could be another high scoring game, particularly with RCB finally starting to find their form so there are a number of options related to batting. The Royal Challengers look quite a reasonable option at 1.80 with Betway to be ahead at the end of the first 6 overs with KKR just behind at 2.10 with Bet365 or, you could look at the most sixes bet but Bangalore are shorter here – 1.66 with Bet365 as opposed at 2.70 for the Knight Riders with Bet365 again.

Getting Narine early will be key and I think RCB will do just that so, of those two options, we’ll take the better price for the Powerplay market.

First 6 Overs Odds Summary: Royal Challengers Bangalore 1.80 (Betway – Editor’s Pick), Kolkata Knight Riders 2.10 (Bet365).

We’re used to seeing RCB make a late surge and it looks like it’s going to happen again. Kolkata have been strong in the early stages but everything is finally falling into place for the Royal Challengers and they should take the points on Sunday.