In such a highly competitive league as IPL 2021, predicting the four teams that will finish in the top half of the table and earn a playoff place is a difficult task. At the same time, SkyBet is offering boosted odds to do just that and therefore it is well worth making those predictions based on detailed analysis of the 8 teams involved.
For the previous 3 seasons, 14 points or the equivalent of 7 wins from the 14 round robin games has been enough to finish in the top four and secure a place in the playoffs so in essence what we are trying to predict is which team can win half or more of their games in IPL 2021.
Odds on a top four finish and playoff place in IPL 2021 @2.10
As indicated in our previous article predicting the outright winner of IPL 2021, SRH represent a good shout as dark horses for the title itself and therefore I think their odds of better than evens to make the playoffs represent excellent value for money.
The Sunrisers have finished in the top four for the past 4 IPL seasons with their consistency largely thanks to the settled and balanced squad that they have assembled during that period. Last year saw them overcome injuries to several key players to still make it into the playoffs and with those players now returning to form and fitness there is no reason to believe they cannot at the very least match last season’s achievement if not better it.
Form wise SRH could well hit the ground running with Buvi and Jonny Bairstow both looking in good knick during the India vs England white ball games that have proceeded this year’s IPL. They’ll be joined a couple of the world’s top T20 players in David Warner and Rashid Khan as well as whole host of cricketers who have experience of playing and winning in the IPL. Backing SRH to finish in the top four at odds of 2.1 seems a safe prediction at a very good price.
Chennai Super Kings
Odds on a top four finish and playoff place in IPL 2021 @2.20
It’s been a while since you’ve been able to back CSK at longer than even odds to finish in the top 4 and make it to the playoffs but following a poor IPL season last year and the perception that a few of their star players are now a little bit long in the tooth the markets at least have turned against them.
Still, CSK ended just 1 win off a playoff place last year and finished the season with 3 back to back victories suggesting that they are far from done as a squad just yet. Indeed, those games at the end gave CSK a chance to showcase some of the young talent that is coming through that may be able to have an impact on this year’s tournament. It’s also worth noting that their coaching and back room set-up is as good as any other franchise meaning that a poor season is more likely to be a blip rather than an overall trend towards becoming weak side.
Another interesting fact from last year is that out of the 6 matches they did win, 3 of them came against the sides who ulitmately finished in the top 4 with CSK running Delhi Capitals very close in the other fixture. It suggests that while this team may not have been at their peak last season they still have the winning mentality and street smarts to know how to close out victories in the IPL and at odds of 2.20 they shouldn’t be underestimated to make a quick return to the upper half of the table in 2021.
Odds on a top four finish and playoff place in IPL 2021 @2.10
The favourites to win IPL 2021 and make it 3 in a row and 4 out of the last 5 years as champions are the Mumbai Indians. Understandably their odds on making the playoffs are much shorter than the two sides that we’ve already considered but for good reason.
If as we’ve discussed above, a side needs a minimum 50% win rate to qualify for the playoffs then this Mumbai Indians side which is largely unchanged over the last couple of years, is delivering a 69% win rate which in a tournament as competitive as the IPL is a phenomenal stat.
While there is no guarantee that previous form impacts future predictions, I feel that the relatively quick turn around between the 2020 IPL which was delayed by 6 months and this year’s competition which starts less that half a year later, means that momentum from last season is far more likely to be carried forward into this year. It would be a major shock if Mumbai Indians didn’t make into the top 4 in IPL 2021 and as such I’m predicting they will do so at reasonable odds of 1.29.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Odds on a top four finish and playoff place in IPL 2021 @1.80
Once again I’m going to say that RCB are poor value to be a success in IPL 2021. I would personally rate their chance of a top 4 finish at about 50/50 and as such my tip here is to lay against them on an exchange at a price of 2.2. Betfair is offering this market so you can jump in early to lay against them making the playoffs and get a very good price.
In general, RCB are one of the best supported and most overhyped franchises in T20 cricket with a collection of the world’s biggest stars but without the foundations to back up consistent success. It’s that lack of consistency which would concern me about backing them at shorter than even odds.
Odds on a top four finish and playoff place in IPL 2021 @1.57
The Capitals have been a steadily improving side over the past few years and in the round robin stage of the tournament they have won only one less game than the Mumbai Indians have over the last couple of seasons.
Again that is the sort of consistency that you should be looking for when placing a bet and with Delhi having largely kept the same side together that reached last season’s final there is no reason to suspect that they won’t at the very least make the playoffs again this year and you can back them to do so at decent odds of 1.57
Kolkata Knight Riders – You can bet on KKR to reach the playoffs at odds of 2.20 which I would say is about right but doesn’t offer particularly great value. While they only missed out on a top four finish last season on net run rate, there are a few too many question marks over some of their star players coming into the tournament to be particularly confident as to how they will perform.
Rajasthan Royals – I can only assume that Ben Stokes’ heroics in the 2nd ODI v India have contributed to some money moving towards the Royals and pushing their odds shorter. However, the injury to Jofra Archer and a few too many gaps in their squad don’t justify their price of 2.10 to make the playoffs this year.
Punjab Kings – The big outsiders for a top four finish, PBKS haven’t managed to reach the playoffs for the past 6 seasons and there seems to be very little confidence in them breaking that run during IPL2021. At the same time, we are talking about a league where anyone can beat anyone and if the odds drift much longer than 2.75 then they might be worth taking a look at to sneak a top 4 finish.
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