Andy Hamilton v Adrian Lewis
With neither player able to make the top four Andy Hamilton and Adrian Lewis have been assigned to the opening match of the night, before the serious business begins later in the evening.
The Hammer showed in the final match of last Thursday that he’ll still battle for every point, defeating James Wade 7-2 despite already knowing that he could not mathematically qualify for the semis. Lewis, on the other hand, continues to perform below par in the Premier League and has now lost six on the bounce.
In a match that neither needs to win nor has too many concerns about losing, the draw at odds of 4.50 is the obvious choice and who are we to argue with logic?
Best Bet: The Draw @ 4.50
Robert Thornton v Raymond van Barneveld
Robert Thornton may well have two bites at the cherry in aiming to qualify for the semi-finals of the Premier League in his debut season. Unfortunately for the Scot, each bite will have the distinct taste of an in-form Dutchman.
Up first is Raymond van Barneveld, a player that Thornton has never beaten in five previous clashes. A 6-6 draw earlier in this campaign will, however, offer some encouragement. With Barney already having secured a place in the semi-finals there’s a chance that he may just take his foot off the gas a little.
Best Bet: Thornton (Draw No Bet) @ 2.50
Adrian Lewis v Simon Whitlock
Simon Whitlock will, realistically, need to win both of his matches this evening to stand a chance of finishing in the top four, and he can get off to the ideal start against Lewis here.
The Aussie ran out a 7-3 winner when the pair met earlier in the tournament and had won six in a row against Jackpot prior to losing a final-leg decider in a UK Open qualifier a couple of weeks ago. While Lewis has every reason to approach this Thursday with a lax attitude, Whitlock will almost certainly be up for the challenge.
Best Bet: Whitlock to win @ 1.86
Phil Taylor v James Wade
If James Wade can become the fifth player to beat Phil Taylor in the Premier League this season then he would be almost guaranteed his spot in the top four. Although the Power has looked impressive in the Premier League in recent weeks, there are now enough chinks in his armour to suggest it’s worth siding with Wade here.
Usually a dominant force in the weekend ProTour events, Taylor has failed to make it past the last 64 in four of the last five and hasn’t won a title this year. Losing in the first round on Saturday to the relatively unknown Dave Pallett.
Wade hasn’t been fairing much better in the ProTour events, but we’ve seen in the Premier League how clinical he can be when he has his game face on. Expect the Machine to have put in the requisite amount of hours in front of the practice board this week, and take the big odds on him picking up a victory.
Best Bet: Wade to win @ 4.0
Michael van Gerwen v Robert Thornton
If Thornton doesn’t beat Barney, and Wade doesn’t beat Taylor then the Thorn will still have a chance of qualifying for the semis going into this match. The only problem is that he faces the table-topping Michael van Gerwen.
Earlier in the season, in just the second week of the Premier League in fact, the pair battled out a 6-6 draw. While they both come into this match in good form having each taken a ProTour title at the weekend; Thornton beating Ronny Huybrechts 6-0 in Saturday’s final with MVG then defeating Stuart Kellet 6-1 in Sunday’s title match.
At odds of 4.50 for the win there is certainly some value in backing the Scot, but I’d rather have my money on the 180s markets. In a match that could well see the maximum 12 legs it always makes sense to look at the Over selection in the Total 180s market. When said match involves two prolific treble 20 hitters it becomes a no-brainer.
Best Bet: Over 6.5 180s @ 1.80
Simon Whitlock v Raymond van Barneveld
Simon Whitlock will need a lot of things to go his way in the earlier matches to still be in with a shout of finishing in the top four when it comes to the final match of the night. If he is still in contention then he will almost certainly need to win this match, and possibly win by a big margin in order to book his place in next week’s semis.
The Aussie holds a slight advantage over Barney in their head-to-head record, but has lost the last three to the big Dutchman, including a 7-3 defeat earlier in the Premier League.
Before placing a bet on this match I’d advise waiting until we know the mechanics of any possible qualification for Whitlock. If he can still make it through to finals night, then put your money on him getting the job done. If it’s dead rubber match, then keep your cash in your pocket.
Best Bet: Whitlcok to win @ 3.0 (if he can still qualify for semis)