Mumbai: Delhi Daredevils have entered the semi-finals of both the editions of IPL i.e., 2008 and 2009, but have failed to go further. This has prompted the Indian and English bookies to pin Gautam Gambhir"s men as favourites to win Season III, which begins on Friday in Mumbai.
Bookies are impressed with a batting line-up that includes Virender Sehwag, Tillakaratne Dilshan, captain Gambhir, David Warner, AB de Villiers and Paul Collingwood as well as the in-form Dinesh Karthik
Add to that a bowling attack that has proven performers like Dirk Nannes, Ashish Nehra, Daniel Vettori and Amit Mishra being buttressed by the entry of South African Wayne Parnell and the balance does look enviable.
English bookmakers Ladbrokes and William Hill are offering returns of Rs 5 and Rs 4.5 respectively - or earnings of Rs 4 and Rs 3.5 - on every rupee bet on the Daredevils winning the tourney, while Indian bookies are offering Rs 4.1 for every rupee.
IPL 2010: Fixture - Teams - Points - Orange-Purple
The bookmakers, however, can"t quite see eye-to-eye on the rest of the teams, although Kolkata Knight Riders are not surprisingly in the bottom half on all their forecasts. Ladbrokes and William Hill both see Chennai Super Kings - the only team apart from the Daredevils to figure in the semi-finals in both seasons - as a team running Gambhir"s men close.
William Hill is offering Rs 5.5 and Ladbrokes Rs 5 for every rupee bet on Dhoni"s Chennai Super Kings. The difference is that Ladbrokes has current champions Deccan Chargers sharing second spot with Chennai.
Indian bookies, however, see Chennai as the team fifth most likely to win IPL-3. In their view, the team most likely to challenge Delhi is the Anil Kumble-led Bangalore Royal Challengers, last year"s runners-up. Ladbrokes has Bangalore in fourth spot and William Hill has them sharing the slot with the Deccan Chargers.
The spread of the odds also suggests that Ladbrokes sees the tournament as a much closer contest than either Indian bookies or William Hill.