The Rajasthan Royals are alive and still fighting for the final play off place after comfortably beating Kings XI Punjab on Tuesday but Ajinkya Rahane’s men have a tougher test in store when the Super Kings arrive in town.
CSK could confirm their place in the next round over the next few days but with Rajasthan just starting to find their own form, could we be in line for another upset?
The Royals aren’t getting too much support from the bookies and go into Friday’s match as outsiders at current odds of 2.10 with Betway. Chennai follow at 1.75 with Betfair but is this as easy to call as the market suggests?
We’d argued at the start of the tournament that Rajasthan were right to leave the destructive Jos Buttler in the middle orders but having been promoted to open, the keeper has made three consecutive half centuries. Results haven’t exactly been transformed but the Royals seem better balanced and everyone has been given a lift.
The worry is, that while the bowling unit also improved on Tuesday, CSK have far better depth to their batting than Kings XI and that could be crucial in settling this game.
Match Odds Summary: Rajasthan Royals 2.10 (Betway), Chennai Super Kings 1.75 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick).
Jos Buttler’s rise to the top has seen three consecutive top scores for the Royals and while you could have claimed the Englishman at 6.00 last time, he has now dropped down to odds of 4.00 with Betfair. D’Arcy Short somehow remains favourite despite a very poor first IPL at 3.75 with Betfair while a better option could be Captain Rahane at 4.20 with Betfair again.
While Buttler’s scores have risen, Sanju Samson’s form has gone in the other direction but he remains quite short at odds of 4.33 with Betfair while other options include Ben Stokes at 5.50 with Betfair and Stuart Binny at 13.00 with Betway.
Crossing over to Chennai Super Kings’ version of the Top Batsman market sees joint favourites this time with both Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson available at the same price of 4.25 with Betway.
Suresh Raina is slightly further back at 4.50 with Betfair while there will definitely be some interest in MS Dhoni at a generous 7.00 with Betfair again. Trying to guess CSK’s selection could be tricky so we should probably overlook Faf Du Plessis and Sam Billings while you could always consider Dwayne Bravo out at 13.00 with Betway.
As always, picking a winner is tricky but we’ll look at Chennai’s market for our tip as there seems to be fewer options. Watson, Rayudu and Dhoni all make a case but Suresh Raina will usually convert a profit at least once and we feel he’s due a big score on Friday.
Top Batsman Odds Summary: Rajasthan Royals: Short 3.75 (Betfair), Buttler 4.00 (Betfair), Rahane 4.20 (Betfair), Samson 4.33 (Betfair), Stokes 5.50 (Betfair), Binny 13.00 (Betway).
Chennai Super Kings: Rayudu 4.25 (Betway), Watson 4.25 (Betway), Raina 4.50 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), Dhoni 7.00 (Betfair), Bravo 13.00 (Betway).
Other Side Bets
For a final tip, there are a number of options in relation to batting where there may be some value. The Super Kings routinely start as favourites in these markets but it could pay to look at the Royals as outsiders.
For example, the Highest Opening Partnership shows CSK listed at 1.66 with Betfair while the Royals are at 2.10 with Betfair again. The Most Sixes option shows an even bigger gap with Chennai at 1.53 and Rajasthan at 3.00 – both with Betfair again.
From those two, we’ll take the Royals to give us the higher opening partnership. The threat from CSK’s batters comes later on and that greater depth should see them win the game but Chennai can be a bit brittle at the top of the order and the outsiders carry a good price here.
Highest Opening Partnership Odds Summary: Rajasthan Royals 2.10 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), Chennai Super Kings 1.66 (Betfair), The Tie 41.00 (Betfair).