Ed Hawkins previews Friday's IPL action from Mumbai and is expecting big runs again - but how best to bet?
"Rahul has been price-boosted to for top Punjab bat to 11/5. But we don’t go in for back-to-back winners. Instead, Nic Pooran has huge value"
Punjab Kings v Chennai Super Kings
Friday 16 April 15.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Bowling worries return
It is early days, of course, but Punjab's expectation and aspiration that they had solved their bowling woes in the draft took a hit in game one. They came within a whisker of failing to defend 221 against Rajasthan Royals.
The form of Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith must surely improve. The pair went for a combined 104 off eight overs. Punjab won't be able to carry both if that continues and Fabian Allen may get a game sooner than he thought.
There's nowt wrong with the Kings batting on good surfaces. But we already knew that. KL Rahul topped again. Most pleasing was Deepak Hooda's destructive show. If he maintains that sort of form, Kings could make the play-offs.
Possible XI Rahul, Agarwal, Gayle, Pooran, Hooda, Sharukh, Richardson, M Ashwin, Shami, Meredith, Arshdeep
Super Kings need rethink
The Super Kings slide continued after they were well-beaten in the first outing. Defending 188 against Delhi they were beaten by seven wickets and with eight balls left.
A change of mindset is required by Chennai. They need to be more attacking. But we don't expect them to switch until they suffer a few more defeats. There is a competitive side in there but it's about getting the combinations right.
For example, if they were to use Sam Curran as a pinch hitter and drop Faf Du Plessis, they could solve the problem of slow starts. That would allow room for an out-and-out wicket-taker in Lungi Ngidi. Instead they will play safe.
Possible XI Gaikwad, Du Plessis, Moeen, Raina, Rayudu, Jadeja, Dhoni, Curran, Bravo, Thakur, D Chahar
The Mumbai surface has looked like a batters' paradise so far (note this preview is written before Rajasthan v Delhi). Eight times in the last ten 170 or more has been busted.
You should be able to back 170 or more first up at around the 1.9010/11 mark. We know Kings are capable of the rate required for that bet to cop but Chennai? Well, less so but they recovered well from a ponderous start against Delhi to go more than 180.
If Chennai do bat first the time to go long on runs could be during that first powerplay.
They are the slowest around historically and unless they split the opening pair with a hitter as we suggested you may be able to get more than 170 at odds against.
Punjab can chase
Times they are a changin'. Once upon a time Kings at 1.9010/11 to beat Chennai at 2.0421/20 would have had us choking on our tea. Not any more.
Believe it or not, the odds seem justified. Particularly if you use boundary percentages as your guide. As discussed on Cricket...Only Bettor this week, this is the key metric with 85% of matches won by the team which has the highest boundary percentage.
Kings have the edge over Chennai here. The smart play, however, might be to hope Kings chase and are going after something monstrous that their flaky bowling is susceptible to. We'd happily bet them at 2.206/5 going after 180-195.
Plenty to get stuck into here. First up is Sportsbook's 7/2 that Ngidi is top Chennai bowler. We don't expect him to play but he has the best strike rate of any man in yellow and he'd be favourite on our market.
Du Plessis has been price-boosted to 4/1 for CSK top bat. We don't actually want to bet him because he looks out of sorts but it's a wrong price by 14% on three-year win rates.
Rahul has been price-boosted to for top Punjab bat to 11/5. He is the most reliable batter in the last three years with a win rate of 40%. But we don't go in for back-to-back winners. Instead, Nic Pooran has huge value at 5/1 with almost eight points in our favour.
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