Premier League Darts: Back Michael Smith to win a relegation dogfightPublished March 22, 2016
Amazingly we are already into Week 8 of the Betway Premier League Darts which will take us to the halfway point of the elite darting league which concludes in London’s O2 Arena on May 19th.
Michael van Gerwen, who is now top-priced 4/5 favourite to win the tournament (with Betfred), currently boasts five wins and a draw from his seven completed matches, it is an identical record to Phil Taylor’s. Gary Anderson has won five of his seven games, James Wade is another with five wins albeit he has played eight times.
At the bottom of the table Robert Thornton has a single draw to show for six matches, while Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall have a single win, one draw and five losses next to their name. With the bottom two players in the league set to be sent home after next week’s matches, all three will fighting for their lives this coming Thursday.
Smith Must and Will?
Thornton’s cause essentially looks lost and he is going to have to play twice on Thursday to rub some salt into his already gaping wounds. His first match is against fellow struggler Michael Smith who, pitted against Phil Taylor next week, knows this is a ‘must win’ game for him. I think he will do just that and at 11/10 with Paddy Power should be backed accordingly.
Michael Smith looked like Bambi frozen in car headlights in the opening week of the Premier League Darts when forced to play twice on the same night. Since then he has slowly settled in and recently took the notable scalp of Raymond van Barneveld.
He missed last week’s matches as compensation for those two games on the opening night and that may have freshened him up a little, not that that is necessary to account for Robert Thornton, who has looked like sundried roadkill from the very start.
Wright’s Form is Wrong
Peter Wright, who was unbeaten during the first four weeks of the Premier League, has lost his last three. It would appear his mini-streak was all ‘flash-in-the-pan’ stuff too as three wins over Smith, Barneveld and Wade amounted to little and his draw against Robert Thornton was actually quite bad!
Taylor, Wright’s opponent this week, has the bit very much between his teeth and he takes great delight in dismantling anyone he meets. Given Taylor is +20 on ‘leg difference’ (those won minus those lost) in seven weeks of Premier League action, and Wright is currently -1, there’s every reason to believe this could be something of a demolition job.
The best way to approach this game is to take some of bet365’s generous 5/2 (it’s much shorter elsewhere) about Taylor winning minus -3.5 legs on their handicap.