Painter v Whitlock: Artist to battle all the way
Kevin Painter and Simon Whitlock clash in their first ever televised meeting this Thursday night in Belfast, with both players looking to build on their solid starts thus far.
Whitlock is a firm 8/15 favourite to win the match while Painter isn't given much of a chance at 16/5 with Boylesports and the draw priced up across the board at 5/1. Although Whitlock tops the table early on, it seems very unfair on Painter to be so heavily written off. The Artist holds a 4-2 lead in the head-to-head stakes against the albeit so far impressive Aussie, and although he won a scrappy affair against Anderson, the Daventry man led Phil Taylor for much of their encounter in week two. That was until The Power hit a nine darter to break his resistance, as he posted a very respectable 97 average as well as missing only one double in the match.
It is though difficult to bet against Whitlock at the moment, but the Aussie at times does show signs of cracking, such as his two most recent televised matches against Andy Hamilton, as well as almost throwing away a 7-0 lead against James Wade last week. Thus providing good basis for backing the dogged Painter at 5/6 on the handicap with a 2.5 leg head start.
All that being said however, in spite of the battling qualities of Painter, Whitlock should have no problems posting the big scores. The Wizard has posted more than double the maximums Painter has and looks almost a sure thing at 8/15 to hit the most 180s, although the short odds on offer may not appeal to many.
Casual gamblers may also look to the correct score market. With the nervous play of Whitlock as he approaches the finishing line and the never-say-die attitude of Painter, expect the match to last a reasonable distance with odds of 7/1 on offer for an 8-6 Whitlock victory.
I have perhaps contradicted myself praising the high scoring of Whitlock and then expecting Painter to battle hard to keep pace, perhaps too precise an attempt at a prediction, but that is the hall mark of both players, and expect Whitlock to win, but not by much and certainly not without a fight.
• 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
• 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
• Hammer made wooden spoon favourite