With the 13th staging of the Indian Premier League due to commence later this month, punters are already contemplating who to back for the title. The most obvious choices will be Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings, teams who have heavily featured in the last three finals. While Mumbai Indians - the defending champions - have won two of the last three competitions, Chennai have made an appearance in the last two finals, narrowly missing out on back-to-back trophies last year after suffering a one-run defeat. However, given the personnel changes which have taken place ahead of the upcoming tournament, we feel that you should be looking for better value than backing the proven teams.
When doing your ipl betting online, Kolkata Knight Riders should be grabbing your attention. In a highly-competitive league last season, the 2012 champions only missed out on a place in the semi-finals on net run-rate, undermining the efforts of their team and, more specifically, Andre Russell. The West Indies star chipped in 510 runs and 11 wickets from 14 appearances, ultimately leading to the all-rounder being handed the Player Of The Tournament award. The 31-year-old will inevitably require help to take the Knight Riders to the top, and he will get that in the form of England's Eoin Morgan and Australia's Pat Cummins, players who could walk into any one-day team in the world. Should the trio make full use of their respective qualities, both on and off the pitch, their side will make a mockery of the pre-tournament odds, with most bookmakers regarding them as fifth favourites.
The star trio will require help from their teammates, particularly the domestic Indian players who are more accustomed to the conditions, but the Knight Riders can only benefit from the emergence of Tom Banton. Although the young Englishman did not necessarily impress during his spell with Pakistani outfit Peshawar Zalmi earlier this year, the experience on the sub-continent can surely only aid the 21-year-old's development as a future star of the game. His performances for Somerset last season proved enough to earn him international recognition, and the platform is there for him to produce match-winning displays in an under-rated team.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are also being tipped to make their mark on this year's competition as they bid to end their four-year wait for a second crown. Their main objective was to retain each of the star names, and the likes of David Warner, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey and Rashid Khan have all remained at the franchise. With Mitchell Marsh also being thrown into the equation, it makes for a formidable first XI and it would come as a surprise if they do not earn a place in the semi-finals at the very least. Are they worth backing at betting odds at 9/2? Probably, but anything can happen in the semi-finals, and we feel that should lead you to taking a chance on Kolkata.