The Indian Premier League starts on Saturday with the champions Mumbai hosting Chennai Super Kings, the team who were banned for two years because of corruption. But before we start to pick out individual match bets from BMR's green-listed bookmakers, we have to try to land some big-priced winners on the outright markets. These offer us the chance to win a holiday or three. Value is overflowing.
Naturally, the first port of call would be the overall winner market. However, the bookies have being doing their homework for a change and the eight teams appear to be priced up about right. Well, almost. Mumbai and Bangalore are the joint jollies at +400 (Ladbrokes, William Hill). We have no problem with Mumbai being so short, but Bangalore? No thanks. They have never won the title and start every season in the front two of the betting only to falter.
After that we just see problems, save for Kolkata and Rajasthan, who are priced at +600 (William Hill) and +800 (Bet365), respectively. But we can do better on the exchanges. Delhi have a poor historic record, likewise Kings, while Sunrisers will surely feel the loss of skipper David Warner, who was top runscorer in the whole tournament last year.
As for Chennai, their absence could hurt them. The game has moved on apace since they last played, and they appear to have been foolish by recruiting the same crew who weren’t up to scratch the last time they played. So the +800 (William Hill) that they finish bottom of the group stage is our starting wager.
The top runscorer market offers perhaps the best value of all. Openers dominate here because they get the opportunity to bat for longest and during the power-play overs when runs are supposed to be easier to come by. This means we swerve favourite Virat Kohli at +600 with Ladbrokes. The names to check are Chris Lynn, Evin Lewis, Aaron Finch and Colin Munro. All are renowned blitzers who should give you an each-way return.
Lynn, who we have tipped to be top Kolkata runscorer, is +1600 with Ladbrokes and William Hill. Lewis will open for Mumbai, so he should get a good run of games. He is the same price with the same firm as Lynn. These two would be our best picks.
Finch is +2500 with Ladbrokes. We would have him as opener, but Kings XI may be tempted to move him around the top four. Munro will definitely open for Delhi and gets a +2500 quote from Bet365, William Hill and Ladbrokes.