Night one of the Matchplay will see the opening four matches and a good opening line-up for the event. Tips for day two and the culmination of round one all in the recommendations

Order of play:

  • Michael Smith (3/10) Vs Steve West (100/30) – Players tied on 2-2 head to head
  • James Wade (2/5) Vs Darren Webster (12/5) – Wade leads 8-3
  • Gary Anderson – (1/10) Vs Christian Kist (7/1) Anderson leads 3-2
  • Peter Wright (1/7) Vs James Wilson (63/10) No previous meetings

Favourite backers out there will be glad to know they will be able to secure industry wide odds against for the four-timer, with Paddy Power laying 5/4 on Smith/Wade/Anderson and Wright to all win their matches. With the format on the tiebreak scenario you have to weigh this in favour of the experienced favourites especially over the longer format and resilience even in adverse situations.

If you were to back the four outsiders, in the unlikely event they all win you will be able to pocket a cool 846/1 on this with Marathonbet if you choose this route. The opening nights favourites may see one or two overtaxing games and a particular game I am thinking of is the Wade/Webster game. Wade has £50K to defend at this event, so there will be some implied pressure on this surely, whereas Darren Webster is in a cool position of bank building in hindsight.

Smith v West

Down to business and Bullyboy opens up the winter garden against the very experienced Steve West. It was about a year ago last autumn where West rallied in a mini surge on the circuit, which got people talking about him and has continued some good form to the extend of making the cut via the leading sixteen players in the pro-tour order of merit outside the players that qualified by right.

Smith is 3/10 vs. West out at 100/30, and I am sure this will see some shrewd money on West knowing Smith’s tendencies, although Michael has been one of the more in form players most recently especially on the European tour. This has earned him a call up to the World Series next month down under in Australia and New Zealand. The pair has met four times previously both trading at two-apiece. Their meetings granted has been over the floor race to six, so a race to ten will be less familiar to West, which I believe is factored into the pricing on Smith seeing that West has come via the BDO system and are not as au fais for the long format games.

Compilers have Smith between a –2.5 and –3.5 handicaps with Boylesports offering 8/11on –2.5 and odds against –3.5. Remember either player will need to win by two legs! Smith is the 4/5 favourite to land the highest checkout, with West 15/8 and 6/1 for the tie. Layers offer just 4/7 the game sees 16 or more legs and 4/5 for fewer than 17 legs.

Wade v Webster

James Wade battles recent pro tour titleholder Darren Webster in what could be a closer game than the layers are anticipating. Some firms are as big as 2/5 for Wade (71.4% implied probability) to win the contest. This is one of Wade’s fondest arena’s having lifted the title and being his most successful major from the list. Webster on the other hand has nothing to lost and with Wade jet setting on the World Series must have had some influence for his preparations. Webster’s record is not great against Wade. Darren has racked up three wins in eleven attempts with one victory in ten years, although meetings have been sparse in this time.

Looking a Webster’s 180 count based on a sample of data collected, analysed and interpreted, in all stage events in 2017 Webster has pocked eight maximums in 47 legs of play. The sample has been taken from the European tour circuit for 2017. This translates in Webster averaging 0.170213 maximums per leg. Layers have his maximum line priced at 10/11 on 3.5. Based on the expected legs to be played equates to roughly 2.55 maximums. However factoring in several performances over one performance on stage over a longer format the 3.5 is priced about right in my opinion.

Applying a similar principle to Wade over a bigger sample as he has been playing stage darts more regularly than Webster, we took a sample of 325 legs Wade netted 57 (8 in one game) equating to 0.175385 180’s per leg, so fairly similar to Webster, although the sampling method is different but over the current year. Translating this into a projection Skybet have formulated a 4/6 shot that we see less than 8 maximum in the game implying a 60% chance of landing 7 or fewer. Based on the sample data going the distance suggests the under line will land. On a potential betting market I will be interested in what checkout line is priced for Wade and will be interested whether they price it over 116 concentrated as a 5/6 pick-em price? Anything above 116.5 I may be less interested based on the 5/6 capping.

Anderson v Kist

Gary Anderson takes on Christian Kist, where we must firstly say congratulations to Rachel and Gary on the happy news of a second arrival on its way. Anderson will certainly be ready for this event, as it is an event that Anderson has the credentials to win and a trophy missing from his collection. Anderson’s opponent Christian Kist has suffered with some darting issues, which has seen a dip in performances. In fact Kist has struggled to the point that he has failed to get beyond a last 16 in any event. The pair has met five times, with Anderson seeking the advantage in three of them.

Anderson is a hot favourite to win this, and where there is no value on the outright the next best is to see how the bookmakers have weighed in the handicap. From analysing the markets Anderson is favoured to win this 10-5 or better at 4/5 with bet365.

Wright v Wilson

The final game of the night sees Snakebite take on the Jammie Dodger and according to the head to head the pair have not met in competition before. Wright with his UK Open title has demonstrated some steady performances winning European titles, as well as appearing in the premier league finals back in May.

Wright is heavily favoured to win this and is given a 4.5 leg handicap so winning this 10-5 or better, which is 6/5 with Betfair. On the total legs on the presumption and most likely scenario versus the handicap of –4.5 legs is for fewer than 15.5 legs, which is only 11/10, so in theory the 6/5 price holds the better value on the basis that Wilson to win by this margin will be a tall price.

In a sample of games, Snakebite has played since Dubai approximately eight weeks ago on stage we have record a total of 87 legs played and 23 maximums netted in this period. Most of the legs in question have been on the World Series tour. This has resulted in a per leg 180 average of 0.26436 and based on the indicative line of 15 or 16 legs snakebite falls just short of 4 in this context.

Although prices are not present at the time of writing the anticipated line for Wright will be 4.5. It would surprise me if they went 5.5, but would suspect on the leg ratio to maximums and some manual adjustment finding an over 4.5 maximums at 4/7 so covered in respect of the compilers with the longer format and more time to settle in. It was less than two years ago we noticed a trend early on and hoovered up several wins on the over line with Wright before they extended the line via an adjusted opinion. The only danger here is that Wright is prone to tweaking his set up, and this is a potential consideration.

Down to the betting…

Recommendations

  • P Wright – Over 4.5 180s – 5/6 Marathonbet – 1pt
  • Anderson –3.5 legs & Webster over 3.5 180s – 2.64 Marathonbet – 0.5 pts
  • J Wade – Over 113.5 checkout – 1.89 Marathonbet 1 pt
  • M Smith – 2.5 legs Vs West – 1.73 Boylesports – 3pts

Sunday/Monday

  • Beaton – over 3.5 180s 6/5 Boylesports – 1pt
  • Gurney to beat Pas and 1st leg 180 NO (Thornton/Reyes) – 2.62 Ladbrokes 1pt
  • White/Cross – over 16.5 legs – 19/20 Betstars – 1pt
  • Cheeky ACCA – Smith game U 17.5 legs/Suljovic win and MVG –4.5 leg handicap – 2.59 Marathonbet 2pts

Back Tuesday for the last 16

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