WE stop off at Exeter on the eve of the UK Open where last year this event was snowed off from the Beast from the East and subsequently meant the UK Open was played behind closed doors also. Fast forward 12 months and we have had record breaking February temperatures.
This week’s contender Luke Humphries enters the fray and plays first up against Gerwyn Price, who is in form having gone unbeaten in the Premier League and won a back-to-back pro tour title weekend just a few days ago.
Humphries Vs Price – Humphries leads 1-0
Price has seen his price trim since winning back to back pro tour titles from around the 19/20 mark to as short as 8/13 in one or two places to defeat contender Luke Humphries. The local had a terrific run to the World Quarter finals back in December and has not met Price before.
Luke has stated himself that he enjoys the razzmatazz of the stage with the multi time development tour title winner not getting off to the best of starts this season on the pro tour circuit.
Gezzy will be high in confidence as his ranking has gradually rised to be a firm top ten player now and will have been quietly backed to win the UK Open event.
I am sure some will place Price with another fixture to accumulate a tidy double whereas single backers may be edgy seeing as Price has resulted in two draws thus far.
The Welshman is averaging 98.6 in the Premier League even after three week, demonstrating he can handle the hostile receptions.
With the potential overwhelming of the big stage setting again, super hot Gezzy will want to get started quickly and a couple of tidy visits will put him in with a chance of an early break and winning leg one against the throw may tempt at 5/4 with BoyleSports.
Gurney Vs Cross – Players Tied 3-3
Daryl Gurney has been scoring really well but is behind in the maximums where Superchin is a reputable hitter when he is in the zone.
Cross has been performing well in this campaign and will command some notice in the win market at 5/4.
I feel this game could go in a few directions although Daryl as the marginal outsider on the maximums is worth a look. Ladbrokes offer 10/11 on the most 180 draw no bet market so as long as the count isn’t beaten nor will our bet
Suljovic Vs Wright – Suljovic leads 9-8
All of Peter Wright’s matches have remarkably gone 12 legs even though the Scot has been in haphazard form as of late.
Mensur will need to get motoring if he wants to keep the pace up. Wright is not a player you want to be backing with any confidence and it’s been visual on his performances and facial reactions that he is not in the best of places at the moment with consistency.
Wright is short for the maximum count at 10/11 with Skybet with Mensur as big as 15/8 in places and has hit nine in 34 legs compared to Wright's bagging eight in 36 legs played. It may be worth a small stake on Mensur hitting the first maximum at 6/5 with Coral. Peter hit his first maximum in leg five last week and with Mensur toeing the oche first gives potential to this especially if he begins with a maximum!
MVG Vs Wade – MVG leads 34-15
Van Gerwen stats against Wade registers as having won 16 of the last 17 meetings and in the Premier League has not had to play his absolute A game as he looks for the first time in his own PL records that he hasn’t won the first four games in any of the campaigns.
Wade, although his record against MVG generally puts in a good account and will surely be a potential play in the maximum markets with Skybet chalking 11/8 the machine nets three or more maximums, which he has done in all three games played.
Smith Vs Barneveld – Players tied 7-7
I find this one a tough one, as Smith has come across as deflated at times and is his own biggest critic.
One bet I have found and think if there is a bet to be had it’s opposing Smith in some way. We can not determine the way Barney will turn up game wise, which could lead towards a scrappy display, especially going up last.
M Smith under 96.5 average is 5/6 and has passed this milestone once in three weeks.