Bwin Grand Slam of Darts: Betting and Odds Preview
Following a slow summer, the PDC Darts tour is really starting to gather momentum now with players having more than one eye on the World Championships. Talking of momentum - current World Champion Michael Van Gerwen is hitting top form once again and the Dutch darter is the man to beat heading into this weekend’s Grand Slam.
Can anyone challenge Mighty Mike as he looks to win this title for a fourth time? Read on to view our thoughts.
Event Date: November, 9-17, 2019
History and Format
This is the tournament where players from the rival BDO organisation are invited to take on the best of the PDC. We’ve seen some impressive performances from the lower ranked throwers over the years and the Grand Slam also welcomed a BDO winner when Scott Waites claimed the title in 2010.
The tournament first arrived on the calendar in 2007 and like most events at that time, the inaugural edition was won by the great Phil Taylor. In 12 runnings of the Grand Slam we have only seen five winners with Taylor claiming six titles and Michael Van Gerwen securing three. Waites, Raymond Van Barneveld and Gerwyn Price have shared the remaining three wins.
It’s been played in Wolverhampton since the tournament started and is currently hosted by Aldersley Leisure Village. In 2019, the Grand Slam will run from the 9th to the 17th of November so we’ve a busy week of action starting this Saturday.
In terms of format, the initial stages see the players placed into eight groups of four and each of those sections will include one BDO thrower. Each darter will play each other once in a best of nine legs format and the top two in each section will progress to the second round.
From there it’s a straight knockout and the games are something of a marathon. After a relatively short best of 19 legs in that second round, the quarters, semis and the final itself are a race to 16.
It’s one of the more innovative events on the tour but who will come home with the prize?
Out in Front
Michael Van Gerwen’s current form sees the Dutchman lead the outright betting by some margin and you can claim him at 6/5 with most bookies including William Hill and 10Bet. Throughout 2018, MVG was an odds on option for most tournaments so perhaps there is some value in those current figures.
Van Gerwen added the World Series of Darts to his impressive trophy cabinet last time out and, after a dip in form halfway through the year, he’s back to his best. He’s an obvious favourite but can anyone upset those odds?
Rob Cross is the second favourite for the Grand Slam at 8/1 with Coral while the same two bookmakers quote Peter Wright at 9/1. Gerwyn Price is our defending champion and the Welshman is next on the list at 12/1 with Betway.
Of those three, Price has claimed the European Open and a Players Championship this year but the Iceman has yet to get over the line in a PDC Premier Event. Cross has enjoyed a better 2019 with the World Matchplay title while Wright also has a Players Championship trophy.
Moving through the pack, Gary Anderson is next up at 16/1 with Ladbrokes and BetFred and then we have a gap to Michael Smith and Daryl Gurney who are both quoted at best odds of 25/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral. Dave Chisnall can also be picked up at a top price of 25/1 - this time with SportingBet, and then we come to Nathan Aspinall at a best of 28/1 with VBet.
One man to watch in our opinion is multiple BDO Champion Glen Durrant who can be claimed at best odds of 28/1 with BetFred. Duzza is technically here as a BDO player and the reigning World Champion but since that win at the start of the year, he’s crossed to the PDC and has made a strong impression. He may not win it but with two semi final appearances in PDC Premier events, Durrant could certainly be considered for an Each Way pick.
With 32 players involved, including eight BDO representatives, there are going to be some long prices at the bottom of the pack. A number of sports are looking to integrate female players alongside the men and darts has been at the forefront of that move.
One player we will be watching with interest this week is BDO ladies champion Mikuru Suzuki who won the world title at Lakeside without dropping a set at the start of the year. At best odds of 500/1 with Betway, she’s not exactly expected to win the Grand Slam but Suzuki will be hoping to cause an upset in a group that includes Gerwyn Price, Robert Thornton and Dimitri van den Bergh.
Of those outside punts with shorter prices, Ian Diamond White may offer some value at a top price of 40/1 while Adrian Lewis, at a best of 80/1 with Coral and VBet, will be looking for some form. It’s going to be a thrilling week of action but now it’s time to consider our verdict.
Darts seems to be settling into a pattern right now with Michael Van Gerwen way ahead of the bunch. Behind the Dutchman, there is a competitive set of players but no-one is really threatening Mighty Mike with any great consistency.
Of course, there is always room for an upset and Gerwyn Price offered great value as he came through to take the Grand Slam of Darts twelve months ago. However, we also have to take into account the long format of this tournament which leaves less room for upsets. It’s really no coincidence that Van Gerwen and Phil Taylor have dominated the Grand Slam and those long matches will generally see the best thrower come through.
As you will have guessed by now, we’re tipping Michael Van Gerwen for the win and while it’s not our most adventurous pick, his odds are worth taking while they stay above Even Money.
As the group games progress, there could be better value in some of the early games so do look out for match betting and for some side bets. One other punt that we will commit to is on Glen Durrant to win Group H. The BDO World Champion is in with Michael Smith, Nathan Aspinall and Martin Schindler and while that section could be the tightest of all, we’re backing Durrant to come through at 2/1 with Betway.
- Michael Van Gerwen to win the tournament at 6/5 with William Hill
- Glen Durrant to win Group H at 2/1 with Betway