THE PDC Masters entertains the initial TV event of what will be the busiest PDC calender and ITV have the pleasure of screening the first TV event of the year.
The PDC masters is a top 16 invitational event, so there is no major at stake here. With the order of merit at the end of the World Championship suffices the line up.
- Michael van Gerwen (1) v Simon Whitlock (16)
- Mensur Suljovic (8) v Jelle Klaasen (9)
- James Wade (5) v Robert Thornton (12)
- Adrian Lewis (4) v Kim Huybrechts (13)
- Gary Anderson (2) v Benito van de Pas (15)
- Dave Chisnall (7) v Raymond van Barneveld (10)
- Phil Taylor (6) v Michael Smith (11)
- Peter Wright (3) v Ian White (14)
The outright sees MVG at a well covered 8/13 with Sportingbet and with good reason. Gary Anderson is as BIG as 7/1 to repeat the world final less than four weeks ago against Gerwen. Wright is 12/1 with Taylor 16's, Lewis 28's and 33/1 above for the rest.
Be aware that bookmakers are 1/3 term odds for all each way punts!
The last time MVG and Whitlock faced off was on the eve of the World Championship but under the best of eleven leg format. The masters sees the opening game and quarter final over a race to ten legs, with the semi and final the race to eleven! With this format MVG will be difficult to beat in a three session game!
With the potential hangover for the major stars returning to the fold, all the Premier League lineups involved will be a good practice run before the first event next Thursday.
Dave Chisnall and Raymond van Barneveld will open up the proceedings at the MK Arena and the betting makes Chisnall at evens with Barney the marginal favourite at 19/20. The head to head has the five time world champion with a 10-5 advantage over the St Helen's chucker with Chisnall reigning in their last meeting. Over the Premier League format last year Dave lost this and with the run both had at the World Championships no wonder compilers are split on this.
Both players may set up different to this. Barney was disappointed in not lifting the World Title, which he stated on camera, whereas Chisnall's credible quarter final exit makes this difficult to call. Despite the match prices, over 16.5 legs is still 5/6 with Skybet.
Bookmaker Bwin are 11/13 on a 180 in the opening leg and I always tend to favour the no outcome, which is at the same price! One to dwell on! I do think Chisnall is correctly priced, as there is no knowing what barneys words at the Worlds has done to his frame of mind, therefore evens on Chisnall to edge it is worth taking on the view of him taking the early lead and trading out during the match!
For short price backers, taking wins for Taylor, Anderson and Wright in the other three games bags less than 3/4 with Marathonbet with a Taylor/Wright win solid at 1/2 with Coral.
Michael Smith resurrected his game at the World Championships and faces a part time Phil Taylor who will endeavour to maximise at all events he is still involved in. Having dropped to number six in the rankings, Taylor has made it clear he will now play in the events he is in by right. My general even money target on Taylor 1st 180 is not available at present but with few compilers pricing look out for the Taylor price.
Anderson faces PDC awards dinner gong winner Benito van de Pas, who is an emerging superstar in the world of darts. Anderson will not be as the easiest opponent for Benito but to potentially see the first five legs go the distance which is 8/5 for 2-2 in the first four legs with bet365. Anderson is 3-1 to win the best of the opening four with Pas 5/1 on the same scoreline, the same price for Anderson to lead 4-0 and a MASSIVE 28/1 on BIG BEN to do the deed. The former two-time World Champion is 2/9 for the highest average, which is a banker in my view with the inconsistencies with Benito's game will see his average blunt down!
Looking at Saturdays action I like the look of Klaasen over Suljovic at 11/13. Jelle enjoyed a modest run at the pro tour finals and a credible last 16 at the world championships. Mensur however dipped in form with first round exits in these events. Although a close encounter in the last meeting, expect the class of Jelle to proceed at 9/10 with Matchbook and 17/20 with Sportingbet.
Wade and Thornton has the potential to be a good match with mid 90 averages with the machine winning the last three encounters. I am willing for a small punt on a longer lasting game, as Thornton's strategy for the season is practice before the UK open qualifiers, whereas Wade has the Premier League to contend with. Over 16.5 is a shade of value at 11/10 with Sportingbet.
The 170 checkout on the antepost poses a take at 2/1 for it NOT to happen at the event. I was reliably informed by this, before I had the chance to assess the market, but Coral's 2/1 is worth a go seeing as there has not been one at the event after the break from the worlds could be the potential value.