Van Gerwen v Chisnall: Mighty Mike makes maximums
Over the last year to 18 months there have been two men that have dominated the PDC floor tournaments winning 18 between them since the start of 2012, and now finally Michael van Gerwen and Dave Chisnall will meet on the big stage.
Their success in the non-televised events has been incredible but it is only MVG of the two who has transferred this form onto the stage and that is why it is he who goes into this one as the clear favourite.
MVG looked to perhaps have been waning a little coming into this one having failed to reach the final of either the UK Open or European Championship but his form in Blackpool has been outstanding, especially in the second round when he averaged over 105 in beating Peter Wright.
He looks to be at his unstoppable best and having fallen behind Phil Taylor in the odds to win the title after round one, he has gone back alongside him as joint favourite to emerge victorious.
Chisnall has endured some tight matches so far, against Paul Nicholson in round one and then against Jamie Caven in the second round where he reeled off the last six legs to come out on top. His scoring power was at its hugely-impressive best for much of that contest and he is going to need to be firing on all cylinders again against MVG if he is to stand a chance.
If any contest at this year’s event is going to see a shed load of 180s then it is this one with both men renowned for filling up the red bit with unerring regularity. The market is at a huge +16.5 for over/under on the 180s and although it is tempting to say there will be more than this over a long format between these two it is a risky suggestion.
As mentioned the Dutchman is the clear favourite at a best price of 1/6 with Sky Bet whilst Chizzy is out at 5/1 with Bet365. This seems a big price but given MVG’s form and the fact he has won four of the five games the two have played, it is perfectly understandable.
Chisnall can be superb on his day but he is too inconsistent to keep up with Mighty Mike and it should be a fairly comfortable win for the world number two. Having said that over 16.5 maximums is too risky to back for the match, what seems less risky is that MVG will hit over 8.5 himself. The match will probably go to around 25 legs so to ask arguably the best player on the planet to manage nine 180s in that is perfectly feasible and looks good at odds-against.
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• Taylor hopes to prove he is still king of Blackpool
• Averages and nine-darter markets look profitable
• World Matchplay: Round One Betting