IPL Betting for the Season Resumption - Who Will Prevail
After seemingly endless and frustrating delays, this year’s iteration of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is finally set to resume in Dubai on September 19th.
The 14th iteration of the IPL was initially halted on May 4th, following a significant spike of coronavirus cases within the bio bubbles of various teams.
At this stage, 31 of the scheduled 60 matches had yet to be played, with the BCCI announcing that the remaining fixtures would be contested in the UAE and concluded by October 15th.
With the resumption barely a week away, it’s little wonder that everyone is starting to make their bold IPL predictions for the 2021 season. But what’s the current state of play, and who will lift the coveted prize come October?
The Current State of Play
Fittingly, the 2021 IPL will restart with a potentially thrilling clash between the Chennai Super Kings and defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Chennai currently sits in second place and just two points behind leaders the Delhi Capitals, while they have a game in hand and have won five of their seven matches to date.
Champions Mumbai is two points further back in fourth, although once again they have a game in hand on the leaders. Despite their patchy form to date (having lost three of their seven encounters during the spring), they retain immense pedigree, as the only franchise to win the IPL five times following their triumph over the Delhi Capitals in 2020.
Mumbai also retained a number of in-form players in the shorter format of the game, including New Zealand pair Adam Milne and the talented all-rounder James Neesham.
Both players recently started in the inaugural ‘Hundred’ tournament in the UK, as did the explosive opener Quinton de Kock. Other prominent Mumbai players include Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and India’s star opener Rohit Sharma.
As for the current leaders (and last year’s runners-up), they’ll restart their title tilt with a game against bottom-of-the-table Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on September 22nd.
So, the Ricky Ponting-coached outfit (who are seeking their first IPL crown) will be hoping to secure a relatively easy two points as their closest rivals do battle three days earlier.
What are the Bookies Saying?
While predictions are constantly made in all sports, placing bets and committing your hard-earned money is a far more challenging pastime.
This is certainly true in the case of the 2021 IPL, with a host of variables in play and the top four sides currently separated by just four points.
Sportsbooks are certainly playing their cards relatively close to their chest, with second-placed Chennai Super Kings the narrow real-time favourites at an average place of 13/5.
Certainly, this franchise looked imperious as they won five of their first six matches in the spring, although they came unstuck in match 27 on May 1st when Mumbai chased down an unlikely 219 to win at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.
Chennai had posted a brilliant 218/4 in their 20 overs, thanks in part to Ambati Rayudu’s unbeaten 72 from just 27 balls. However, West Indian Kieron Pollard had different ideas, smashing an unbeaten 87 from 34 balls to secure a famous win for Mumbai.
It’s this pedigree and big-game mentality that makes Mumbai third favourites at 57/17, although this may change if they fail to repeat their victory over Chennai when the league resumes on the 19th.
Current leaders Delhi can be backed at around 11/4, which may offer value for some given their current two-point lead. They were also in excellent form prior to the enforced break, although the historic lack of an IPL title may hinder them down the stretch.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore, who currently sit in third place, can be backed at an average price of 5/1, while they’ll also continue their quest to earn their first-ever IPL title.
They’ll be hoping that the inspirational leadership of Virat Kohli can sustain a viable title charge once the season resumes, while Glenn Maxwell, AB De Villiers and the talented pace bowler Dan Christian will also play central roles between now and October 15th.