Last week in Sheffield we saw why Dave Chisnall is likely to win a major this year with two fine performances. He beat Gary Anderson and James Wade proving he can consistently perform. Those two wins keep him in second.
There were problems for Wade, who lost both of his matches but he remains mid-table. Stephen Bunting gave it a real go against Michael van Gerwen but the Dutchman turned on the style in the deciding leg to take victory while the other Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld, once again, beat Phil Taylor.
Dave Chisnall v Phil Taylor
I still think that Dave Chisnall is a very much under-rated player inside the PDC ranks and so far this season has proved how capable he is of pulling of big wins. He seems he has added that extra mental toughness, which for me will see him win a major. His scoring is relentless and he is, more often than not, clinical on the doubles.
Phil Taylor struggled last week at the Motorpoint Arena and fell to defeat against Raymond van Barneveld. When Barney beat him in Glasgow, Taylor averaged 115. However last Thursday he only averaged 87 and failed to hit any 180s. For me, that is a big concern coming into this match against an on-form Chisnall. One thing I have learnt though is to never write him off. He’s proved me wrong on a couple of occasions after writing him off.
I can’t believe that Chisnall to Win and in the Draw No Bet market is odds-against. Therefore I can’t ignore Chisnall to win (13/8) for the player coming into this match with the best form. If you want an even bigger price than that then the Match Treble of Chisnall to Win, Hit Most 180s and Highest Checkout (11/2) looks very tempting considering Chizzy hit six 180s against Anderson and then five against Wade. On top of that there is the 150 checkout hit by the St Helens man against Anderson, so that should make appeal to a bet at a nice price.
In the 180 markets the bar is set at a fair amount so Over 6.5 Match 180s (evens) would attract a bet. Chisnall has hit 43 maximums in 11 matches, so averages nearly four per match. Taylor has hit 23 180s, so has an averaged of around two per match. However Chisnall has been rattling them in in recent weeks.
Stephen Bunting v Adrian Lewis
Stephen Bunting played quite well last week against Michael van Gerwen however he still needs to add that extra bit of quality into his game, which would see him take a few more points in this campaign. Adrian Lewis seems to be a man back in-form. He defeated James Wade in the opening match last week and at the weekend won two of three Players Championships events – PC3 on Friday and PC 5 on Sunday. On the Saturday in PC4 he was runner-up to Michael van Gerwen.
Before Kim Huybrechts and Peter Wright were eliminated these two met in Exeter in Night 5. The Bullet triumphed 7-3 however it is fair to say that Lewis was playing poorly in the opening weeks and that he has found some form with his new darts.
This match seems quite fairly priced up with Lewis (10/11) to win. I think that will happen but would rather play Lewis to Win & both players to win 4 or more legs (9/4).
Bunting has hit 33 180s in ten matches with an average of three per match while Lewis one less at 32. It is close in that respect and when they met Bunting hit three maximums to Lewis’ one. On that evidence you cannot turn down Bunting Most 180s (13/8).
If you want a steady bet then something to consider would be Bunting Highest Match Checkout Under 95.5 (5/6). In his last four matches his highest checkouts have been: 87, 88, 40 and 72, nothing to light the blue touch paper compared to his rivals.
James Wade v Gary Anderson
There have been claims in the press that opponents of James Wade feel his medication for his mental health problems give him an unfair advantage. What a big bunch of sour grapes! There are protocols in place and Wade wouldn’t be still in the event if he had failed a drugs test.
Away from that The Machine lost both of his matches last week and pulled of the triple-header of Players Championship events as his fiancée tweeted he was ‘not mentally well.’ Hopefully a week away from the game has helped freshen him up and comes back in a good place. Wade is a player I admire going through what he goes through plus he is a left-handed thrower, like myself, so someone I try to replicate.
I’m not one for kicking a man while he is down however Anderson will be up for a fight after losing himself last week. Anderson to Win (4/6) looks fair in all honesty with question marks over Wade. At a bigger price look at the Correct Score markets. Personally Anderson 7-2 (9/1) would make some appeal on last weeks evidence. When they met earlier in the season it finished 7-4 to Anderson and that is priced at 6/1, which doesn’t look bad either.
Usually you can expect Wade to dig-in and grind a result out if playing poorly but if he isn’t mentally ready then he’ll start looking dis-interested and potentially let The Flying Scotsman beat him easily. Under 11.5 Legs (8/13) is short but something you can bank on happening.
As there isn’t much value in the markets another odds-on shot that would likely land is Anderson Highest Match Checkout Over 103.5 (5/6) as when the World Champion is playing well his checkouts are a joy to watch.
Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen
We all know how well Michael van Gerwen has played so far this year but take a minute to give praise to Raymond van Barneveld. He looked down and out prior to Judgement Night and put in a determined fight to draw to Gary Anderson then replicated his beating of Phil Taylor from Glasgow last week in Sheffield.
I don’t think this will be as easy as many are predicted. Van Gerwen did win 7-2 in Dublin against Barney but tonight it will be a closer match. Mighty Mike to win is short so I’d take a punt on the Michael Van Gerwen to win & both players to win 4 or more legs (15/8)
When these two met in Dublin there were nine 180s (7-2 in MVG’s favour) so the Over 6.5 Match 180s (4/5) would be another way into this match where there is little value in the markets.
If you look at there last four matches respective of who they were playing, including their match in Dublin then Barney has hit the highest checkout on three of those four matches – Raymond van Barneveld Highest Match Checkout (11/8). Again the evidence is there that Highest Match Checkout Over 118.5 (5/6) is another generic priced way into this match.
Stephen Bunting v Phil Taylor
Of course writing this piece prior to their earlier matches it is hard to get a feel for how they are playing and where they are mentally. Looking at the markets I’m surprised by how short Taylor is on the form he has showed in the last couple of weeks.
For me small stakes on the Draw (4/1) would be the way to go. Yes Taylor thrashed Bunting 7-1 in Week 3 in Liverpool but that was The Bullet’s home fixture and the pressure obviously got to him.
There have been matches where Bunting has been unlucky and hasn’t got the points he has deserved. He is one to dig-in and grind out a result, which is my theory behind the reasoning for the draw.
Bunting Most 180s (evens) because prior to tonight’s matches he has hit ten more maximums than The Power so take the value because that for me should be odds-on.
You can probably see that I am leaning slightly more towards a Bunting victory here. As it is the last match of the night have a fun bet with small stakes on this shot with William Hill – Bunting to win and 6 or more 180s in the match (6/1).
Acca: Chisnall, Lewis, Anderson and van Gerwen all to win @ 11.06/1