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Gary Anderson has broken through at the top level of darts and one thinks that BetVictor may end up regretting laying odds of +500 about the Flying Scotsman winning the PDC World Darts Championship for the third time in a row next year.
Anderson had the reputation of being a good darts player but not a great darts player for several years but the Flying Scotsman has fulfilled his potential in the last couple of seasons, winning four major events, including the biggest of them twice. BetVictor has installed Anderson as its PDC World Darts Championship second favourite and, while one does not have an issue with the Flying Scotsman’s position in the pecking order because Michael van Gerwen deserves favouritism, one thinks that he should be closer to Mighty Mike and further away from the legend who is Phil Taylor.
A few years ago, Anderson’s claim to fame was being the most consistently heavy scorer in darts. No-one – not even van Gerwen – could live with Anderson’s scoring when the Flying Scotsman was on form. Anderson was the undoubted king of the 180s but darts players need to hit doubles and bullseyes to win legs and the Flying Scotsman was not reliable in that part of the game. Unbeatable on his day, Anderson lost many matches to lower scorers because of his doubles troubles.
All darts players have off days on the oche but Anderson has become a lot more reliable finisher and it is showing in his results. Darts is one of those sports in which mental strength separates the wheat from the chaff and the Flying Scotsman’s belief in his self is clear for all to see – it takes a special character to nail a nine-dart finish in a semi-final of the largest event on the sport’s calendar.
Van Gerwen is the world’s top-ranked darts player for a reason but there is a growing school of thought that Mighty Mike is better suited to tournaments that are legs based rather than ones that are sets based. Some smart punters opposed Van Gerwen in the PDC World Darts Championship because they felt that Mighty Mike was vulnerable due to the format of the competition and he crashed out in the third round to Raymond van Barneveld even though he averaged 5.34 points per three-dart visit more than his compatriot. Van Gerwen has won the PDC World Darts Championship only once.
Taylor has won an incredible 14 editions of the PDC World Darts Championship but, at the grand old age of 55, Father Time appears to have caught up with The Power. Taylor has won the PDC World Darts Championship just once in his last six attempts and, like Van Gerwen, he did not make it past the third round in the most recent renewal. Taylor’s aura of invincibility has been shattered and, to put it bluntly, he misses the usual number of doubles these days. Never was Taylor the heaviest scorer in darts so, once he started experiencing problems with checkouts, he hit trouble.
Rarely do injuries strike down darts players so one would have to be remarkably unlucky for Anderson not to line up in the PDC World Darts Championship that is scheduled to start in the middle of December. Anderson is trading at PDC World Darts Championship odds as short as +300 – Van Gerwen’s top price is +200 – and one feels that those two quotes are on the money. The difference between odds of +300 and +500 is more than eight per cent and that is a sufficiently large gap for one to have an interest 11 months in advance.
Anderson’s three-dart average of 102.07 points in the PDC World Darts Championship was second only to Van Gerwen and the Flying Scotsman’s lowest match average was 99.94 points in his comprehensive victory over Daryl Gurney in the second round. Anderson is the real deal and his back-to-back PDC World Darts Championship triumphs have been well deserved.
Gary Anderson to win World Championship 2016
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