THE second phase of the Premier League toes the oche with the remaining eight competitors competing to make the O2 finals next month.

Raymond Van Barneveld was eliminated from the contest and emotionally retired from darts, only to retract the statement he made to Rod Studd on Sky Sports 12 hours later

With one fewer match to contest, the PDC has bought back the original format of best of 14 legs for the duration of the phase.

Looking at the outrights MVG is in pole position at 4/7 and as short as 1/2 with Coral to retain his crown. Rob Cross is next in the betting at 6/1, with Wade at 12’s.

Gurney is 20/1 with Spreadex with Suljovic, Price, Smith and Wright all between 22 and 33/1. You may find the top four to qualify are available as Cross and MVG are shoe in prices at 1/7 and 1/100 respectively. BoyleSports have Wade at 8/11, Gurney at evens, Suljovic at 11/8, Wright 6/4, Price 2/1 and Smith 9/4.

The NO 9 darter is 2/5 with Betfair with a 13/8 quotation on there being one or more.

Fixtures

Interestingly Bet365 are the best priced for the draw and in fairness all are capable of being runners with a whopping 936/1 for all four draws. Even if you eliminated the MVG game still considered to be 124/1.

Suljovic Vs Wade – Suljovic leads 10-5

The Austrian Ace has had the better of the left hander from Aldershot on the last two recent face offs with Suljovic winning this reverse fixture 7-3 last month.

Wade has been in good nick in general and getting back to the Wade we have been used to and is well positioned to take this game some distance. Odds compilers suggest Wade has been going in a more consistent direction as of late and is 13/10 throwing second and is unbeaten in the Premier League in three games.

Smith Vs Wright – Wright leads 15-8

The pair drew the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign with both at the wrong end of the table. It hasn’t gone right for Michael Smith this season being in favourable positions only to be denied. Wright is a player to swerve as a punter with his increasingly unpredictable performances. However last week in Holland failed to register even a 90 average in either game so could be a clue for punters.

Smith is a great player in rhythm especially on throw and will be tough to beat.

Smith would be the better player of the two in recent player ratings but with confidence questionable in both camps the more likely winner of the contest would be Michael Smith.

Cross Vs Gurney – Tied 4-4

After three straight wins, Superchin is in the top four heading into this and confident he can beat Rob Cross, as he did in Belfast 12 months ago. Gurney pocketed a European Tour title last weekend.

Rob Cross has shown a myriad of darting performances recently and the Even money price is worth taking on in respect of Gurney being hot in form and with the crowd for the Irishman.

I believe the extended format will suit Cross in respect of having a little more time to settle in. His maximum count ever increasing should not be overlooked and with up to 14 chances for either player to pass their checkout line is also high up on the list.

With the head to head tied at 4-4 can either player reign supremacy in Belfast? Gurney is the bigger price of the two and is 10/11 with Blacktype to win or draw the game, which may make the cut down below in my
recommendation

MVG Vs Price – MVG leads 15-0

When considering a bet usually a head to head is factored in respect of bogey opponents/teams such as trends that have developed across the globe.

However usually when you see a 1/3 shot and want to back it you want to be cocksure it won’t rub egg in your boat race.

What does a 1/3 shot represent? This represents approximately a 75% chance of achieving the outcome. When you see the player at 1/3 with a undefeated record surely leaning on MVG is the way forward?

Gerwyn Price was convincing beaten 7-2 giving it the hype before the game and lost recently after this but on a final leg decider. MVG can sometimes take his foot off the gas in games but finds a way to win detracting us away from the handicap. The maximum line is set at 7.5 and think this is a bit heavy where Michael tends to like spoiling maximums with cover shots a lot like when Taylor was in his prime.

With the 7.5 or 8 maximums expected in 14 legs maximums seems a tall task and at 5/6 the expected 180 per leg average doesn’t quite stack up. Sportingbet offer this with Hills at just 8/11 for the same bet.

Recommendations

  • Wade – Over 2.5 180s – 8/11 Skybet 1pt
  • Smith/Wright U8.5 maximums & Gurney Over 2.5 maximums – 27/20 Sportingbet 1pt
  • U7.5 180s – MVG/Price 5/6 Sportingbet 2pts
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