THREE winning bets out of three last week for Michael Day (@daisy8ball), and our darts man is hungry for more this Thursday in Bournemouth.
Michael Van Gerwen v Stephen Bunting | Thursday 19:50 | Sky Sports 1
I must admit my second and third selections came to me more naturally than this one. I’ve looked at Gary Anderson v Peter Wright, and whilst I think Ando will win and hit more 180’s, both are priced up pretty short.
I’ve looked at Taylor v Lewis and liked the idea of taking on The Power who is still match favourite. His current mentality and nervousness on doubles, coupled with Jackpot's blistering form, led me going under on his checkouts and 180 markets. But backing against the great man under this big cloud is still not an easy task!
So I’m betting with the player who has won 24 out of his 25 competitive matches since losing his World Championship title in early January….Michael Van Gerwen.
Since the Ally Pally he’s won the Masters, won last weeks opening fixture, and reached all three finals of last weekend's UK Open qualifying events – winning two of them! Also on route to that title last Sunday, he beat his Premier League opponent for this week – Stephen Bunting 6-1.
So what stance to take? He’s best priced at 7/12 with BWin to win the match which may entice bigger punters, but for more value I think he’ll continue this hot streak and hit the most 180’s between the pair at even money with Coral.
I’m slightly ignoring the stats from last week as Van Gerwen only hit two compared to Buntings' three, but with MVG’s current form, and in playing against a stronger opponent, I expect further tungsten terror from the World number 1.
James Wade v Kim Huybrechts | Thursday 21:10 | Sky Sports 1
Kim Huybrechts showed a lot of spirit last week on his Premier League debut but ultimately only won three legs, and I think this could be a regular trend for the Belgian.
Whilst I think he’ll compete, I still get the feeling he struggles a bit with crucial doubles. Undoubtedly he will get better, and whatever the outcome this season he should be stronger for the experience.
James Wade was solid last week on his PDL return and picked up a point against another rookie in Stephen Bunting. ‘The Machine’ is always a contender for titles and if he rediscovers the form of only a few months ago, he’ll be close in making the play-offs.
A lot often depends on his well documented state of mind, and Huybrechts’ outlandish celebrations during this match will either unsettle or inspire him. I think a lot of that may come down to who gets on top in the opening few legs which will set the tone for the remainder of the match.
The 2009 Premier League champion is extremely accustomed to dispatching lower ranked opponents and I think the same will happen here. It’s a very winnable fixture, and whilst ‘Hurricane' Huybrechts is dangerous – he can often blow himself out.
The stats are certainly positive for JW; within the last year they’ve met seven times and he’s won five of them. That includes their only ever previous meeting in a major at last March’s UK Open when the Englishman ran out a 9-5 winner.
Over/Under Highest Checkout | Thursday | Sky Sports 1
I backed this selection last week and it came in, and so long as the threshold doesn’t change too much I’m happy to back it every week. This bet was in by match three in Leeds when Michael Van Gerwen sunk a 145 out to win against Kim Huybrechts.
With the Premier League an exhibition like atmosphere, high finishes are very common – and with some of the best players in the world competing, there is a great chance of a winner. Factoring in so many players are throwing well, the likelihood looks good.
If you break it down you know there are going to be at least 50 legs on the night, and in those 50 legs, BOTH players could potentially leave themselves an outshot of above 144. You will almost definitely get at least a few instances where players set themselves this shot and make it down to the last double / bullseye.
With the Under and Over market being 5/6 each way, if this bet lands two out of every three weeks then you’re onto a nice little earner throughout the competition.
It also helps that the players and matches will in general be so close. These big checkouts will have to be hit as their opponent is likely to be on a finish too…there’ll be hardly any setting up of shots for the following turn.
The thing with this type of bet is that it also pays to shop around, as although the price probably won’t change, the asking figure will. Last week I quoted Coral because the score was 144.5 – other firms wanted scores going up to 148.5…so in last Thursday's case it would have been a loser.
Michael Van Gerwen v Stephen Bunting – Michael Van Gerwen to hit the most 180's (Evens Coral)
James Wade v Kim Huybrechts – James Wade to win (11/10 Coral)
Highest Checkout on the night Over 144.5 – 5/6 William Hill