BDO World Championships: On-song Wilson can triumph
As one World Championship ends another begins with the BDO event starting on Saturday at the Lakeside Country Club and the world number one Stephen Bunting is the clear favourite to get his hands on the trophy for the first time.
The Bullet has had a sensational year winning endless titles most notably the World Masters for a second time when he incredibly did not drop a set for the whole tournament. This history-making performance is a key reason why he is just 5/2 with Boyle Sports to win a maiden world title and it is certainly as good a reason as any.
However, what Bunting lacks is World Championship pedigree having failed to go beyond the quarter-finals in any of his six attempts to date. He was unlucky last year in a second round defeat to Darryl Fitton though and certainly did not seem to choke on the big stage. Also spurring him on will be the fact that last year’s champion Scott Waites had also not been beyond the last eight before triumphing in the final.
Waites has had a bit of a ropey year on tour by his high standards and considering he is the world champion, wins at just the Czech and Dutch Opens do not represent a great return. His biggest pay day came at the PDC’s Grand Slam of Darts when his run to the semi-finals saw him pocket £25,000.
He clearly has the talent to win the world title again though and despite his patchy performances there will be plenty taking the best price of 7/2 offered by Sporting Bet.
What his poor year on tour has meant though is that he goes into the Lakeside competition as the seventh seed and therefore faces a very tricky draw which should see him meet the second seed James Wilson in the quarter-finals. Wilson has reached an outrageous amount of finals this year including the Dutch Open and World Masters and has picked up wins at the Welsh Classic and the recent Zuiderduin Masters which shows he is in fine form, especially as he comfortably saw off Bunting in the final.
The Yorkshireman looks tremendous value at 12/1 with Boyle Sports and if he can overcome the probable contest with his good mate Waites then it will come tumbling down.
It will be a big surprise if anyone outside of these three triumph but if it is to be anyone then it could well be the Dutchman Wesley Harms who has reached the semi-finals in the last two World Championships. He has shown he is ever improving this year with wins at the Scottish Open and most notably the WDF World Cup which really showed what he is made of. Sparky is 14/1 with Bet365 which looks tempting but he could well be set for more semi-final heartache.
There are other contenders including Tony O’Shea who is always a force and Robbie Green who can compete with the best on his day but it is almost certainly going to be one of Bunting, Waites and Wilson who get their names on the trophy. He may struggle to get over the line given his relative lack of big stage experience but James Wilson looks the value bet and could even be backed each-way at 12/1 if you are so inclined.
James Wilson to win @ 12/1 with Boyle Sports
• Bunting triumphs at Lakeside
• Bunting and Norris should produce a classic
• Norris under pressure against Dekker
• Expect epic contests on Friday night
• Bunting and Green set for the semis
• Norris to cause another upset at Lakeside
• O’Shea and Adams to serve up some quality
• Eccles will be Dazzled by Fitton
• Kong to destroy Richie Rich
• Waites in tough opener against Norris