Dubai: The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to erupt on Saturday in the UAE and the excitement is close to fever pitch, not just with the eight teams, but also among the hordes of fans and bookmakers alike.
With a grand total of 56 league matches to be played between September 19 and November 3 and four more subsequently in the play-offs, the world’s most famous Twenty20 tournament offers a feast of high-octane cricket to suit every palate.
While the squads, which comprise the best of Indian cricket and stars from around the world, are ready to rock, the oddsmakers have opened up options like never before.
The international betting markets offer all kinds of scenarios for adventurous punters, including predicting the outright winner of the tournament, the top batsman and bowler, how many sixes in an over and even a chance to predict who will finish at the bottom of the tournament.
Needless to say, four-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians remain the strong favourites to capture a fifth IPL but the bookmakers are not fully convinced it will happen as they are offering Rohit Sharma’s squad at an attractive price of 4/1, which by any stretch of the imagination are seriously good odds considering their record in the tournament.
Despite all that has happened within the team since their arrival in the UAE on August 21, with the shock exodus of star batsman Suresh Raina as two players and several staff members tested positive for COVID-19, CSK are a strong 11/2 second favourites to collect a third title after 2010, 2011 and 2018.
Delhi Capitals may have never won the IPL with a third-place finish being their best performance, but have the bookmakers backing to end their drought at odds of 11/2 as the joint second favourites.
The least fancied of the eight teams are Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals who are at lucrative odds of 10/1 and over.
Vying for favouritism for top batsman are Australian master-blaster David Warner of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Bangalore Royal Challengers Virat Kohli, the most prolific batsman in the world.
Hyderabad also supply the favourite in the top bowler markets in young Rashid Khan, who together with Indians’ Jasprit Bumrah and Delhi Capitals’ Kagiso Rabada are closely match at 7/1, 8/1 and 9/1.
To win the IPL
Mumbai Indians 4/1
Chennai Super Kings 11/2
Delhi Daredevils 11/2
Hyderabad Sunrisers 11/2
Royal Challengers Bangalore 6/1
Kolkata Knight Riders 6/1
Kings XI Punjab 9/1
Rajasthan Royals 10/1
Name The Finalists
Mumbai and Hyderabad 8/1
Chennai and Mumbai 9/1
Chennai and Hyderabad 10/1
Delhi and Hyderabad 12/1
Top 4 Finish
Mumbai Indians 4/9
Hyderabad Sunrisers 8/13
Chennai Super Kings 4/6
Kolkata Knight Riders 5/6