Chisnall v Caven: On song Jabba to chop down Chizzy
The quarter-finalists in the bottom half of the draw of the World Matchplay are sorted out on Wednesday night and although not the most glamorous tie in terms of world rankings and bulging trophy cabinets, the highlight of the night should be Jamie Caven taking on Dave Chisnall.
Caven has been a revelation this year producing arguably the best darts of his career which has seen him win two Players Championships and reach the quarter-final of the European Championships. In the process he has shot up to 24th in the world having dropped out of the top 32 last season and he is very much on an upward curve.
Chisnall is all the way up at 10th in the world but his form has been a little patchy this year and is yet to win a floor event after winning five of them last year. The major televised events continue to be something of a struggle for Chizzy and he will need to put that right soon if he is to maintain his place in the top 10 on the planet.
The two men met as recently as the start of this month in the first round of the European Championship and it was Jabba who came away with an emphatic 6-0 whitewash. In fact it is Caven who has much the better of their head-to-head record, winning six and losing just two.
All this considered it is no surprise Caven goes in as favourite at a best of 10/11 with Ladbrokes although knowing what Chizzy is capable of the bookies are only going as far as evens on him (bet365 offering that price).
In a race to 13 in the second round the margins of victory are often a bit wider and to squeeze more value from the match it is worth backing Jabba with a -2.5 handicap at 13/8 with Bet Victor. If Chizzy really turns it on we could be in trouble but on current form it looks a great bet.
The first match of the evening sees Andy Hamilton taking on Ian White who caused the shock of the first round in beating Rob Thornton on Monday night. On his day White is a fantastic player and he will push the Hammer, however, Hamilton is so consistent at reaching the last eight that you have to fancy him to make it again. The value is in backing White to perform though and over 21.5 legs at evens with Sky Bet looks generous with both players clearly on song.
Next is Adrian Lewis and Brendan Dolan, neither of whom set the world alight with their first round performances. Lewis is hot favourite and he should win but he has always found the Irishman a tricky opponent, only leading the head-to-head 4-3 which is surprising. Jackpot has never beaten Dolan by more than two legs so taking Dolan with a +4.5 handicap at evens with Sky Bet should work out in our favour.
Finally Michael van Gerwen takes on Peter Wright in what could be a humdinger if their clash at the World Championships is anything to go by. Both men are playing well but MVG is not at his rampant best and it will be tighter than the bookies seem to think. Over 21.5 legs at 11/10 with Paddy Power looks a good shout.
Brendan Dolan (+4.5) to win @ evens with Sky Bet
• Taylor powers to 14th Matchplay title
• Taylor v Lewis: Power unbeatable in Matchplay finals
• Van Gerwen v Lewis: Classic semi-final in prospect
• Taylor v Wade: Machine can out-180 the Power
• Van Gerwen v Chisnall: Mighty Mike makes maximums
• Lewis v Hamilton: Jackpot building up nicely
• Taylor v Pipe: Force to push the Power
• Wade v Whitlock: Wizard can Wade into semis
• Wade v Anderson: In form duo could produce epic
• Lewis v Huybrechts: Rebel no walkover for Jackpot
• Van Gerwen v Lloyd: MVG a maximum machine
• Huybrechts v Wright: Expect maximums aplenty
• Whitlock v Klaasen: Matador can oust the Aussie
• Taylor hopes to prove he is still king of Blackpool
• Averages and nine-darter markets look profitable
• World Matchplay: Round One Betting