2019 PDC World Grand Prix Odds and Betting Preview
With around ten weeks remaining till the PDC World Championship kicks off at the Alexandra Palace in London over the festive period, the build-up begins at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, which hosts the Professional Darts Corporation’s World Grand Prix that begins on Sunday for six evenings, till the final will be contested on Saturday night – October 12th.
The worlds’ top 16 players have automatically qualified and will make up the seedings, alongside 16 other players who have gained their place in the tournament due to their efforts in the Players’ Championship events that are played throughout the calendar year. The top eight ranked players will make up the seedings for the event.
Format and Prize Fund
This tournament runs in the same way as the World Championship, as the matches are played in set format, but with one crucial twist; players must hit a double before they can score points in any leg.
The opening round of matches could offer some surprise results with the short best of three sets format, so if any player doesn’t perform to their ability from the outset, they could well be watching the rest of the competition away from the stage.
As confirmation, the tournament format will consist of:
- First Round - Best of three sets.
- Second Round - Best of five sets.
- Quarter-Finals - Best five sets.
- Semi-Finals - Best seven sets.
- Final - Best nine sets.
With a record tournament prize fund for the 2019 World Grand Prix of £450,000, you can expect the competition will be fierce, and this tournament in particular can throw up some shocks with its unusual format. Here we will look at some of the main contenders to walk away with the top prize of £110,000 at the Irish venue.
Michael van Gerwen is the reigning World Grand Prix champion, and the formidable Dutchman is likely to take all the beating once again in the Irish capital. The 30 year old has fond memories of Dublin, as it was the scene of his first PDC major win over Mervyn King back in 2012 – that highlights his strength in this double in / double out format. Ladbrokes and Coral both have MVG available at 7/4.
Van Gerwen’s blurring throwing action added to his phenomenal accuracy makes him the standout player on the PDC circuit currently. If he can navigate through the early rounds, then it could well be title number five for MVG in Dublin. It is interesting to note that the mighty Dutchman has never won this tournament back-to-back, with wins in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Snake to Bite in Dublin?
As an indication of his recent good form, Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright is the nearest market challenger to Michael van Gerwen at the best industry odds of 9/1 with Coral and Betfred, amongst others. Wright is seeded seventh for this event and plays the youthful German star, Max Hopp in Round One.
‘Snakebite’ was the runner-up in this event last year – to van Gerwen – but that is the real issue here; Wright has never been a consistent winner of the biggest events. He is likely to reach the latter stages, but ultimately fall short in truth.
Cross to Strike?
One of the most likely winners if Michael van Gerwen does suffer defeat at the Citywest Arena, is Englishman, Rob Cross, who can be backed at the best industry price of 10/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral once again.
Cross has tasted PDC major glory already in 2019, with victory in the PDC World Matchplay in Blackpool, and added to the solid effort of second place in the PDC Premier League, it highlights that the 29-year old is a solid alternative to van Gerwen at bigger odds.
‘Voltage’ needs to improve significantly on his only three previous outings in Dublin. Cross has yet to get beyond the last-32 stage in his previous three appearances, but his strong scoring and solid finishing should take the world number two-ranked player much deeper in the tournament this time around.
Gary Anderson has overcome concerns over his fitness in recent months after stepping out of the game to cure some issues with his back. Anderson is now back playing consistently again and should well be in the mix at the end of next weekend.
Anderson begins his title bid with a first-round game against Keegan Brown, and provided he navigates that successfully, a likely Quarter Final showdown with Michael Smith is on the cards. SportingBet offer the top price of 10/1 in the ‘Flying Scotsman’ who can definitely make his presence felt in this event.
Others to Consider
He may reside in the Northern part of Ireland, but Daryl Gurney has plenty of support in this tournament from the audience, and he can potentially have a good run at 18/1 with SportingBet. Gurney is seeded three in the event and has a first-round game against Dutchman, Danny Knoppert, which should be a routine victory for the Northern Irishman.
James Wade has made a career out of being deadly at the double, and this tournament suits ‘The Machine’ better than most. The downside is that Wade is in the same quarter of the draw to Michael van Gerwen, but nobody is unbeatable in this tournament in particular. Wade looks to be of reasonable value at 25/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral.
One player to keep an eye on at a very big ante-post price is England’s Joe Cullen, who is a huge 100/1 chance with Ladbrokes and Coral once again. The world number 16th ranked player has to navigate his way past Ian White in Round One, but Cullen is definitely a player on the upgrade in the world of darts, considering his recent win in the European Darts Matchplay.
A wide-open tournament in truth. The ante-post odds on Michael van Gerwen to win this event are longer than in the usual PDC tournaments, but that is due to the unpredictable nature of the double-in, double-out format. 7/4 is not the most valuable price however and is passed over on this occasion.
Preference is for Rob Cross in this event at 10/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral. It is fair to say that Cross has an awful record in this tournament, and he has a difficult opening round game against Mensur Suljovic. I’m prepared to put all that aside on this occasion and see his as some relative value in relation to the market favourite.
An each-way alternative goes in the direction of Daryl Gurney at 18/1 with SportingBet. Gurney is really finding his feet at the elite level of darts in recent months and he can put that experience to good use in this event.
- Rob Cross to Win the PDC World Grand Prix at 10/1 with Ladbrokes
- Daryl Gurney (each-way – winner if he reaches the final) at 18/1 with SportingBet.