HAVING delivered an array of winners on snooker’s Masters, Michael Day (@daisy8ball) returns with his expert views on the best bets from the upcoming PDC Masters darts.
PDC Masters | 31st January – 1st February 2015 | ITV4
The 2015 PDC season fires up this weekend for the two-day Masters event at Stadium:MK. It will involve the world’s top 16 players in a legs format, knockout tournament with £60,000 on offer to the eventual champion.
It’s less than a month ago when the confetti settled on new world champion Gary Anderson. His 7-6 win over Phil Taylor at Ally Pally fulfilling his ultimate darting destiny. It ended a superb year for the Scot, who also won the Players Championship and came top of the ProTour order of merit.
He comes into this event in red-hot form, but peculiarly not as favourite; that honour falls to PDC Number 1 ‘Mighty’ Michael Van Gerwin, who will be chomping at the bit after being disrobed of his world title. This bemuses me slightly, given the major titles were shared around last year, and the Dutchman failing to reach a final of the last three events. However, his consistency is to be admired and in a reasonable top quarter I’d expect him to be thereabouts come Sunday evening.
Phil Taylor can be found at a staggering 4/1 (BetVictor) to win this event, but if you factor the recent death of his mother and the final defeat, it could be difficult to gauge what his mindset will be. A punt on the greatest player ever could be inspired however, after previously winning the inaugural hosting of this event in 2013 and winning the Grand Slam only back in November.
Adrian Lewis will have a point to prove on the back of a timid World Championship, and obviously will want to start the new campaign well. I think he has a real opportunity here to lay down a marker, and with a segment including Peter Wright, Brendan Dolan, and Ian White – 10/11 (William Hill) to reach the semi-finals looks very good for the Jackpot.
Reigning Masters champ James Wade faces Meryvn King in a repeat of the dramatic final here last season. As both players suffered early exits in London though, I wouldn’t particularly like to back either in the match or as an outright winner, especially with Anderson a potential quarter-final opponent.
The only opening tie I see going against the favourite is the near 50/50 match between Robert Thornton and Dave Chisnall. This should be high scoring with plenty of 180 scores, and I fancy former UK Open winner Thornton (evens William Hill) to knick it after having a better effort at the worlds.
Other former major champions in this event include Raymond Van Barneveld and Simon Whitlock, but due to the format and form I can’t see either challenging on this occasion.
With the beginning of the new season starting so close to the last one finishing, it’s difficult to distinguish the winner here. I think the timing of this event is ill-advised, and with the Premier League starting next week too, it seems very odd to put a lucrative invitational event on the weekend before.
Thinking about all this, it may be fate for ‘Power Taylor’ to wear the crown after all of his goings on. He certainly seems a big price considering he was only one set away from a 17th World Championship only a few weeks ago. And lets face it; he’s proven people a gazillion times wrong before….
Phil Taylor to win the PDC Masters (4/1 BetVictor)
Adrian Lewis to win the 2nd quarter (10/11 William Hill)
Winning nationality to be English (11/10 Bet365)
Robert Thornton to beat Dave Chisnall (1/1 William Hill)