Baxter v Barney: Out-of-form duo seek solace
After recent poor form on the big stage, both Ronnie Baxter and Raymond van Barneveld will be eager to bounce back in their first round clash at the Cash Converters Players Championship Finals. Barneveld was defeated in all three of his Grand Slam of Darts group games and also disappointingly bowed out of the Grand Prix in the second round after a poor display against Andy Smith. Baxter hasn’t faired any better, achieving only two wins on television during this calendar year.
Barneveld opens up as a slight 4/7 favourite, with Baxter coming in at 13/8, however with the lack of consistency from both players as of late, the match bet may be one to avoid.
Punters could, however, look at the total 180s market. The odds on offer of 4/6 for under 4.5 180s in a short format featuring two out of sorts players could be where the money lies. Barneveld hit a paltry one maximum in his three matches in Wolverhampton, while Baxter hit the same number in his last televised outing in Dublin. Barneveld is 4/9 to hit under 2.5 maximums, while Baxter comes in at the slightly longer odds of 4/7, and going on recent statistics, little suggests either will have enough in their locker to throw three or more maximums in the game.
Regardless who comes out victorious, the draw ahead favours neither player with the likes of King, Taylor, Nicholson, Wade and Anderson all in the same half of the draw. A victory here will only like provide some brief solace ahead of an early exit.
• Webster v Painter: Artist's card is Marked
• Painter v Rand: Cool Hand to brush off the Artist
• Newton v Webster: Webby to entrap the Warrior
• Webster v Chisnall: Match of the round to go the distance
• King v Painter: King to claim his throne
• Anderson v Painter: Artist unlikely to make an impression
• Taylor v King: King to push the Power
• Walsh v Jones: Wanderer to down Special Brew
• Newton v Wright: Wrong odds for Wright
• Webster v Beaton: Possible classic on the cards
• Anderson v Van Gerwen: Scot to edge out youngster
• Taylor v Jenkins: Like a Bull to the slaughter
• Chisnall v Tabern: Chizzy to get revenge
• Newton v Burnett: Prince to battle the Warrior
• Wade v Smith: Machine to motor past Pieman
• Nicholson v Brown: Consistency gives Asset advantage