The weekend is almost upon us and that means that you can look forward to not one but two games in the IPL on Saturday, as per usual. Here’s what you need to know ahead of them, complete with the best betting tips. But before we get to that, there’s Friday’s game to go through as well.
Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals
Don’t rule out a century
This match pits a struggling side that may do well to avoid the wooden spoon against one of the surprise packages of the tournament. Whereas the Royals have been struggling with both bat and ball ever since securing back-to-back wins in their first two games, the Delhi Capitals have found the right balance in their team consistency and have had at least one batsman and bowler put in an excellent performance every game.
Last time out, it was even better for Delhi. Both Prithvi Shaw and Marcus Stoinis were superb with the bat while Axar Patel and Kagiso Rabada were equally effective with the ball, yet another superb all-round performance from a side that could easily make the final, or better.
The Capitals should win this but then again, as hot favorites, the odds were suggesting that anyway.
If you’re after a bigger return on your investment, it could be worth going with a century being scored here.
Sharjah is by far the highest-scoring ground of the three here in the UAE and has already seen a century scored here by Kings XI batsman Mayank Agarwal. Any one of Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw or Shreyas Iyer are more than capable of hitting a quick hundred for the Capitals, as is the excellent Jos Buttler for the Royals at this small ground, with short boundaries. There’s a decent chance someone can raise their bat at good value odds.
Recommended bet: Back a century to be scored at +400
Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Agarwal to star in sinking ship
A hard-fought win against CSK means that the Knight Riders are right back in it with three wins from five games and a place in the top four. It’s a different story for the Kings XI, who bar their fearsome Sportsbook partnership of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul have let down their supporters with undisciplined performances: too many poor balls that have been duly punished, indifferent fielding and too many batsmen getting out at just the wrong time.
No wonder all the Indian betting sites are making Kolkata the favorite here. Not only are they playing a far better brand of cricket, have superior players and have had much better results so far, but they’re also way ahead on the head-to-head records: 17 wins for the Knight Riders against just eight for the Kings XI over the years.
But as we said already, their Sportsbook partnership has been superb. Agarwal and Rahul have more often than not got the team off to some excellent starts and when it comes down to the Kings XI top batsman, between them they’ve top-scored in four matches out of five.
So, if we think one of these two will do the business, then which one? Agarwal is a bigger price than his skipper in what we make a 50/50 choice between them, so that makes our mind up.
Recommended Bet: Back Mayank Agarwal to be Kings XI Top Batsman at +200
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings
Can Kohli make it three on the spin?
These are the sides captained by current India captain Virat Kohli (RCB) and former India captain MS Dhoni (CSK) and they’ll need all their experience and nous to improve their team’s fortunes and make sure they at least make the playoffs.
Bangalore’s problems are pretty obvious: bar the brilliant Yuzvendra Chahal, they don’t have any real game-changing quality with the ball. They do, however, have a formidable top four with the bat.
CSK’s problems are harder to explain. Their meltdown against KKR on Wednesday was a good example of a side making bad decisions at crucial times with Ambati Rayudu in particular guilty of a rash shot when it wasn’t needed.
We wouldn’t want to have to make a call on the match Sportsbook market because we can’t really trust either team, but we’ve taken note of the improvement in form of Virat Kohli.
After a slow start to the campaign that saw him score just 18 runs in three games, he then scored 72 and 43 to be his side’s top batsman in their last two matches.
Stats suggest it’s extremely hard to go three in a row but we like that he bats at three, he’s clearly finding his groove and it won’t be lost on him that it was here in Dubai that he was playing beautifully on 43 on Monday before getting a good one from Kagiso Rabada. When he gets into this sort of form, he’s a hard man to stop so let’s hope the great Kohli can deliver once again.