Indian Premier League Betting: Team-by-team guide

England's Alex Hales
Alex Hales has replaced David Warner
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Ed Hawkins looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the eight hopefuls with the tournament starting on Saturday...

"We are a little worried about Mumbai's power up top. Lewis is a good striker but could they do with another blitzer to partner him?"

Mumbai Indians [5.3]

Last season: Winners
Win percentage: 57%

Possible XI: 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 Rohit Sharma (capt), 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mustafizur Rahman, 10 Rahul Chahar, 11 Jasprit Bumrah.

The three-time champs and holders are the team to beat. They have failed to make the play-offs only once in the last eight. So they are fair favourites.

They appear to be much stronger with the ball than bat. Cummins, The Fizz and Bumrah are excellent options while Mitchell McClenaghan has replaced Jason Behrendofrf.

We are a little worried about power up top. Lewis is a good striker but could they do with another blitzer to partner him? Probably. They are also short on high-quality spin.

Royal Challengers Bangalore [5.5]

Last season: Group stage
Win Percentage: 51%

Possible XI: 1 Brendon McCullum, 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Sarfaraz Khan, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Colin de Grandhomme, 7 Corey Anderson, 8 Washington Sundar, 9 Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Mohammad Siraj.

Bangalore have historically offered the worst value in all of franchise cricket. Routinely they go off at short prices (usually jollies) and they stink the place out.

They have gone out at the league stage five times and after a runners-up spot in 2016 they were hugely fancied to win their first title. They didn't get out of the group again.

Sure, they can bat. Some bloke called Virat in particular. And they have the personnel which suggests they can bowl. But they have lacked discipline in the field and have a tendency to go round the park. An awful price given their form.

Sunrisers Hyderabad [7.6]

Last season: Play-offs
Win percentage: 56

Possible XI: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 7 Deepak Hooda, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 Basil Thampi.

The loss of David Warner has to go down as a blow. He was incredibly consistent and, despite what you may think of him as a person, a shrewd tactical captain. Alex Hales is not a replacement that means we will be rushing to back them.

Kane Williamson's promotion to skip doesn't wow us, either. He makes some oddball calls as a leader for New Zealand and it is doubtful as to whether he scores runs quick enough to be the first name on the team sheet.

They do have decent balance, though, thanks largely to the brilliance of Rashid Khan and Bhuv Kumar. Those two should get them out of a few holes.

Chennai Super Kings [8.0]

Last season: n/a
Win percentage: 60%

Possible XI: 1 Faf du Plessis, 2 M Vijay, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Kedar Jadhav, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Dwayne Bravo, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Imran Tahir, 11 Mark Wood.

The Super Kings are back having served their two-year ban for corruption. And not much has changed in terms of personnel. The old crew are back together with Dhoni calling the shots and Raina, Jadeja and Bravo mainstays.

Before the ban they were an extraordinary outfit (look at the win percentage), making the final six times in eight tournaments. They bagged two titles.

We doubt they have the same vim and vigour because these boys are getting on a bit now. Imran Tahir is a class acquisition, though.

Delhi Daredevils [8.2]

Last season: Group stage
Win percentage: 38%

Possible XI: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Vijay Shankar, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Jayant Yadav, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Mohammed Shami.

Sooner or later Delhi's decision to place their faith in young up-and-coming domestic players is going to pay off. After all, that is precisely the plan.

Will it be this year? Could be. Although the masterplan seems to have faded somewhat with the signings of Gautam Gambhir, Amit Mishra and Mohammad Shami. This lot are old hands.

Morris in the all-rounder slot needs a big show. Boult and Shami could be a nightmare at the death for batters to get hold of.

Kolkata Knight Riders [8.4]

Last season: Play-offs
Win percentage: 52

Possible XI: 1 Chris Lynn, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Robin Uthappa (capt), 4 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 5 Nitish Rana, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Sunil Narine, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Vinay Kumar.

Kolkata Knight Riders have won two titles and have qualified for the knockouts five times in the last seven. But they are consistently underrated and are a firm favourite for punters.

The same will be true this year. Delhi, for example, should never be shorter than this classy squad.

The big question will be fitness. Can Lynn, Russell and Narine get on the park often enough? They have already lost Mitchell Starc to injury. Tom Curran is his replacement.

Rajasthan Royals [10.0]

Last season: n/a
Win percentage: 51%

Possible XI: 1 D'Arcy Short, 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Ajinkya Rahane (capt), 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Jos Buttler (wk), 6 Sanju Samson, 7 Jofra Archer, 8 K Gowtham, 9 Shreyas Gopal, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Dhawal Kulkarni.

The loss of Steve Smith has pushed out the Royals in the betting. We don't think he will be a big miss for them. It gives Rahane, the new skip, the chance to meld a squad which, given the English contingent, were more likely to play for him than Smith.

Batting order is key. They need to get D'Arcy Short in because his strike rate of 150 is the best of any opener in the tournament. So Rahane may have to bat at No 3.

The domestic bowlers are strong and that is important. Archer is a good signing, too. Spinner though? By the way, Stokes and Buttler might not be available for the play-offs due to England duty.

Kings XI [10.0]

Last season: Group stage
Win percentage: 47%

Possible XI: 1 KL Rahul (wk), 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Karun Nair, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 David Miller, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Axar Patel, 8 R Ashwin (capt), 9 Mohit Sharma, 10 Andrew Tye, 11 Barinder Sran.

Keep your fingers crossed that Kings resist the temptation to pick Gayle regularly. If they don't they're probably guaranteed another failure to get out of the group - eight times in the last nine.

KL Rahul and Finch would be an opening partnership which should go well. And with the ball, Tye is a fantastic pick with Sran, Mohit and the excellent Aswin covering all bases.

It goes a bit wrong at Nos 4, 5 and 6, though doesn't it? None from Yuvraj, Miller and Stoinis could even spell reliability.

Ed Hawkins P-L

2018: +13.17
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l

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