Hard to look past MVG and Taylor in Crawley
The fifth and sixth Players Championship events of the season come around this weekend in Crawley and with places at next month’s prestigious World Matchplay in Blackpool up for grabs there will be some nerves jangling at the K2 Leisure Centre.
This is the first time the players are returning to the oche in proper competition since the thrilling UK Open at the start of the month and for all those players disappointed not to lift the trophy in Bolton there will have been some hard hours on the practice board over the last two weeks.
Phil Taylor emerged victorious at the Reebok Stadium and he is involved in Crawley as he looks to make an improvement on his surprisingly low position of 32nd on the Pro Tour Order of Merit, and few would doubt that he will do just that.
The Power was sensational at the UK Open averaging three figures throughout the tournament and he will be motivated as ever to go out and add some more titles to his name. However, he remains behind the man he knocked out in the quarter-finals in Bolton, Michael van Gerwen.
Taylor is a best price for each of the weekend’s events of 3/1 with Sky Bet whilst MVG is a best of 9/4 with Bet Vctor. Given the form of the two men it would be a massive shock if anyone else was to beat either of them in Crawley and backing either of them would certainly be a pretty sensible option.
The other contenders at the top of the betting are James Wade, Simon Whitlock and Robert Thornton with no Raymond van Barneveld in action, but these players, like the rest of the field are really just a name out of a hat. Whitlock and Thornton have proved this year that they can succeed on the floor events but both remain something of a punt.
If a long shot is what you are after then you could do a lot worse than backing UK Open semi-finalists Peter Wright. Snakebite was at the top of his game in Bolton and beat some big names on route to the last four. He won a tour event last year so has proved he can do it and at 33/1 with Sky Bet could be worth an each-way punt.
The smart money cannot really go anywhere but MVG and the Power though and it would be a big surprise if both titles weren’t won by one or both of them. Of all the Players Championships, UK Open qualifiers and European Tour events so far this year MVG has won half of them and backing him at 9/4 for both weekend events, he only needs to win one to give us some profit. It is pretty unimaginative but back Mighty Mike for both tournaments and you are bound to come out with a profit.