Lewis to get the better of MVG
Michael van Gerwen taking on Adrian Lewis is a contest fit to grace any final but they will have to make do with a clash in the final four of the 2014 World Championship, a battle that MVG goes into as favourite.
These two have met an incredible 10 times in competition during 2013 and they each have five wins over the other. The Dutchman claimed victory at the recent Players Championship Finals and at the Sydney Darts Masters whilst Lewis ousted his rival from the World Matchplay, European Championship and Grand Slam; the Premier League saw one win each for the two men.
This suggests there is little between the two and the odds reflect this with MVG going in as marginal favourite at 5/6 with Sporting Bet and Lewis a best price of 11/10 with Bet365. As Jackpot says, he has won this tournament twice before whilst the Dutchman has not which should really make him favourite; however, 12 months ago these two met on this stage and MVG triumphed which may just be convincing the bookmakers.
The value here though is all with Lewis who is playing much better now than he was a year ago when Van Gerwen edged him out at the quarter-final stage. Jackpot has not had an easy draw but has dropped just three sets in four games compared to MVG’s seven. There is very little between them but our pick is Lewis who has looked unstoppable this tournament whilst it has seemed MVG can be got at.
Whatever happens we can expect one of the greatest games of darts in history; evidenced by the fact the over/under 180 market is set at 26.5, over this amount available at 5/6 with William Hill.
The first semi-final is equally intriguing between Simon Whitlock and Peter Wright with the latter going in as favourite at 3/4 with Boyle Sports whilst Snakebite is at 11/10 with Sky Bet. Both these men have been remarkably consistent over the tournament but in fact it is Wright who has performed better as he tops the average table going into the semis with a tournament average of 99.41, almost three points higher than Lewis.
With this in mind it is Snakebite who looks great value especially as he has shown the ability to blast away opponents in the early rounds and battle past more difficult ones in Michael Smith and Wes Newton.
In Whitlock’s favour is the fact he has been to two world finals, the BDO in 2008 and the PDC in 2010. He knows how to get it done in a world semi-final, although his collapse against Andy Hamilton in 2012 at the same stage suggests he has not completely cracked it.
It is very tempting to back Wright at 11/10 but this one is so evenly matched it is more tempting to back the match going past 9.5 sets in a race to six which is available at 11/10 with Paddy Power. Expect averages in the late 90s and plenty of nervy moments in an epic battle.
Simon Whitlock v Peter Wright over 9.5 sets @ 11/10 with Paddy Power
• MVG must hit the heights to beat Wright
• Wade and Lewis set for another classic
• Newton can out-180 Wright
• Saturday afternoon to be a 180-fest
• Whitlock and Painter to fire in the maximums
• Pipe to win dance-off with Petersen
• Jackpot and Dutch Destroyer to turn on the style
• Part no pushover for Newton
• Painter and Nicholson to go all the way
• Taylor bullied and beaten by Smith
• Burnett can push the Hammer in round two
• Barney and Caven could produce classic
• Webster in trouble against Suljovic
• Bomber Brown to destroy Smith
• MVG and Whitlock to stroll through
• Baxter to be swamped by Evans
• Caven to out Klaas Jelle
• Nicholson and Kellett could go all the way
• Walsh in trouble against Komula
• Wright and Cullen can steal the show
• Taylor will prove he is still King of the world