Epic contests set for European Championship quarter-finals
If anyone tells you they saw what happened on Saturday evening coming then they are undoubtedly a liar as not only Raymond van Barneveld but most shockingly Phil Taylor tumbled out of the European Championship.
Given his performances over the last year then it may not have been the biggest surprise in the world that Robert Thornton edged out Barney but Ronny Huybrechts comfortably seeing off the Power 10-5 is arguably the upset of the season so far on the stage and came from nowhere after the world number one had whitewashed the Rebel twice since the turn of the year.
The two men who upset the odds on Saturday now face each other in the quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon and it is the Belgian that will have to spring another surprise to make it into the last four. Huybrechts is out at a best price of 3/1 with Sky Bet whilst the Thorn is 2/7 with Ladbrokes.
After Huybrechts’ performance yesterday his odds are very generous but it is hard to see him pulling off another surprise. The two have only met once before with the Scot winning 6-0 in a Players Championship event, further leaning us towards him. Looking for value it may well be worth taking on the 180s market. Between the two, playing brilliantly, yesterday they hit eight maximums and they are unlikely to repeat that feat in an afternoon session today; it is 11/10 with Boyle Sports for there to be less than 7.5 180s today and that looks a good price.
Next up is arguably the star of the tournament so far Jamie Caven who goes in as second favourite for a third straight game against Simon Whitlock. Jabba has been superb in hammering both Dave Chisnall and James Wade so far and there is no real reason why he can’t do the same to the reigning champion this afternoon.
Whitlock has been very solid himself in his tough draws against Kim Huybrechts and Colin Lloyd and is clearly desperate to keep hold of his European title but Caven is one of the best players on tour at the moment and this will be a stern test for the Aussie. Jabba looks great value at 11/8 with Sky Bet but a safer bet may be the evens offered by Bet365 on there being over 16.5 legs in what is sure to be a tightly fought game.
An all Dutch affair third up could well steal the show as the band in form Jelle Klaasen takes on the tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen. Klaasen is making a stunning return to the top of the game and was brilliant in beating Justin Pipe in the second round. MVG is looking equally good though and fired in a near 105 average against Mervyn King to make the last eight.
The best of 9/2 on Klaasen with Sporting Bet is a fantastic price on someone playing so well but it is still hard to see Mighty Mike being beaten when he is playing so well as well. The Matador has to be respected though and if he is going to hit a three figure average himself then he is going to win legs. Over 15.5 legs is 11/10 with Bet Victor and that is certainly feasible with these two playing well.
The final last eight clash sees Adrian Lewis taking on Andy Hamilton in yet another tasty affair in Germany. Lewis looked somewhere near his best in beating Kevin Painter in his last outing whilst the Hammer displayed his famed fighting qualities to come back to defeat Paul Nicholson.
Lewis is the favourite to win this one at 8/13 with Paddy Power and Hamilton, who is always undervalued, looks good at 6/4 with Stan James. He is under-rated in the 180s market as well as he hit six against the Asset, but for him to hit over 4.5 against Jackpot is 11/8 with bet365 and this looks fantastic value.
Andy Hamilton over 4.5 180s @ 11/8 with Bet365