Hammer made wooden spoon favourite
Bookmaker Sportingbet make Andy Hamilton their 9/4 favourite to finish bottom of the Premier League table in his debut season in the competition, closely followed in the betting by fellow debutant Kevin Painter.
Hamilton earned his wildcard invite to the competition with an impressive run to the final of the PDC World Championships earlier this winter, while Painter’s invitation came on the back of his Players Championship finals victory. They will now hope to avoid following in the footsteps of Mark Webster and Jelle Klaasen who each finished bottom of the table in their debut seasons in the competition.
The Premier League has proved notoriously difficult for newcomers in recent years as the huge arenas and raucous crowds can prove difficult to adjust to. The Hammer is the 14/5 outsider to win his opening match of the campaign against James Wade this Thursday, while The Artist is the same price to defeat defending champion Gary Anderson.
Hamilton and Painter are rank outsiders to win the Premier League and can be backed at odds of 28/1 and 22/1 respectively, while they are rated even less likely to top the league at the end of the group stages with 40/1 and 66/1 available on that eventuality.
Qualifying from the group, however, will be each player’s primary objective. Hamilton is a 7/2 chance with Sportingbet to finish in the top four, with Painter at odds of 11/4 in the same market.
• Hamilton v Van Barneveld: Barney's bubble to burst
• Anderson v Lewis: Odds make Jackpot the value
• Whitlock v Taylor: Power to fill the lipstick
• Wade v Painter: Bookies continue to disregard Artist
• Imperious Taylor goes odds-on
• Taylor v Van Barneveld: Another Barney renaissance
• Anderson v Wade: Unfortunate Wade to get off the mark
• Painter v Whitlock: Artist to battle all the way
• Lewis v Hamilton: Champ to notch first victory
• Nine-dart Taylor lights up Aberdeen
• Taylor v Painter: Power has measure of Artist
• Anderson v Hamilton: No value in inconsistent Scot
• Lewis v Van Barneveld: Dutch delight in second home
• Whitlock v Wade: In-form Wizard has the edge
• Anderson v Painter: Light the red touchpaper
• Lewis v Taylor: Repeat performance for Jackpot
• Barney considered quitting
• Hamilton v Wade: Hammer time in Manchester
• Whitlock v Van Barneveld: Wizard has edge