PDC Darts Tips Day 8 (22/12/16)

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The eighth day of the 2017 PDC World Championships and after a week of darts, you might think I’d be tired of it, but not at all. In fact, things are just ramping up, and this little thing called Christmas gets in the way. How inconsiderate! Remember, after the PDC World Championship is over, we have the BDO World Championship from the Ally Pally, which I’ll also be covering, so it is non-stop darts for the next few weeks. Tonight, we have the final first round matches and, to everyone’s joy, I’m sure, there is no prelim match tonight, we just get four matches from some of the PDC’s finest.

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Popcorn Eating World Championship Yes BetOnline
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Jelle Klaasen vs Jeffrey de Graaf

A nice match to start the action off tonight, as we see the battle of the Dutch stars. Klaasen and De Graaf have never met in competition before, which is to be expected, seeing as De Graaf has just moved to the PDC this year and Klaasen was long gone from the BDO by the time De Graaf made his debut on that circuit. I should note that I have tipped up Jelle Klaasen in my preview at 66/1 to win the World Championship, so it’s obvious who I see winning.

2016 was a big year for Klaasen, simply because he was a semi-finalist in the 2016 World Championship, beating Phil Taylor in an Ally Pally classic on the way. He’s back into the top ten after a good year peppered with nine quarter-finals, a semi-final and a final. The semi-final of the UK Open was particularly impressive, especially his 10-0 in over Kyle Andreson in the quarter-finals.Klaasen has just been really consistent, and has only had four first round eliminations in floor tournaments this year, along with six last 64 finishes. It’s quite remarkable consistency and signals just how well he’s playing.

Jeffrey de Graaf has had a bit of a hard time in his debut year on the PDC ProTour, it has to be said. He was a big fish over at the WDF/BDO, but apart from a 9-dart finish in Barnsley in September, his season has had little of note, with no quarter-finals, and only three last 16 finishes. The step up in class and the tour itself seems to have taken its toll on De Graaf, and he can’t be pleased with this draw, as he’s out of form and he’s taking on an incredibly in form player in the shape of Klaasen.

Yeah, this looks one-sided to me, and at 1/6 for Klaasen, the bookies think so, too. Can De Graaf nick a set? I honestly don’t think so, given his form, and the fact this is his Ally Pally debut. Take Jelle Klaasen to win 3-0 at odds-against as our first bet of the night.

Bet on Jelle Klaasen to win 3-0 at https://www.Bovada.lv.

Vincent van der Voort vs Max Hopp

Another all mainland Europe clash, and one face was haven’t seen much of this year, Vincent van der Voort, is taking on Max Hopp, who we are seeing a lot more of on our screens as he qualifies for more and more TV tournaments. They’ve met twice before, once in the World Championship, which VvdV won 4-0 and then in the European Darts Trophy this year, which was also won by the veteran, this time 6-1.

By VvdV’s once high standards, 2016 has been a quiet year. He’s qualifies for a few European Tour events, he’s had one semi-final and one quarter-final on the floor, and that’s been about his lot. He did make the last 6 of the UK Open in a good run, but he didn’t really build on that, going out in the first round in the following three floor tournaments. However, he did beat Andrew Gilding at the Players Championship Finals, averaging 95.53 in his 6-5 win and then averaged 100.74 in his 6-1 defeat at the hands of MvG. So the old class is there, but he just seems to be unbelievably inconsistent at the moment. Add in a few back injuries over the years and VvdV just can’t seem to catch a break.

As for Max Hopp, he’s hovering around the top 32 in the PDC Order of Merit and he’s just trying to build off of his Youth World Championship success, doing it the right way and playing on the Development Tour as well as floor events and European Tour events. He won one Development Tour event, but has struggled a bit more in the floor tournaments. He’s had a few last 16 and last 32 finishes, but nothing too spectacular. He did manage to beat Martin Adams at the Grand Slam of Darts, but then Wolfie was never at the races in Wolverhampton. Hopp will most likely average around the 85 mark and will be looking just to pounce on misses, as he has done in the past.

It’s a tough one to call, but I think Max Hopp is yet to make the jump the other young players have into the next level, and an 85 average won’t be enough against a resurgent VvdV, who seems to enjoy the Ally Pally stage. The bookies see it as quite close, and have the line set at 1.5 sets, so take Vincent van der Voort -1.5 sets to beat Max Hopp, as I think there’s real value to be had on that, especially at odds-against.

Bet on Vincent van der Voort -1.5 sets to beat Max Hopp at https://www.Bovada.lv.

Dave Chisnall vs Rowby-John Rodriguez

Surprisingly, these two have only met three times on the PDC ProTour, and once was in the 2015 World Championship. Chisnall won that meeting 3-0, and he also won their meeting at the Grand Slam of Darts 5-1. Rowby-John won their last meeting, which was in a UK Open Qualifier this year 6-3.

It’s been yet another successful year for Dave Chisnall, and he’s consolidated his place in the world’s top ten with five finals, incluing the recent Players Championships Finals, and he’s also managed to win one of the few floor events Michael van Gerwen didn’t win. Only two last 128 finishes for Chizzy this year really shows how consistently he’s been throwing. You know what you’re going to get with him and he rarely disappoints.

Rowby-John Rodriguez will be hating this draw, especially as he lost this match-up 3-0 this time two years ago. His best result has been in the Development Tour, where he made three finals and two semi-finals, but he also has a two quarter-finals on the ProTour, too. He’s been relatively consistent, but he doesn’t seem the explosive threat he was a year or two ago, and like Max Hopp, he hasn’t really built on his initial success.

I can’t see anything other than Chisnall repeating the success he had two years ago, purely because he’s coming into this in great form. Chisnall will be tough to beat, even for the bigger names, so a player out of form in the way Rodriguez is should be dispatched of swiftly. Dave Chisnall to win 3-0 is the play for this one, as I like Chizzy, he’s in great form and he should have at least 10 points on his opponent on their averages, which will no doubt be a help.

Bet on Dave Chisnall to win 3-0 at https://www.Bovada.lv.

Kim Huybrechts vs James Wilson

In James Wilson’s two years in the PDC, he’s face Kim Huybretchs three times. Huybrechts leads the head to head 2-1, but Wilson won their last meeting at the European Championship this year. The bookies have Wilson as a general 2/1 chance to beat the Belgian, while Huybrechts is around 1/2.

It’s been another solid year from Kim Huybrechts, as he made one final and seven semi-finals, with a handful of quarter-finals thrown in, too. Three last 28 finishes again shows just how well he’s been playing. At the Players Championship Finals, Huybrechts averaged over 100 in every game, bar his opening game, on his run to the quarter-finals, where he narrowly lost to Peter Wright 10-9. There’s a lot to like about the Belgian thrower, and he’s certainly been consistent, so he’ll be hoping to go well here.

The past two years on the PDC ProTour have been kind to James Wilson. He’s currently ranked 36th on the Order of Merit and any prize money won at the World Championship will be a boost to him, too, as he has no money to defend. He’s also had a very solid year, just like Huybrechts, with three semi-finals, three quarter-finals and one final at a floor tournament in Barnsley, which he lost 6-3 to Michael van Gerwen. Wilson got off to a good start at the Grand Slam of Darts, beating Dave Chisnall, but then lost to Jamie Hughes and James Wade. He was also poor at the Players Championship Finals, losing to Vincent Kamhuis, getting few shots at doubles and just really struggling with his scoring.

This looks, on paper, to be one of the ties of the round, as I think both men are evenly matched at their best. That leads me to do a bit of value hunting, as I think Wilson is overpriced, and I can’t turn my nose up at that, especially given that he did win their last meeting. Sure, he’s disappointed recently, but he has had a good end to the year and although I have Huybrechts as the favourite, I don’t have Wilson anywhere close to 2/1, so take the value there and back James Wilson to win as our last bet of the first round.

Bet on James Wilson to beat Kim Huybrechts at https://www.Bovada.lv.

I’ll be back with more free tips for day nine of the 2017 PDC World Championship tomorrow, which is also when the second round starts. Remember, we have a double session of matches, which means a lunchtime start, so get ready to go for 1pm GMT in our last lot of action before the Christmas break.