Anderson to face Hammer blow
It is not going to be easy to follow Thursday night’s explosive action at the Grand Slam, but the eight men involved on Friday night are going to do their best to do just that, and with five out of eight of them being world finalists we can expect them to get close.
There may be an odds-on favourite in each contest, but each could conceivably go either way and it is going to be a tricky path to pick through in terms of betting.
Any could turn out to be the standout contest but Andy Hamilton versus Gary Anderson has an epic written all over it with both playing well and both, surprisingly for the Scot, showing some serious battling qualities. Ando has gone to a deciding leg in all of his three matches so far, winning two of them whilst the Hammer has won all of his contests and will be full of confidence.
Anderson’s got a great record against Hamilton over the years but not in their most recent battles, only winning one of their last four. Ando’s the favourite at 4/6 but it is impossible to rule out the Hammer and he could just sneak a win against the odds. Most places have Hamilton odds on with a +1.5 handicap but Ladbrokes have edged it up to evens so we should pounce on that offer whilst it’s there.
If this one isn’t the highlight then it may well be Wes Newton taking on Christian Kist who have both been very impressive so far. Like Hamilton, Newton has won all his matches and like Anderson, Kist has won two and only lost one by the narrowest of margins. Many didn’t know what to expect from the BDO world champ at the start of the tournament but he has shown that he is no one-hit wonder and can mix it with the best in the PDC as well as the BDO. He would be favourite against most players but Newton is in fine fettle and proved what mind-set he is in when he averaged over 102 to confirm qualification against Terry Jenkins.
Kist would be favourite against a number of the men left at this stage, but not against the Warrior who will have his eyes on the final. Again Ladbrokes have just gone a bit braver with their price, this time on Newton (-2.5) as while most are odds-on, they have snuck up to 11/10 and this looks a good price.
The all Dutch clash between Raymond van Barneveld and Wesley Harms is a tough one to call despite what the odds say. We all know how unpredictable Barney has become over recent years and Harms has looked like he is in a similar mold over the three matches he has played so far in Wolverhampton.
The bookies expect the five-time world champ to knock off his young compatriot pretty comfortably but it certainly won’t be that easy for the big man and for a change, over 16.5 legs is odds-against and although three contests didn’t go that distance yesterday, this one could well turn out to be a lengthy one.
The first match of the night is John Part against Brendan Dolan and this could be as close as any and certainly is tightest in terms of odds. The pair are level with most bookies at marginal odds-on with only sporting bet making either available at evens, that man being John Part.
Between the two of them there has only been one average of over 90 so far, so maybe we shouldn’t expect the highest quality of battles, but we should expect a long one so the offer of 11/10 on over 5.5 180s in a contest that could last 17 legs easily is a pretty good one.
Andy Hamilton (+1.5) to win @ evens with Ladbrokes
Wes Newton (-2.5) to win @ 11/10 with Ladbrokes
Raymond van Barneveld v Wesley Harms Over 16.5 Legs @ 6/5 Paddy Power
John Part v Brendan Dolan Over 5.5 180s @ 11/10 with Boylesports
• Dutchmen dominate Grand Slam
• Barney the next to fall to Mighty Mike
• Dutch to make short work of Englishmen
• Kist to topple Barney again
• Van Gerwen could seize Power
• Nicholson and Dolan to take qualification to the wire
• Expect big scores as the Count meets Mighty Mike
• Harms good value on current form
• Must win matches for Saturday's losers
• A little bit of history repeating
• Artist and Webby offer Grand Slam value
• Plenty of value on offer at the Grand Slam