- Start time 19:00 Sky Sports Main Event
Michael van Gerwen looks to recapture the now vacant Matchplay title lifted by the now retired Phil Taylor a year ago, who will join the Sky Sports team as a pundit.
Mark Webster will also join the cast having previous punditry stunts on the BBC.
The Matchplay will go for nine nights where 32 men will go through the mill in the PDC’s second biggest major of the year. Mighty Mike is the Paddy Power 10/11 favourite with sponsors BetVictor just 4/6 on the green machine.
The outright betting is tough to call with MVG the red hot favourite weighing nearly 50% of the book on his shoulders. You have the likes of Gary Anderson and Rob Cross at 8/1 respectively with Peter Wright at 10/1.
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The bar are all 33’s or bigger giving little implied chance according to the odds-compilers.
Over the ten sessions (double session only on the opening Sunday) begin at the best of 19 legs (maximum 25 legs)
Tuesday and Wednesday will entertain the last 16 best of 25 with the quarter finals over Thursday and Friday on a race to 16. Saturday will see both semi finals played over the first to 17 and the final goes one step further requiring 18 legs minimum to lift the trophy and £115,000! Of course each round attracts a tie break where up to five additional legs will be played and if still a tie one further leg will decide the winner.
Firstly looking through the Betting specials from the Matchplay – looking at the sponsors BetVictor first they have priced up a number of possible outcomes in the event.
One bet of interest where punters may blindly back is – potentially having MVG average over 101.50 in every match is 3/1 representing a 25% implies probability seemed like a possible play. However MVG landed under this average in all of his games last year at the matchplay before losing out to Taylor in the quarter final.
MVG in Shanghai was only able to average over 101.50 in round one in the last couple of days although some may think it is irrelevant.
Other round one bets noteworthy is any first round game to be won on the bullseye is 7/4 which may give some punters some novelty entertainment with sixteen chances to land this.
Lastly BetVictor have any player to net 42+ maximums at evens
Down to bets I see some mileage with and we are staying with first round specials is no 170 in round one was 11/5 with Glen Woodage’s Bwin and Sportingbet and now into 17/10. This bet in my opinion has some legs although every 170 attempt may not be taken depending on the circumstance and also for the difficulty and position of the game itself.
One obvious danger is MVG who is quoted with Bwin was 4/1 to hit a 170 as as you mentioned earlier if MVG gets bored in a game he will leave 170 and go for it like he did in Shanghai and nailed it on one occasion.
Another I had chalked down at 6/5 was would there be a first round game going 25 legs, which was still available when I appeared on Chris Mason’s To The Point YouTube show on Sunday 15th July (http://bit.ly/2NqxGDZ)
It’s went into19/20 to 7/10 at the time of going to press and very much a bet that will have mileage in.
It came close in 2017 with Wade and Darren Webster (24 legs) but the 19/20 is just about acceptable.
First round games I have looked on includes Michael Smith versus Jonny Clayton. Sampling a couple of firms, one being Glenn’s firm who chalks Smiths checkout line at 112.5 with another as high as 118.50 around the same price so pays to shop around. Despite the possible jet lag I do think Bullyboy has a fair chance of nailing a modest 3 dart checkout at 10/11 and with the confidence of a World Series win can use to keep momentum going!
Joe Cullen will have some interest going up against Price who has been playing with an injury and is even money with a few firms. I just think Price with this injury, all the air-miles versus an experienced player Joe Cullen could be the fresher player and the former postman won’t get a better chance to progress.
I do like the experience of recent pro tour title winner Ian White to take the shine off debutant Max Hopp who has had some resurgence in 2018. Hopp in all ranked majors has misfired and think White is good ACCA material for punters if he can get over the line.
Doubling up with James Wade, who himself is on the comeback trail doubles up to a nice 23/20 with many firms offering 21/20 or better minimum acceptable odds
- M Smith over 112.5 checkout – 91/100 Bwin/Sportingbet 2pts
- Joe Cullen to beat Gerwyn Price – 1/1 Hills 1pt
- White and Wade double – 23/20 Marathonbet 3pts
- K Huybrechts -2.5 legs Vs Henderson – 5/4 Skybet 4pts
- U5.5 180 treble – Henderson, Hopp and DeZwann all to land fewer than six maximums in their respective matches – 2.42 BetVictor 3pts