Andy Hamilton v Simon Whitlock
Both Andy Hamilton and Simon Whitlock come into this fixture on the back of exciting wins last time out in the Premier League. The Hammer recorded his first ever televised victory over Phil Taylor with an impressive 101.40 three-dart average, while Whitlock defeated the in-form James Wade, leaving both players locked on six points in mid-table.
Neither player is mathematically safe from relegation yet, while both will be keen for a maximum points return in order to maintain their challenge for a top-four finish.
It promises to be a close match and one that could quite easily end in a draw. But with the odds not reflecting this, we’re forced to go with the outsider of the pair as a value bet here.
Best Bet: Hamilton to win @ 2.70
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen continued his incredible run of form by adding another UK Open qualifier to his name in Wigan on Saturday, and reaching the semi-final of Sunday’s qualifier. This came on the back of a return to winning ways in the Premier League last week against Wes Newton.
Gary Anderson is showing encouraging signs of a return to form as he also reached the semi-finals on Sunday, hit a nine-darter on Saturday and has beaten Phil Taylor and drawn with Adrian Lewis in his last two Premier League outings. This could be a real cracker of a match.
Of course MVG deserves to be favourite, but I’ve seen enough from the Scot in recent weeks to take a chance on him here at odds as big as 4.50. Anderson is more than capable of winning this match. Lets just hope he finds his range on his doubles this evening.
Best Bet: Anderson to win @ 4.50
Robert Thornton v Adrian Lewis
After kicking off with four consecutive defeats, Adrian Lewis is now unbeaten in two and although he remains at the foot of the table, could yet stave off relegation. Robert Thornton has no such concerns about the possibility of being eliminated after the first round of games and bounced back from a humbling defeat at the hands of James Wade a fortnight ago, with an admirable point against Raymond van Barneveld last week.
Another close match is anticipated and on this occasion it makes sense to go with a bet on the total 180s market, where over 6.5 can be backed at 1.90. So far this tournament they’ve managed a total of 40 maximums between them, with Jackpot hitting a total of nine over the course of the past two weeks.
Best Bet: More than 6.5 180s at 1.90
Wes Newton v Phil Taylor
A new set of darts appears to be the root cause of Phil Taylor’s abrupt decline in form. The 16-time world champion has now lost his last two Premier League matches and as a result has slipped out of the top 4 in the standings. Fortunately for him, this week he faces a Wes Newton who hasn’t yet settled in the Premier League and offers The Power an ideal opportunity to get back on track
Newton has shown flashes of what he can do in the Premier League, but rarely has he consistently performed his best throughout an entire match. When you’re up against this calibre of opponent and you let your standards slip, you’re going to be punished.
Best Bet: Taylor - 2.5 legs @ 1.70
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Only a week ago this would undoubtedly have been the match of the night and it may yet still prove to be just that. However, both players let their standards slip a little last week and there’s a lingering feeling that they may each have gone off the boil slightly.
Barney looks to be well on course for a top-four finish and Wade had been playing his best darts for years, which is perhaps why both players looked a little complacent last Thursday. With neither player recording a victory seven days ago, hopefully that will have jolted them back into action and we’ll see the best of both in Cardiff.
History suggests that these are two extremely evenly matched players, with Barney winning 18 and Wade 17 of their previous 37 duals. They’ve certainly performed to a similarly high standard in the prevailing six weeks going into this one.
I apply the same reasoning here as I do to the opening match of the night and will opt to back Wade at the considerably bigger odds.
Best Bet: Wade to win @ 2.65