Wade the value bet against Barney
Whilst it has been Michael van Gerwen and the “demise” of Phil Taylor grabbing all the headlines throughout the 2013 Premier League, there are two men who have been quietly delighted with how the competition has been going; Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade.
Two of the most successful darts players in history have had quiet times of it over the last couple of years but they are both back with a bang, following up World Championship semi-finals with strong performances in the Premier League. Wade is all but secured semi-final qualification with 16 points from 12 matches whilst Barney is only one point behind him and would have to suffer a severe slump in form not to make the final four.
The two meet in Birmingham on Thursday night and it has every chance of stealing the show given the great form they have both shown. Even in defeat and a draw last week Barney played tremendously well, however, that draw could well be still on the Dutchman’s mind. He had countless chances to beat Phil Taylor for the first time in Premier League history and unquestionably he totally bottled it and had to settle for a point. He isn’t going to totally crumble as a result but it might have just knocked his confidence enough to give Wade the edge in this one.
The bookies cannot separate them with each at a best price of 7/5 and Wade just looks the better value at that price given how consistently he has picked up results so far, back the Machine at 7/5 with Bwin.
Simon Whitlock’s torrid night continues when he returns to the stage to take on Taylor having already had to face Michael van Gerwen earlier in the evening. As we have witnessed in the last couple of weeks though, strange things happen in the second match of the night for players. No one has returned to the oche and really thrown well at all and whilst there have not really been any big surprises as a result, there should be one just around the corner if it continues to happen.
A similar pattern to last week could well occur with Taylor comfortably winning his first match then struggling to recreate the form in his second. Whilst Whitlock could play well but lose to MVG (as Barney did) but then have a great chance to beat the Power later on. The Wizard has been playing well of late and against an at best inconsistent Taylor, his price of 4/1 to win looks a very decent one. It’s a risky one, but 4/1 with Ladbrokes on the Wizard may well be worth a punt.
The final contest of the evening sees Adrian Lewis and Robert Thornton trot out for the second time of the evening in Birmingham and another loss for Jackpot could well be the final nail in his Premier League coffin. It would be a big surprise if he didn’t lose to Taylor first up and a second loss of the evening would mean he could no longer reach the final four.
Thornton could well be on a bit of a high if he beats Andy Hamilton earlier in the night so it is somewhat of a surprise that he is available at 7/5 to win this one and should represent good value at that. However, the best bet is probably going to be on a lack of quality in this one. Lewis has been poor all tournament and the Scot has had a bad couple of weeks, with the players seemingly struggling to produce when coming back for their second matches as well then we have a recipe for a poor game. Under 6.5 180s is odds-on in most places but Coral rate it as evens and that looks a fair certainty at that stage of the night.
James Wade to win @ 7/5 with Bwin
Simon Whitlock to win @ 4/1 with Ladbrokes
Robert Thornton v Adrian Lewis under 6.5 180s @ evens with Coral.
• Whitlock great value against Wade
• Barney could batter Lewis
• Sorry Lewis set for fourth straight defeat
• Taylor must beat Hamilton
• Whitlock is back in form
• MVG can hurt Taylor semi-final chances
• Hammer and Barney set for another tight one
• In form Newton to keep winning
• Whitlock and MVG value for big finish