Van Gerwen v Lewis: Classic semi-final in prospect
There is a temptation to stray into hyperbole when matches come along like this but I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that Michael van Gerwen playing Adrian Lewis in the semi-final of the World Matchplay could be one of the greatest darts matches ever played.
It will have to go a long way to top Lewis’ epic 19-17 win over Andy Hamilton in the quarter-final but if the clash between these two in the most recent World Championships is anything to go by then it can do it.
MVG won that battle at the Ally Pally but he hasn’t managed to master Jackpot in the months since. The pair have met six times since that drawn out contest in London and each have won three times, with Lewis winning the two most recent encounters, once in Gibraltar and another in the semi-finals on route to winning the European Championship so there will be no fear on the part of the double world champion.
Maybe there should be though when you look at how well the Dutchman is playing this week in Blackpool. In the last eight Dave Chisnall was playing exceptionally but never really looked like getting the better of Mighty Mike and eventually went down 16-11 thanks to an average of 102.29 from the Premier League champion.
This scintillating form is why MVG is a hot favourite for this one at a best price of 4/11 with Boyle Sports whilst Jackpot is all the way out at 11/4 with the tournament sponsors Bet Victor. This is a massive price on a man who is playing well, has two world title to his name and has won the last two contests between the two men.
It certainly makes sense to back Lewis at that price but the way MVG is playing it will take a brave punter to do it. What is a more reliable bet is that this contest will go a long way with both men performing superbly. It is a race to 17 in the semi-finals and there is little doubt that this one will go to at least 30 legs with Lewis one of the few players who is capable of staying with van Gerwen. The bookmakers have been quite harsh on Lewis in this respect and over 29.5 legs is available at 11/10 with Paddy Power which looks a phenomenal bet.
Over 29.5 legs @ 11/10 with Paddy Power
• Taylor powers to 14th Matchplay title
• Taylor v Lewis: Power unbeatable in Matchplay finals
• Taylor v Wade: Machine can out-180 the Power
• Van Gerwen v Chisnall: Mighty Mike makes maximums
• Lewis v Hamilton: Jackpot building up nicely
• Taylor v Pipe: Force to push the Power
• Wade v Whitlock: Wizard can Wade into semis
• Chisnall v Caven: On song Jabba to chop down Chizzy
• Wade v Anderson: In form duo could produce epic
• Lewis v Huybrechts: Rebel no walkover for Jackpot
• Van Gerwen v Lloyd: MVG a maximum machine
• Huybrechts v Wright: Expect maximums aplenty
• Whitlock v Klaasen: Matador can oust the Aussie
• Taylor hopes to prove he is still king of Blackpool
• Averages and nine-darter markets look profitable
• World Matchplay: Round One Betting