Another thrilling week of action in 2018’s Premier League Darts has left the competition wide open. The two men at the head of the outright betting, Michael Van Gerwen and Rob Cross, both lost in Cardiff and the early table is an unexpected one to say the least.
This week we head to Newcastle and while there are lots of matches left in this phase, certain throwers really need to get some points on the board.
Outright Odds and Standings
Only two players, Simon Whitlock and Michael Smith, have a 100% record at this point in proceedings with two wins from two. Neither are particularly fancied to take the 2018 crown but their early success underlines how unpredictable the competition has been up to this point.
As for the outright market, Van Gerwen remains the clear favourite at best odds of 8/11 while Peter Wright, who defeated the Dutchman in the last round, follows at 7/1 with BetFred. Gary Anderson is next on the list at 8/1 with SkyBet with Rob Cross next at 9/1 with BetBright.
A gap now opens to Raymond Van Barneveld at 20/1 with SkyBet and Michael Smith at 33/1 with Betway. Daryl Gurney is at 50/1 with Winner Sports while Simon Whitlock, the rank outsider at the start of the tournament, has shortened considerably to 66/1 with SkyBet. Completing this particular market are Mensur Suljovic at 100/1 with Bet365 and Gerwyn Price at 150/1 with BetFred.
That’s the outrights summed up so what do we have in store for week three?
Starting things off at 7:10pm are Mensur Suljovic and Michael Smith and when you consider that Smith has enjoyed that perfect start to the competition, there could be some value in this one. Suljovic is favourite for the win at best odds of 3/2 with SkyBet while Smith follows at a top price of 23/15 with MarathonBet and the draw completes things at a best of 33/10 with Unibet.
Austrian Suljovic is second from bottom with two straight defeats so based on current form, Smith is a good option at that 23/15 price.
Up next are Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price with Gurney a narrow odds on favourite for the win at a best of 10/11 with Winner Sports. Victory for Price is at 53/21 with MarathonBet while the draw for this one is at 7/2 with most outlets including William Hill and Betway.
Both men have just one point from drawn games at this stage so perhaps there is potential for an upset and perhaps another tie at six sets apiece could be on the cards.
Rob Cross may be the reigning PDC World Champion but it’s been a desperately poor start to his debut Premier League season and the Voltage will be desperate to get his first points on the board.
It certainly won’t be easy for Cross as he meets Peter Snakebite Wright who found form after a slow start to the year with that 7-5 victory over Van Gerwen last week. Recent results make Wright the favourite here at best odds of 7/5 with Sun Bets but his opponent is close behind at a top price of 7/4 with Coral and Ladbrokes.
The draw completes the market here at a best of 7/2 with Unibet and Betway and it really could be as close as these numbers suggest.
Enter the Champion
Our fourth game of the evening features Gary Anderson and Michael Van Gerwen who shared four PDC World Titles between them across 2014 to 2017 and both men come into the match with identical records of played two, won one and lost one.
Despite those figures, Van Gerwen remains hot favourite for this game and the best odds currently available for the Dutchman stand at 8/13 with Boylesports and SkyBet. Anderson can be claimed at a top price of 4/1 with BetBright and 188Bet while the draw is also on offer at a best of 4/1 with William Hill and MarathonBet.
Given the nature of early results and the fact that MVG has been a little inconsistent of late, this is one game that could offer some value in terms of backing the outsider.
Little was expected of Simon the Wizard Whitlock at the start of the tournament but the Australian’s early form took us back eight years to when he was a PDC World Championship runner up.
Whitlock now takes on Raymond Van Barneveld but the Wizard remains the outside bet at 12/5 with Ladbrokes and Betway. Barney is an odds on favourite at a best of 17/20 with Unibet and 888Sport while the draw finishes it all off at a top price of 39/11 with 188Bet.
We were looking to back Van Barneveld who started the year in great form after reaching the Masters final last month but to be honest were hoping for a little more value after Whitlock’s 100% winning start to this tournament.
While this isn’t a particularly short format with the first player to seven sets taking the points, we’ve already seen plenty of upsets at the start of 2018’s Premier League darts and it makes it tougher to pick our winners this time around.
In terms of value, Michael Smith’s early season form makes him a good option at 23/15 in his match with Mensur Suljovic but from that point it’s a case of looking at the side betting. The match between Van Barneveld and Whitlock could be tight and although the Australian was unfancied at the start of the tournament, his two wins from two suggest he’s going to give Barney a battle on Thursday.
As we mentioned, we’re backing the Dutchman to come through but if it is a tough tie, a correct score of 7-5 in favour of Van Barneveld is available at a generous best price of 6/1 with Stan James.
Elsewhere, another possible option comes in the game with Rob Cross and Peter Wright. Many will get behind Cross to bounce back at a decent price of 7/4 but we feel that Snakebite will keep his momentum and in the Most 180s market, it’s a little surprising to see Wright as the outside bet at a generous 7/4 with Ladbrokes.
- Michael Smith to beat Mensur Suljovic at 23/15 with MarathonBet
- Correct Score of Raymond Van Barneveld 7 Simon Whitlock 5 at 6/1 with Stan James
- Peter Wright to hit most 180s against Rob Cross at 7/4 with Ladbrokes