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BDO 2014 World Championship Day Five Premium Picks.
A day of mixed fortunes for the Premium Picks last night. It started out with a whimper, as Martin Adams didn’t even give Tony O’Shea a sniff in a 3-0 whitewash. The highest checkout was 81, which of course went to Adams. Paul Hogan than found Scott Mitchell in good form for once. Even last year, Mitchell would have capitulated against a player playing as well as Hogan. Then things picked up, as Stephen Bunting blew Jim Widmayer away, but only hit 2 180s. Dave Prins then kept the run going, beating Jim Williams, before Glenn Durrant somehow squeezed out a 3-0 win. And I think we were unfortunate that James Wilson found another gear after Christian Kist took the first set, beating the Dutchman in an absolute cracker of a match. We are now 12-11 and sitting with a profit of 5.75 units. Let’s keep the run going.
Today sees the start of Round Two, and it’s a packed line-up, with all the main contenders playing. We start with Robbie Green facing Gary Robson, then Stephen Bunting continues his charge the surprise package of Dave Prins. The afternoon finishes with Wesley Harms and Tony Eccles, with both men no doubt confident of success. The evening starts with more of a whimper as Rick Hofstra takes on Martin Atkins. Then things pick up again as conqueror of Scott Waites, Alan Norris, takes on Glen Durrant. Again, both men will fancy their chances not only for a win tonight, but a run to the final given how the draw is looking. Finally, James Wilson, tournament second favourite, takes on the resurgent Scott Mitchell.
Robbie Green vs Gary Robson.
First match of the day is a big one, and it’s one of the favourites of the title, Robbie Green, taking on Gary Robson. Both men had different routes to Round Two, with Green winning comfortably 3-0 against Richie George, while Robson won 3-2 against the now PDC-bound Ron Meulenkamp. Green averaged 94.29 in an impressive display of scoring, while Robson put in 88.32 and he looked handy. That being said, Green has the form, he’s the class act, and Robson is just too inconsistent for me to even consider here. If Green plays the way he did against George, Robson will need to find a few more points, and I can’t see that happening. A comfortable win for Green here, I think.
Robbie Green -1.5 sets to beat Gary Robson Best price 4/6 (Various)
Recommend: 3 units.
Stephen Bunting vs Dave Prins
There should be only one winner here, and that’s Stephen Bunting. Bunting got rid of the rust against Jim Widmayer, winning 3-1 and averaging 91.6, looking comfortable against the American qualifier. Dave Prins surprised a lot of people with his performance against Jim Williams, averaging 86.55. But the difference is, Williams averaged 78.69, giving Prins a lot of time to win legs. Bunting is going to average 10 points or greater than that, and Prins isn’t going to get many chances. However, what impressed me with Prins was that he managed 3 180s in 10 legs, while Bunting only managed 2 in 11. Prins did impress on the treble 20, and I think he’s a huge piece of value to outperform Bunting on the 180s.
Dave Prins to score more 180s than Stephen Bunting Best price 7/2 (Paddy Power)
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Wesley Harms vs Tony Eccles
A big match for Wesley Harms, as he failed to really impress in the first round, and there’s also the persisting rumours that he’s heading to the PDC now that he’s playing full-time darts. However, he was professional in his 3-0 win over Paul Jennings, averaging 83.76. However, Jennings wasn’t much of a threat, and he’s got a man in some form taking him on now. While Tony Eccles claims he was lucky to beat Darryl Fitton, he still managed to average 86.31, and won 3-1 with Fitton averaging close to 86. Eccles is a former Top 32 player in the PDC and showed signs he’s coming into some form with his win over Fitton. He’s a huge price to beat Harms, especially with the Dutchman having some question marks over his form as well as his future. Eccles has something to prove to all his detractors, and if he can continue to hit the treble 20 the way he did against Fitton, he’s the value to beat Harms.
Tony Eccles to beat Wesley Harms Best price 21/10 (Boylesports)
Recommend: 1 unit.
Martin Atkins vs Rick Hofstra
Another year and another Martin Atkins match to write up. Looking at the first round, Hofstra was incredibly efficient, beating Remco van Eijden 3-0 without dropping a leg and averaging just over 90. Atkins got past 8th seed Jeffrey de Graf 3-0 with an 83 average. The main thing here is that Van Eijden averaged 82.35 and Hofstra had no problems, and Atkins’ 83 average is not much better. If Hofstra wasn’t troubled by van Eijden, I don’t think Atkins will trouble him either. Hofstra will be confident, and I think Atkins has found his level. Hofstra to win comfortably here.
Rick Hofstra -1.5 sets to beat Martin Atkins Best price 6/4 (Paddy Power)
Recommend: 2 units.
Alan Norris vs Glen Durrant
Two men who won 3-0 in the first round, both under different circumstances. Glenn Durrant was expected to see off whoever won the prelim match, while Alan Norris was expected to get a set from Scott Waites at best. Norris impressed in the first round, averaging 93.27 and that was without his famed 180 scoring. Durrant averaged 86.16 and was pushed all the way in every set by Mike Day, making that 3-0 a bit less comfortable. Purely on the first round alone, Norris looks a good thing here. Both men can be inconsistent, but Norris impressed, showing more bottle than he had done in the past. I can’t believe the prices here, as I would have had Norris around an 8/11 favourite. Maybe the bookies know something we don’t, but I don’t care, as the prices are way out of line on this one. Norris just needs to fire in the 180s and he should be into the quarter-finals.
Alan Norris to beat Glen Durrant Best price Evens (Stan James)
Recommend: 2 units.
James Wilson vs Scott Mitchell
The performance of the round came from James Wilson last night – beating a red-hot Christian Kist in a high-scoring, classy encounter. But, to be fair to Scott Mitchell, he took part in another classic before Wilson took to the stage. Mitchell looked in good form in his 3-2 win over Paul Hogan, averaging an unexpected 88.26, hitting 5 180s on the way. Wilson, too, was power-scoring, hitting 5 180s also, but also firing in a 143 checkout. I think this is priced right, Wilson being a short price to win, but I do like the highest checkout line, as Wilson’s 143 was effortless and he’s definitely capable of more, especially over the longer format. Mitchell will need to start hitting the big finishes to stand a chance here, and I think it’s going to happen.
Highest checkout in Wilson vs Mitchell match over 126.5 Best price 5/6 (Various)
Recommend: 2 units.
That’s all for the Day Five of the 2014 BDO World Championship. I’ll be back tomorrow with more Premium Picks.