Ed Hawkins picks out the best side markets value for Sunday's matches in the IPL and pins his hopes on long-trend reliability...
"What swings it for Kohli is, of course, his higher probability but also excellent head-to-head records"
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders
Sunday 18 April, 11:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
V for victory
It is early days but despite Bangalore's two wins from two, the decision by Virat Kohli to open is not working out. He has been a hindrance rather than a help so far, putting his team in trouble with ponderous displays.
He is costing punters too. Twice he has gone off at prices giving us an edge in terms of three-year win rate. Twice he has not delivered. And both innings he has got starts. We should probably keep the faith for third-time lucky with Sportsbook price-boosting him to 12/5, an edge of 2.2%. Dev Paddikal is a threat at 7/2 to Kohli. His win rate is 25%, giving up 2.8%.
What swings it for Kohli is, of course, his higher probability but also excellent head-to-head records against Andre Russell (strike rate 147), Harbhajan Singh (123) and Shakib al Hasan (132). Against Pat Cummins he strikes at 100 but is yet to lose his wicket to the Aussie. He needs to deliver here with Sportsbook likely to end their run of boosting his odds.
AB De Villiers is not a wager as explained in this article, highlighting the importance of batting order.
For Kolkata, Nitish Rana is going for three top-bat wins in a row. He has boosted his win rate to 23.3%. Sportsbook are not convinced, though, and still go 3/1. The 13/2 about Andre Russell is giving us a two-point edge.
With the ball Varun Chakratharvy returns 50% of the time in his short IPL career. On a spin-friendly surface in Chennai he should go well at 3/1 for top KKR bowler. Likewise Yuz Chahal at 11/4 for RCB.
*Read the full preview here
Delhi Capitals v Punjab Kings
Sunday 18 April 11.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
KL stands out
Two of the most reliable batters for top runscorer honours in IPL - KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan - are in action in game two.
Sportsbook have boosted them both to 9/4 (30.8) and 12/5 (29.4) respectively. Rahul wins 40% of the time and Dhawan (28.2). Rahul is the only wrong price available on the top bats.
With the ball we will stick with Kagiso Rabada for top Delhi bowler. He returns 56.3% of the time so we're happy to play at 9/4.
Ed Hawkins P-L
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. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l & COB Best Bets year end