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IPL best bets and value picks for Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. Rajasthan Royals

2015 IPL

Match 11 – 8:00pm local time on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam

Sunrisers Hyderabad – $2.00 at www.Bet365.com
Rajasthan Royals – $1.96 at CrownBet

Thursday night’s match-up in Vizag is shaping up as the hardest to call of the 2015 Indian Premier League season so far.

Bookmakers and punters alike can’t split Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals, even though the latter have replicated last year’s form with another imperious start.

The Royals sit top of the IPL table with three wins from three, having heaped more woe upon the winless Mumbai Indians with a seven-wicket victory in Ahmedabad earlier this week.

Steve Smith was the star of the show, Australia’s World Cup hero racking up a trouble-free 79 not out as Rajasthan chased down 164 with nearly a full over to spare.

Much credit must also go to Stuart Binny and Dhawal Kulkarni, whose five combined overs brought two wickets and just three boundaries as the Mumbai middle order floundered after Aaron Finch’s early retirement.

Tim Southee and new signing Chris Morris have led the line well, but concerns still linger over James Faulkner’s economy in Twenty20 cricket – even though the Aussie all-rounder bowled the only maiden of the match on Tuesday.

Shane Watson is yet to play in IPL 2015, and the Royals captain is almost certain to sit out once again as he recovers from a hip injury suffered in pre-tournament training.

That means 25-year-old Smith, who skippered the Australian Test team in Michael Clarke’s absence late last year, will be charged with the odious task of trying to stifle what is probably the most lethal top order in the competition.

David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan each made half-centuries in Sunrisers’ recent win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, the former smashing 57 off 27 balls while the latter carried his bat all the way through.

They were ably assisted by young gun Lokesh Rahul, who blasted an unbeaten 44 from 28 deliveries to seal a very cruisy eight-wicket victory with 2.4 overs left in the bank.

Hyderabad’s other opening pair was equally effective, with Trent Boult (3 for 36) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2 for 30) cleaning up to counter promising starts from Bangalore superstars Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.

Having taken 22 wickets in nine matches at the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, Boult’s form is such that he has kept Dale Steyn out of the Sunrisers side altogether – and deservedly so, according to his skipper.

“Trent Boult has been in fantastic form. Look at how he bowled in the World Cup. He was the best bowler barring Mitchell Starc,” Warner told the press this week.

“The conditions suited him here [in Bangalore] and suited him in the last game. We feel Trent is just ahead of Dale.

“We will definitely use Dale in the tournament… At the moment Trent is going fantastic so Dale just misses out.”

Possible team selections

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Lokesh Rahul, Naman Ohja, Ravi Bopara, Ashish Reddy, Karn Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Trent Boult

Rajasthan Royals: Steven Smith (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Sandhu Samson, Karun Nair, James Faulkner, Deepak Hooda, Stuart Binny, Chris Morris, Tim Southee, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe

Match predictions

Result – Sunrisers Hyderabad to win ($2.00 at Bet365.com)
Highest opening partnership – Sunrisers Hyderabad ($1.80 at Bet365)
Most match sixes – Sunrisers Hyderabad ($2.21 at CrownBet.com)

Most of the leading online sportsbooks have these two sides dead level in the head-to-head betting markets. The biggest edge we’ve seen is $0.20 to Rajasthan at Bet 365. You might be better off betting on the coin toss, to be quite honest.

If in doubt, lean towards the home side. Hyderabad have serious firepower all over the place, but look to their bowling stocks in particular. B Kumar took 20 wickets to finish third in the IPL 2014 bowling charts and Boult was New Zealand’s best player at the 2015 World Cup, while K Sharma, P Kumar, Bopara and Reddy are all capable of key contributions.

Of course, you can’t ignore Warner and Dhawan at the head of the batting order. Whether they’re posting a total or chasing one, you have to favour the two lefties to post the larger opening stand. Odds of $2.21 for most match sixes also look juicy in a market that could really go either way.

Top team batsman picks

Sunrisers Hyderabad – David Warner ($3.00 at Bet365.com)

The Aussie brute has blasted two 50s in as many games, the last coming at a strike rate of more than 200. This is not a difficult pick, although Dhawan ($3.75) and especially Rahul ($7.00) are very tempting alternatives.

Rajasthan Royals – Steve Smith ($3.75 at Bet365)

If we’ve learned anything about Smith during his rise to superstardom, it is that leadership agrees with him. He led Tuesday night’s run chase with ice-cold composure, and another top-scoring performance in Vizag would be no shock at all.

Best bets for top team bowler

Sunrisers Hyderabad – Trent Boult ($3.40 at www.Bet365.com)

Boult is just about the deadliest bowler on the planet right now. He slaughtered the 50-over World Cup, he’s keeping Steyn out of the team, and he has four IPL wickets from the first two games. Get on him.

Rajasthan Royals – Tim Southee ($4.50 at Bet365)

Another Kiwi quick, Southee has started his IPL T20 campaign well with three wickets in as many matches. It’s a toss up between him, Morris and Faulkner (the $4 favourite) in our eyes, so we’ve gone where the odds are.

Other 2015 IPL matches this week

Friday, April 17
Mumbai Indians ($2.75 at Bet365) vs Chennai Super Kings ($1.50 at Guts)

Saturday, April 18
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Daredevils
Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders

Sunday, April 19
Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians

This article was written by Jess

Jess is the editor of MobileSportsBetting.com. His job duties include everything nobody else is doing, and making sure it all gets done on time. When he gets a chance, Jess loves to write about NFL, MLB, Formula 1, and tennis betting.

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