Whitlock v Taylor: Power to fill the lipstick
Can anyone stop Phil Taylor on current form? The short answer is no. Simon Whitlock, however, is the man faced with the daunting task of attempting to do so at the Westpoint Arena in Exeter this Thursday evening.
Adrian Lewis’s 6-1 lead, Kevin Painter’s 4-1 lead and Raymond van Barneveld’s 105.93 three-dart average were not enough to beat The Power in any of the opening three weeks. After losing his opening week match against Lewis 12 months ago Taylor went on to win his remaining 13 matches, there’s every chance that this season could follow a similar pattern.
Whitlock also began the campaign in promising fashion, earning a battling draw against Barney in week one then blitzing James Wade in week two to move to the top of the embryonic table. However, he was halted in his path last week as the irrepressible battling qualities of Kevin Painter led to the Aussie losing his unbeaten record.
Taylor’s record against Whitlock is as impressive and as one-sided as his record against most others. The 15-time World Champion has won 20 of the 24 head-to-heads and has never lost in front of the UK TV cameras to the Aussie.
The most recent meeting between the pair came in the PDC World Cup of Darts earlier this year where, despite being well below par, Taylor emerged as the 7-6 winner. The Power has clicked through several gears since then and looks a decent bet to land the -3.5 handicap at odds of 11/10 with Paddy Power.
The best bet, however, comes in the Most 180s market. In each of his three Premier League matches so far Taylor has hit more maximums than his opponent, with varying levels of success on the lipstick. He outscored Lewis 8-4 in week one, Painter 2-1 in week two and Barney 5-4 last week.
It’s almost as if Taylor isn’t content with beating his opponent in the legs score alone, he also wants to flex his muscle in every sub-section of a match. Boylesports offer odds of 6/5 on Taylor hitting more maximums than Whitlock this week.
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• Anderson v Lewis: Odds make Jackpot the value
• 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
• Hammer made wooden spoon favourite