PDC Darts Tips Day 6 (20/12/16)

The sixth day of the 2017 PDC World Championships is yet another star-studded line-up, as we have two former world champions taking to the stage, as well as a history maker and an Aussie who has been making waves in the world of darts for a long time. Yes, the history-maker is, of course, Brendan Dolan, who will be taking on Christian Kist, a former world champion. The other world champion playing tonight is a five-time world champion, yes, Raymond van Barneveld, and he’s taking on Robbie Green. The night’s final match sees Simon Whitlock facing the winner of the Boris Koltsov and Dragutin Horvath prelim match.

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Boris Koltsov vs Dragutin Horvath – Prelim Match

Usually, experience on the Ally Pally stage counts for a lot in these prelim matches, but tonight might just be like last night’s prelim in that the debutant has more skill than the one with experience, which should see them through. Boris Koltsov has the big stage experience, winning his prelim back in 2014, he then went on to take a set off of Kevin Painter, but the thing is, his averages were pretty poor and he was fortunate to get that set from Painter. Horvath made waves at the International Open, making the quarter-finals and beating Ricky Evans, Gerwyn Price and Ian White before losing 6-1 to Kim Huybrechts. What was amazing about his run was that he averaged over 90 until he lost to Huybretchs, so they skill is there. Plus, Horvath plays mostly in Germany, which, to be fair, has a higher overall standard than Russia, where Koltsov plays.

That being said, Horvath is plenty short enough, so although I would suggest backing him to win 2-0, these prelims breed uncertainty in me, so I have to advise no bet, just as I have done for most of the other prelim matches.

Brendan Dolan vs Christian Kist

Brendan Dolan and Christian Kist have faced each other four times since the Dutchman cam to the PDC, and Dolan leads the head to head 3-1, which is surprising when you look at the fact the bookies have Kist as the favourite. Don’t get me wrong, Dolan was a seed I was looking to take on, but I’m surprised at the odds the bookies have for this match.

Now, Brendan Dolan isn’t exactly playing great darts at the moment, but he is still the 25th player on the PDC’s Order of Merit and he just made the quarter-final of the Grand Slam of Darts, after going through the qualifier for it. But that quarter-final was the first time Dolan had made it past the last 16 of a tournament on his own. Yes, he made the semi-final of the World Cup of Darts, but it’s a team event. His run to the last 16 of the World Matchplay this year equalled his previous best, after he beat Raymond van Barneveld in the first round. However, the then lost to Mervyn King in the next round. You know what you’re going to get with Dolan, though, an average around the 90 mark, maybe a little below, maybe a little above, but always around there. He’s consistent that way, at least.

Christian Kist, well, he is a former world champion, but he’s still got to find that kind of form in the PDC. However, it looks like he’s coming onto a bit of form coming into this, with a quarter-final appearance at the Players Championship Finals, which came after a final in the Players Championship event in Ireland in September, where he lost to Michael van Gerwen, naturally. Kist’s good run is still peppered with some last 128 finishes, so unlike Dolan, he really lacks the consistency that you require to get right up the rankings.

Dolan was another player I was looking to take on, and I was happy to see he had drawn Christian Kist. Yes, Kist is favourite here, but he’s the better player on his day, so it is understandable, even though the head to head says otherwise. Set format will favour Kist, as he’ll undoubtedly put a few duff legs in on the way. But that should even out over the set format and that’s why I’m backing Chritian Kist to win tonight.

Bet on Christian Kist to beat Brendan Dolan at https://www.Bovada.lv.

Raymond van Barneveld vs Robbie Green

An exciting game here, to be fair. I like both men, and they’ve been doing their thing long enough to know each other quite well. However, in competition, they’ve only met twice, once in the Grand Slam of Darts and the other time in a floor tournament event this October. Barney won their meeting at the Grand Slam of Darts group stage, while Green won the floor tournament meeting.

While I don’t think we’re seeing the Barney of old right now, he is coming into a bit of form at the right moment. He’s had a relatively quiet yer, but he started with a quarter-final in the first UK Open Qualifier of the year. He had a poor Premier League, sure, but he made the final of the World Cup of Darts, and then had some good results in the Masters series of events. Of course, I wouldn’t read too much into the Masters form, as they’re invitational, but he came back to Europe and made the semi-final of the European Grand Prix and later a semi-final in the World Grand Prix. That was then followed by two quarter-finals, in the Grand Slam of Darts, after winning his group, and then the Players Championship Finals. The great man is peaking just at the right time, and his win over Michael van Gerwen last year shows how well Barney can go on the Ally Pally stage.

As for Robbie Green, a lot was made of his move to the PDC, but like Christian Kist, he’s yet to find the form that got him high up the rankings in the WDF/BDO. To be fair to Green, like Brney, he did make the quarter-finals of the Players Championship Finals, but apart from that, he’s struggled to get some form together on the floor, since he made two semi-finals back in April. Since then, his best result was a quarter-final in July. I don’t know what to make of Green’s time in the PDC, really, as he has shown some great flair, but other times he just seems to be like so many others who are lingering around the 25-50 rankings.

This should be all about Barney setting down a marker, just like Taylor and MvG have, putting in a big average and looking untroubled by his opponent. Sure, Green could cause him some trouble, but this is Green’s debut on this stage, while it’s a second home for Barney. I like Barney on the handicap here, as I can easily see him taking care of Green. But play the odds here, as although 3-0 might be tempting Green is no mug, and Barney does slow down in patches, so hedge your bets and just take Raymond van Barneveld -1.5 sets to beat Robbie Green, which is slightly odds-against, but still looks like a good value bet.

Bet on Raymond van Barneveld -1.5 sets to beat Robbie Green at https://www.Bovada.lv.

Simon Whitlock vs Koltsov or Horvath

Of course, as usual, it’s no bet for me, and although Horvath has shown some class this year, if he gets past Koltsov, he’s going to have a hard time getting past Simon Whitlock, who has shown flashes of class again this year. Sure, the Aussie has struggled at times, but he can still bang in the 180s and take out some high finishes, which should give him a nice edge over whomever wins the prelim match tonight. Sure, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if Whitlock lost, but I couldn’t say it would a good value here.

I’ll be back with more free tips for day seven of the 2017 PDC World Championship tomorrow, which will make the end of the first week of the great darts action!

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