The 2023 Indian Premier League begins Friday as 10 teams once again look to capture the top domestic league’s biggest prizer. The Gujarat Titans are the defending champions, taking down the Rajasthan Royals in last year’s final. Given how close the margins are for this competition, it’s hard to predict exactly which teams will be fighting for the title by the end of the season. However, that uncertainty creates potential value for bettors.
Here’s a look at the title odds for the 2023 tournament courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Gujarat Titans (+550)
The reigning champs are slight favorites and bring back most of the key contributors from last season. Haridk Pandya will once again captain this side and hope to replicate his tremendous form from a year ago. David Miller, Rashid Khan, Shubman Gill and Mohammad Shami are all back to create a solid core. If Miller can continue to be a strong finisher and Khan’s all-around skills hold, this team should be in the mix for the playoffs.
The other contenders
Mumbai Indians (+600)
2022 was a season to forget for Mumbai, but this is often a tournament where things regress to the mean over the long run. The Indians are the most successful franchise in this league, winning five titles overall. They are two years removed from the postseason, which is almost unheard of with this team. A strong batting lineup featuring Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Tim David give fans some hope but Jasprit Bumrah’s injury and uncertainty among other pace bowlers might leave this team thin in that department.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (+600)
Virat Kohli returns to RCB, who have notoriously fallen short of the title despite often featuring some of the league’s best players. This unit is once again heavy on batters, but Rajat Patidar’s status is up in the air. Can the all-rounders, like Glenn Maxwell, Wanindu Hasaranga and Shabaz Ahmed provide enough support across all aspects of the game to make this a balanced team? That will likely determine how far RCB can go in this year’s IPL.
Delhi Capitals (+600)
Obviously, Rishabh Pant being absent takes a lot of wind out from Delhi’s sails. Prithvi Shaw and David Warner are a great opening pair but Pant was the dynamic presence this team needed to content. Mitchell Marsh is in good form and Manish Pandey is a proven IPL performer, so Delhi could have enough juice with the bat to make some noise. Losing Kagiso Rabada in the auction hurts tremendously, but Lungi Ngidi is a decent replacement. The Capitals should be competitive but they won’t be title contenders unless Shaw and Warner deliver massive seasons.
Rajasthan Royals (+600)
The Royals cruised to last year’s final on Jos Buttler’s bat before being undone by the Titans. The English wicketkeeper returns, along with a host of other explosive players. Sanju Samson, Shimron Hetmyer and Devdutt Padikkal should all be big factors for this team. The Royals lack some good pace options behind Trent Boult and the overall bowling department doesn’t have enough depth. It’s hard to see Buttler replicating the season he had in 2022, so can the other batters raise their game to provide more support for him?
Best bet to win the title: Gujarat Titans (+550)
There are three clear-cut tiers in IPL 2023 according to the oddsmakers. There are the five teams listed above, three teams in the middle tier (Lucknow +700, Punjab +800, Chennai +800) and two teams at the bottom (Kolkata +900, Hyderabad +1000). There have only been two instances where a reigning champion has repeated, and there are enough reasons to see how Titans won’t repeat.
However, every other team has more question marks at this point. The Indians might not have pace bowlers, the Capitals don’t have arguably their best player and RCB have routinely failed to win this event. The Royals are unlikely to get another superhuman season from Buttler. The Titans were the first team since Hyderabad in 2016 where the championship they captured was the franchise’s first. Basically, it’s unlikely a team that has never won the championship will win it this year. Back the Titans, who offer tremendous value at +550, to repeat as champs in IPL 2023.