The PDC Premier League Darts competition makes history this Thursday by moving away from British shores for the first time and taking its glitz and glamour to Berlin. It’s the start of a trend for a game which really needed to be taken around the continent so this is a very positive move.
Before last week’s round of matches, we had two players with 100% records and both Michael Smith and Simon Whitlock extended their winning streaks and remain at the top of the table. Few expected those two to have enjoyed such early success but are either of them on track for an unlikely title?
Before we get into this week’s games we’ll quickly update the outright betting where Michael Van Gerwen remains an odds on favourite with a changed best price this week of 4/6 with Sun Bets and Winner Sports. Gary Anderson is second favourite despite losing two of his first three matches and you can pick up the Scot at best odds of 15/2 with Unibet and Betway while Rob Cross, who gained his first win of the season against an angry Peter Wright, shortens now to 8/1 with Boylesports.
Wright is only marginally further back at a best of 9/1 with Sun Bets and BetFred and then the gaps start to open up. Michael Smith, with that 100% record after three games, is shortening but is still relatively distant at a top price of 25/1 with 10Bet and Sport Pesa while Raymond Van Barneveld can also be picked up at that 25/1 figure with Sun Bets.
Next we come to the table-topper Simon Whitlock who, after three straight victories, is back at best odds of 28/1 with MarathonBet and Unibet, before gaps really start to open up. Of those that are struggling in the bottom half of the table, Daryl Gurney can be taken at a top price of 66/1 with Bet365 while Gerwyn Price is out at best odds of 150/1 with 10Bet. Finally, bringing up the rear is Mensur Suljovic who is without a single point at this stage and is available, if you want him, at 300/1 with Sun Bets.
Those are the outrights so let’s see what Thursday’s schedule has in store.
At least one of those 100% records will be broken in Berlin when the two men at the top of the table meet in the first game of the night. Michael Smith takes on Simon Whitlock and in a predictably tight market, Smith is the favourite at 5/4 with MarathonBet. Wizard Whitlock follows at 7/4 with Coral and Sport Pesa while the draw completes this one at 7/2 with Betway. Clearly that could be as close as the market suggests but we were particularly impressed with Smith as he overcame an admittedly lacklustre Suljovic last week and at a similar price, he looks to be decent value.
Next up is the battle of the bottom two with Suljovic taking on Gerwyn Price. Both men need the points to avoid being cut adrift in the battle to avoid elimination but it may be surprising to see Suljovic start as the favourite at best odds of 5/4 with Sun Bets.
Price follows at 9/5 with Boylesports with the draw at 7/2 with Betway. The figures are probably based on the fact that Suljovic has a very high average but if he’s not hitting the doubles, the Austrian is going to be vulnerable once again.
Enter The Favourite
Based on form and comparative quality, Michael Van Gerwen should have a fairly easy time of it when he faces Daryl Gurney in the third game of the evening. MVG has tasted defeat in this competition, losing to Peter Wright, but he’s a hot option here at 5/18 with MarathonBet. In fact, Van Gerwen is so highly rated that the draw is the second favourite at 6/1 with Unibet while victory for Gurney is down as the least likely option at best odds of 17/2 with Unibet and 888Sport.
Only the side betting could provide value in that one and we will come back to those options later but for now, it’s on to the fourth match of the evening. Fresh from his first Premier League win of the season, Rob Cross takes on Raymond Van Barneveld with the Englishman favourite to take the points at a best of 11/13 with MarathonBet. Victory for Barney is on offer at 28/11 with 188Bet while the draw comes in at a top price of 7/2 with Bet365 and William Hill.
Cross will have some momentum now but while Barney is in mid-table with three points from three games, he has started 2018 in strong form and 28/11 could offer us some value.
Finishing off the night are the two Scots, Gary Anderson and Peter Wright who both need a win after slow starts to the campaign. Snakebite Wright may have beaten Michael Van Gerwen but that is his only victory so far and he starts this one as the outsider at a best of 25/12 with 188Bet. That obviously leaves Anderson as the favourite at 21/20 with 188Bet with the draw coming in at a top price of 7/2 with Sun Bets in a match that almost looks too close to call.
Wright is a tempter but his inconsistency has been his weakness in the last few months and may be too much of a risk.
As far as confirmed tips are concerned, we’ll stick with a winning formula and opt for Michael Smith to beat Simon Whitlock in the first game of the night. The Wizard is 3 from 3 but so is Smith and the ruthless way in which he took out Suljovic last week makes him good value at that 5/4 price.
From the rest of the matches, the result betting is less clear cut, once you take out Michael Van Gerwen who isn’t really interesting us with his short odds on price to beat Daryl Gurney. Van Barneveld to beat Cross is certainly one option and although the current World Champion enjoyed that impressive win over Wright last time out, Barney has been far more of a threat in this competition so far.
However, for our second result tip, we’ll go with the battle of the basement dwellers. Mensur Suljovic is favourite to beat Gerwyn Price but the Austrian was so poor on his doubles against Smith last week and looked demoralised after such a dismal start to the campaign,
Price to beat Suljovic is the second bet and then we’ll take something longer from the Van Gerwen v Gurney match. With throw, Gurney should do more than just get off the mark and a correct score in legs of 7-3 to the Dutchman looks good at 9/2 with Bet365.
- Michael Smith to beat Simon Whitlock at 5/4 with MarathonBet
- Gerwyn Price to beat Mensur Suljovic at 9/5 with Boylesports
- Correct Score of Michael Van Gerwen 7 Daryl Gurney 3 at 9/2 with Bet365