Darts guru Ben Levene (@benlevene96) looks ahead to day one of the 2018 World Matchplay from Winter Gardens.
Adrian Lewis v James Wilson | Saturday 21st July 2018, 19:10 | Sky Sports
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis has enjoyed somewhat of a revival in 2018. Following an opening round defeat at Ally Pally back in December, Lewis found himself right down the rankings.
However, such is his naturally ability, once he got the application right, Jackpot’s results have improved massively. Lewis has reached three finals and four semi-finals since the turn of the year, including semi-final and final appearances in his last two stage events.
Jackpot has reached the semi-final here at Winter Gardens in each of the last two years, so it’s a venue he’s comfortable at.
James Wilson is a capable opponent and has found himself in the latter stages of numerous floor events this year. However, Lewis has won all three previous meetings with the Lethal Biscuit, including a 6-2 victory in April. Jackpot also has the superior seasonal average.
This duo are two of the biggest 180 hitters on the tour. They rank 11th and 9th respectively on the Pro Tour for 180 frequency.
A Lewis victory with both players hitting 4+ 180’s is 7/4 (Betfair) and looks a solid play on Day One.
The game should see at least 14 legs, and in that time there’s scope for both power scorers to find the treble bed.
Michael Smith v Jonny Clayton | Saturday 21st July 2018, 21:10 | Sky Sports
2018 has seen Michael Smith come of age. The backend of last year saw Bully Boy show promise, but it’s all come together. Smith brought his game to the big stage in the Premier League where he ended as runner-up.
Last week Smith won his third title of 2018 in the form of the Shanghai Masters. He beat Michael Van Gerwen 8-4 and Rob Cross 8-2 en-route that victory.
Jonny Clayton is a dangerous player. The Ferret won the Austrian Darts Open in April before reaching a Pro Tour final later that month.
His rise over the last 18-months has been excellent, but he’s lost all four previous encounters with Michael Smith. Each of those have come by at least two legs in a race to six.
Over this longer format we can expect Smith’s class to show. It’s 10/11 (Betfair) he wins by three or more legs and that’s a price worthy of being your main bet on Day One of the World Matchplay.