Boy George to stop Hendriks in his tracks
Few would dispute the claim that the lower half of the draw at the BDO world championships has less quality about it than the upper section, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be four exciting games on Wednesday night as eight men battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals.
The one shining example of a world class darts player in the bottom half is tournament favourite Scott Waites who is now as low as 11/8 for the tournament after he was so dominant in round one and Martin Adams dropped out at the same stage. The former Grand Slam winner was one of only four men to average over 90 at the first stage and although his opponent Willy van de Wiel’s finishing was pretty suspect, Waites would have seen off most men with that performance.
He will be in for a sterner test though against Belgium’s Geert de Vos who came through arguably the highest quality first round match against Tony Eccles in a nail biter. The 31-year-old looks a confident sort on the Lakeside stage and if Scotty 2 Hotty is of his game de Vos will punish him.
Waites’ scoring will prove to be too much for the Belgian over seven sets but de Vos is a very capable player and won’t be whitewashed as van de Wiel was in the first round. Waites has fallen at the second round stage the last two years and will be nervous so for the match to be reasonably close is a strong possibility. Over 5.5 sets is 6/4 with Sky Bet and this looks a good bet with Geert taking a couple of sets at least a distinct possibility.
The first match of the night sees twice quarter-finalist Garry Thompson take on once semi-finalist Jan Dekker for a place in the last eight. Both were forced into pretty strong performances first up, with Thompson scoring well to see off Gary Robson whilst Dekker had to battle through a five set duel with Jeffrey de Graaf.
Dekker is the marginal favourite but there is little to choose between the two men who have each won a couple of events on the circuit this year and look in pretty good form. Neither have the extra gear to blow the other away and this could be a real slug-fest between two very decent players.
There isn’t a great deal off value in the sets market, but whilst most places have over 24.5 legs at odds-on, bet365 rate it at 11/10 and this looks like a good bet to me.
Second on is one of the surprise packages of round one, Ireland’s Jason Culled who was thoroughly impressive on debut seeing off Martin Atkins with a very healthy average on route to a 3-1 win. He takes on Paul Jennings who was also second favourite to win his first match against Ross Montgomery but came through it by the same score that Cullen managed.
Cullen looked pretty fearless on his Lakeside debut and although Jennings made the last eight on his first appearance last year, he isn’t necessarily an opponent that Cullen will be scared of. If the Irishman can perform like he did against Atkins then he has every chance of continuing a fairy-tale run and looks a good price at 13/8.
Finally on Wednesday is a battle between two of the games’ hottest young prospects in Richie George and Jimmy Henrdiks. The latter produced the result of the first round as he knocked out Martin Adams although it didn’t take much in the way of scoring to do that against a well under-par Wolfie, however it did take a lot of nerve and the Dutchman showed he has that in spades.
George had a tricky night against Dave Prins which he just about scraped through without performing brilliantly and as a result of not being overly impressive he is second favourite against Hendriks. The two have met once before and the Englishman won it and although he will have to play better than he did against Prins, he is very capable of that. This one could go all the way, but in terms of value, George looks good at 5/4 with Coral against his younger opponent who may begin to struggle over longer formats.
Scott Waites v Geert de Vos over 5.5 sets @ 6/4 with Sky Bet
Richie George to win @ 5/4 with Coral
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