Painter could just hit the Jackpot
The second half of the second round at the European Champioship in Germany features the top three players on the planet and some very tasty looking contests over the evening session.
The first of the four matches sees Adrian Lewis take on Kevin Painter and despite Jackpot’s loftier world ranking there is nothing between the two men in terms of the head-to-head record. Over the eight years that these two have been competing with each other they have come up with a completely level record at 12-a-piece. It is safe to say that Lewis has had the better of things on the big stage but not exclusively and there will certainly be no fear on the part of the Artist.
Painter performed really well in round one to get past John Part whilst Lewis made slightly hard work of his win over Mensur Suljoivc. It is no surprise given the World Championships in his trophy cabinet that Jackpot is favourite but Painter looks a fantastic price at 2/1 with William Hill.
Second on could well be another humdinger as Raymond van Barneveld takes on Robert Thornton for a place in the last eight. Barney and the Thorn have been two of the in-form men on the PDC circuit over the last year each winning a major tournament and this could be one of the contests of the tournament if both can hit top form.
Based on their displays in recent months you would certainly say there is no reason that Thornton cannot beat van Barneveld but the record between the two is extremely one sided. The Scot has never beaten the five-time world champion and despite his upturn in form he has lost twice to him this year as well. It is hard, therefore, not to think Barney will win again but it should definitely be a close one and in a race to 10 there could easily be over 16.5 legs. Sporting Bet make over 16.5 a price of 11/10 whilst others make it odds-on and this looks a good bet.
Next on is The Power who faces Belgian Ronny Huybrechts who has had a pretty tough time against the world number one in the past. Taylor has whitewashed the Rebel twice this year, firstly in the World Cup with a 4-0 win and then in the UK Open where he saw off Huybrechts 9-0 and there is not much reason why Taylor won’t canter to victory yet again
Sky Bet are offering 11/10 on Taylor to win this one with a -6.5 handicap and that looks a great bet given the recent record between the two men.
Finally on stage on Saturday evening are Michael van Gerwen and Mervyn King with the bookies not seeing any way through this one for the Englishman. MVG is a best of 2/11 whilst King is out at 5/1 and despite the quality that King clearly has it is understandable given their recent contests. Mighty Mike disposed of King in the final of last year’s Grand Prix and amazingly they have met six times since the turn of the year, the Dutchman winning all of them.
In all honesty there are not a great deal of value looking bets in this one but an interesting one is the first leg winning double which Sky Bet are offering 2/1 on being 16 or 8. Both men will always prefer to take that finishing route and this is a very tempting price given that fact. It can easily go wrong but at those odds is worth a risk.
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• Taylor back to his best for European Championship