Masters Darts 2019: Odds and Betting Preview

While it may not technically be classed as a ranking event, the PDC Masters Darts Championship is a popular tournament and it’s a great way to welcome back the best players in the game. They should all be nicely rested and recharged following the rigours of the World Championship and an interesting weekend is in store.

It all gets underway this Friday so let’s take a look at the history of this tournament and see if we can pick out some winners for 2019.

Due Date: February 1-3, 2019

History and Format

This a relative new event on the calendar with the first ever Masters competition taking place in 2013. Like many tournaments at the time, the inaugural edition was won by the great Phil Taylor. 2014 saw success on the oche for James Wade but the tournament then gave way to the brilliance of Michael Van Gerwen.

We’ve had four tournaments since Wade’s success in 2014 and MVG has won every single one of them so there’s no doubt as to the man to beat moving forward.

As for the format, the tournament works in the same way as ‘Masters’ events in other sports. The top 16 available players from the PDC Order of Merit are assembled for this competition and it’s a straight knockout from the first round through to the final.

That first round is a race to 10 legs and that format is kept for the quarter finals. The semis are extended to a best of 21 and it’s the same for the Final which will be held on Sunday February 3rd. The Marshall Arena is our venue this week for three days of darting action so let’s see if we can pick out some profits.

Out in Front

Michael van Gerwen

Given his record in this event and the fact that he has just claimed his third PDC World Title, it’s no surprise to see Michael Van Gerwen installed as our red hot favourite. MVG is odds on to lift his fifth Masters trophy in a row and you can pick up the Dutchman at 10/11 with William Hill and BetFred.

If anything, Mighty Mike may well have been shorter but while his position at the top of the betting is a predictable one, there is hope for supporters of the chasing pack. Van Gerwen is clearly the best darter on the planet right now but while he peaked at the perfect time to win the PDC Worlds on New Year’s Day, he didn’t dominate the tournaments in 2018. Wins were shared around and there’s plenty of competition for Masters glory.

Chasing Throwers

Gary Anderson

The chasing pack this week is led by two-time World Champion Gary Anderson who can be backed at best industry odds of 5/1 with William Hill and BetFred. The Flying Scotsman had a productive year at times but ended 2018 in quieter fashion and needs a return to form in order to justify those odds.

A far more interesting prospect may be Michael Smith who is our third favourite for the Masters at a top price of 9/1 with Unibet and 888Sport. Bully Boy Smith enjoyed a productive 2018, starting with some impressive displays in the Premier League but ultimately he couldn’t live with Van Gerwen after making it to the World Final at Alexandra Palace.

Other names to consider in the chasing pack include 2018 World Champion Rob Cross at a best of 12/1 with SportingBet and Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright at 14/1 with SportingBet and Coral.

Outside Punts

Gerwyn Price
Gerwyn Price

2018 saw plenty of shocks on the PDC circuit with Gerwyn Price, Ian White and James Wade among those claiming tournament wins from high odds. The format of the Masters doesn’t always offer the opportunity for such a shock although the rank outsiders here are Darren Webster and Johnny Clayton at a very distant 200/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral.

Moving back towards the head of the outside bunch we have Simon Whitlock at best odds of 100/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral once again while there will definitely be some interest in James Wade. The Machine won back to back PDC titles in 2018 and while he is as short as 25/1 in places, the left hander can be picked up at best odds of 50/1 with SportingBet.

Elsewhere, Daryl Gurney had a productive end to 2018 and while he couldn’t carry that form into the World Championships, there will be some support for the Northern Irishman at a top price of 40/1 with Coral and BetFred. Other names to mention in the outsider bets include Mensur Suljovic at best odds of 28/1 with Unibet and 888Sport, Gerwyn Price at a best of 40/1 with SportingBet and Adrian Lewis at that same top price of 40/1 with SportingBet once again.

Verdict

Mensur Suljovic
Mensur Suljovic

There are so many factors in the favour of Michael Van Gerwen this week: Not only is he in top form, most of his main rivals looked out of touch at the PDC Worlds and on that basis would seem unlikely to maintain a challenge this week.

There is a theory that MVG only raises his game for the bigger events but while this isn’t a ranking tournament, the Masters is a prestige competition where only the best make it onto the bill. And, as a four-time Masters Champion, it’s clear that the Dutchman is hungry for success here.

The first tournament of a new campaign is always tough to call but those indicators suggest another win for Michael Van Gerwen. It’s therefore a case of whether or not to get behind him at an odds on figure.

There are other options and although not all bookies offer each way prices for darts, we think we can squeeze some value out of an E/W punt. The men under the spotlight therefore are Gerwyn Price and Mensur Suljovic. Both are inconsistent and were disappointing at the World Championships but if either is on top of their game then we could be in for some nice profits at Milton Keynes this week.

Best Bets for Masters Darts 2019: