The long wait is nearly over and on Saturday, the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League kicks off with a cracking fixture. Defending Champions the Mumbai Indians host Chennai Super Kings who return to the tournament after a two year absence and it should be a thriller to get us underway.
First games of any competition can be tough to call but let’s look at some prices and see if we can pick some winners.
We might think it’s tough to predict but the match betting shows a clear favourite with Mumbai some way in front at a top price of 1.73 with Betway. CSK follow at best odds of 2.25 with Betfair and having spent two years away from the IPL, perhaps that longer figure is to be expected.
Chennai have also lost some of their regular players with the likes of R Ashwin heading to other franchises but the majority of this squad has IPL experience and they just need to gel quickly as a team. Selection is vital but if the Super Kings can take key wickets then we think they can upset these odds.
Match Odds Summary: Mumbai Indians 1.73 (Betway), Chennai Super Kings 2.25 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick).
One of those key wickets is that of Mumbai’s Rohit Sharma who starts as clear favourite to top score for his side at 3.75 with both Betway and Betfair. However, the price that interests us is Betfair’s 4.00 on Evin Lewis who has emerged in a short space of time to become one of the most explosive T20 batsmen around.
Lewis’ West Indian teammate Kieron Pollard is one of several players who could give value down the order along with the Pandya brothers. Pollard is available at 7.50 while Hardik is at 12.00 and Krunal at a tempting 21.00. All of those prices are with Betfair.
For Chennai, Shane Watson is a veteran of the IPL but can he continue to score heavily at this stage of his career? The bookies seem to think so as they list the Aussie as second favourite in CSK’s top batter market at 4.33 with Betfair. Suresh Raina actually starts as favourite at 3.75 with Betway while Murali Vijay can also be picked up at 4.33 with Betfair.
As always, MS Dhoni offers value down the order at 9.00 with Betfair while the dangerous Dwayne Bravo is even further back at 17.00 with Betfair again.
Top Batsman Odds Summary: Mumbai Indians: Rohit 3.75 (Betway), Lewis 4.00 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), Duminy 5.00 (Betfair), Pollard 7.50 (Betfair), Hardik Pandya 12.00 (Betfair), Krunal Pandya 21.00 (Betfair).
Chennai Super Kings: Raina 3.75 (Betway), Watson 4.33 (Betfair), Vijay 4.33 (Betfair), Du Plessis 5.50 (Betfair), Dhoni 9.00 (Betfair), Bravo 17.00 (Betfair).
Other Side Bets
If you think that we’ll see a century to kick off IPL 11 then you can claim odds of 6.70 with Royal Panda while the same bookmaker increases that price to 10.30 for a ton to be scored on first innings.
With two Power Hitting sides on show that could be a decent option but for the first game of the tournament, we’ll head to the relative safety of the Most Sixes market which once again, has some value. Mumbai head the way at 1.80 with Betfair but the better option could be the 2.40 from Betfair on Chennai Super Kings.
For that to land, it will need Watson and Dhoni to be the chief executors but it has good potential at a decent figure.
Most Sixes Odds Summary: Mumbai Indians 1.80 (Betfair), Chennai Super Kings 2.40 (Betfair), the Tie 8.00 (Betway).
As for the result, CSK may have lost Ashwin but they have assembled a good bowling attack for 2018 with Jadeja, Tahir, Harbhajan, Lungi Ngidi and Mark Wood queueing for the ball and if they can get Mumbai’s openers early, they should take the opening win.