This Thursday night signals the return of Betway Premier League Darts to our Sky Sports TV screens. There are five matches in total and all but one look like they could be tightly run affairs.
That exception is Michael van Gerwen (“MVG”), who continued his winning ways on Sunday when claiming the Unibet Masters title for a second consecutive year, versus the pride of Aldershot, James Wade.
Wade is a long way below his best and his current three-dart averages gives him a monumental mountain to climb against a rival who posted an amazing 112.2 three-dart average in the opening round of last weekend’s Masters.
Just one of last season’s 73 non-playoff Premier League Darts games resulted in a 7-0 scoreline. So bet365’s offering of 16/1 about a 7-0 victory for MVG represents no value. However, do consider that one 7-0 result was in favour of MVG against Wade in Cardiff last April.
Bet365 are not all bad however, they are the industry top-price of 9/4 about MVG to win in a handicap market where the Dutch player has to forfeit 4.5 games. In essence MVG has to win 7-0, 7-1 or 7-2. Betfair think one of those score-lines is entirely possible as they offer just 6/4 about the scenario. I tend to agree with them.
Another darts bet which takes my fancy is Skybet’s 4/5 about Dave Chisnall scoring more 180’s than his opponent, Robert Thornton. No one scored more 180’s than Chisnall in this competition last year and when these two players met last Saturday, Chisnall posted seven 180’s, Thornton bagged just four.
Few players can boast the history that Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld (Barney) have. And it is not always been a case of ‘all’s fair in love and war’ which adds some spice to their meetings. Theirs is a confrontation we can always savour even if Taylor has the significantly better record.
Taylor will probably prevail again but it is worth pointing out he was beaten by Barney in both their Premier League Darts clashes last season. I certainly cannot see this being a straightforward demolition job for the 16-time World Darts Champion and Betfair’s 7/10 offer about Barney given a +2.5 leg start in their handicap market is value laden.