DARTS expert Mark Stinchombe (@MarkStinchcombe) shares his view on Monday night's World Championship final.
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson | Monday 20:20 | Sky Sports 3
The top two seeds in world number one Michael van Gerwen and two-time back-to-back reigning champion Gary Anderson take each other on it what looks to be the dream final on Monday night with both players playing at ridiculously high levels.
This will be the 37th career meeting between the two, with MVG leading 22-13 (one draw) and 4-2 (one draw) for 2016, 56-48 in legs. Van Gerwen heads in as heavy 1/3 (Boylesports) favourite with Anderson rank outsider at 11/4 (Bet365).
The tournament statistics however, suggest the match will be closer. MVG’s tournament average is 106.68 with Anderson’s 104.10. The Green Machine has hit 46 180s to The Flying Scotman’s 49. And their checkout percentages are also very similar with 42.20% (73/173) playing 41.76% (76/182).
If this was a straight leg format then it would be difficult to oppose van Gerwen. Remember it’s 25 titles already this year and he hasn’t lost a TV ranking event since April.
Over circa 44 legs it’s difficult for both players performances not to reflect their true ability. However, in set format so much will come down to timing. With both players readily capable of 10/11/12 dart legs regardless of throw, I envisage a couple of final set legs, which will be key to the match.
Their last meeting was actually set play at the World Grand Prix final in October which MVG won 5-2 but it was closer than the score suggests with 15-11 in legs. Two of van Gerwen’s notable TV defeats over the last 18 months were both set play despite him winning more legs.
The handicap line is set at +2.5 for Anderson (13/12 Marathon), which would require him taking five sets, yet we can actually back Over 10.5 Sets (4/5 Bet365) at a similar price with the safety net of one fewer set.
This is Anderson’s fourth final with his record reading 7-5 v Adrian Lewis, 7-6 v Phil Taylor and 5-7 v Lewis. Remember the H2H for 2016 is 4-2- 1, with the leg average +1.14 to van Gerwen. If he does win, it looks unlikely he’ll win by more than three sets.
Both players to win four sets looks an outstanding bet and looks the play in what could be the best final ever.
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson – Over 10.5 Sets (4/5 Bet365)