Read our IPL preview to find out what is new for 2018, who are the favourites, the latest betting offers and how to watch live.

The Indian Premier League is a T20 tournament consisting of eight city franchises. The format is that each team plays each other twice, once at home and once away. Once the league games are complete, the top four teams enter the playoffs. First plays second. The winner of that match goes straight into the final. Third then play fourth, and the winner of the match play the loser of the first playoff match for a chance to be in the final.

The popularity and money involved in Indian Premier League cricket are quite astonishing. It’s the most attended cricket league globally, including Australia’s Big Bash. Out of all the sports globally, it ranks sixth.  It is, however, the auction process which helps build a lot of coverage.

This year sees the return of the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals. Both teams were suspended for two years due to involvement in spot-fixing.

It also sees the introduction of DRS (decision review system) for the first time after the board gave the go-ahead.

Indian Premier League Betting Offers

There are three offers currently available for the IPL.

  • Unibet –  Back a team to win, and if they score 180 but fail to win the match, Unibet will refund your losing stake in cash. This is the best offer available at the moment, as although it’s 5 more runs than the offers below, the refund is paid as a cash.
  • Paddy Power – Back a team to win, and if they score 175 but fail to win the match, Paddy Power will refund your losing stake as a free bet. The max free bet you can earn from this is £20.
  • Boylesports – Boylesports have the same offer as Paddy Power above, with the same free bet maximum of £20.

How To Watch the IPL live

Sky hold the rights to broadcast the IPL in the UK and you can see all the action on Sky Sports Cricket, channel 404.

They will be broadcasting 60 matches from this year’s T20 tournament on Sky Sports. You will be able to stream it on Sky Go.

IPL Outright Winner Betting Odds

The Bangalore Royal Challengers will start as tournament favourites. All odds shown are accurate at the time of publishing and are supplied by 10Bet. They are subject to change.

  • Bangalore Royal Challengers – 4.15
  • Mumbai Indians – 5.50
  • Kolkata Knight Riders – 7.00
  • Chennai Super Kings – 7.00
  • Sunrisers Hyderabad  7.50
  • Kings XI Punjab – 8.00
  • Rajasthan Royals – 10.00
  • Delhi DareDevils – 12.00

How The 2018 IPL Auction Worked

Each team had a budget of about £9m and had to spend at least 75% of it to ensure a squad of between 18 and 25 players.

There were a total of 578 players who were part of the auction, although only 182 players would actually be bought. Each player had a ‘base price’. That is the price at which bidding starts. The action then followed a conventional format, with each franchise bidding to secure a player. The base price varied according to the tier of the player (tier one had a base price of £221,000).

Teams can have a maximum of eight overseas players, only four of which can be used for any particular match.

The right-to-match system introduces an interesting and potentially strategic card. A team can retain between two and four players that have previously had. Their bid will automatically match the highest bid paid for that player, retaining them. If a team knows that another team will match a player, they may be inclined to bid higher than they would do otherwise, effectively forcing them to pay a higher price. It’s a bit of a gamble though.

If the team doesn’t match the player, the team will themselves pay more for them.

Here were the top ten most expensive players for IPL 11.

  1. Ben Stokes: Rs 12.5 Crore
  2. Jaydev Unadkat: 11.5 Crore
  3. KL Rahul: Rs 11 Crore
  4. Manish Pandey: 11 Crore
  5. Chris Lynn: 9.6 Crore
  6. Mitchell Starc: Rs 9.4 Crore
  7. Glenn Maxwell: Rs 9 Crore
  8. Rashid Khan: 9 Crore
  9. Krunal Pandya: 8.8 Crore
  10. Sanju Samson: 8 Crore

They will get paid a pro-rata amount of their fee based on how many games they can play. Certainly, the sums of money involved can be life-changing for players. One domestic tournament lasting about six weeks, and the players can earn double what the ECB pay an England test player in an entire year. That has got to provide a challenge to maintain motivation and drive for other forms of cricket.