Judgement Night in this season’s Premier League turned out to be an emotional evening with the passing of darts legend Eric Bristow who had been in attendance at the Liverpool Echo Arena earlier in the day.
The events rather masked a thrilling evening of entertainment but the game goes on and after our first round of eliminations, we have just eight names left in the hat for 2018. Mensur Suljovic and Gerwyn Price had, for some time, looked the most likely players to be eliminated and with that being confirmed, we’ll now look ahead at the adjusted outright betting for those that remain.
There’s no change at the top of the betting and after another win for Michael Van Gerwen, the Dutchman remains hot favourite to take the PDC Premier League in 2018 at best odds of 1/2 with Betway and Sun Bets. Rob Cross also won, edging out Gary Anderson with a 7-5 scoreline and the reigning World Champion is now available at a top price of 9/2 with most bookmakers including bet365 and 10Bet.
Anderson remains in the hunt despite a mixed group stage so far and the Flying Scotsman will interest a few punters at his top price of 7/1 with 10Bet and Sport Pesa. Next up is Michael Smith who recorded only the ninth whitewash in Premier League history with a 7-0 win over Raymond Van Barneveld. Smith has been impressive since the very start of this tournament and is now available at best odds of 14/1 with Betway and 188Bet.
Odds start to drift from this point and we now have four throwers who have progressed to the next phase without ever really impressing or looking like they might take the title. We start with Daryl Gurney who drew his fifth game of the campaign last week and after that 6-6 result against Peter Wright, he can be taken in the outright betting at a best price of 40/1 with 10Bet and Sport Pesa.
Wright, who has experienced four draws and some heavy defeats, is out of form right now and has therefore drifted to 45/1 with Unibet and 888Sport. That just leaves Raymond Van Barneveld and Simon Whitlock, both of whom sit as outsiders at the same best odds of 50/1 with bet365 and 188Bet.
With Price and Suljovic playing no further part in the tournament, those are our eight remaining darters but what will they face in Sheffield on Thursday night?
We may have lost two throwers but we still have five games this week with Raymond Van Barneveld and Peter Wright scheduled to play twice. First to the Oche is Barney as he takes on Daryl Gurney and we have a tight market for this one with Gurney just ahead at best odds of 16/11 with Sport Pesa.
Victory for Van Barneveld is offered up next at a top price of 13/8 with Ladbrokes and Coral while the draw is available at a best of 10/3 with bet365 and Betway. Both men have got to the second phase with modest records and with Gurney recording five draws already, a 6-6 scoreline may well be on the cards.
Peter Snakebite Wright is also something of a draw specialist in 2018 with four tied games but he is the outside bet as he takes on fellow Scot Gary Anderson. It’s a fairly tight market however with Wright available at 12/5 with bet365 and Betway with Anderson moving into odds-on territory at a best of 10/11 with 10Bet.
The draw is on offer here at a top price of 15/4 with bet365 and with neither darter looking particularly impressive in the early groups, 6-6 could come into play here.
Enter the Favourite
Simon Whitlock started the 2018 renewal with a run of straight wins but the Australian could be in for a tough evening as he takes on the league leader Michael Van Gerwen. The odds setters certainly back up that theory with Whitlock quoted at best odds of 10/1 with Betway and SportingBet while MVG is down at 2/9 with Sport Pesa.
The draw comes in here at a top price of 15/2 with Unibet and Coral but based on form and quality, it’s hard to argue with those numbers.
If the form guide is anything to go by, the clash between Rob Cross and Michael Smith should be the game of the night. Smith started the groups with a run of straight wins and while Cross started his first Premier League with two straight defeats, the World Champion recovered to go on a winning streak of his own.
Smith is buoyant after his 7-0 demolition of Van Barneveld last time out but the market isn’t as tight as we might have expected. Cross is odds on with most outlets and available at best odds of Even Money with William Hill and BetFred while Smith follows on at a top price of 12/5 with bet365 and Unibet.
The draw is available at a best of 7/2 with Betway and while this one looks tough to predict, there should certainly be some value if we can call it correctly.
Returning to the oche for the last game of the night are Raymond Van Barneveld and Peter Wright. Now it may make sense to wait until they both play earlier in the evening so that you can check on immediate form but the following prices should change depending on the outcomes of those opening matches.
Currently, Wright is the favourite at best odds of 23/17 with 10Bet and Sport Pesa while Barney is fairly close behind at a top price of 19/10 with SportingBet. The draw rounds this one off at a best of 7/2 with Betway.
The price on Barney as the outsider is tempting but not all bookies have declared yet and like those absentees, we would prefer to wait until the two men play earlier in the evening before we commit.
Of the four opening matches, Van Gerwen should breeze past Simon Whitlock and hopefully leave his phone in his pocket as he does so. The rest should be pretty close however with plenty of value in prospect.
Our first stop is at the game between Gary Anderson and Peter Wright and while neither man is in great touch, Wright has been particularly disappointing while Anderson has been in top form away from this tournament. Anderson to win carries decent odds but we’ll be braver and go for a Correct Score of 7-2 over Wright which is at 15//2 with Unibet.
In the Cross versus Smith game, there are good options for both throwers but while it’s tempting to go with the outsider, Cross is showing signs of his World Championship form and is our tip to win at that Even Money price
That just leaves Gurney v Van Barneveld and Barney comes here on the back of that 7-0 drubbing from Michael Smith. The veteran Dutchman also has the prospect of playing two games on the night which won’t suit him given his current form.
There are some good prices in the correct score betting with 7-5 to Gurney looking good at 11/2 with 888Sport but as he’s already odds against for the win, we’ll play safer this time and just back Gurney for the points.
- Gary Anderson to beat Peter Wright 7-2 at 15/2 with Unibet
- Rob Cross to beat Michael Smith at Even Money with William Hill
- Daryl Gurney to beat Raymond Van Barneveld at 16/11 with Sport Pesa