Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen betting
The final everyone wanted to see has come to fruition and we are all in for a treat on New Year’s Day as Phil Taylor tries to claim his sixteenth world title whilst Michael van Gerwen attempts to win his first.
Not since 2009 have the two tournament favourites reached the final and on that occasion the Power hammered Raymond van Barneveld 7-1. There is no way the score line will be that one sided this time around though as we have one of the toughest finals to call in history in prospect.
Yes Taylor has all the experience and still more than enough quality to beat anyone on his day but Mighty Mike’s performances of late have been nothing short of mesmerising and with the talent he has shown in recent months it is hard to back against him.
His near double 9-darter was millimetres away from arguably the greatest moment in the game’s history and if he can keep that kind of accuracy up then even Taylor won’t be able to keep up with him.
At the same time he did show some level fragility as James Wade averaged a pretty mediocre 87.37 and still managed to take four sets off him. The Power will be 10 points higher than this in the scoring and that means there is going to be an enormous amount of pressure on the 23-year-old’s young shoulders.
Looking at the head-to-head record and like everyone MVG has a very poor history against the Power, but he does have a very good recent history against the world number one. The Dutchman first conquered Taylor back in 2007 but hadn’t managed it again until this year; but in 2012 he has claimed the prize scalp twice and in high pressure scenarios to say the least. His victory at the Grand Slam was as close to a battering as you are ever likely to see Taylor take and then MVG repeated the feat in the final of a Pro Tour event in Barnsley in one of the highest quality matches of the year, so there will be no fear for the youngster.
All this has led to the bookies having the two men level in most places with just a handful of bookmakers having MVG the fractional outsider at evens. The initial thought was that if the Dutchman was odds-against then he would have been great value, but at evens it doesn’t quite make enough sense.
What we can be assured of is that this one will go a long, long way as both men are in such great touch that it will be near impossible for one to shake the other off. The form of the two men is reminiscent of the 2011 showpiece when Adrian Lewis took on Gary Anderson after both romped through the field. That final went to 12 sets with Jackpot winning 7-5 and this one should go to at least that length. For the contest to go to over 11.5 sets Paddy Power are offering 5/4 and this looks an excellent price.
Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen over 11.5 sets @ 5/4 with Paddy Power
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