Maximum markets provide quarter-final value
As is so often the case in the UK Open there have been plenty of shocks along the way but we get to the last eight and there is a stellar line-up ready to battle it out on Sunday afternoon at the Reebok Stadium.
There is no doubt what the headline act of the afternoon session is and that is a battle between the top two players in the world Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen. Many will have hoped that these two would be battling it out in the final in Bolton but it is a quarter-final contest that we must make do with and it should be a cracker.
The Power won the big one between these two in the final of the World Championship but since then he has failed to beat MVG in four contests and of course lost his Premier League title to the Dutchman. That result will be the main reason that the bookmakers have made Mighty Mike the odds-on favourite across the board to topple the world champion.
Taylor is out at 13/10 for the win and that is a crazy price really on the world number one but it is hard not to back MVG given his current run of success. The market that is really worth backing him in is 180s and in a game that will almost certainly go to 17 legs or more Mighty Mike can easily hit eight or more maximums in his current form. The market is set at over or under 5.5 180s and Paddy Power are offering 11/10 on MVG managing more than that which looks an excellent bet.
The first match of the afternoon is Raymond van Barneveld taking on Ronnie Baxter and the five-time world champion is the shortest price of anyone in the quarter-final line-up at a best of 1/4. It is hard to see any other result than a Barney win really with the head-to-head record between the two heavily stacked in the Dutchman’s favour.
The Rocket is more than capable of pushing Barney a reasonably long way though and it will be anything but a walkover for the Dutchman. Baxter is a pretty prolific 180 hitter himself and can easily hit four or five maximums over a match that will go 15 or 16 legs. Baxter is 11/10 with Sky Bet to make it over 3.5 180s and this looks a very decent price on the Lancastrian.
Second on is James Wade taking on Andy Hamilton and the impressive Wade is a hot favourite to progress against the Hammer despite their recent head-to-head record being anything but in his favour. The Machine has been very impressive throughout this tournament but the record between the two of late is heavily stacked towards the Hammer. Hamilton won both Premier League contests between the two this year and has not lost to Wade in the last seven encounters between the two.
Given this record Hamilton looks a fabulous price at 21/10 with Sporting Bet and seen as it is often unwise to ignore such historical evidence the Hammer is our pick for this one.
Finally in the last eight Adrian Lewis is taking on Peter Wright and both have been in fantastic form to get to this stage of the competition. Wright has looked great in his wins over both Stephen Bunting and Steve West but Lewis was equally impressive against Wes Newton and Kevin Painter.
Snake Bite is clearly an excellent player but the quarter-final stage of major tournaments tends to be where he hits the wall and this is probably what will happen again against Jackpot. It won’t be straight forward for the double world champ but a win with a -2.5 handicap looks about right and at evens with Sky Bet it looks good value.
• Taylor proves his superiority at UK Open
• Hamilton could just cut the Power
• Barney and Taylor set for UK Open final
• Klaasen the notable fifth round value
• Newton and Part great value in fourth round
• Chisnall and Painter with main stage potential
• Burnett and Hankey to build on momentum
• More shocks on the cards in UK Open third round
• UK Open opening night: Wade has his work cut out
• Van Gerwen looks unstoppable ahead of UK Open