DARTS analyst Andrew Francis (@ALeagueAndy) shares his verdict on the 1st Quarter of the upcoming 2019 PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.
PDC World Darts Championship | 13th-29th December 2018 | Sky Sports
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
The PDC World Championship returns to Alexandra Palace on Thursday 13th December 2018 and I’m here to preview all of the action.
We’ll start with the 1st Quarter which features world number one Michael van Gerwen, as well as Raymond van Barneveld, who enters his final year as a pro.
Here are the major players in the 1st Quarter:
Michael van Gerwen
- PDC Order of Merit – 1
- Odds – 7/4 (188BET)
Van Gerwen is the only player who has a 3-dart average of over 100 in 2018 and rightly starts as heavy favourite to win the entire tournament at 7/4 (188BET). He’s had a superb 2018, winning 12 events including The Masters, The Premier League of Darts and the World Grand Prix as well as lifting the World Cup of Darts in June alongside van Barneveld.
The Dutchman leads the way in the majority of the major stats too. His 3-dart average for the year is 102.09 whilst he’s won an incredible 25.03% of his legs in 2018 in 12 darts or less. His outshot % is also the highest on the tour at 45.86%. Everything seems to be going his way this season.
But…. maybe this isn’t going to be MvG’s tournament. He’s looked beatable in the past few events, losing to Daryl Gurney in the Players Championship final whilst not even making the semi-finals in the three events prior to that. He’s seemed to struggle against players who start aggressively and everyone in the tournament will be aware of that ahead of the 13th December.
- PDC Order of Merit – 8
- Odds – 80/1 (Ladbrokes)
Such is the strength in the darts world at the moment that the man lying eighth in the world is an incredible 80/1 (Ladbrokes)coming into the tournament.
It’s hard to argue with that though with the Aussie not having the best of years. His 3-dart average of 93.5 is only the fifth best in this quarter and he’s failed to win an event in 2018.
The odds are against Whitlock but his chances of making the 3rd Round are high with the Australian facing either Ryan Joyce (one of the more average players in the 1st Quarter) or Anastasia Dobromyslova, the player with the lowest 3-dart average in the opening 24.
He is the highest ranked player in his half of the 1st Quarter though and will expect nothing less than a quarter final appearance.
- PDC Order of Merit – 9
- Odds – 40/1 (Ladbrokes)
Wade’s recent form carries him to a 40/1 (Ladbrokes) start to the tournament with the Aldershot man winning two of the last four majors. Before that it was a fairly unremarkable 2018 for Wade but he’s found form at the right time and could be considered a contender if he can make it out of his quarter.
His 3-dart average of 95.04 is only beaten by van Gerwen in the 1st Quarter and he’s also got favourable stats in both legs won and % of outshots taken.
His prospective 2nd Round tie against Krzysztof Ratajski could prove to be tricky but he’ll be thankful for being on the opposite side of the quarter to van Gerwen as he looks to build form before potentially facing the Dutchman.
- PDC Order of Merit – 16
- Odds – 70/1 (Bet365)
Adrian Lewis hasn’t really found the form he enjoyed in 2011 and 2012 when he won back-to-back World Championships but he’s been showing glimpses that he still has the ability to command a match at the oche with a 3-dart average of 93.73.
He’s only reached one final this year though, the Gibraltar Open, and this is probably a step too far for Lewis who will probably have to settle for a quarter-final appearance at best.
Raymond van Barneveld
- PDC Order of Merit – 17
- Odds – 80/1 (William Hill)
Barney revealed this would be his penultimate World Championship with the Dutchman set to retire following the 2020 tournament and he’ll be hoping to go out with a bang.
2018 has been quite disappointing for him with just two final appearances, losing both to Michael van Gerwen but his World Cup of Darts win alongside his countryman was a high point.
His stats have been slowly declining for the past few years but he still has the third highest average in this quarter and his 41.05% of outshots ranks highly amongst the entire competition.
A 4th Round match with van Gerwen is likely though and that could be a disappointing end to the year for van Barneveld.
- PDC Order of Merit – 40
- Odds – 750/1 (Ladbrokes)
Keegan Brown is a former World Youth Champion and looks to be hitting his stride in the senior game making the Last 16 in this competition last year and following up with final 32 appearances in the UK Open and Players Championship Finals.
If he’s able to overcome two seeded players in Jelle Klaasen and James Wade he could end up in a mouthwatering contest against his long time mentor, Simon Whitlock.
His average of 90.17 is high enough to cause problems to anyone and with a little bit of luck he could end up entering the later stages of the tournament.
He’s definitely one to keep an eye on and an outside bet to watch as his odds come in as he advances, taking the profit when it appears.
1st Quarter Betting Angle
Wade, in particular, will be favourite to make it to the quarter-finals and he’s got experience of beating van Gerwen, something he’ll be hoping to do again if the two meet this year.
Lewis has the ability to beat van Gerwen too but will need to be at his best to do so. A win here though would see his odds come in massively though and the value could be with Jackpot.
PDC World Darts Championship – James Wade to win the 1st Quarter (9/1 William Hill)
PDC World Darts Championship – Adrian Lewis to win the 1st Quarter (16/1 BetVictor)