PDC Darts Tips Day 1 (15/12/16)

The first day of the 2017 PDC World Championship features a two-time World Champion along with a former World Championship finalist, as well as some of the up-and-coming stars on the PDC ProTour. While it’s not exactly the most exciting start to the tournament in big names, I don’t really care, as the start of the PDC World Championship is the highlight of my year, regardless of who’s playing.

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Jamie Caven vs Kevin Painter

This is actually an interesting match between two stalwarts of the PDC ProTour, with both men looking to try and recapture some kind of form that will see them put a decent run together in this tournament.

Jamie Caven is ranked 28th on the PDC Order of Merit, but hasn’t made is past the last 32 of a tournament since May, when he won the Players Championship event in Coventry, then backed it up the following day with a place in the last 16. It’s safe to say that the second half of 2016 hasn’t been great for Caven, though.

As for Kevin Painter, The Artist has done no better than the last 16 during 2016 and his ranking of 44th in the world reflects that run of form. Now, Painter did make the final of the 2004 World Championship, but that form seems long gone now and he’ll just be desperate to get the win.

What interests me here is the head to head between the two players. Jamie Caven actually holds a 7-4 lead in the head to head over Kevin Painter, although they’ve never faced each other in a PDC Major, only in floor tournaments. They last faced off in Barnsley, which Caven won 6-4. Where do I stand on this? Well, I would be pricing them up at 10/11 the pair, as I can’t split them. So there is definite value in the odds-against being offered on Jamie Caven to win. This is more a value play than anything else, but we’ll take the edge where we can get it.

Back Jamie Caven to beat Kevin Painter at https://www.Bovada.lv.

Jamie Lewis vs Mick McGowan

Jamie Lewis, the PDC’s 34th ranked player in the Order of Merit, was one of the most hotly tipped players a few years back, but hasn’t seen that potential come to fruition in the way that other young stars have. In 2016, he’s had one semi-final in the UK Open Qualifier 2, and then he waited 8 months for his next quarter-final., which came in Barnsley in the Players Championship event. He then struggled in the qualifiers for the World Series Finals and the Grand Slam of Darts, before making an exit in the second round in a close match against Dave Chisnall.

Mick McGowan comes back to the World Championhips in remarkably average form, too. He also made it to the second round of the Players Championship Finals, beating Chris Dobey in the first round, before losing to Alan Norris. McGowan’s best result, apart from his win at the Tom Kirby Memorial, was a semi-final in Barnsley in September, but it’s been a lot of last 128 and last 64 finishes for McGowan apart from that.

Again, like the previous match, I think we’re going to see a tight one here, as both players are evenly matched and we’ll probably see both men average somewhere in the high 80s and it’ll come down to who is finishing the better. McGowan struggled at the Players Championship Finals, while Lewis was actually pretty impressive. I’m thinking that the bookies have the prices right, with Lewis around 4/6 in places, and McGowan around 11/8 generally. But what I actually like the look of is the Players to Score the Highest Checkout market. McGowan’s doubling is the issue for him, and when it comes down to the big finishes, you need to hit the doubles. McGowan’s highest checkout at the Players Championship Finals was 70, while Lewis had a 101 to his name against Jamie Caven. That being said, there’s no real value to be had, so this is more like if you want to have a punt on the game, then go for Jamie Lewis to score the highest checkout

Bet on Jamie Lewis to score the highest checkout at https://www.Bovada.lv.

Gary Anderson vs Mark Frost

The reigning World Champion starts his title defence with a very tricky match against Frosty the Throwman, who has been building on his success on the second tier of the PDC Tour with a chance to hit the big time at the Ally Pally. The bookies made Anderson a 1/20 favourite here, while Mark Frost is around 10/1 to cause an upset on day one of the 2017 PDC World Championship.

Anderson has had a decent 2016, since his win here. He has won five tournaments, UK Open Qualifier 4, the Dubai Masters, the Auckland Masters, the Japan Darts Masters and the Players Championship Barnsley on August 8th, as well as several semi-finals and finals. However, there’s been a level of inconsistency, too, with Anderson, with a disappointing performance at the Players Championship Finals, losing to Ron Meulenkamp in the second round, after almost coming undone against John Henderson in the first round. He’s playing about with glasses to help him out, but there’s just something that isn’t clicking all the time with Anderson.

Mark Frost won the World Championship Qualifier to secure his place in the field, but he hasn’t really built on his initial promise a couple of years ago, with his best result this season being a semi-final in Barnsley in October. He’s qualified for a few European Tour events, b ut hasn’t done much once there and has a lot of last 128 exits to his name.

I started thinking about this tournament a few weeks ago, looking for players I wanted to oppose, and Anderson was actually one of them, as he’s been tinkering with his game and that’s always trouble. Just as Phil Taylor about his time trying to play with glasses on! However, Anderson got a bit lucky with the draw, because Mark Frost is woefully out of form. Sure, he won the qualifying event to make it to the Ally Pally, but the toughest player he had to face was Keegan Brown, and he only got past him 5-4. Anderson at 1/20 is prohibitive, so I would recommend no bet on this one. Just watch Anderson’s performance and see if he is worth opposing at some point further down the line.

Michael Smith vs Ricky Evans

A battle of the youth players here, as Michael Smith faces Ricky Evans in a first-round match that might just be one of the more exciting games, as both player seem very evenly matched, although their Order of Merit positions might not show it. In fact, this is a rematch of the 2013 Youth World Championship, which Smith won 6-1. They last met in 2014 in a UK Open Qualifier, which Smith won In fact, in their six meetings, Smith has won them all, but since it’s been almost three years since they met, I wouldn’t read too much into the head to head.

Michael Smith, the PDC’s number 11, has really not had a great year. He started of well, making few quarter-finals, and a semi-final, but all the while the Premier League was going on, and when Smith finished bottom of the league, his form seriously dipped, with a reprieve in the final of the Austrian Darts Open, which he lost to Phil Taylor. It’s been the curse of the Premier League new boy, as Smith has struggled recently, losing in the first round of the Players Championship Final,s, and the last 128 of the final two Players Championship floor events in Barnsley. For a players like Smith, confidence is everything and he just seems to be lacking it at the moment.

In the case of Ricky Evans, things aren’t much better, as although he’s had a semi-final and a quarter-final to his name, there’s a lot of last 28 and last 64 exits, especially recently. He’s another one struggling to find any kind of form, and his current ranking of 50 probably sums up just how hard he’s found the last 12 months.

I think this is a tough one to call. Smith is clearly out of form, but he’s got lucky that Ricky Evans is also struggling to put a run of wins together. However, I think the odds are out of line on this one, as Evans is around 2/1 to win this, and I’d have him a bit shorter than this. Like the Jamie Caven bet, this is all about value for me, so back Ricky Evans to win for a touch of value. We should also see a lot of legs in this one, and that means a lot of maximums between these two power scorers, so get on over 8.5 180s in this one, as that should be smashed.

Bet on Ricky Evans to beat Michael Smith at https://www.Bovada.lv.

I’ll be back with more free tips for day two of the 2017 PDC World Championship tomorrow, so check back then, and enjoy the darts in the meantime!

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