Wade v Smith: Machine to motor past Pieman
James Wade and Andy Smith go head to head for the second time in two months when they meet on Thursday night in Doncaster. Wade defeated the Pieman 4-2 at the World Grand Prix in Dublin, and is a heavy favourite to repeat that feat.
Wade opens as a clear 4/11 favourite, while few will give Smith a chance at 9/4 against the ever-reliable Wade. The Machine suffered an unusual heavy defeat to Gary Anderson in Wolverhampton last month, but will more than likely have enough to defeat Smith who will not present anywhere near the challenge of Anderson. Smith failed to qualify for the Grand Slam, and has been his usual wreckless self, with a fantastic victory over Raymond van Barneveld in Dublin this year thrown in amongst several early round exits on the big screen.
The ex-mechanic is 10/11 on to win the match by more than 2.5 legs, and that may well be the boost punters are looking for with Wade perhaps a little too short to win the match straight up.
There are also odds of 8/11 on offer for under 3.5 180s. While Wade is a baron of consistency, it is doubtful Smith will push him enough for the world number 2 to raise his game and topple the total. It should be noted Wade only posted one maximum in 13 legs of darts against Gary Anderson last time out.
Once again, Wade looks a popular choice with the bookies and, despite the tough field ahead, can challenge for the title in Doncaster. He should have no problems dispatching Smith on his way.
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