Mighty Mike might just do it
A surprise winner of Group Seven of Championship League Darts on Tuesday has left the final group stage with some serious quality involved and with only one spot left remaining in the big money winners group there will be some despondent souls leaving Essex on Wednesday evening.
Despite winning all seven of his group games on Tuesday, Michael van Gerwen could not finish the job and was dumped out in the semi-finals of Group Seven by Paul Nicholson. The Dutchman looked imperious in the league stage and was justifying his favourite tag for the day but Nicho is a plucky and highly talented campaigner and did enough in the last four stage.
The Asset then lost out to Jamie Caven in the day’s final though so both him and Mighty Mike will be battling it out again for a spot in the winners group. Unsurprisingly it is these two men who lead the betting with van Gerwen favourite at around 11/4 and Nicholson following behind at about 4/1. Nicho will be competing in his fifth group tomorrow and has already accumulated £9150 in prize money from the tournament thus far. He is all but guaranteed to soar past the 10k mark tomorrow and if he can reach the winners group his earnings will be well over most people’s annual salary.
Nicholson and van Gerwen are re-joined by Mark Walsh, Robert Thornton and Brendan Dolan who all survived the previous group and will be looking to cause an upset in the final one. Of the returning trio Thornton looks thee most likely to succeed having reached the previous two semi-finals and he is available at 5/1 to sneak into the winners’ enclosure.
For some reason Brendan Dolan is the biggest priced player in the eight man field all the way out at 16/1 with Boyle Sports. Considering he played pretty well on Tuesday, winning three of his matches and only missing out on a place in the semis by leg difference, this seems quite generous.
Joining the previous incumbents of Group Seven are Peter Wright, Steve Beaton and Dennis Ovens who all have the ability to upset the apple cart. Ovens has been out of touch for a while but both Wright and Beaton have shown signs of good form of late. Beaton made the winners group last year and at a peak of 10/1 could be good value to do so again this time around.
After his performances on Tuesday it is hard to look past Michael van Gerwen again and just like Group Seven, Paul Nicholson is the most likely to pip him to the post if anyone can. Of the rest Beaton seems the best value bet at 10/1 but given his league match dominance on Tuesday MVG is the one to back at 11/4.
Michael van Gerwen to win Championship League Group Eight @ 11/4 with sky BET