More shocks on the cards in UK Open third round
There were plenty of shocks on the first night of the UK Open and whilst the favourites will be in a stronger position with the longer format of the third round they are still far from safe and there are some pretty tempting odds-against bets on Friday.
One of the standout performers on Thursday evening was a 27-year-old from the South East called Conan Whitehead who edged out Roland Scholten in the first round before hammering Kevin Thomas in the next contest 5-1. He was very impressive in doing so and is clearly a talent that his opponent on Friday Michael Mansell will be worried about.
Mansell is much the more experienced and has been a regular on the tour for a while now but has never really made any impact and after the morale-boosting wins of Thursday night, Whitehead will fancy his chances going into the third round clash. There is not a lot in the betting but at 11/8 with Boyle Sports there is no doubt that the Barbarian Whitehead is the value bet.
Another tempting offer is Dennis Smith who takes on Stuart Kellett on stage seven on Friday night. Kellett has had a good start to the season but so has Smith and the veteran of the PDC scene hammered Gary Stone 5-1 on Friday which is no mean feat against a very solid BDO player.
There is not a lot between the two players really but an in-form Smith looks an excellent price at 5/2 with Bet365 with Kellett looking a very small price at 1/2. Smiffy is a former World Championship and Grand Prix semi-finalist so it would be no surprise at all if he were to KO Kellett.
Another worthwhile long shot could well be Jim Walker to cause an upset against Terry Jenkins out on board six. If this was a main stage match then it would be hard to see anything but a Jenkins win given his added experience under the lights but he rarely performs well on the floor and this is where a solid enough player like Walker could spring a surprise.
Jenkins certainly could prove me wrong but scratching around for value in the third round then Walker could be what we are looking for at 5/2 with Sporting Bet.
Finally, one of the highest profile contests in the third round sees Simon Whitlock take on Wes Newton and the Warrior looks excellent value to prosper in this contest. The Aussie has the better of the head-to-head record between the two but he has never performed well on the Reebok stage whereas Newton is a former finalist in Bolton.
There really is not a lot between these two men who are comfortably in the top 10 in the world and if Newton is near his best then he looks a great bet at 6/4 with Sporting Bet.
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