MVG can start title defence in style
The defending champion Michael van Gerwen takes to the Citywest Hotel stage on Tuesday night for his second round contest with John Part, and it is a clash that the Dutchman should come through pretty comfortably.
MVG is the 1/5 favourite to win the match with Part out at a best price of 9/2 with Sporting Bet which shows how one-sided the bookies think the game will turn out to be. Part had a cracking start to the year winning the UK Masters in March and making the final of a UK Open qualifier in April but has severely tailed off since then.
Mighty Mike’s form has also gone downhill a little but that was from a level far higher than Part’s was and the Dutchman is still playing well despite not winning as many competitions as he was earlier in the season.
There is not much value in backing MVG but there is in backing him to hit plenty of maximums. Obviously there is less chance to hit 180s in the Grand Prix with the double start format but he is a machine on the treble 20 when playing well and he can certainly manage three or four even in this format. Over 3.5 maximums in the match is odds-on in places but 11/10 with Bet365 and that looks a very good price.
The headline act of Tuesday night sees local favourite Brendan Dolan take on world number three Adrian Lewis in what could be the highlight of the first round. The two men met as recently as Saturday when Lewis beat Dolan in the final of the Players Championship event in Dublin so it is no surprise he is favourite going into this one at a best price of 4/11 with Sky Bet and the Irishman out at 5/2 with Bet Victor.
Jackpot looks to be in good nick with that rare Players Championship win and is certainly a threat in this competition. Despite Dolan’s fabulous record in this event he is unlikely to conquer an on-song Lewis but he should push him. Lewis will win it but it could easily go to three sets and at 5/4 with Paddy Power, over 2.5 sets look a good bet.
The other man to win at the weekend was Raymond van Barneveld who is also not a regular winner, or even competitor in the Players Championships, but he proved he is in form and that bodes ill for his opponent on Tuesday Stuart Kellett.
KO Kellett is making his Grand Prix debut and as much as he will want it to be different from his Matchplay debut earlier in the year when he was thrashed by Phil Taylor, something similar could happen. Barney is confident and in good form, he is 5/4 with Bet365 to win 2-0 and that should be taken with glee.
Elsewhere it is difficult to make arguments for the underdogs in the other contests either. Andy Smith will not be beating Justin Pipe, Wayne Jones is in good form but will struggle to overcome last year’s runner-up Mervyn King and Ian White may not be able to keep up with Dave Chisnall.
Depending on which Richie Burnett turns up his best price of 6/4 with Sporting Bet could prove an excellent one to beat Kevin Painter but he is a bit too inconsistent to back with confidence.
The tightest match of the evening could well be Andy Hamilton taking on Kim Huybrechts which is a real corker for a first round clash. Hamilton is the hot favourite and his record of reaching the latter stages of events in the last couple of years suggests he won’t lose out. Over 2.5 sets again looks a good bet though at a best price of EVENS with Paddy Power.
Michael van Gerwen v John Part over 3.5 180s @ 11/10 with Bet365
Adrian Lewis v Brendan Dolan over 2.5 sets @ 5/4 with Paddy Power
Raymond van Barneveld 2-0 Stuart Kellett @ 5/4 with Bet365
Andy Hamilton v Kim Huybechts over 2.5 sets @ EVENS with Paddy Power
• Taylor romps to 11th Grand Prix title
• Chisnall out to do the impossible
• Tenacious Wade can push Taylor
• Anderson can at least out score Taylor
• Barney could just topple MVG
• Taylor has too much for in form Asset
• Wade vulnerable to Beaton at Grand Prix
• Taylor looks unstoppable ahead of Grand Prix