Don't expect whitewashes on night one
Long gone are the days that the early rounds of the World Championships are a stroll in the park for the top seeds as they brushed aside the chancers from pubs around Britain and darting outposts around the world. Now anything can happen and although certain results are still shocks, they are not from totally out of the blue anymore.
There is not going to be a shock in the first game of the contest though as Robert Thornton takes on everyone’s favourite Swede Magnus Caris. Stockholm’s finest is no mug by any means; this will be his fourth consecutive appearance at the World Championships and the SDC events in Scandinavia have given him some consistent match practice and a winning feeling again, however, the Thorn will be a much tougher test.
Thornton has been in brilliant form this year having backed up his UK Open win with impressive results on the floor and a second defeat of Phil Taylor in a major tournament at the Grand Prix. He has impressed so much that he has been tipped by many including us here at Darts Betting News as worth a punt at 50/1 with some bookies.
On his three world championship appearances thus far, Caris has manages 1, 0 and 2 sets leaving his average at one set per match and this looks about right against Thornton. 3-1 to the Scotsman is 9/4 with a number of bookies and although we usually try and avoid correct scores, this looks a good bet.
Few places are taking bets on Andree Welge taking on Leung Chung Nam in the preliminary round and it would be a big surprise if Welge didn’t come through that one. The German has played in three world championships previously and was in the last 16 of the European Championship just this year whilst little is known of the man from Hong Kong who won the South East Asia qualifier to make it here.
The third contest of the first night is a high quality affair as Paul Nicholson takes on Co Stompe. The Dutchman has been woefully out of form this year and is now outside of the world’s top 32, but he does tend to turn up on the Alexandra Palace stage having twice reached the quarter-final here in the last five years. Nicholson will be incredibly focussed on this match though and should win but this could well be one that goes the full distance in sets. Paddy Power are offering 7/4 on the contest going to five sets and this looks a good price to me.
Next on will be the defending world champion against Dutch youngster Gino Vos and Adrian Lewis will be desperate to avoid the scare he had at the start of last year’s event. Jackpot found himself 2-0 down in sets to the unfancied Nigel Heydon and on the brink of elimination but he turned it round and obviously went on to win the title. This should sharpen the mind of the world champ and he will almost certainly beat Vos but the Dutchman is a better player than his odds of 8/1 suggest. I fancy the man known as the Fox to pinch a set against Jackpot and Paddy Power are offering evens on over 3.5 sets which looks good.
Last up will be Kevin Painter taking on the winner of Welge and Chun Nam and obviously it is impossible to call not knowing who will be in the match. If Welge comes through his first match strongly then he will give Painter a good game and could even pinch it and Sporting Bet are already offering 4/1 on either man to beat the Artist. This looks quite tempting but would be silly to back before seeing the first match. If the German looks good and is still around that price then that is worth taking.
Robert Thornton to win 3-1 @ Bet365
Paul Nicholson v Co Stompe over 4.5 sets @ 7/4 with Paddy Power
Adrian Lewis v Gino Vos over 3.5 sets @ evens with Paddy Power
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