DARTS expert expert Kyle Brown (@Kyleianbrown) talks us through the third week of Premier League action, picking out his favourite fancies.
Week 3 – Thursday 21st February 2019 | Glasgow
- Gerwyn Price (7/5 William Hill) v James Wade (6/4 William Hill)
- Steve Lennon (9/2 Sky Bet) v Peter Wright (8/15 Betfair)
- Michael van Gerwen (4/9 Coral) v Rob Cross (9/2 Coral)
- Michael Smith (21/20 Boylesports) v Daryl Gurney (21/10 Betfair)
- Mensur Suljovic (10/11 BetVictor) v Raymond van Barneveld (5/2 Sky Bet)
*Predicted winners in bold, neither indicates draw.
The Week 3 Betting Angle
Well just like in Week 1, we were let down with one foot already over the finishing line. While 6-2 up, Gerwyn Price crumbled and lost 4 straight legs to the retiring Raymond van Barneveld. That prevented what should’ve been a nice and easy 6/5 winner to kick things off.
Week 3 has some well balanced match ups and should provide us with a good night of entertainment. With the odds on straight wins this week looking like good value I’ll keep the recommended bets simpler and hope that the players in question deliver as expected.
Three favourites will deliver in Dublin
After twp weeks of play Peter Wright can count himself fortunate to still remain unbeaten. He clawed back from 5-2 down against Michael Smith last week but with Smith missing seven darts at a double, he was gifted the point just as much as he earned it.
This week sees a favourable match-up against Steve Lennon, one of the nine replacing Gary Anderson. Lennon has never beaten Wright in a competitive match and is dwarfed in comparison to Wright when it comes to big stage experience.
Wright’s average is just shy of 95, leaving him second bottom (ahead of Barney) but this week will be all about him finding his groove and igniting his season. Lennon is a considerably less tough opponent that what Anderson would’ve been, and I expect Wright to capitalise.
One win and two draws after 3 weeks wouldn’t be the worst start to his Premier League campaign, if he performs as he should.
MvG will show his class
Next up is Michael Van Gerwen against Rob Cross. Cross currently leads the Premier League thre dart average after two weeks – 103.08 (MvG is second with 102.40). He’s had two very good games and if he can keep up this form he’ll be a lock for the final four at the end of the season.
However, there aren’t many occasions when MvG is at odds of nearly 1 /2. It may not seem like a tasty price, but that’s actually great value for the unquestionable world’s best player to win straight up over 12 legs.
Over the weekend MvG hit a competitive nine dart leg – as well as the weekend before – and it’s only a matter of time before he does so in the Premier League. I predict they’ll start evenly, two legs a piece, but MvG will get his chances to break and come away a winner.
7-4 in favour of the Dutchman is my final score.
Smith to kickstart his season
Lastly, we have the winless Michael Smith against Daryl Gurney. Smith, losing 7-3 in Week 1 and drawing 6-6 in Glasgow needs to find his first win sooner rather than later, but the fact he’s still pegged as second favourite (behind MvG) for the Premier League crown speaks volumes as to just how respected a player he is.
His issue has been at the doubles. Only Barney has a lower checkout percentage, and as mentioned above, he missed seven last week alone which allowed Wright to fight back and claim a draw.
Gurney has been quite the opposite, posting a 77% checkout rate last week, a stat any top player would be proud of. If Smith continues to succumb to the pressure when closing out the leg then Gurney has a real shot of grabbing a win.
But following a strong performance over the weekend and knowing just what level he is capable of playing at, I don’t anticipate that an upset will be on the cards.