WE enter the penultimate week and three players ideally are left in the chase for relegation whereas mathematically Barney could still be relegated. Bottom two Michael Smith and rock bottom Robert Thornton play each other in a relegation battle first up this week, with Thornton playing twice.
Thornton could conceivably by the conclusion of judgment night have seven points, but will need to beat Smith and MVG on Thursday as well as Adrian Lewis next week. Smith has Thornton and Taylor and at best can finish on six points. Chisnall has Anderson and Wright with seven points as his best possible position. Barney has Lewis and MVG although his leg difference has a considerable advantage so not mathematically relegated more realistically is safe.
MVG is 3/10 to top the league despite from 5-1 drawing with Taylor last week, with the Power at 5/1 and World Champion Anderson at 11/2. MVG is still 4/5 outright to win the event with Taylor 9/2 and Flying Scotsman Anderson at 5s! Bookies are still undecided on whether we will see a nine-dart finish at this event with layers at 10/11 apiece. This comes after week seven Wayne Mardle quoting in commentary that we had not seen a 170 finish for only MVG to seal a 1/20 we would see a 170 over the 16 weeks.
This weeks fixtures:
- M Smith Vs R Thornton
- G Anderson Vs D Chisnall
- A Lewis Vs R Barneveld
- M Gerwen Vs R Thornton
- P Taylor Vs P Wright
M Smith Vs R Thornton
Tied on 4-4 (No previous PL meetings)
The pair have never met on TV with Smith winning the last three outcomes which date back to March 2013. Thornton has not beaten Smith since 2011 so with very little to go on with the head to head goes their latest performances.
Bullyboy did not play in Glasgow having the week off due to playing twice on the opening night. The week before Anderson defeated Smith with some ease. With Thornton, that night suffered a second whitewash of the campaign versus Taylor, but was much improved against Wade last week sealing four maximums in a 7-4 loss. To Robert’s credit the standard of the game was great in terms of both achieveing a ton-plus average, something Smith has not yet achieved having bested a top end 95 average in seven games.
Stat punters will be quick to check the Thornton highest average. In addition Thornton to hit the most 180’s draw no bet at 11/8. Although Thornton has not been hitting the maximums more recently we know what he is capable of. With four last week playing Smith without a TV game in two weeks may feel the rust returning to the oche.
With Smith out at 11/10, Thornton at 9/4 and the draw at 4/1, Smith has drifted slightly since opening the book at evens. The Scot is 5/6 with Skybet to not lose the game, but 9/10 with Boylesports with a 1.5 leg positive handicap. Interesting Betfair Sportsbook are 4/7 with Thornton with a 2.5 leg head start. The same bookie are 3/4 for NO first leg maximum and I like that. The pair are sure to take a little time to get in their stride. Smith has a more natural throw to the jerky throw of Thornton, but could not make a case at evens for an opening leg maximum.
G Anderson Vs D Chisnall
Anderson leads 10-3 (PL – Anderson leads 3-2)
The last time the pair played in the Premier League, Chisnall was unable to see Anderson off in the Semi-Finals losing 10-9. Chisnall won the regular campaign games with convincing victories over the the two-time Premier League and World Champion.
The pair met in the last 64 of the UK open earlier this month, where Chisnall was again edged out 9-5 by the Scot.
Anderson is best 7/10 with Chisnall 16/5 and the draw 9/2 with Bwin. Chisnall is the odds on favourite with the 180 market and having netted no less than three in every game will spur Anderson on to match the St Helen’s player will be a contender for highest scoring 180 game of the week.
Anderson showed true grit last week pocketing maximum points from his double duty and back in real contention of defending his crown. Chisnall has come across as over-rated by the layers this year and Anderson is back-able at 7/10 to win outright and evens to win 7-4 or better with Coral and betway and think this is the best way to go this week. Chisnall’s luck is down and Anderson is looking in good shape on the oche!
A Lewis Vs R Barneveld
Barney leads 27-19 (PL – Barney leads 11-4 with two draws)
Lewis has won just once since the 2013 campaign where in six meetings Lewis has lost on four occasions by a margin of three or more legs.
Barney has lost on four occasions since the last Premier League meeting having lost at the Sydney Masters in the Semi Final. In addition a runner up in New Zealand as well as losses at the first round of the World Grand Prix 2-0 at the hands of Barney. The last win for Lewis was in the Semi-final at the World Championships. The five time World Champion broke a three game losing streak last week defeating Dave Chisnall. Lewis lost last week, but in the last five has a record of WWLWLWL so perhaps
Lewis is due a win or draw this week and is 4/9 to either win or draw versus Barney. Lewis is 11/10 with Barney 15/8 and 18/5 with Marathonbet for the tie.
Lewis has had family issues quite recently, which has led to him having to take more focus on the family with the wife’s recent illness, so Lewis’s time to work has been limited as naturally as you can imagine
Barney will have seen some relief after edging Chisnall last week 7-4 to practically end his chances of relegation. Barney has been over valued in matches this term, which has led to three wins from seven. Having backed Barney in every game you would be in profit thus far.
We are not too fond of backing Lewis for too many markets through inconsistencies in game play. With recent factors offers another reason to steer clear of Lewis at the moment.
M Gerwen Vs R Thornton
Gerwen leads 14-5 (PL – Gerwen leads 3-0 with 1 draw)
This will be Thornton’s second game, where it could be game over practically for the Thorn had it be beaten by Michael Smith in the opener. In the scenario Thornton is still on one point things are very bleak. A draw does not do Thornton any good either.
MVG somehow let a 5-1 lead slip to a 6-6 draw last week, through some brilliance of Phil Taylor. Premier League stats prove that Mighty-Mike has never lost to the two-time major winner having drawn the opening outcome, has lost the following three. The last two meetings was back in the 2014 campaign, where both games went to a decider. I see no decider in this game.
MVG is 1/8 with Thornton 13/1 and the draw at a HUGE 9/1, which suggest layers give the Scot little hope in this game. Thornton is 6/7 with Marathonbet +4.5 legs, so to win this Robert will need three legs in the process. See the Scot bag four or more legs Boylesports lay 6/4, so a 40% implied chance of winning. MVG is evens with Bet365 to win 7-2 or better and 11/4 with the same firm to win 7-0 OR 7-1. No wonder layers have Thornton’s checkout line set at 79! Think the Thorn may not win a leg? Well this is buying money!
With Thornton not winning many legs according to the prices, Paddy Power bet 5/6 on the three-dart average of the Scot set at 93.50 and MVG set at a tall 106.50 at the same price.
It is worth noting in nine meetings in the last two months, MVG has lost just one, which was the World Grand Prix Final, which Thornton won last October.
P Taylor Vs P Wright
Taylor leads 16-5 (PL – Wright leads 1-0 with two draws)
Interestingly Snakebite is yet to lose to the Power in the competition having faced off three times. In the last ten spanning back to 2015 Wright has three wins, two draws and five wins for the multi-time champion. Most recently, Wright was edged in a final leg scorcher at the masters seven weeks ago. This was after revenge by Snakebites 11-9 win in November’s World Series of Darts Finals.
Taylor is best 4/5 with Boylesports and Coral, with Snakebite3/1 and the draw at 4/1. Seeing Phil in the last few weeks, it is evident that Phil has his darts sorted and his motivation is back to home in on MVG and showed his signs last week in true resilient fashion.
For Wright to win this will need an awesome display, as Taylor is sure to continue his excellent showing and is attractive on throw to win this. The target price for the maximum is evens for Taylor to hit the first maximum. He let us down last week, opting for a 174 other than a third maximum to deny us a winning bet. Phil is attractive for the opening maximum at 11/10 with several firms.
I am keen on the UK Open finalist to secure the most maximums versus Phil this week with the judgement that Phil is confident again to hit the cover shots in order to correct his line. Wright is a disappointing 8/13 with Coral on the draw no bet maximum market, but evens with Sponsors Betway to win this by one or more. Peter Wright must be mentioned that repeating four or more maximums is evens with a few major firms.
Looking at Taylor in the last few weeks, there is a definite swagger over the 55 year old legend. Wright has not done too much wrong, but has been on the back of three straight defeats. I do think Taylor will be as motivated from the back of last week and will see victory out. I cannot promise he will do this with ease, as Wright has the ability to beat anyone on his day. I do think however Taylor will do what he can to get over the line and the 4/5 is acceptable on the basis his cover shooting will be exceptional.
I do think the three dart average is set high at 103.50, where Phil has passed this landmark in just two from seven games. You can get 5/6 with Paddy Power on either outcome, but remember this will depend on how many doubles Taylor may miss, so possibly worth swerving this week.