It’s been a busy old week in the world of darts with last week’s Premier league swiftly followed by the UK Open in Minehead. In a repeat of last year’s final the unfortunate Peter Wright came up against Michael van Gerwen in imperious form once again in the final, with the world number one retaining the trophy with an 11-4 victory.
The big Dutchman has been on another level in the last few weeks and he beat Phil Taylor in the semi-final as well as landing another special 9-darter against amateur Rob Cross and hitting four 170 checkouts over the course of the tournament. That came after his incredible 123.40 average against Michael Smith in the Premier League in Aberdeen and the 116.67 he racked up against Peter Wright last week. It makes perfect sense to continue to back him while he’s playing such amazing darts, and he looks a decent price to hit the most 180’s in his match with Dave Chisnall this Thursday night when the Premier League travels to Nottingham.
Also on the radar is Phil Taylor who has shown vastly improved form over recent weeks, while Gary Anderson is equally backable when he takes on Premier League new-boy Michael Smith.
There were some surprise results in the UK Open with reigning world and Premier League champion Gary Anderson going out in the fourth round to qualifier Barry Lynn, who subsequently had a run to the quarter final where he came up against eventual winner MVG. Phil Taylor progressed to the semi-finals – a performance which saw him rise above sparring partner Adrian Lewis into third in the PDC order of merit – but he was beaten 10-6 by the Dutchman in the last four. Peter Wright is surely destined to win a televised tournament before long, but he keeps having the misfortune to come up against the world’s best player. Nonetheless it was another good performance to reach yet another final, and he’s still in the top four of the Premier League.
Night Five in the Premier League
Last week’s darts in Exeter produced some big results with van Gerwen’s 116.67 average against Peter Wright taking the headlines. Michael Smith earned his first Premier league win with a come-from-behind victory against Raymond van Barneveld, while Phil Taylor impressed with a 104.00 average and a 7-1 win over close friend Adrian Lewis. James Wade continued his good start to the season with a 7-4 win over Dave Chisnall, while Gary Anderson secured two much-needed points with a 7-4 defeat of Robert Thornton.
Dave Chisnall v Michael van Gerwen
MVG is a good option for the straight win at -333 for the money-buyers out there, but we’re going to push the boat out a bit and take the bigger odds on the maximums. Apart from the very first night of the Premier League when he lost to James Wade, he’s hit the most 180’s in every match he’s played so far this season. Wade hit five 180’s to van Gerwen’s three in that game, but since then he’s outdone Gary Anderson (6-1), Adrian Lewis (5-4), Michael Smith (4-3) and Peter Wright (4-3) in the maximum stakes. He also hit six 180’s compared to Wright’s five in that UK Open final on Sunday.
He should be more than good enough to beat Chisnall, who has hit a bit of a low patch in form, and with the way the Dutch ace is throwing at the moment this looks like a smashing price.
Robert Thornton v Phil Taylor
We backed Phil Taylor to win the Premier League at the start of the season in the expectation that he would come back to form, and the Power hasn’t let us down so far, securing four wins from five matches to sit joint-top of the table with van Gerwen. He wiped the floor with his practice partner Adrian Lewis last week, making a mockery of what looked like a very close encounter to win 7-1. The Jackpot did miss a lot of doubles, but Taylor did everything that was required of him to land the match with an average of 104.00.
He’s a fair price of -110 with Marathonbet to overcome a -3.5 handicap against Robert Thornton, who is having a torrid time on his return to the Premier League.
The Scotsman is rock bottom of the table with just one point from a draw and three defeats to his name. He missed one week of action due to illness so is playing catch-up to a degree, but he was also disappointing in the UK Open where he was beaten 6-4 in the second round by Arron Monk.
Michael Smith v Gary Anderson
The newcomer played really well last week to come back from 5-4 down against van Barneveld to win 7-5 – costing us a clean sweep of tips in the process – and he’ll have been buoyed by his performance. However, Anderson is up there with the very best, and having lost two games already this season, he can’t afford too many more slip-ups.
The Flying Scotsman lost his first two Premier League matches to Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor, but he bounced back in typical style to land his next two against Raymond van Barneveld and Robert Thornton. Both Anderson and Smith exited the UK Open in the fourth round with Anderson suffering that defeat against Barry Lynn and Smith going out at the hands of Stuart Kellett. We’d expect the reigning champ to come out firing here, and he’s a good bet to come away with two points.
Michael van Gerwen most 180’s v Dave Chisnall
Thursday 10th March, 19:00 GMT start
Phil Taylor -3.5 to beat Robert Thornton
Thursday 10th March, 19:00 GMT
Gary Anderson to beat Michael Smith
Thursday 10th March, 19:00 GMT
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