[Get Exclusive Tips on our Patreon, Ad-Free]
BDO 2014 World Championship Day One Premium Picks.
Well, we had a short break after the PDC World Championship, and now we’re onto the tournament for “the purists”. If you speak to the so-called part-time fans of darts, or read what they have to say on the internet, they’ll have you thinking that the PDC is the be all and end all of darts. But I think we all know that’s not the case. In fact, 4 out of the PDC’s Top 6 have played, at some point, in the BDO. Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Dave Chisnall and Simon Whitlock were all established stars, and James Wade also cut his teeth there. While the set-up and production might not match that of Sky Sports, it’s still a higher standard of darts than you’re going to see down the pub. And don’t watch it with blinkers on, you have to remember that the majority of the players in the PDC don’t average over 90 on a regular basis. Yes, the top 16 probably do, but the other 200 definitely don’t! Anyway, rant over.
Today is a double session with three prelim matches which should make things interesting. We start with the defending champion, a man we all know and love, Scott Waites, taking on Alan Norris in what is definitely going to be one of the matches of the round. As I said in my preview, Waites has a terrible draw and he’s going to have a fight on his hands against Norris. We then get to see Wolfie for the first time in 2014, as he takes on David Cameron. The line for the number of times the commentary refers to the Prime Minister is around 10.5 and I’d take the over! Wesley Harms and Paul Jennings finish the afternoon session in what will be another great match. The evening session then starts with two prelim matches, Madars Razma taking on a man I like in the outright betting at 200/1 at Paddy Power, John Michael. Young Aussie Harley Kemp faces Irishman Michael Meaney, and then it’s back to Round One action as Jeffey de Graf takes on Martin Atkins.
Scott Waites vs Alan Norris
It wasn’t an amazing 2013 for Scott Waites, as Stephen Bunting seemed to clean up nearly every tournament, while Waites picked up the scraps. He had a decent Grand Slam of Darts, too, but he didn’t get out of his group in Zuiderduin, losing to Michel van der Horst, and beating Richie George. He did win the Czech Open and Dutch Open, though, so it’s not like he’s lacking form. Alan Norris is best known for his power scoring, and he almost hit the 9-dart finish a couple of years back against Christian Kist, missing double 12 before losing the leg. I’m sure you all remember. Norris also failed to get out of his group in Zuiderduin, losing the deciding match against Gary Robson. It’s not been the winning-most year for Norris, but he’s a threat for Waites, that’s for sure. He might just be a bit big of a price, as he’s going to cause Waites trouble. But I like him to get the most 180s against Waites. I’ve said it before that Waites loves the 140s, while Norris is an out-and-out 180 hitter, it’s just the doubles he seems to struggle with.
Alan Norris to score more 180s than Scott Waites Best price 11/10 (Boylesports)
Recommend: 2 units.
David Cameron Vs Martin Adams
I can’t lie, I don’t know too much about Cameron, and my research hasn’t turned up much, either. He’s not the British Prime Minister, though, that’s for sure. We know all about Martin Adams, though, and he’ll be a bit put out having to play this prelim match, that’s for sure. Wolfie is the class act here, and he should get through without too much drama. Cameron did play at the World Masters this year, reaching the Last 80. He didn’t have any results that really stood out, and he lost 3-0 in the Last 80 match. But 1/7 Adams? No, thanks. Adams to win 3-0 is odds-on, and against a totally unknown quantity, I don’t fancy it too much. Best just to leave this one alone.
Recommend: No bet.
Wesley Harms vs Paul Jennings
Another contender for the match of the round here, as Wesley Harms, two-time semi-finalist at the Lakeside, takes on Paul Jennings, a quarter-finalist last year. It’s been a relatively quiet year for both men, with Harms winning two titles and Jennings one. However, Harms did make the semi-final in Zuiderduin, losing 3-2 to Stephen Bunting, so he looks in decent form. Jennings didn’t make Zuiderduin, but he’s been in consistent enough form this year. I can see this being tight, and I have heard speculation that Harms is looking to move to the PDC – we hear it every year with the big names, but there Harms is now playing full-time, and the rumour mill is going into overtime. Jennings is a heavy, heavy scorer, he’s a top player, and I think the value is in backing him, especially if he fires in the 180s as we know he can.
Paul Jennings to beat Wesley Harms Best price 9/5 (888)
Recommend: 1 unit.
Madars Razma Vs John Michael
Two names you probably know little about, but this match is of huge interest to me. I watched John michael play Stephen Bunting at the world Masters, and although he lost 3-0, Bunting was in unbelievable form, and Michael did very little wrong, averaging around 89 and looking decent on the doubles. He came through the Hull qualifiers, dropping 1 set along the way – he’s 200/1 at Paddy Power, and I’m having a little interest as he could be an improver, and I like his draw. His opponent in the Prelim Match is Madars Razma, and, like Michael, he also made the Last 32 at the World Masters. I also watched his match, and he wasn’t bad at all. If he had been drawn against another players, he might have had a chance, but I think Michael could be a dark horse. We should see some steady scoring from both men, but Michael’s grouping is better, and he looks confident on the doubles. The handicap line looks good here.
John Michael -1.5 sets to beat Madars Razma Best price 5/4 (Paddy Power)
Recommend: 2 units.
Harley Kemp Vs Michael Meaney
The final Prelim Match of the night is quite an interesting one between two of the tournament’s young guns, and it’s also a battle between Australia and Ireland. To be honest, although Michael Meaney came through Hull qualifying, I’ve not been too impressed with his form. He’s also been putting in middling results on the PDC Challenge Tour amongst indifferent runs in Ireland. With Harley Kemp, we have some form lines to look at, with his runs at on the PDC Challenge Tour being slightly better than Meaney’s, but he’s also come close to a few upsets, running Ricky Evans close in the Under-21 World Championship, and we saw what Evans did at the PDC World Championship, as well finishing runner-up in the Under-21 version. Kemp also has form lines in Australia that are interesting, especially through the Australia Masters, where he beat Tony David 8-6 in the final. In my book, Kemp should be favourite, as he’s done a number on some big names and doesn’t seem fazed by them at all, and 11/10 is a gift.
Harley Kemp to beat Michael Meaney Best price 11/10 (Ladbrokes)
Recommend: 2 units.
Jeffrey de Graf Vs Martin Atkins
Not a bad year for Martin Atkins, with a lot of Last 16 finishes, which is the staple of his game – he’s a slugger, a grinder, the type of player that you know what you’re going to get. His opponent, Jeffrey de Graf, had, by comparison, had a much better year. He built off the back of a good debut performance at the Lakeside last year, losing 3-2 to Jan Dekker in the first round, winning the Denmark Open and the Swedish Open; he beat Martin Atkins 4-1 at the Swedish Open. The bookies have this as a tight one, but I can’t see past De Graf here. He’s been plying his trade consistently, and has made a few runs on the PDC’s Challenge Tour, too, not disgracing himself along the way. De Graf’s win over Atkins in Sweden sums this up for me, and I can see a big performance from the Dutchman here.
Jeffrey de Graf to beat Martin Atkins Best price 4/5 (Sporting Bet)
Recommend: 2.5 units.
That’s all for the Day One of the 2014 BDO World Championship. I’ll be back tomorrow with more Premium Picks.