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The fast-paced frenzy of Twenty20 cricket is often more appealing to television viewers than more lengthy test matches, and the glitz and glamour draws in the punters too.
The T20 Indian Premier League (IPL) offers cricket betting fans a number of exciting matches to bet on in a short-term, league-based format, which runs from the start of April to the end of May.
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As Twenty20 cricket consists of, as the name suggests, an innings of 20 overs per team, matches only last for around two hours, and teams therefore go all out for victory. These thrilling matches lend themselves to a huge range of betting markets, both pre-match and in-play.
As games are so short, in-play odds can vary massively as momentum shifts from one side to another, allowing clever punters the chance to pull in big returns if they place their bets at the right time.
The betting markets offered for the IPL range from simple match win bets through to the top team batsman, the method of the next dismissal, and the number of sixes in a match. You can even bet on who will win the coin toss.
While a number of these are down to pure luck, there are a few markets (such as a team's top batsman) for which you can do your research by looking at the wealth of player statistics available.
However, betting on IPL matches in-play is where some of the best money can be made. A good example of how in-play prices can swing, allowing you to back favourites at slightly longer odds or to cash-out at profitable moments, is the nail-biting tie between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils in 2013.
Before the match, Bangalore, who were then second in the league, were favourites at 1.61, with bottom of the league Delhi offered at 2.25 on the Betfair exchange. Delhi were first to bat and hit a score of 152 for 5. As Bangalore stepped up to bat they were still strong favourites, and halfway through their innings they were very much odds-on to win the match. Delhi turned on the style however, managing to limit Bangalore's promising score of 129-2 to just 152-7 at the end of the innings, taking the match to a Super Over and consequently shortening Delhi’s odds substantially.
Bangalore went on to win the final over, with Delhi falling short by one run. However, the match showed that if you catch odds at the right moment, you can land a valuable win, with anyone who had backed Delhi at longer odds able to cash-out on Betfair when the Daredevils' odds shortened.
With around 70 matches taking place over a period of two months, the season gives you plenty of opportunity to introduce IPL matches into your cricket betting strategy. As Delhi proved, underdogs can put up a worthy fight, and matches can be full of surprises, meaning that the Betfair exchange can be a good platform to profit from swings in momentum.
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