Painter and Nicholson to go all the way
Rarely will we be served up with a more evenly match second round contest at the World Championships than on Sunday afternoon when Paul Nicholson and Kevin Painter take to the stage at the Alexandra Palace.
On paper there is nothing between these two; their head-to-head record stands at four-a-piece; they have each won one major, that being the Players Championship and they both recorded 3-0 wins in the first round with similar averages. It is safe to say this one is a tough one to call.
The bookies are leaning towards Nicholson though with him being favourite at 10/11 with Sky Bet with Painter just marginally behind at EVENS with Coral. Neither are worth backing at those prices given how tricky it is to pick a winner between the two.
What can be said with confidence about this one though is that it will be close, very close. It may be a small price but you can sit back and relax knowing that this one is bound to go beyond 5.5 sets and that can be backed at 8/13 with Bet Victor.
The first clash of the evening could also be a tight one, although the bookies are not expecting it to be between Gary Anderson and Brendan Dolan. Anderson is the hot favourite at 4/9 with Paddy Power whilst the Northern Irishman is out at 12/5 with William Hill. Dolan actually has an excellent record against the Scot, winning easily more than he has lost including the last two meetings.
Both men were very impressive in their first round wins and there is no reason why this one will not be extremely tight. There is a feeling that Anderson has an extra gear to Dolan but the History Maker is playing well and over 5.5 sets is where we should look again with it being available at 4/5 with Bet365.
The most one-sided clash of the evening will certainly be between Simon Whitlock and the Finn Jarkko Komula with the Aussie a tiny best price of 1/10 with Sky Bet. Komula is a decent player as he showed against Mark Walsh first up but the Wizard is a league above and should not have a problem with the Scandinavian. Under 21.5 legs is available at EVENS with Ladbrokes and that looks great value given Whitlock could easily wrap it up in 16.
Kevin Painter v Paul Nicholson over 5.5 sets @ 8/13 with Bet Victor
Gary Anderson v Brendan Dolan over 5.5 sets @ 4/5 with Bet365
Simon Whitlock v Jarkko Komula under 21.5 legs @ EVENS with Ladbrokes
• MVG must hit the heights to beat Wright
• Lewis to get the better of MVG
• 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
• 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