BDO World Championship Preview 2019

BDOOnce the drama of the PDC World Championship is out of the way, darts returns to the original version. The 2019 edition of the BDO worlds gets underway at the Lakeside Country Club at Frimley Green on January 5th with the final taking place just over a week later on January 13.

While it may be true that the world’s best throwers are missing from this division, we will still see a competitive entry and many of the games on show are no less thrilling than their PDC equivalents. For the latest renewal, reigning champion Glen Durrant is back so let’s see what Duzza is up against in the New Year.

Format and History

A total of 32 players will descend on Frimley Green in January with the first 27 being made up from the BDO order of merit. The top 16 are seeded and they will all be joined by the winner of the Winmau Masters – Adam Smith-Neale. The remaining four will come from qualifiers and those places have yet to be decided at the time of writing.

The format relies on a straight knockout from the very start and in that first round, the winner is the first to five sets. The games increase in length until we get to the final which is the best of 13 sets.

The very first BDO tournament was held in 1978 and it has carried on every year, right through the split in the game which came in the early 1990s. The late Eric Bristow is the most successful player in the tournament’s history with five wins while reigning champion Glen Durrant will be aiming to make it three titles in a row in 2019.

That’s a brief guide to the history and format of this event so who are the runners and riders for the latest edition?

Out in Front

Glen Durrant will go into this game as the reigning champion and the favourite at best odds of 6/5 with 888Sport and Unibet. He is simply the best player in the BDO game right now and, as he has proved at the combined Grand Slam event, he would be equipped to compete with the PDC boys if time allowed him to take part.

He’s the man they all have to beat but Duzza has plenty of competition as he prepares for that title defence.

Chasing Throwers

Glen Durrant
Glen Durrant

Behind Durrant we have quite a gap to the second favourite Michael Unterbuchner who is listed at a top price of 10/1 with 10Bet and BetFred. The German is definitely one to watch as far as we are concerned as he was a semi-finalist in 2018 before delivering a productive year.

Unterbuchner claimed the Swiss Open earlier this season and was a quarter finalist in the Grand Slam so he should be in the frame for this year’s world championship renewal. Next up we have last year’s beaten finalist Mark McGeeney at a best of 12/1 with SportingBet. McGeeney took Glen Durrant to a deciding leg in the 2018 final and he’s gone on to deliver no fewer than four titles, including his second Dutch Open triumph.

Moving through the field we come to former world champion Scott Mitchell at best odds of 18/1 with 10Bet and SportPesa. Mitchell is a BDO journeyman who won this event in 2015 and this has been a good year with two singles titles to his name.

At the edge of the chasing pack, we then find Dave Parletti at 22/1 with GentingBet, followed by Kyle McKinstry at that same 22/1 with GentingBet and Unibet. A host of players then come in at 25/1 and you can pick up Andy Hamilton at that figure with Royal Panda and BetFred or 2013 champion Scott Waites at that same 25/1 with Unibet.

It’s looking unlikely that we’ll see a winner come from beyond those names but there could certainly be some each way value as we move into the outsiders.

Outside Punts

Adam Smith-Neale came from nowhere to claim the Winmau Masters earlier this year and while he’s as short as 25/1 in places, he’s available at a top price of 66/1 with SportingBet. Could Smith-Neale, or a player with a similar price come through with a similar kind of feat at the BDO worlds?

Other throwers in this price bracket include the experienced Wes Newton at best odds of 66/1 with Black Type and Betway while Wayne Warren can be a threat in tournaments and he carries that same top price of 66/1 with 10Bet and SportPesa.

Old stager Tony O’Shea will have some backers at a best of 100/1 with BetFred and SportPesa and we can take it all the way down to our rank outsider Jim Widmayer at a top price of 250/1 with SportingBet and Royal Panda. There are lots of high prices here but is the overall winner likely to be a little more obvious?

Verdict

Michael Unterbuchner
Michael Unterbuchner

Some punters will want to wait for the outcome of the Finders Darts Masters which follows later in December so that they can check up on some immediate form. That could be a path to follow but in a big field we think that quality will come through and that there are really only three men that interest us at this point.

Glen Durrant is a worthy favourite and at 6/5, he’s quite reasonably priced and will get plenty of support. The fact that Mark McGeeney pushed him so hard last year is a sign that he’s not unbeatable however and because 2018’s beaten finalist has enjoyed such a good year himself, there will be plenty of support for McGeeney in the markets.

But the name that interests us is that of Michael Unterbuchner and despite his world ranking of seven, he’s enjoyed a good year and he has that elusive tendency to raise himself for the bigger games. Feel free to take Each Way if you prefer but at 10/1, Unterbuchner looks great value for the straight win.

Best Bets for BDO Darts World Championships 2019: