Expect big scores as the Count meets Mighty Mike
The way the tournament has been set out there is not a single dead rubber as we enter the final round of group stage games on Tuesday evening, so there should be eight matches packed full of excitement for the Wolverhampton crowd to lap up.
Group A is poised as many would have expected as Phil Taylor has won both his contests leaving Mark Webster and Scott Waites on two points each with Co Stompe out of the tournament without a win. Webster is in the driving seat as it is him who faces Stompe on Tuesday whilst Waites has the unenviably task of meeting the Power for a place in the knockout stages. Interestingly, if Stompe does manage a win over Webster and Waites only narrowly loses to Taylor, it is the BDO man who will go through on leg difference.
That seems unlikely though as the Dutchman has looked pretty limp so far in Wolverhampton and Webster has played reasonably well, even in defeat to the Power. The Welshman is 1/2 to win the match which won’t excite too many punters, but with a -2.5 handicap he is out at 7/4 which is much more tempting. Stompe has only got one leg on the board in each of his two matches so there is little to suggest he will do any better on Tuesday.
There is little value in betting on the Power at 2/9 especially as Waites is playing well so the handicap may not even be worthwhile. From Group A the it may well just be worth having a double on Taylor and Webster to prosper which can be backed at 5/6 with sky BET.
The two men in Group B who are most nervy before Tuesday are Rob Thornton and Ted Hankey who each have one win and one loss to their names. Unfortunately for Hankey though he must take on the red hot Michael van Gerwen which is one of the least tempting prospects in the world of darts at the moment. It is especially difficult for the Count to qualify given his leg difference after a whitewash from Thornton in the opening contest. The count must beat Mighty Mike by three legs and hope Steve Beaton defeats Rob Thornton which all seems a bit unlikely.
Thornton has been playing very well of late and the evens on him to beat the Adonis at -1.5 looks a fantastic bet, as does the 11/10 on over 3.5 180s between Hankey and van Gerwen. Those two are maximum machines when on form and after Sunday’s performances they are looking in good touch, it could easily be eight legs and you could expect six or seven 180s from these two in that time.
Group C’s main man has been Simon Whitlock who has brought his recent good form into the Grand Slam as he has won his opening two matches. He isn’t safely through yet though as if he slips up against Dean Winstanley and Kevin Painter heavily beats James Hubbard then the Wizard could slip out of contention. It isn’t out of the question but it would be criminal for Whitlock to throw it away from this position. He has an even record with Winstanley though and it will be tight so the 5/6 on over 7.5 legs looks nailed on. In the other contest, Hubbard is certainly no pushover but he hasn’t managed more than two legs in either match so far and it is 13/8 for him to suffer that fate again which looks good.
Finally Group D should produce a cracker of a contest between Mervyn King and James Wade as they battle it out for qualification. Wade looked to be struggling in his first match against Arron Monk but recovered to hammer Jan Dekker with an average over 99; a feat King managed against Monk in his last match so there could be some big scoring. Wade is favourite but King has been in very fine form of late and looks a great bet at 6/5 to win the match and keep his 100% record intact. Monk should see off Dekker as well who has been thoroughly underwhelming on the PDC stage and the Englishman at 7/4 with a -2.5 handicap looks one to back.
Mark Webster (-2.5) to win @ 7/4 with Sky Bet
Michael van Gerwen v Ted Hankey over 3.5 180s @ 11/10 with BetVictor
Mervyn King to win @ 6/5 with Boylesports
• Dutchmen dominate Grand Slam
• Barney the next to fall to Mighty Mike
• Dutch to make short work of Englishmen
• Kist to topple Barney again
• Anderson to face Hammer blow
• Van Gerwen could seize Power
• Nicholson and Dolan to take qualification to the wire
• Harms good value on current form
• Must win matches for Saturday's losers
• A little bit of history repeating
• Artist and Webby offer Grand Slam value
• Plenty of value on offer at the Grand Slam