THE William Hill World Championship toes the oche from Thursday right through to Sunday January 3 where we will see the crowning of the next champion.
The prize money has risen through sponsors’ William Hill‘s recent five-year commitment with Chairman Barry Hearn suggesting the winner could be pocketing an mouth-watering £500,000 by 2020. The prize fund has increased which will see the winner trouser a cool £300,000.
World No.1Michael van Gerwen heads the betting at 5/4 with Skybet and is winner of the previous four TV events at the Players Championships, World Series of Darts, Grand Slam of Darts and European Championships. It is hard to oppose Mighty Mike the form he has shown during 2015 as he looks to win back the title he held in 2014.
Phil Taylor comes next in the betting at 5/1 with BetVictor but is without a TV major for almost 18 months now and despite his form being decent of late he is looking increasingly vulnerable under pressure. With the standard of darts catching up Phil is able to make the final her, but will have to overcome some tricky ties en-route.
Gary Anderson to retain his title at 7/1 is a play, although I was given professional advice on an 8/1 price found as a value bet. The Flying Scotsman will surely be pulling out all the stops in defence of his title and if anyone can stop MVG it could be Gary.
There could be some resistance from the likes of Taylor who occupies the same half of the draw.
Looking at the prices in general I can independently suggest that although not the best priced bet365 are fairly comprehensive especially with their inplay coverage. Marathonbet and Betfair sportsbook tend to offer attractive markets. Similarly said with Skybet with their breadth of marketswhich does apply to all three but not forgetting Coral and Paddy Power who often show some intentions on match outcomes rather more than sitting on the fence at 5/6 pokes.
One of my personal plays was taking Skybet at Under 632.50 180s but this line has gone now at the time of writing. I have analysed the pricing the first-round matches to seek out any value.
Having taken priceless advice, listening and learning from a gambling mogul Tony Ansell (@progambler47) has changed my attitude on how to bet, when to bet, the importance of GOOD information and valuations of markets to 100% to seek out where the value is.
I am able to share an antepost bet with you which remains at 100/30 with BetVictor. Peter Wright is 10/3 and a player I am willing to back as he has been to the final with possible challenger Adrian Lewis in his way. The only threat in my opinion for Wright making the quarter-final will be Dave Chisnall.
Dave has the edge over snakebite leading the head to head 9-1-4, with Wright winning just two of the last eight with a draw thrown in dating back two years.
Looking at Thursday’s play one bet I do like is Gurney to beat Jamie Lewis at 11/10 with Coral. This really is a close game and I price this as a coin flip so anything above evens for the Irishman Gurney is worth a bet. Since the beginning of October both have had similar form with Gurney boasting a 15-8 winning record and Lewis a 16-9 record in recent form. Gurney is 2 from 3 on the head to head and made such a good account for himself at the last event.
In addition to this bet I do like Wright minus 1.5 sets v Keegan Brown! Wright has become reliable and do expect a dominant display from Snakebite on the same stage he was runner-up just two years ago. His opponent Brown has not shown the type of form that sparks confidence and compared to the colourful Scot and a 3-0 or 3-1 scoreline looks more than likely. It is worth noting the -1.5 implied percentages at the time of writing is nearly 2% favourable over dutching 3-0 and 3-1!