The Bull could charge through Hamilton
Big time darts is usually a pretty amiable affair but there could be the first sign of a bit of needle this tournament on Sunday evening as Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright face off for a place in the third round.
When asked about the Dutchman’s ability Wright was unequivocal in his stance that MVG is not nearly good enough to be considered a world championship contender and therefore it seems safe to assume that Snakebite is pretty confident that he can beat him on Sunday.
Unfortunately for the colourful character though, few others on confident in his chances as van Gerwen is a miniscule 1/6 to win the match. The Dutch superstar wasn’t at his rampant best in round one but he was more than good enough to see off Paul Lim 3-0 and he should start putting more points on his average that was only just over 90 on his first outing this year at the Ally Pally. Wright’s performance in beating Arron Monk 3-0 was actually much more impressive and he is playing the best darts of his career at the moment, however, it still probably won’t be good enough to beat MVG.
This one will be closer than the bookies seem to think though with Wright playing very well and the Scotland world cup player is worth backing with a +2.5 handicap. That is odds-on in some places but bet365 have it at 11/10 and that looks a very good price to me.
The next contest should be a real battle between two brilliant players in Andy Hamilton and Terry Jenkins. Both have looked very good indeed in their two matches so far picking up big wins over very good players in both of their contests. Of the two though it is Jenkins who has impressed the most with a whitewash victory over Steve Brown in round one and then a thoroughly entertaining 4-1 win over John Part with an average of over 98. Despite this though the Hammer is the favourite to win at 4/6 in most places which does seem a little unusual seen as how well the Bull has been playing.
This definitely has 4-3 one way or the other written all over it and over six sets is a great price at 2/1 with bet365 but given the quality Jenkins has shown in his first two contests he looks a really good bet at 11/8 with Bet Victor.
The final clash in what is set to be a stunning evening of darts sees Phil Taylor taking on the man who has become something of a nemesis for him this year, Robert Thornton. The Scotsman has beaten the Power twice in major competition this year, most notably in the final of the UK Open but also in the early stages of the Grand Prix in Ireland.
The Thorn has found his form in sensational style over the last few months and although his ranking doesn’t show it, is easily in the world’s top 10 at the moment given his performances. Of anyone that the Power could meet at this stage Thornton could well be the one that will worry him the most but given that it is Phil Taylor, he is still a strong odds-on favourite to progress.
Thornton will push him all the way though and does have a decent chance of pulling off a massive win and ditching Taylor early in the competition for a second consecutive year. What will almost certainly be the case is a close match and at 10/11 for it to go over 5.5 sets with Sky Bet, I think we are on to a winner.
Peter Wright +2.5 @ 11/10 with Bet365
Terry Jenkins to win @ 11/8 with BetVictor
Phil Taylor v Robert Thornton over 5.5 sets @ 10/11 with Sky Bet
• Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen betting
• James Wade v Michael van Gerwen betting
• Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld betting
• Favourites to keep on winning
• Two epics in prospect on Friday
• Artist to brush the champion aside
• Newton to down Special Brew
• Beaton could push Wade all the way
• Favourites to prosper on Saturday night
• The Rocket could soar against the Artist
• Part and Bull to go the distance
• Comfortable afternoons for Hammer and Chizzy
• Kellett to KO Big Vince
• Priestley to roll back the years
• King and Winstanley set for five sets
• Everybody loves Raymond
• Rodriguez or Bowles to steal the show
• Dolan to continue stellar form
• Part and Cullen could deliver an epic
• Hendriks to strike the right note against Jones
• Don't expect whitewashes on night one
• Big finishes & big averages to come
• Mighty Mike can rule the world
• Hammer has sights set on title
• 9/4 Taylor turns The Power back on
• World title odds slashed as Taylor bounces back