Darts guru Ben Levene (@benlevene96) looks ahead to week twelve of the Premier League of Darts.
Simon Whitlock v Gary Anderson| Thursday 26th April 2018, 20:40 | Sky Sports
Regression to the mean is a term bounded about when dealing with numbers, and it can be applied to describe Simon Whitlock’s Premier League campaign too. The Wizard returned to the tournament after a three-year absence with three consecutive wins, despite being firm odds-on favourite for relegation in the antepost period.
However, now on a run of four defeats on the bounce, performance levels have dropped. In those four games, the Aussie has produced averages of 89.58, 89.49, 90.59 and most recently 85.28. Prior to that he beat Gerwyn Price while averaging just 81.94. He’s lost a cumulative 28-6 in his last four games.
Moreover, he’s finished at a rate of under 30% in four of his last five Premier League matches, compared to a rate of above 35% in his opening three wins. Whitlock has not quite been at his best over the last few weeks, and a meeting with an in-form Gary Anderson awaits this Thursday.
The Flying Scotsman has been revitalised of late. He’s produced four wins on the bounce, averaging 104.26, 109.91, 99.87 and most recently 109.73. In fact, he’s averaged at least 95 in his last seven Premier League matches. If he brings anything near that game, it’s difficult to see anything other than two-points, and that goes a long way to explaining the 1/3 win price.
Anderson is a serial 180 hitter too. Once he finds his range he can fire them in for fun. He’s hit 46 in 141 legs in the Premier League, averaging a maximum every 3.1 legs. He’s hit at least four in eight of 13, including four of his last five.
Whitlock has hit 37 in 131 legs, giving a rate of a 180 every 3.5 legs. From this we can see Anderson edges the 180’s, but this becomes even more significant when you consider Whitlock hit a freak seven in a game with Peter Wright, so if we exclude that the average stands at 4. In his last five games his maximum tally yields an average of 180 every 4.4 legs.
Anderson to win and hit the most 180’s is 11/10 and looks a play given the numbers. Anderson is well in with a shout of topping the group phase, so motivation will be high. To contrast, it would take an absurd chain of events for Whitlock to reach final’s night. Anderson has also won the last three meetings between the pair.
Simon Whitlock v Gary Anderson – Gary Anderson to Win & Hit the Most 180’s (11/10 Sky Bet)