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PDC 2014 World Championship Day Five Premium Picks.
I’m going to be the first to admit that the past couple of nights have left me a bit flagging with the darts. The size of the field and especially the Prelim Matches has meant we’re getting some poorer quality matches instead of the big games we’re hoping to see in this competition every day. The Premium Picks got off to a bad start, with Ronnie Baxter not getting close to a 3-1 win, and Kim Huybrechts failing to hit a 180 in the last half of the match. But we got the 3-0 win for Mervyn King, and I hope you got on Devon Petersen to beat Steve Beaton, as he was a good thing. We’re now 7-8 with a small loss of -1.11 units for the Premium Picks.
Tonight is another poor night in terms of matches, with some lesser known names taking to the stage. We start with the woefully out-of-form Colin Lloyd taking on Oceanic Masters winner Beau Anderson, the brother of Kyle. Then it’s the Prelim Match between Ben Ward and Zoran Lechbacher. The winner has the pleasure of facing Michael van Gerwen, but not before Vincent van der Voort takes on Matt Clark. Simon Whitlock rounds out the night as he takes on Ross Smith.
Colin Lloyd Vs Beau Anderson.
First match of the night, and it might look like a one-sided affair, but I think you have to look a bit deeper. Colin Lloyd has had a shocking year, he’s struggling to get past the last 32 of ProTour events, and he’s looking like a player who knows his time is up. That being said, the draw could have been a lot worse, and he’ll be reasonably happy to have drawn Beau Anderson. That being said, Anderson impressed at the Sydney Masters, losing 6-4 to Andy Hamilton, and it could have been different if he had taken his chances in the first leg. It’s an interesting match, and we’ll be taking a chance that Lloyd’s gone as a player, while Anderson bring at least an 86 average to the oche – the price looks decent enough for me.
>Beau Anderson to beat Colin Lloyd Best price 5/2.
Recommend: 1 unit.
Zoran Lechbacher Vs Ben Ward.
Prelim match, and it’s two men I know very little about. Lechbacher didn’t even win the West European Qualifier – that honour went to Mensur Suljovic, but because The Gentle had already qualified, the spot went to Lechbacher, whom Suljovic beat 10-4 in the final. Ben Ward qualified through the Challenge Tour, where he’s been playing reasonably well, not to the standards of some of his other peers who have qualified, but well enough. It’s a race to 4 between two players who could average anywhere between 70 and 90, we just don’t know. This is definitely a match to watch and take notes for future tournaments.
Recommend: No bet.
Vincent van der Voort vs Matt Clark.
Matt Clark won through to the first round proper after winning the qualifying tournament, beating Ian Moss 5-0 in the final. But that form hasn’t held up well, with Moss losing to Rob Szabo in his Prelim Match. There’s no denying Van der Voort hasn’t been playing amazing darts, but his performance against Dean Winstanley in his last match at the Grand Slam of Darts did show that he still had the form necessary to compete at a higher level than Clark has been playing. And like Moss, Clark hasn’t done much on the ProTour this year, and I just don’t see how or why he’s going to trouble a player like VdV. The bookies don’t favour him as much as I do, so let’s get on the dutchman on the handicap.
Vincent van der Voort -1.5 sets to beat Matt Clark Best price 11/10.
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Michael van Gerwen Vs Lechbacher/Ward.
Let’s be honest, unless Ward or Lechbacher show us something totally out of the blue, Michael van Gerwen shouldn’t have too much trouble here. It’s another one-sided affair, I think, like Phil Taylor against Rob Szabo (regardless of what the commentators were saying, Taylor was never in danger of going out), and it’s time for a cup of tea or a beer or two before the final match of the night. We’ll learn nothing here.
Recommend: No bet.
Simon Whitlock Vs Ross Smith.
A rematch from the Grand Slam of Darts, where Simon Whitlock won 5-2. But Smith wasn’t disgraced in defeat, averaging 90.24 to Whitlock’s 97.46 – and Smith did hit 50% of his doubles, so he wasn’t fazed by the stage. Whitlock, rightly so, is a short price, and I can’t disagree, but I do think Smith is going to steal a set or two, and give Whitlock a test. Smith is one of the emerging stars of the game, he’s had a run to the BDO World Championship quarter-finals, so the big time isn’t as big an issue as it can be for newcomers. Look for Whitlock to win 3-1 or 3-2 with some close sets thrown in. And keep an eye on Smith over the next year or two as he gains vital experience.
Over 15.5 legs in Whitlock Vs Smith match Best price 13/15.
Recommend: 1.5 units.
That’s all for Day Five of the Premium Picks. I’ll have more for you tomorrow.