Darts Betting: PDC World Championship - Semi-Final Tips

Michael van Gerwen v James Wade

Both Michael van Gerwen and James Wade came through epic quarter-final matches last night, although Wade’s resilient 5-4 win over Wes Newton was somewhat overshadowed by what happened shortly after. MVG came through one of the greatest darts matches ever televised to see off world champion Adrian Lewis in a final set decider.

The young Dutchman threw everything in his armoury at Jackpot, but the Champ wasn’t going to relinquish his title without a fight. MVG’s power scoring was immense, and if he’d finished as prolifically as he started legs then the match may have been over in a flash. But Lewis pounced when the opportunity presented itself and took out a lot of big, pressure finishes to take the match all the way. Wade will need to do exactly the same if he is to stand any chance of winning the one title in PDC darts that has eluded him in his career.

Luckily for Wade and his supporters, hitting doubles under pressure is his stock and trade. It’s a large part of why he has been so successful.

My problem with suggesting any sort of bet on Wade, be it in the Match Odds at 4.20 or the +2.5 handicap at 2.15, is that I don’t think he has that killer instinct in him at the minute. MVG and Lewis went up on that stage last night wanting to pulverise their opponents, whereas Wade is happy to just go up there, play his darts and see what happens. To beat an opponent like Van Gerwen you have to be ruthless, and Wade simply is not.

Van Gerwen’s problems on the doubles last night could not yet be described as a trait of his game, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him upping his checkout percentage by a good 10-20% tonight. If he does, then he will stop The Machine dead in his tracks. I like the 1.65 about Van Gerwen -2.5 sets, and I also think it’s worth a few quid on a couple of correct scores; 6-1 and 6-2 in favour of Van Gerwen can be backed at odds of 7.00 and 5.50 respectively.

Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld

Following last night’s quarter-finals, Adrian Lewis described his match with Van Gerwen as the best ever televised match, and it’s difficult to argue that point in terms of the quality shown by both players. But because of the magnitude of the match and the prize on offer, Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld’s 2007 PDC World Championship final will still remain the standard against which all great matches will be judged.

Although the old footage reels of that night at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet have been rolled out many a time since, there has rarely been any genuine belief that we would see any sort of repeat. Barney was a spent force. Gone at the game. He would go down as the second best player in history. But history was all that he had.

That was until a couple of months ago, when a rejuvenated Barney won the Grand Slam of Darts, rediscovering his belief and once again becoming a genuine contender on the biggest stage.

Taylor has had a poor year by his own remarkably high standards, but he has also looked a much better player over this past fortnight. Each player was lethal on their doubles in their respective quarter-final matches.

From what we have seen at Ally Pally so far this winter, this one could well live up to the Circus Tavern hype. As a result I’ll be looking to play the Overs selections on a lot of markets.

We’ll begin with there being Over 9.5 sets at odds of 2.15, which basically equates to both players putting at least four sets on the board. Then there’s the Over 38.5 legs at odds of 1.87 and Over 19.5 180s at odds of 1.80.

If you’re looking for a bet on the Match Odds then it has to be the 2.55 available about the Dutchman. Purely on the basis that I expect this to be a very close match, and in ties that could go either way the value has to be with the outsider at such odds.

Suggested bets:
Michael van Gerwen -2.5 sets @ 1.65
Over 9.5 sets @ 2.15 in Taylor v Barney