Bunting and Green set for the semis
Stephen Bunting was so impressive in his second round whitewash win over Dave Prins that he is now odds-on for the tournament as a whole and he is a tiny price to win his last eight clash with Rick Hofstra on Thursday evening.
The Bullet produced the rarest of commodities on the World Championship stage, a ton-plus average which gave the Badger little chance and saw the world number one canter through to the last eight. He is now a best price of 4/5 with Sporting Bet to get his hands on the trophy and a best of just 1/12 with Bwin to see-off Hofstra.
The Dutchman has reached this stage thanks to an arm injury to Martin Atkins which handed him a bye through the second round. It hardly gives him the greatest preparation for a battle with the Bullet but Hofstra was impressive in round one in whitewashing Remco van Eijden when he had gone in as the underdog.
It will surprise a few that Hofstra actually has a winning record over Bunting having thrashed him 4-0 at the Tops of Ghent competition in October. The Dutchman also pushed him close at the England Classic in September, going down 4-3. If Bunting can replicate a three figure average then Hofstra is in trouble but if he drops below then it will not be an embarrassment for Rick.
Bunting will win the match but Hofstra can certainly get a couple of sets on the board in a race to five. Over 6.5 sets is odds-on in places but available at 11/8 with Sky Bet which looks very decent value.
The other quarter-final on Thursday sees Robbie Green take on Tony Eccles who few expected to come through a second round clash with Wesley Harms on Wednesday. The Viper battled hard to come through that contest in a deciding set but is well behind in the betting to reach the last four at a best price of 3/1 with Boyle Sports.
Green remains something of a dark horse to win the competition and, without stealing the headlines, has been quietly very impressive so far dropping just one set on route to the quarters. He is capable of anything when at his best and he should have too much for a talented but limited Eccles. The man known as Kong to win with a -2.5 handicap looks about right at 9/10 with Boyle Sports.
Stephen Bunting v Rick Hofstra over 6.5 sets @ 11/8 with Sky Bet
Robbie Green (-2.5) to win @ 9/10 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
• 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
• BDO World Championships: On-song Wilson can triumph