Whitlock and Painter to fire in the maximums
Friday evening’s session at the Alexandra Palace begins with a bang between two men in good form Simon Whitlock and Kevin Painter and we can expect them to continue their strong performances in their third round clash.
Whitlock is now the favourite to reach the final from the top half of the tournament and has justified that tag by not dropping a set in his two games thus far. However, he will not have it all his own way on Friday as Painter has not conceded a set as yet either and has looked very impressive himself.
The Wizard is the clear favourite for victory but the two men have a very even head-to-head record and the Artist has come out on top on the big stage when he saw off the Aussie in the Premier League. This should be a really high quality affair and a tighter one than many seem to expect. There should be plenty of 180s between the two and over 11.5 maximums looks good at 4/5 with Bet365.
Next on is the story of the tournament so far Michael Smith who takes on one of the form men of the moment Peter Wright in what should be another impressive contest. Despite Smith’s victory over Phil Taylor in the second round it is Wright who is the clear favourite to secure victory given his great form over the last 12 months.
One market in which Smith is favourite for though is the 180s and that is deserved. He has managed two more than Wright in the tournament so far and with the Scot having switched to thicker barrelled darts he is much more likely to switch downstairs than he was before. Smith is odds-on in most places to hit more maximums than his younger opponent but looks good value at 11/10 with William Hill.
Finally on Friday night Raymond van Barneveld should have no problem in seeing off Mark Webster and making it into the last eight. Barney has been thoroughly impressive so far and had to be at his best to edge out Jamie Caven last up. Webster, in comparison, has battled hard to make it to the last 16 but has not shown much quality on the way. He will need to up his game considerably if he wants to challenge RvB and given his poor year so far there is little evidence that he will do that. The Dutchman should canter to a win with a -2.5 handicap at 23/20 with Sporting Bet.
Simon Whitlock v Kevin Painter over 11.5 180s @ 4/5 with Bet365
Michael Smith most 180s v Peter Wright @ 11/10 with William Hill
Raymond van Barneveld to win (-2.5) @ 23/20 with Sporting Bet
• MVG must hit the heights to beat Wright
• Lewis to get the better of MVG
• Wade and Lewis set for another classic
• Newton can out-180 Wright
• Saturday afternoon to be a 180-fest
• Pipe to win dance-off with Petersen
• Jackpot and Dutch Destroyer to turn on the style
• Part no pushover for Newton
• Painter and Nicholson to go all the way
• Taylor bullied and beaten by Smith
• Burnett can push the Hammer in round two
• Barney and Caven could produce classic
• Webster in trouble against Suljovic
• Bomber Brown to destroy Smith
• MVG and Whitlock to stroll through
• Baxter to be swamped by Evans
• Caven to out Klaas Jelle
• Nicholson and Kellett could go all the way
• Walsh in trouble against Komula
• Wright and Cullen can steal the show
• Taylor will prove he is still King of the world