Favourites to prosper on Tuesday night
With a new champion at Lakeside now guaranteed for 2013, all 16 remaining players will believe they can be the one to see their name etched onto the famous trophy come the end of the tournament, and there are certainly some on Tuesday night that have a very real chance of doing just that.
All eight men playing on Tuesday were seeded coming into the competition, but that doesn’t mean they were favourites for their matches as was the case of Robbie Green who knocked out defending champion Christian Kist in round one. With the Dutchman gone, along with Martin Adams, Green is now fourth favourite to win the title and his confidence will be sky high having toppled the reigning champ.
He takes on Scott Mitchell who finally broke his Lakeside duck by beating Mark Barilli in round one but made hard work of it in a low quality affair. Scotty Dog had made a bright start with his finishing particularly impressing early on but nerves got to him and he only just stumbled over the line against the Scotsman. It would be a big upset if he were to beat Kong and reach the quarter-finals as the odds suggest with Green a best priced 2/7 with Ladbrokes.
Green was one of a very select band of players to average in the 90s in round one and if he can keep that up he could blow Mitchell away. The second round goes to best of seven and a 4-1 win for Kong is not out of the question. He is 5/4 with a -2.5 handicap with Boyle Sports and that looks very conceivable given the form shown by the respective players.
Second on is the number one seed taking on Lakeside veteran Darryl Fitton in another contest that the bookies only see going one way and that is in favour of Stephen Bunting. Both were pushed all the way to five sets in their first round matches which were high quality and exciting affairs and that should set each of them up nicely for another tussle on Tuesday.
The Dazzler broke his first round hoodoo that has blighted him for the last three years and although Bunting will almost certainly win this one, Fitton could make a real game of it. It might not seem great value, but the 5/6 on over 5.5 sets looks a decent bet with the 50-year-old more than capable of taking a couple of sets off the Bullet.
The next is another of the tournament’s Anglo-Dutch contests as Alan Norris faces the very dangerous Wesley Harms who at 14/1 for the title may just be attracting some attention. He despatched of Rune David pretty convincingly in round one and with the field opening up a little, last year’s semi-finalist has the potential to go one better this time around.
Norris was reasonably comfortable in his 3-1 win over Wayne Warren first up, but you won’t win too many matches averaging under 80 on the world stage and he will have to improve if he is to keep up with Sparky. Norris will do better than that against a better opponent, but Harms looks a class above him to me and 11/8 with a -1.5 handicap seems an excellent price with bet365.
The final match on Tuesday night is the one that the bookmakers see as the most one-sided of the lot as Tony O’Shea meets Steve Douglas. Not many expected Douglas to beat Gary Stone first up after his recent heart attack but he did so fairly convincingly in the end and will be relaxed and view this clash as something of a freebie against last year’s runner-up.
O’Shea is a different beast to Stone all together though and Douglas will have to pull out the match of his life if he is to keep up with the man who dismissed John Walton 3-0 in round one. The bookies have O’Shea at 1/5 and it is hard to disagree with them. Again it isn’t the greatest value, but O’Shea on the -2.5 handicap is 10/11 and it looks a safe bet on the Silverback.
All the favourites are being backed to win, but other than Fitton, the underdogs just haven’t shown enough in round one to warrant backing, and he is coming up against our tip for the title. An accumulator on the four favourites comes in at 2.34/1 with bet365 and this may well be worth taking.
Robbie Green (-2.5) to win @ 5/4 with Boylesports
Wesley Harms (-1.5) to win @ 11/8 with Bet365
Tony O’Shea (-2.5) to win @ 10/11 with Ladbrokes
• O'Shea and Waites set for a classic
• A little bit of history repeating
• Richie Rich to hit the Jackpot
• Wesley will do some Harms to Fitton
• Boy George to stop Hendriks in his tracks
• Waites to lay down an early marker
• Harms to start in style
• Bunting must be ready for in-form Wilson
• Dazzler could fall at first again
• Kist faces stern first test
• BDO World Championship Betting Preview