Taylor v Lewis: Jackpot thrives on big games
Rivalries renewed; former apprentice versus the master; the battle of Stoke; etcetera, etcetera. We all know the script for an Adrian Lewis versus Phil Taylor match by now. Rarely are they low-key affairs, this one will be no different.
Taylor’s place in the semi-final of this competition was confirmed long ago. For most that would be an excuse to take their foot off the gas. The Power doesn’t fit the mould of ‘most’.
“I want to set my stall out by winning every game and keeping everyone else under pressure,” said Taylor earlier this week: an attitude that typifies the 15-times World Champion.
Lewis, on the other hand, still has everything to play for and goes into this week’s match outside of the all-important top four. Last year’s Premier League runner-up will be looking for at least five points from his remaining four matches, and, contrary to most logic, I believe he could get at least one of them this Thursday.
You see, the reason Jackpot hasn’t won more titles in his career so far, is that he doesn’t always produce his best darts. He seems to find it difficult to motivate himself for the not-so-high-profile matches – in contrast to Taylor who wants to go out and blitz any opponent he is put up against. But the scenario going into this fixture make it a big match, and that will work to the World Champion’s advantage.
I also happen to think that Taylor hasn’t looked quite as sharp in recent weeks. Not through any misplaced complacency, but purely because it is physically impossible to maintain the high standards that he set in the first half of this tournament over a 14-week period.
In order to keep the draw on side we’ll look at the Draw No Bet market where Ladbrokes offer 7/2 on Lewis. And we’ll accompany that with a handicap bet on Lewis +3.5 legs at Evens, again with Ladbrokes.
• Lewis v Anderson: Value now with Scot
• Taylor v Whitlock: Wizard to break Power duck
• Barney v Hamilton: No room for error
• Wade v Painter: Machine to reboot
• Wade v Hamilton: Time is running out
• Barney v Whitlock: Momentum is with Dutchman
• Anderson v Painter: Win or bust
• Anderson 33/1 to defend Premier League crown
• Taylor v Barney: Still a spectacle to behold
• Wade v Anderson: In-form Machine is the only bet
• Whitlock v Painter: Wizard seeks revenge
• Hamilton v Taylor: Another handicap win for Power
• Whitlock v Anderson: Wizard to show bouncebackability
• Lewis v Wade: Rivalries renewed
• Painter v Van Barneveld: Barney to land the 180 odds