Lewis can end Taylor run at Grand Slam
The Grand Slam of Darts begins on Saturday in Wolverhampton and there is one man heading to the Black Country head and shoulders ahead of the competition in terms of form and that is the world number one Phil Taylor.
His relentless victories have shown no sign of letting up as he romped to yet another win at The Masters in Edinburgh last weekend to once again stamp his authority on the sport he has dominated for 20 years. Consecutive 10-1 wins in the semis and final over top five players on the planet proved once again how far he is ahead of the curve and why he is just 13/10 with Boyle Sports to win the tournament in Wolves.
The only question worth asking is can he keep it up? If the answer is yes then putting money on anyone else is akin to burning it, luckily though the answer has to be no. Despite being the greatest player to ever touch an arrow there is no way that a 53-year-old Power can keep up the relentless high standards that saw him average over 106 in the Edinburgh final.
However, he has been helped by being dished up a relatively easy group in Wolverhampton. Not that Kevin Painter, Paul Nicholson and Stuart Kellett are not all excellent players, but none will trouble Taylor in the form he is in.
Who can stop the Power then? Adrian Lewis was the man who was on the wrong end of the thrashing in the Edinburgh showpiece but a lot of that can be put down to him being considerably under the weather. If Jackpot is back to his best then he can certainly challenge and he too has a reasonably straight forward group which features Ronny Huybrechts and the BDO’s Richie George. Lewis is 10/1 with Betfred to lift the trophy and he will certainly attract some money at that price.
The wildcard in this event, as ever, is Scott Waites who for the first time is coming into the tournament as the BDO world champion. The Yorkshireman is both a former winner and runner-up in Wolverhampton and has as good a chance as ever of picking up the £100,000 first prize.
Waites has beaten plenty of the top names in the PDC when he has turned up on the Grand Slam stage, including Taylor and there is every reason to expect him to sail through a group which includes youngster Michael Smith and a struggling Ted Hankey. He is an incredible 40/1 with Bet365 to lift the trophy again and is superb each-way value at that price.
It is still fair to say that backing anyone but Taylor is still something of a punt but his outrageous run has to come to an end at some stage and seen as he has only reached one of the last three Grand Slam finals then this could well be the time for that to happen.
Adrian Lewis to win @ 10/1 with Betfred
Scott Waites (E/W) to win @ 40/1 with Bet365
• Taylor powers to fifth Grand Slam title
• Lewis can cut The Power
• Friday quarter-finals to be lengthy battles
• Lewis and MVG set for another classic
• Silverback and King can beat the odds
• Hurricane can blow away MVG
• Hankey can count out Smith
• Pipe the man to drain Thornton
• Wright, Huybrechts and Harms can upset the odds