DARTS expert expert Kyle Brown (@Kyleianbrown) talks us through the ninth week of Premier League action, picking out his favourite fancies.
Week 9 – Thursday 4th April 2019 | Belfast
- Mensur Suljovic (7/4 888) v James Wade (13/10 Boylesports)
- Michael Smith (13/10 Betfred) v Peter Wright (6/4 Coral)
- Rob Cross (1/1 Betway) v Daryl Gurney (21/10 Betfred)
- Michael van Gerwen (1/3 Betfair) v Gerwyn Price (13/2 Betway)
*Predicted winners in bold, neither indicates draw.
The Week 9 Betting Angle
Week 8 saw the expected end of Raymond van Barneveld, not just from the competition but the sport itself. While he retires during arguably his worst run of form, he at least got to do so in front of the packed-out home crowd in Rotterdam.
Belfast is the next venue on the Premier League’s tour and with no more one-week contestants its all to play for, for the remaining eight.
Rob Cross and Michael van Gerwen look like a lock for the top two positions. They ‘only’ have a two-point lead but they are simply playing better darts than anybody else right now.
Daryl Gurney has shot up the table following some exceptional form this week, he’s moved from possible relegation to top four contender. Gurney, James Wade, Mensur Suljovic and Gerwyn Price are all within two points of each other. Slightly further back are Peter Wright and Michael Smith, but a good run of form and they will be right back in the mix.
Mensur Suljovic v James Wade | Thursday 4th April 2019, 19:15 | Sky Sports
Mensur Suljovic is only three points off the top spot after beating Rob Cross last week on night one, but if you look deeper into his stats you’ll see he’s very fortunate to be in that position. He only averaged 88.71 in his win against Cross – which says more about Cross’ night than Suljovic’s .
He wasn’t much better last Thursday, getting set aside by Gurney: averaging 91.58. A total of four 180s across the two evenings in Rotterdam isn’t much to boast about, either.
Compare that with his Belfast opponent – James Wade – and you will struggle to see why Wade isn’t odds-on. Wade has the highest three-dart average of any Premier League player this year with 101.16, slightly edging out MvG. Wade is also third in total leg difference (+10), and has won the joint most legs against throw – 22.
180-wise, Wade is averaging 3.44 per-night to Mensur’s 2.44. And in regards to checkout, Suljovic is bottom of the stat table with a very poor 82.11 high checkout average. Wade is a full 20 points better off with 102.11
The only comparative stat that Wade doesn’t best Suljovic on is the recent head-to-head form, but I can only the variance has to even itself out eventually.
Both players performed poorly at the German Darts Championships, being bested by lesser opponents, but when it comes to the Premier League stage there is only one winner for me – James Wade.