DARTS analyst Andrew Francis (@ALeagueAndy) shares his verdict on the 4th Quarter of the upcoming 2019 PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.
PDC World Darts Championship | 13th-29th December 2018 | Sky Sports
The fourth quarter completes our quarterly previews but this one looks the most open with plenty to choose from in terms of winners.
Let’s finish off our previews by looking at who should lead the way:
- PDC Order of Merit – 3
- Odds – 12/1 (Sportingbet)
‘Snakebite’ is most well-known for his outrageous hairstyles and brightly coloured trousers but don’t let his persona fool you, Peter Wright a major contender for the title here.
2018 has been a mixed bag with some poor performances detracting from an impressive Melbourne Masters win. Ultimately, Wright will be disappointed with the past 12 months, being beaten in the final of events on four occasions and, at times, his head hasn’t looked in the game.
Despite that his stats are still very impressive, boasting a 96.66 3-dart average, as well as an outshot percentage of 41.72%, leading the way in both categories in the 4th Quarter. He’s also second in terms of legs won in 12 darts of less (14.63%) with a very impressive amount of numbers propping him up.
Mental frailty could be his downfall but Wright should be progressing to the latter stages of the competition.
- PDC Order of Merit – 6
- Odds – 40/1 (Sportingbet)
Probably the most divisive character on the circuit, Gerwyn Price is a master of mind games as shown by his recent confrontation with Gary Anderson on his way to winning the Grand Slam of Darts.
Loved and hated in equal measure, Price has often let his attitude come in the way of success this year, being beaten in the final of the Austrian Masters when favourite. His International Darts Open victory however means 2018 has been more of a success than a failure for the Ice Man.
Looking over his stats though is ultimately disappointing, with a 3-dart average of 93.7 meaning he’s fifth in this quarter whilst his third placing in terms of outshot percentage (40.24%) is his only impressive viewing within the stats.
He’ll need to buck the trend to win the competition but a quality mental performance is always on the cards, which could be enough to give him the success he craves.
- PDC Order of Merit – 11
- Odds – 100/1 (Bet365)
Not someone you’ll immediately think of when you consider the favourites but Ian White’s PDC ranking of 11 puts him higher that some of the more fashionable names on the circuit.
A Dutch Championship win in September was the high point of the year but White will be looking to really make an impact in this competition after failing to make the quarter finals since 2014.
His stats make for hugely impressive reading, with White lying second in all four categories. A 3-dart average of 95.23 is backed up by a high percentage of legs won in 12 darts of less (14.98%) and an outshot percentage of 41.07%. The final metric of 100+ outshot percentage lies at 13.53% this all means that White is not someone that should be taken lightly, especially not with a fairly weak side of the draw for Diamond.
- PDC Order of Merit – 14
- Odds – 100/1 (Bet365)
‘The Rockstar’ is seen as something of a nearly man in 2018, reaching the Last 16 of the Players Championship, the quarter-final of the World Matchplay and the semi-final of the European Championship. Joe Cullen will need to shed that tag here and he’s been given a golden opportunity by being handed what looks like, on paper at least, the weakest side of any quarter this year.
His stats, whilst nothing to shout about, are solid enough with a 3-dart average of 94.13 and a outshot percentage of just under 40%. He’ll need to be at the top of his game to win a potential 3rd Round match with Mervyn King but this is probably Cullen’s best chance to really make people stand up and take notice.
- PDC Order of Merit – 55
- Odds – 1500/1 (BetStars)
Toni Alcinas is likely to fly under the radar with most but he has the ability to cause a big surprise this year.
His stats for 2018 are nothing to shout about, and in some cases a little disappointing, but his draw looks favourable and he could pull off a huge shock if he can beat world number three, Peter Wright in the 2nd Round.
It’ll be a big ask but I think ‘The Samurai’ is the big outsider to watch this year.
4th Quarter Betting Angle
Peter Wright (1/1 Bet365) is the heavy favourite to win the quarter but betting on the Scotsman being beaten is where the value lies.
Both Joe Cullen (8/1 Ladbrokes) and Mervyn King (50/1 Bet365) will fancy their chances of taking Wright all the way and winning the quarter whilst the opposite side of the draw looks really open with Ian White (10/1 Unibet) looking the value selection to win the final quarter.