MICHAEL VAN GERWEN was the 10-11 outrigght favourite to win the William Hill Darts World Championship before his game with Raymond van Barneveld, who was as big as 40-1 with some firms.
An epic match which saw the five-time World Champion van Barneveld, who last lifted the trophy in 2007, defy an average of 105.78 and a 170 checkout from by odds-on title favourite van Gerwen to move into the last eight. The former Grand Slam and Premier League champion also averaged over 100 in a dramatic contest between the best two players ever to come out of the Netherlands, taking the deciding set 3-1 as he sealed victory with a sweet 96 checkout.
Defending Champion Gary Anderson has been installed as the new favourite at a general 11-4, with Phil Taylor in at 4-1, Adrian Lewis at 9-2 and last night’s Dutch hero at 8-1. Anderson is 6-4 with Sportingbet to reach the final, but will have to beat Wade, then the winner of Norris and Webster and Taylor and Klassen, who face off tonight. Another market I was willing to take on at this stage is not to see a nine dart finish although this was 11-10 overnight has been pushed in to 8-13 and worth leaving aside.
The final evening of 2015 takes place and there is three more places to be decided for Friday’s last eight.
Peter Wright 5-6 Vs Dave Chisnall 6-5 – Chisnall leads 9-4
Alan Norris 6-5 Vs Mark Webster 4-5 – no previous meetings
Phil Taylor 5-19 Vs Jelle Klassen 7-2 – Taylor leads 11-2
Wright and Chisnall face off again, where they have met in two of the last three majors. Both have gone Chisnall’s way. Wright has won just two of the last six meetings, but just one win in 2015. Chisnall is 6-5 with Sponsors William to make it a clean sweep on TV in 2015. Chisnall is as short as 8-15 to win the 180 count, but am looking at a bet, which is PRO Wright but the 180 line expects Snakebite to hit eight or more maximums at even money. Not a bet we fancy in the event either player wins 4-0. Bookies have the highest checkout line covered at 121.50 at 5-6. A bet we will have a small dabble on is for the game to go some distance. Bwin offer 42-41 on the game seeing more than 23 legs and this is the bet for us.
Mark Webster and Alan Norris face off for the first time and what better to be on stage. Layers have favoured the Welsh Spider to reign supreme. Norris has played excellent at times to see the quarter-final in sight. Webster will be looking to break the top 16 again if he can make the quarter-finals. Norris will almost certainly push some top 32 regulars down a spot with his performances and prize money gained in his opening year. Norris is a solid even money price to hit more than one more maximum than Webby at Skybet and has hit 15 180s in 33 legs compared to Webster’s 58 legs has hit 12 since the World Series, including the Players Championship finals.
Taylor and Klaasen tow the oche last and the reaction from MVG being knocked out may give Phil more belief he can win another crown. The issue we have with Klaasen is that he has a tendency to be inconsistent, and with Taylor playing hot and cold also, this is a game I am willing to leave aside.
Chisnall/Wright – over 22.5 legs – 42/41 Bwin (1.5 pts)
Norris -1 180s Vs Webster – 1/1 Skybet (3pts)