Lewis v Wade: Machine has edge over Jackpot
As favourites have consistently fallen around them, two men have kept their heads and done exactly what was expected of them, reaching the final four and setting up what should be a World Championship classic.
The way the tournament has been going it is something of a surprise that the second and third seeds have managed to progress to the semi-finals, but they have and the way they have both performed they both thoroughly deserve to be there.
Adrian Lewis was a whisker away from going out at the first time of asking as Nigel Heydon forged a two set lead in round one, but the World Champ fought hard to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
This seemed to settle Lewis’ nerves to an extent and although he hasn’t had it all his own way since, he hasn’t had quite the scare that the Undertaker gave him all the way back on the opening night of the competition.
What might be a worry for followers of Jackpot is that he was seriously bothered by the crowd during his 5-3 quarter-final win over Terry Jenkins. Lewis was coasting with a three set lead, but the crowd starting getting on his back and it really affected him badly as his scoring and finishing seriously went downhill and he cannot afford to let this happen again.
James Wade enjoyed a fairly serene path to the quarter-finals, but everything changed in the last eight when he met John Part. The pair produced an incredible nine set contest that went all the way to a dramatic sudden-death shootout.
Getting through that epic duel will give the Machine confidence and belief that he can conquer all opponents,but it will also have taken a lot out of him mentally. He will need to use New Year’s Eve to regroup and get himself ready for one of the biggest matches of his career.
The bookmakers have decided that the World Champion is favourite for the match although there really is nothing in the odds with Lewis available at 4/5 and Wade at 5/4.
Although you can see why the bookies are backing the man who has reached a World Championship final over a man that hasn’t, the record does not look good for Jackpot. The pair have met 27 times and the Machine has won 18 compared to Lewis’ seven with two Premier League draws as well. In fact Wade has won the last five contests between the two and Jackpot hasn’t been successful since September 2010.
With this in mind I would suggest that backing Wade to reach his first World Championship final would be a reasonably smart way to kick off 2012.
• Whitlock v Hamilton: Progressive Hammer offers value
• Hamilton v Huybrechts: Hurricane has got darts in a spin
• Whitlock v Anderson: A potential classic
• Part v Wade: Omens are good for Darth Maple
• Lewis v Jenkins: Bull to charge Jackpot
• Anderson v Lloyd: Jaws to snap Scot's dreams
• Chisnall v Hamilton: After the Lord Mayor's show
• Whitlock v Van Gerwen: Mighty Mike too quick for wounded Wizard
• Nicholson v Huybrechts: Asset to tame The Hurricane
• Wade v Farmer: Machine to halt Farmer
• Part v Painter: Heavyweight match could go either way
• Jenkins v Pipe: The Bull to be Forced out
• Lewis v Jones: Wanderer to push Jackpot
• Rand v Lloyd: Jaws unable to snap Cool Hand
• Whitlock v Beaton: Wizard too hot for Adonis
• King v Van Gerwen: Merv has his game face on
• Nicholson v Tabern Betting
• Burnett v Part: Champions to battle to the death
• Jenkins v Stompe: In-form duo to go the distance
• Van der Voort v Hamilton: Hammer to knock out Lightening
• Taylor v Chisnall: Chizzy to push The Power
• Wade v Klaasen: Machine to show his Klaas
• Painter v Walsh: Maximums aplenty in long match
• Lewis v Thornton: A Thorn in the Champ's side
• Jones v Scholten: Tripod to destabilise The Wanderer
• Newton v Pipe: The Force is with The Warrior
• Whitlock v Smith: Wizard to cast his spell
• Osborne v Van Gerwen: Mighty Mike looks mighty fine
• Smith v Rand: Evenly matched players to go the distance
• Anderson v Artut: No dramas for Dreamboy
• Lloyd v Young: Colin in the Jaws of defeat
• Painter v Monk: After the Lord Mayor's show
• Hamilton v Alcinas: El Dartador to knock out the Hammer
• Van Barneveld v Richardson: Dutch delight at favourite venue
• Chisnall v Dudbridge: Chizzy to finish it in a Flash
• Nicholson v Suljovic: Maximums to flow
• Baxter v Farmer: Tight match to produce maximums
• Van der Voort v Hylton: Mile High provides the value
• Thornton v White: Diamond to rough up the Thorn
• Wright v Klaasen: Jelle wobbling on a slippery slope
• Stompe v Smith: Matchstick to burn brightly
• Pipe v Reed: Justin to Force out Reed
• Caven v Scholten: Jabba the punt
• Lewis v Heydon: Champ to progress in facile fashion
• Webster v Burnett: Spider to boss battle of the valleys
• Barney sets sights on focussing mind
• New darts give Snakebite improved confidence
• Taylor odds unaltered despite early exit