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PDC 2014 World Championship Day Fifteen Premium Picks.
Quarter-finals are done, which means the end is nigh for the 2013 PDC World Championship, and we’ve got a semi-final line-up that was, for the most part, expected. The only shock we have is that it’s Peter Wright and not Phil Taylor taking to the oche against Simon Whitlock tonight. However, the rest of the tournament has played out, for the most part, according to the rankings. Last night, Mark Webster put up a great fight, Michael van Gerwen hit a nice big checkout early on in the match, and then James Wade never looked like winning, compounding the fact he’s just not consistent enough to be a real threat. Premium Picks are now 23-30 with a profit of -5.52 units.
Tonight, we start with Simon Whitlock taking on Peter Wright, and that’s just the entree for the main course of Adrian Lewis and Michael van Gerwen – the semi-final all the fans have been wanting to see. If we get a repeat of last year’s match, we’re in for a treat.
Simon Whitlock Vs Peter Wright.
The first semi-final of the night, and it’s one that’s intriguing more than exciting. Simon Whitlock hasn’t had a stellar year by his standards, but he’s been playing well enough, while Peter Wright has been sweeping players aside with ease, especially on the floor, before coming unstuck late in the day. What’s interesting for me is that both men have found the going tough at the business end of the tournament, with Whitlock edging past Ian White 5-4 after looking comfortable early on, and Peter Wright winning his last two matches (against Wes Newton and Michael Smith) by one set. It’s the way Wright won both those matches that impressed me – he averaged 105 against Michael Smith, but only 95.85 against Wes Newton, but it showed he has the gears to fight hard when pushed, and Whitlock is going to push him. Whitlock has been plodding along with a nice steady average, peaking at 97.35 against Ross Smith in Round One, before a 95.77 against Ian White; his tournament average of 95.35 a bit behind Wright’s 99.41. For me, this is going to come down to nerve, and I think Wright has shown enough in his last two matches to show he’s up for a fight. Whitlock has only been pushed in one match so far, and while he won, White did hand him the chance. The other thing I think we’re going to see is a lot of legs and a glut of maximums, so the line is looking tasty at 19.5.
Peter Wright to beat Simon Whitlock Best price 11/10 (Various)
Recommend: 2 units.
Over 19.5 180s in Whitlock Vs Wright match Best price 5/6 (Paddy Power)
Recommend: 2.5 units.
Michael van Gerwen Vs Adrian Lewis
I think this is the semi-final everyone wanted to see since the draw was made. We knew it was always on the cards, and we got it. They played a great match last year, and this year we can expect the same. Their tournament averages are close – 96.67 to Lewis, 96.27 to Van Gerwen. Lewis has 23 180s and Van Gerwen has 30. Lewis has a 146 checkout, Van Gerwen has a 144. On paper it’s close. But what I think is more interesting is the form both men have showed in tougher matches. Lewis was shocking against Mervyn King, and although he was better against James Wade, the fact Wade was so bad meant Lewis was never challenged. Van Gerwen could have brushed aside Mark Webster, but he switched off halfway through until he powered through at the end. He started slowly against Gary Anderson and then powered through again. Lewis’s average over his last two matches has been 93.86, while Van Gerwen’s has been 99.53, which shows how both men’s games have progressed towards the business end of the tournament. I think Van Gerwen looks a good thing here, and I think we’re going to get some big checkouts, as both men will see that as the key to success here.
Michael van Gerwen to beat Adrian Lewis Best price 4/5 (Victor Chandler)
Recommend: 3.5 units.
Highest checkout in Van Gerwen Vs Lewis match over 142.5 Best price 5/6 (Victor Chandler)
Recommend: 2 units.
That’s all for the semi-final Premium Picks. I’ll be back in two days (or next year), with the Premium Picks for the final of the 2014 PDC World Championship.