Artist to brush the champion aside
Thursday evening could start with something of a massacre on the oche as the lowest ranked player left in the tournament comes up against many people’s pick to lift the trophy; Colin Lloyd might have the edge in experience over Michael van Gerwen but that is pretty much it it would seem.
The two have met four times already this year on the tour and the Dutchman has won every single one including a first round victory at the Grand Prix. His form against Jaws and in general over the last few months has led to him being priced at 1/7 for this contest and it really is going to be a struggle to get any value out of this match.
Lloyd did play pretty well to see off Mark Webster in the last round but he is going to be battling an average in or around three figures against MVG and he just hasn’t got the game anymore to keep up with that.
As mentioned, with the likelihood of a big win for van Gerwen it is not too easy to squeeze much value out of this clash with the youngster still a very small price on the handicaps. It is not ideal but going the whole way and backing him to win 4-0 may be the best way to make a profit on this one. There were three whitewashes at this stage last year and of any of the matches this time around, this looks the most likely so the top price 9/4 with Boyle Sports may be worth taking advantage of.
The second clash of the session is much more difficult to call and has the potential to be the match of the night, round or tournament if both Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld can find their A-games.
Anderson may well still be recovering from his unbelievable match with John Bowles in the second round which saw him hit an incredible 19 maximums on the way to a 4-3 win. The Flying Scotsman was having his trademark problems with finishing but he still managed five three figure finishes during the contest which will go down as one of the greatest ever on the Ally Pally stage.
Barney has not had such a tough time of it as he blitzed Michael Smith in round one and then saw off Brendan Dolan reasonably comfortably in round two to get to this stage having only dropped one set. Given this it is the Dutchman who is the odds on favourite but if Anderson can just pick up his finishing to anything like near 50% then he has every chance because his scoring really is the best in the world.
Barney may have the biggest average in the competition thus far with his 108.31 against Smith but Anderson is much more regularly up near and into three figures. The match could really go either way but the evens on Ando to hit the higher average with Bet Victor looks a very good bet.
The final match of the evening and indeed the third round sees the enigmatic world champ Adrian Lewis taking on a bang in form Kevin Painter in what could be a real tight contest.
Lewis has been really very poor in his two matches thus far averaging comfortably below 90 in both contests. Compare this to Painter’s performances which have each been around the 95 mark and there is no comparison really. Of course averages are not everything but they are a good indicator of players’ form going into a game and of the two men here, Painter’s is much the better.
If Jackpot does stumble upon his best form then he will win this one but there is not much evidence of him doing that and given that Painter has already beaten him twice this year including in the Premier League, he will be full of confidence. The Artist also won their only previous clash on this stage when he knocked Lewis out of the 2008 championships at the quarter-final stage so he certainly has previous.
At 13/8 with various bookies, Painter looks a good price to bring Lewis’ Alexandra Palace fairy tale to an end.
Michael van Gerwen 4-0 Colin Lloyd @ 9/4 with Boylesports
Gary Anderson to have higher match average @ evens with BetVictor
Kevin Painter to win @ 13/8 with William Hill
• Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen betting
• James Wade v Michael van Gerwen betting
• Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld betting
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• Two epics in prospect on Friday
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• The Bull could charge through Hamilton
• Beaton could push Wade all the way
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• Part and Bull to go the distance
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• Priestley to roll back the years
• King and Winstanley set for five sets
• Everybody loves Raymond
• Rodriguez or Bowles to steal the show
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• Don't expect whitewashes on night one
• Big finishes & big averages to come
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• Hammer has sights set on title
• 9/4 Taylor turns The Power back on
• World title odds slashed as Taylor bounces back