Week one fixtures*
- Mensur Suljovic Vs Simon Whitlock
- Gary Anderson Vs Michael Smith
- Daryl Gurney Vs Raymond van Barneveld
- Michael van Gerwen Vs Rob Cross
- Peter Wright Vs Gerwyn Price
(* Player named on the left will throw first.)
Looking at the outrights, Mighty Mike is 10/11 general to win outright (1/2 to win regular season) Cross is no bigger than 4/1 after his World Championship victory. Gary Anderson is 6/1 with Peter Wright at 9’s.
The rest of the field goes with Gurney and Barney at (40/1); Suljovic at 50’s, Smith 80’s, Price 125/1 and Whitlock a BIG 200/1 to spoil the party.
Looking at a market we like taking on is the nine dart finish. There has been eight since the events inception in 2005. There was one in 2016 and 2017 both accounted to Adrian Lewis but before this was in 2012.
With the best of 12 format see the task as difficult to say the least and with the talent of players in the event since 2013 only Adrian Lewis has achieved. Coral punt 11/10 on no finishes being achieved and although 11/10 has a better than 50% chance of not being achieved.
Another bet considered has been the highest average. Although the World Record is set at 123.40 a 115.50 average is difficult to sustain in any match in general. There are players capable of surpassing this but will be the case of how confident are you backing overs?
I like the price on Gurney at 4/1 for relegation in the regular season as layers have Whitlock firm favourite at 17/20 for the bottom two as at Week 9. Price is opposable at 6/5 with Smith more attractive at 11/8 for the drop.
Elsewhere there are a number of weekly specials from player to hit most maximums, to any white wash and checkouts.
Betway have the line set at 32.5 for the night. This line last year was not passed until week five and the sponsors are 5/6 on both sides of the line.
Looking at week one:
Mensur Suljovic Vs Simon Whitlock – Mensur leads 5-4
Whitlock broke the streak of five losses spanning two years when the wizard defeated the gentle at the World Grand Prix semi final back in October.
Since Whitlock’s form has been questionable with Suljovic going off the boil also before a resurgent Austrian at the Masters. Suljovic is even money with the Aussie at 12/5 and the draw a general 100/30.
With Whitlock not playing to his full capabilities in recent months his performance just south of a 98 bought some confidence to the table but see Mensur getting at-least a point on the board from this.
A point to note that the checkout line overall is high considering Suljovic is 100.50 and 92.50 for Whitlock so an overall 119.5 is to be avoided.
Gary Anderson Vs Michael Smith – Gary leads 8-2
Anderson has beaten Smith on the last five occasions. It is known that Anderson manages Smith and has been there as he has risen up the rankings. Anderson is 8/13 with the draw at 9/2 and Smith at 4/1.
At the Masters last weekend Smith looked buried before making a late resurgence against Suljovic but ran out of legs in the end to make his final score look more respectable. Anderson played like Ando does with a solid professional display and will be strongly backed by punters especially throwing first.
Bullyboy on the the losses sustained has been by some margin, enough for us to back Anderson alongside Suljovic above.
Daryl Gurney Vs Raymond van Barneveld – Raymond leads 3-1
Barney has had the better of Gurney on 3 of the last 4 occasions with the only on stage win going to Barney.
Barney is favoured despite not throwing first at 11/8 with Gurney at 7/4 and the draw at 7/2.
Gurney, since the World Grand Prix victory in October had a disappointing World Championship and was a first round exit at the Masters last weekend.
The bet on here is for Barney to hit a ton-plus finish and with Skybet offering this at 8/11 on their request a bet service has a reasonable chance. Last weekend Barney got a 100+ checkout in each game albeit a longer format Barney is effective on his checkouts.
I do also think maximum line is about right and over twelve legs fewer than seven is tight but fewer than eight can be doubled up.
Michael van Gerwen Vs Rob Cross – Michael leads 8-2
Sky Sports could not wait for this especially after the semi final at the World Championships. Cross went on to lift the title but Gerwen will be desperate to inflict revenge on that last defeat.
Cross returned at the masters and started where he left off in his very first game since winning the World Championship.
Odds compilers are taking on the first leg to see a maximum at odds on where this is rare and used to be seen on occasion in Dave Chisnall matches, people taking on the NO at evens may be in for a pleasant surprise. With the tension and build up by TV bosses this game could live to the anticipated hype. However we would be a fool not to place a small punt on the NO 180 in the opening leg 1/1 with Ladbrokes.
Peter Wright Vs Gerwyn Price – Peter leads 8-1
Despite the head to head Gerwyn Price is going to thrive from the environment and would have picked up positives from last weekends Masters. Wright on the other hand would have considered last weekend below par.
With Price less familiar with the environment compared to Wright could see a surprise as the crowds take over in the vocal atmosphere. I do think though this could see a slower scoring rate on the maximums seeing that Wright could well change his darts again after this last weekend. Price has started to hit more maximums but on a rhythm and legs may see fewer than eight.
- Under 115.50 highest average – 1/1 Betfred 2pts
- U 32.5 180s week one – 5/6 Betway
- NO 9 dart finish – 11/10 Coral 3pts
- Anderson to beat Smith and Suljovic draw no bet Vs Whitlock – 6/4 Coral 2pts
- Barney – 100+ checkout – 8/11 Skybet 1.5 pts
- Barney/Wright games – U7.5 maximums in both – 6/5 Skybet 2pts
- NO 180 first leg – MVG/Cross – 1/1 Ladbrokes 1pt