THE PDC World Matchplay Darts gets under way in Blackpool today with Phil Taylor looking to win the event for the 16th time.
The Power hasn’t lost the crown since 2007 – an incredible 35-match winning streak – but he has to play second fiddle in the betting stakes to dazzling Dutchman Michael van Gerwen, the 15-8 favourite at the likes of Paddy Power and Skybet.
Taylor is 10-3 at BetVictor and Ladbrokes while my money will be on Gary Anderson. The Flying Scotsman rises to the big occasion – he beat van Gerwen on his way to lifting both the World Championships and Premier League titles this year – and is decent value at 11-2 with the likes of Betfair, Betfred and Totesport.
Pick of today’s first-round action is Peter Wright versus fellow Premier League player Kim Huybrechts while Jelle Klaasen will fancy his chances against Simon Whitlock.
Van Gerwen begins his title bid against Benito van de Pas and Adrian Lewis hopes to avoid a shock against Joe Murnan.
It’s a crucial day of Davis Cup tennis with Britain and France locked at 1-1 in their quarter-final heading into the doubles rubber and both countries are 10-11 at Skybet to reach the semis.
In the Ashes cricket, England have it all to do as they try to avoid defeat. The Aussies declared on 556-8 and the hosts, who resume on 85-4, are now a massive 40-1 at Paddy Power for victory. It’s likely the best they can hope for is a draw – 5-2 at Titanbet – while the Aussies are 2-5 at StanJames.
Other highlights on a packed Saturday of sport include stage 14 of the Tour de France and international rugby so let’s hear your tips and thoughts and good luck with your bets.
Scott’s darts bet
Anderson to win the World Matchplay