RCB need to score very quickly to retain hopes of a top-two finish. Paul Krishnamurty offers a betting plan to exploit this last-ditch scenario...
"One market where RCB massively appeal is Team to Hit the Most Sixes, at 11/10. Regardless of today's specific need for rapid scoring, they have hit 74 in the competition compared to 48 for Delhi."
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Delhi Capitals
Friday, 15:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
Earlier today, I felt sure this final match of the group stage would be a dead rubber. Delhi are already certain of a top-two finish and therefore two cracks at reaching the final. RCB cannot finish below third and could only finish second if Chennai lost to Punjab, by some margin.
RCB hopes of a top-two still alive
Pressure does funny things, though. Besides Faf Du Plessis, CSK flopped badly and rapid chase from Punjab later, its game on. RCB still need to win this by a massive margin, as they trail Chennai on net run-rate by 0.614. However if there is one batting line-up capable of breaking scoring records, this is it.
Cue massive uncertainty. RCB have understandably shortened up to 1.814/5 to win this match and may well go off shorter. However as the Chennai match or indeed RCB's previous result shows, these are not scenarios to be banking on short-odds favourites. What if RCB go off hell for leather and lose quick wickets? What if the lack of particular motivation allows Delhi to relax and go for it themselves?
One minor incentive for Delhi is that a win would equal the best ever performance in the group stages. Only Rajasthan in the inaugural IPL of 2008, and Kings XI Punjab in 2014, managed to accumulate 22 points.
Delhi overseas bowlers to be rested?
For me, they are the best side in this and definitely superior to RCB. Better balanced and, as we may see here, boasting superior depth. Their only two players in contention for top batsman or bowler awards are Shikhar Dhawan and Avesh Khan. Beyond that, anyone could be entitled to a rest. Expect changes and an experimental order.
I would have thought it makes best sense to rest bowlers, so swerve Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje in the top bowler market. Try Umesh Yadav at 5/1 instead. Dropping either opens up overseas players slots so I think we can bank on Shimron Hetmeyer playing. 11/1 about the West Indian makes sense to be their top runscorer.
Sixes match bet stands out
Whilst I am wary of betting on the match result, (toss bias is also a factor, with chasers enjoying a big advantage towards the end of this season), I do prefer RCB. One market where they massively appeal is Team to Hit the Most Sixes, at 11/10. Regardless of today's specific need for rapid scoring, they have hit 74 in the competition compared to 48 for Delhi. Clearly, these odds are wrong.
Annoyingly, having taken 16/1 to top-score, Dan Christian failed again at number three last time for RCB. Theoretically, 12/1 appeals in the hope he will remain promoted, but there are other options. The value in this market is probably A.B. De Villiers at 11/2. If I were Kohli, I'd open with him and Devdutt Padikkal.
Try the South African in that market, while backing Padikkal for man of the match. I put this up in the latest episode of Cricket...Only Bettor for various reasons. Chiefly, chasers are enjoying an advantage and I can definitely envisage him leading a very rapid pursuit in the second innings, doing enough to win the match honours.
Regarding 1st Innings Runs, wait for the toss. Par is falling rapidly at Dubai. If Delhi bat first, I'd be up for laying 150 or more around 1.75/7. However there is no sense in taking on RCB unless the market over-reacts to the scenario and sets it much higher. In any case, I wouldn't want to take a position counter to the aforementioned sixes bet.
Listen to more IPL tips on the latest episode of Cricket...Only Bettor
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty
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