ANOTHER massive night of Premier League Darts action. Our man Michael Day (@daisy8ball) shares his best bets.
Premier League Darts | Thursday 19:10 | Sky Sports 1
I'll kick off with a very speculative bet, so be warned! I think we must see a nine-darter on Thursday night!
I can’t really put any formative front on this prediction or back it up with any figures as it’s not possible, but if you’ve just found a quid or two down the back of your sofa then it might be for you.
The last couple of weeks have seen both Kim Huybrechts and Raymond Van Barneveld narrowly miss out on the magical nine dart finish. This coming from two players who have struggled for results so far.
I said on my outright piece a few weeks ago that they’ll be a perfect leg of darts at somepoint and we have been almost as close as you can possibly be.
Around the corner or at the Nottingham Capital FM Arena on Thursday….I’m very hopeful we'll see it. Come on, I’ll be a genius if I do call it!
Phil Taylor v Michael Van Gerwen | Thursday 20:40 | Sky Sports 1
There were a lot of surprising outcomes last week in Exeter, although one thing I predicted correctly was the verbal argy bargy between Michael Van Gerwen and Peter Wright. For the record that match was a draw.
But a lot has happened in the darting world since then. Van Gerwen won the 147 player UK Open at the weekend, where he ironically beat Wright in the final, to further strengthen his World Number 1 status.
However this Thursday he faces the greatest player ever….Phil Taylor.
I’m not going to make excuses, but I love betting with MVG, you’ll notice I mention him in almost every article! In Nottingham though he will be competing in the current ‘El Classico’ of darts involving the top two on the planet.
Historically they have clashed in so many big matches, too many to discuss, with a head to head record of 26-11 to ‘The Power’. I would take those statistics with a pinch of salt though; since the Dutchmans real emergence a few years ago, the figures are a lot more even.
I found it amazing to discover that the pair have not met in any form of competition since the Perth Masters final back in August where Taylor won 11-9. That was also only a few weeks after he battered him in the World Matchplay Final in Blackpool. I shouldn’t think this will play on the mind of a man in the form of his life, but I do think the youngster will want to stamp his authority.
Premier League wise Taylor has only beaten his nemesis once in four attempts. He also bitterly lost out to him in the final at the O2 in 2013, and got whitewashed 7-0 on last season's opening night.
Currently though PT’s form is very good and he seems to be reasserting himself in the forefront of most pundits thoughts. Despite losing in the last eight at the weekend down in Minehead, he still averaged 108.5 and only went out to an inspired opponent (Peter Wright alas again!).
Mixing all this info together and we have a very tough match up to call indeed, but what I do think is almost a formality is that it will be close. It’s seciond against third in the standings, Van Gerwen is unbeaten, whilst Taylor's only loss was on the opening night narrowly missing out 7-5 to Gary Anderson.
In the short format of this event I can’t see either building up a head of steam and motoring away on this occasion. The total legs market of over 11.5 is best priced at 6/5 with Skybet and that’s what I would be putting a cross next to. If I was feeling a little brave the 6-6 draw at 7/2 with William Hill might be worth a small sum.
Phil Taylor v Michael Van Gerwen – Over 11.5 Total Legs (6/5 Skybet)
Nine dart finish on the night? – Yes (6/1 Paddy Power)