Michael van Gerwen the Banker in Premier League Darts

Michael van Gerwen broke the world record three-dart average in last week's Premier League.

If you missed Michael van Gerwen’s incredible world record average last week you missed out on something special. The Dutch ace snatched all the headlines in Aberdeen in the Premier League last week, smashing Phil Taylor’s previous record of 118.66 by delivering a master-class performance and racking up an average of 123.40.

While MVG rightly took all the plaudits there were also good performances from Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor to cement their places in the higher reaches of the Premier League table, while Gary Anderson grabbed his first win of the season as he plays catch up in a bid to defend the title he won last year. This week’s action comes from Exeter and there are some great match ups to look forward to on night five of the Premier League.

That World Record Average

Michael van Gerwen produced an outstanding performance to secure that 123.40 average, and it could have been an even more impressive 136 if he’d hit his first dart at double 18 in the seventh leg – at which point he was already six legs up. Michael Smith was the unfortunate player on the end of MVG’s whirlwind performance and it has been a real baptism of fire in his first season in the Premier League. Smith did manage to avoid the whitewash by taking that seventh leg, but van Gerwen brushed him aside in the eighth to secure a 7-1 victory.

Spare a thought also for Phil Taylor who recorded an average of 115.25 in his 7-5 win over Dave Chisnall – which was the 11th highest average in history and the 7th highest in 12 seasons of Premier League darts. On any other occassion that would have been enough for Taylor to earn the limelight, but MVG was simply unstoppable on the night.

Adrian Lewis continued his good form with a 7-5 win over James Wade to grab his 3rd win from 4 matches so far this year, while Gary Anderson’s 7-3 defeat of Raymond van Barneveld was much needed for the Scotsman who had lost his previous two games. In the final match Robert Thornton secured his first point of the Premier League season with a 6-6 draw with Peter Wright, stopping the latter from extending his lead at the top of the table.

Looking ahead to this week’s matches and there are a couple of solid bets in van Gerwen and Anderson, while van Barneveld looks a shade over-priced when he takes on Premier League newcomer Michael Smith.

Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen

Michael van Gerwen was simply irresistable last week and while he may not hit those heights again, it makes perfect sense to follow him when he’s in this kind of form. He’s rated a -263  chance with Marathonbet to get the better of Peter Wright, with the added incentive of over-taking him at the top of the table.

Wright has been in excellent form so far this season with victories over Smith, Wade and van Barneveld, but he had to fight back against Thornton last week to grab a draw. He’s a player we’ve followed over the last year or so and he’s been producing a high level of darts, but van Gerwen is on a different level altogether at the moment and it’s hard to see any other result. Wright has lost to MVG on the last four occassions they’ve met, and another defeat is on the cards here.

Michael van Gerwen made no secret of his desire to top the Premier League table before the start of the season, but he lost first time out against James Wade. He’s since won every game he’s played in all competitions and the darts he produced last week were out of this world. He’ll only need to be somewhere near that sort of form to win here, and now he has the bit between his teeth it’s impossible to back against him.

Robert Thornton v Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson is another player we’d like to keep on side in the next few weeks, and he’s priced at -270  with 888Sport and Unibet to beat Robert Thornton on Thursday night.

Thornton hasn’t had the best start on his return to the Premier League. He had to pull out of night two due to illness, having suffered a 7-0 whitewash at the hands of Dave Chisnall on night one. He returned the following week to go down 7-5 to van Barneveld, and improved again last week when he secured that draw with Peter Wright. However, he’s lost 8 of his last 10 games in all competitions and he’s up against the reigning Premier League and World Champion here in Anderson.

The Scotsman is a man on a mission now after losing his first two Premier League ties against van Gerwen and Taylor, and only grabbed his first two points of the season with victory over van Barneveld last week. He’s five points off the top of the table, and although it’s very early days, he will want to climb up the ladder as quickly as possible to ensure he makes the top four.

Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld

Finally, Raymond van Barneveld looks a bit too big at the odds at +120  with Paddy PowerCoral and William Hill to overcome Michael Smith, despite the latter’s improved performance on night three where he drew with Chisnall.

There was little the Premier League new boy could do about van Gerwen last week, and his Premier league season certainly won’t hinge on results against the number one, but this is a highly competitive league and there really are no easy games. He beat Barney 10-7 in the Masters in January but lost on the previous four occassions he played the former World Champion.

Van Barneveld made judgement night against all odds last season, but he’s better poised already this year with four points from two wins and two defeats. He’ll be looking up the table and this presents an excellent opportunity to get more points on the board. At a price the right side of evens, it’s worth taking the chance that he’ll come out on top.

Tips Summary

Michael van Gerwen to beat Peter Wright
Thursday 3rd March, 19:00 GMT start
Odds:  -263

Gary Anderson to beat Robert Thornton
Thursday 3rd March, 19:00 GMT start
Odds:  -270

Raymond van Barneveld to beat Michael Smith
Thursday 3rd March, 19:00 GMT start
Odds:  +120

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