Their form had been mixed from the very start of the tournament but with other sides struggling at the bottom, the Knight Riders seemed fairly comfortable in the play off places. However, a run of defeats, including Wednesday’s loss to closest challengers Mumbai Indians, has seen KKR drop down to fifth and Saturday’s clash with Kings XI is suddenly looking like a must win.
KXIP aren’t exactly in great shape themselves after defeat to Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday so who is going to get over the line in this match between two struggling sides?
That lack of form in both camps is one of the reasons why the bookmakers can’t split these two teams. Many operators have the same win price, including Betfair who have Kolkata Knight Riders at 1.90 and Kings XI Punjab at 1.90 also.
It will be tricky to call but we think that KXIP are vulnerable and have been saying for some time that they rely too heavily on Chris Gayle and KL Rahul for their runs. That’s been proved in recent times and while it’s hoped that Gayle will keep his place, the selectors could look to bring back Aaron Finch whose poor early season form isn’t likely to last.
KKR aren’t exactly impressive right now but they have greater strength in batting depth and that should see them over the line in this contest.
Match Odds Summary: Kings XI Punjab 1.90 (Betfair), Kolkata Knight Riders 1.90 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick).
Rahul made an unbeaten 95 in that defeat to Rajasthan and he’s delivered consistent IPL 11 profits in KXIP’s top batsman market so will be an obvious choice for many at 3.75 with Betfair. Chris Gayle remains the favourite to score most runs against KKR at 3.25 with Betway and based on previous results the profit should come from one of these two men.
Other Kings XI options include Karun Nair at 5.00 and Aaron Finch at 5.50, both with Betfair, and Marcus Stoinis at 12.00 with Betway.
In the Knight Rider’s version of the top batsman market, Chris Lynn is the obvious favourite at 3.60 with Betway. The Aussie has done well in this market without making a really big score – a fact evidenced by his profit-winning 21 against Mumbai.
Robin Uthappa has started to show reasonable form and may look a more tempting option at 4.50 with Betfair while Nitish Rana started well against his old club Mumbai and could be considered at 5.50 with Betfair again.
KKR usually offer some high-priced options in the middle order and for this game you can pick up Dinesh Karthik at 7.50, Shubman Gill at 8.00 and Andre Russell at 9.00 – all with Betfair.
Within these two teams we have two players – Rahul and Lynn – who have given us good profits at IPL 11. That run could well end on Saturday but Rahul has fewer challengers and a better price so we’ll back the KXIP man and look to stick with a winning formula.
Top Batsman Odds Summary: Kings XI Punjab: Gayle 3.25 (Betway), Rahul 3.75 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), Nair 5.00 (Betfair), Finch 5.50 (Betfair), Stoinis 12.00 (Betway).
Kolkata Knight Riders: Lynn 3.60 (Betway), Uthappa 4.50 (Betfair), Rana 5.50 (Betfair), Karthik 7.50 (Betfair), Gill 8.00 (Betfair), Russell 9.00 (Betfair).
Other Side Bets
Like the result market, we might have expected all of the batting bets to be particularly tight for this match but that isn’t the case. For recent IPL games, we’ve taken a look at the Highest Opening Partnership punt and here there is a surprising gap with Kings XI at 1.66 and KKR at 2.10 – both with Betfair.
That gap is smaller in the Most Sixes market but KXIP are favourites here too at 1.90 with Betfair as opposed to the Knight Riders’ 2.10 with Betfair again. There are lots of options relating to bowling but if you’ll forgive us we will cover old ground with that opening partnership bet.
It’s all about finding value and we think that Kings are too brittle at the top and 2.10 is a good price for Kolkata’s openers to deliver before their greater strength in batting depth goes on to seal the game.
Highest Opening Partnership Odds Summary: Kings XI Punjab 1.66 (Betfair), Kolkata Knight Riders 2.10 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), The Tie 41.00 (Betfair).