THE PREMIER LEAGUE has dawned on us yet again as another 16 week marathon event every Thursday captures our viewing, and for some of us gets us through those tough Winter months as we fall into Spring. The format remains the same as recent campaigns with a straight game of a best of twelve legs without any breaks.
The line up sees returns from Kim Huybrechts and Jelle Klaasen, who joins reigning champion MVG, Anderson, Taylor, Wright, Lewis, Wade, Chisnall and Barneveld.
Over the next sixteen weeks we will see two stars drop out after week 10, which has in recent years been called “Judgement Night”
Looking at the betting for this, the reigning world champion Michael van Gerwen is the heavy 8/13 favourite to retain his crown. This price has not shifted despite a dominant return to the TV screens this last weekend lifting the masters crown yet again!
Gary Anderson is the closest rival in the betting at 5/1 generally with Peter Wright 12/1, Taylor 16/1 and the rest at 25/1 or bigger.
With many ante-post markets, one which has caught our eye is Betway's highest average line, and despite MVG's 123.40 against Smith and 117.93 against Thornton last year is still a tall task to ask for and think Betway have placed this line high at 117.50 especially at evens for under and 8/11 for over this. This in our view has plenty of mileage and will be one of our season bets!
Betway as sponsors have priced up the total 180s in the first nine weeks and have hit the bar at 296.50, again which is a relatively high line despite last season seeing 280 and is 5/6 either way. The same firm bet a total of 460.50 for the entire premier league season at the same price.
There is no real value in the to or not to qualify markets this year, but layers seems to be sure to the extend of around 60% that there will be a 9 dart finish. The 13/8 on no appeals more, although the standard is heading to places once thought unlikely.
You have to consider the 6/4 price on MVG to hit the most 180s. There is danger from Anderson and Chisnall as the most likely candidates in the maximum field, with Betway pushing the 6/4 with other major firms holding back at even money.
Onto the regular week*:
- Huybrechts Vs Wade (4-0-12) (Wade has won 9/10 matches)
- Barney Vs Lewis (33-2-21) (Barney has won 6/10 matches inc 6/7)
- Taylor Vs Chisnall (22-0-8) (Taylor has won 7/10 inc last 3)
- Anderson Vs MVG (11-1-24) (MVG has won 7/10 inc last 4)
- Wright Vs Klaasen (6-0-3) (Wright has won the last 6)
* Please note the players named on the left will throw first
Kim Huybrechts and James Wade will kick off the 2017 Premier League, where the Belgian is 23/10 with Betbright, with the left hander from Aldershot at 10/11 with Betway and the tie is 4/1 with Skybet. Wade has been dominant in the head to head winning nine of the last ten with Wade looking to seek the early advantage but is only 5/4 to break in the opening leg. Huybrechts is 9/10 with Bwin to land the most maximums at the time of writing, which is about right although the price may alter when other firms decide on their approach to this book. Personally i would like to see Wade win this one, but may leave this one be!
Barney and Lewis off in what is their first meeting of 2017. They squared off last year nine times. Layers are finding this difficult to find a clear favourite with Barney at 7/5 with Betway, 6/4 with Betfred for Lewis and 7/2 for the tie generally. Barney got the better of Lewis at the World Championships as well as the Player Championship finals weeks before. This is another tough game to call and would not bet against seeing the first draw of the night, or the game to go to a deciding leg. A shame the checkout line is priced at 120.5 as a 120 would have appealed especially on the tendency of both players.
I do like the 4/5 on no first leg maximum, which is becoming a more popular market as well as over 11.5 legs, basically 7-5 either way or the tie, which occurred in the regular meeting last year.
Taylor and Chisnall should be an entertaining affair despite Taylor having the best of the St Helen's thrower on TV. Taylor will be backed at 5/6 with Betway, with Betbright attractive with Chisnall at 13/5 and the tie at 4/1. Chisnall should out score Taylor on the maximums and with Taylor announcing his retirement plan officially over the weekend, he will be sitting back and relaxing rather than chasing points, as he was seen quoting. Chisnall is 11/17 with Bwin and think for the most maximums will be doubled up nicely with another firm market for a tidy double.
Taylor showed he was not finished at the masters with some excellent performances to reach the semi final on Sunday. Bwin also goes 11/13 on Taylor exceeding a 101.50 average with the same price for the lower end. Taylor in last years game pocketed in excess of 115 average and a fast paced game in our view will help this average come through.
Anderson and MVG repeat the final on Sunday, where MVG took the win 11-7 in an entertaining game. Anderson has lost the last four versus Michael including recently the World Championship and World Grand Prix finals since October. Both players have been a level above the rest in recent times and as the penultimate game of the night will have the crowd fuelled up for the game. At 8/11 MVG will have a tall task to break the Anderson throw to take the victory and has that momentum to make it 5/5.
Michael won this fixture last year 7-3 and drew in the second phase. I can appreciate why layers are taking no chances on this with William Hill the market leader at 8/11 for the win. Personally the 4/1 on the draw will attract some savvy punters, but how fired up will MVG be? Very is the opinion in this quarter.
In the final game sees Peter Wright and Jelle Klaasen which will welcome the return of the Snakebite versus the Cobra! Peter Wright is industry wide 8/13, with the Dutchman BIG at 100/30 and 9/2 for the draw with Skybet.
Klaasen was an early casualty at the masters with Snakebite looking good until his quarter final saw him misfire versus Taylor. With Wright reportedly having a bad nights sleep in an uncomfortable hotel room was no excuse, however will be disappointed he did not make the semi final and should be rested up for Thursday.
I would fancy Wright to be leading after six legs, as Klaasen can misfire on his quick action and that is a small interest at 20/21.
- Under 117.50 3 dart average – 1/1 Betway 3pts
- No 9 dart finish – 13/8 Betway – 1.5pts
- MVG to hit most 180s – 6/4 Betway – 3pts
- Barney/Lewis – 1st leg 180 NO – 4/5 Betway 1pt
- Barney/Lewis – over 11.5 legs – 6/5 Bwin and 11/10 BetVictor 1pt
- Taylor – Over 101.50 average Vs Chisnall – 11/13 Bwin 2pts
- Wright to lead after 6 legs Vs Klaasen – 20/21 Bet365 1pt