Grand Slam of Darts: Odds and Betting Preview
Following a delayed draw for this weekend’s PDC Major, the pairings are now in for the Grand Slam of Darts and it’s time to look at the runners and riders. This is a rare occasion when the two codes cross but while we have seen a BDO winner in the past, the PDC players are the ones most likely to come to the top.
Among those likely contenders is Michael Van Gerwen who is the reigning champion and the Dutchman comes into this event on the back of three straight titles. Can anyone stop Mighty Mike in Wolverhampton this week? Read on to digest our verdict.
History and Format
The Grand Slam was first held back in 2007 and offered a rare opportunity for the BDO and PDC codes to come together. The nature of the two divisions means that the stronger players reside with the PDC but Scott Waites memorably broke that monopoly with victory in 2010.
Raymond Van Barneveld enjoyed a win in 2012 but aside from those two men, the remaining nine Grand Slam titles have been shared between just two players. Phil Taylor won the inaugural battle in 2007 and the Power went on to claim a record six trophies while Michael Van Gerwen has won the last three renewals in succession.
Players taking part qualify through winning various tournaments on the circuit and they are joined by qualifiers ahead of the event. That leaves us with 32 darters, 8 of whom are seeded and they are initially split into eight groups of four.
The throwers will then play each other on a round robin basis and the top two players in each group will then progress to the second round which is a straight knockout and the first to ten legs to go through.
From there, the games are something of a marathon with the quarter finals, the semis and the final played as a best of 31 legs. It’s a long format and it’s a lengthy tournament too, starting this Saturday November 10 and running through to the final on Sunday November 18.
If you’ve stayed with us, here are the markets for the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts.
Out in Front
He’s the defending champion and three-time winner so it’s obvious that Michael Van Gerwen will start at the head of the market where you can pick up the Dutchman at best odds of 11/10 with Boylesports. MVG has dominated this event in recent years but he hasn’t dominated the 2018 season so this is one of those rare occasions where he is available at an odds-against figure.
Behind Van Gerwen, the outright win market moves out to second favourite Gary Anderson at a top price of 11/2 with BetFred and 188Bet and then we have a further gap to Peter Wright at a best of 10/1 with Boylesports.
Snakebite Wright will be a tempter at that figure and it’s worth noting that the Scot was the beaten finalist here last year. Anderson also has a runners up spot at the Grand Slam of Darts but that was back in 2011 when he lost heavily (16-4) to Taylor in the final.
Current PDC World Champion Rob Cross has delivered patchy form since that success on New Year’s Day but there will be some interest in ‘Voltage’ at 16/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral. Mensur Suljovic was underwhelming in front of his home crowd last weekend and the Austrian drifts somewhat to best odds of 22/1 with 188Bet but one man who didn’t disappoint was James Wade.
For once, The Machine is starting to live up to his nickname and his victory in the World Series of Darts was his second title in succession. He’s still only 35 and has time to get back among the darting elite so there will be lots of interest in the left hander this week at 25/1 with BetFred.
Other players worth noting in the chasing pack include Michael Smith at 22/1 with SportingBet but from Wade’s figure of 25/1, the prices really start to move out.
The man most likely to fly the flag for the BDO code is Glen Durrant who is available this week at best odds of 66/1 with 188Bet. Durrant has won the divisional World Championship for the last two years and will relish the chance to test himself against his PDC counterparts.
Raymond Van Barneveld returned to competitive action last weekend and you can back the genial Dutchman at that same top price of 66/1 with BetFred. Simon Whitlock is a little shorter at 50/1 with William Hill while Ian White, a recent winner on the PDC Tour, is on offer at a best of 80/1 with Boylesports.
Max Hopp will get some backers at 125/1 with Boylesports while Scott Mitchell is another strong player on the BDO circuit and can be found at best odds of 200/1 with Boylesports again.
It’s so rare to see Michael Van Gerwen emerge above the Even Money mark that it’s tempting just to lump on the Dutchman at that 11/10 figure. He’s suffered plenty of defeats in recent tournaments to argue against that theory but the Grand Slam features such a long format and class should eventually come through.
Based on that suggestion that the stronger players should dominate, that 10/1 figure for Peter Wright looks to offer the best value of the competition while it’s hard to ignore the form horse that is James Wade.
However, with the Round Robin format also helping to take shock results out of the equation, we’ll stay with MVG and expect him to start building towards the World Championships. Mensur Suljovic was disappointing last weekend but his overall 2018 form makes him a good Each Way punt. 188Bet do not have E/W terms so switch to Betway at 18/1 for the Austrian.
Best Bets for Grand Slam of Darts 2018
- Michael Van Gerwen to win at 11/10 with Boylesports
- MensurSuljovic Each Way at 18/1 with Betway