Naturally, the man who heads the betting is the world number one, the ten-time World Grand Prix champion, the indomitable force, The Power: Phil Taylor.
But the odds that are available on the defending champion are a lot bigger than we have come to expect. Once a guaranteed odds-on shot in any tournament, Taylor is available to back at 3.00 this week. Not least because of the poor form that he has shown coming into this tournament. Taylor’s quarter-final loss to Brendan Dolan in the European Championships last month was followed by a run of below-par performances over three days in the Championship League darts a fortnight ago.
The Power is out of form, but that does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean that he is out of the equation in Dublin this week. If anything, it makes him even more dangerous. All year Taylor has spoken about focussing on regaining his World Championship title, but he is more than capable of picking up Major titles at will en route to Alexandra Palace.
Factor Taylor, at odds of 3.00, into any outright winner bets you place on the World Grand Prix.
Adrian Lewis is an enigma. When on song he is, quite simply, unstoppable. When cold, almost any player on the circuit can beat him. If anyone could find a formula to determine when Jackpot is on his game, they could sell it for to the government for millions and we’d be out of this recession in no time.
So far this year, since winning his second world title, he has failed to deliver in the Majors. This week, however, he may just be worth siding with at odds of 9.00. The double-in format is one that will suit Jackpot’s game and his draw, although tricky, is not one that will fill him with fear. That said, I’m not sure that there are any draws that Lewis would ‘fear’. He is fully aware that if he gets his own game together it doesn’t matter who he is playing.
If the real Adrian Lewis does not turn up in Dublin then this bet could quite quickly begin to look foolish. But I have a feeling about the world champ this week. And sometimes you have to go with your gut.
To say that Ronnie Baxter is enjoying a renaissance in his career is perhaps taking things a little too far, but he is certainly showing some top form ahead of the World Grand Prix. Having reached the semi-finals of the World Matchplay before the summer break he then looked in good nick at the European Championships last month before a narrow defeat to Andy Hamilton in the second round.
Then in the Championship League at Crondon Park a fortnight ago he beat Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson, Simon Whitlock and Terry Jenkins before defeating Dave Chisnall in the final to book his place in the winners' group.
There aren’t many easy games in PDC majors these days, but Baxter is in the opposite half to Taylor and could certainly have been handed a much more difficult route to the latter stages. At 67.00 he is worth a small nibble in the winner market.