The IPL matches are yet to start but betting on the IPL has taken off already. In countries such as UK, sports betting is legal and billions of dollars change hands every year on various sporting events including cricket. Websites like Bet365 accept bets from several countries where it is legal to bet on sporting events. While betting on all cricketing events is offered, the IPL is attracting a great amount of interest.
The Delhi Daredevils are the favorites in IPL betting currently with odds offered for them being 5.50. This means for every $1 bet on them, the person betting will get $5.50 if they win the IPL tournament. The longest odds are for Deccan Chargers. They're available at 13 to 1. This means every $1 bet on them will get a return of $13 if they win. Other odds include 7.50 for Shah Rukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders, 6.50 for the Ambani owned Mumbai Indians and 7 for Preity Zinta's Kings XI Punjab. Chennai Superkings are also serious contenders and the odds are 5 while Rajasthan Royals are available for 9.
Betting is also underway for the best batsmen and bowler. Surprisingly the batsman most likely to be the top scorer according to Bet365 is not Sachin Tendulkar or even last year's superhero Shawn Marsh but Virendra Sehwag for whom the odds are a measly 10. So if you place $1, you get $10 if Viru turns out to be the top scorer. The odds for Shawn Marsh was much longer at 41. This means a return of $41 on each dollar. Yuvraj Singh is available at odds of 21 while Dhoni has odds of 26, Rahul Dravid has odds of 41 and Saurav Ganguly is at 34.
The longest odds for a batsman are for Mohammad Ashraful, who was acquired by the Mukesh Ambani owned Mumbai Indians at his base price of 75,000 dollars on February 6 at the IPL auctions in Goa. The return on a $1 bet is $101 in case Ashraful turns out to be the top scorer. This is not surprising considering that Ashraful has in his eight year long ODI career scored only one century and has an average score of 23.
There is also active betting on who the top wicket taking bowler will be. South African cricketer Dale Steyn is the hot favorite with the shortest odds of 11 while Muralitharan and Harbhajan Singh are very close at 15. Ashish Nehra and L Balaji are going for 51, indicating that the bookies do not expect them to turn in a superlative performance. Betting is also being offered on individual matches.