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PDC 2014 World Championship Day One Premium Picks.
It’s finally here, and I’m like a kid in a sweet shop – forget going anywhere over Christmas, unless it’s the Ally Pally. But this year I’ll be making do with sitting on my couch and monopolising the TV for the rest of December and the start of January. The action start tonight, and I couldn’t be happier.
The first round hasn’t drawn too many matches I’m excited about, but the great thing is seeing the players that you only see once or twice a year on the TV, the ones skirting around the bottom off the top 32, and into the top 50. These are the future stars, or the players on the wain, and it’s refreshing to see a change from the usual suspects lining up. Plus, we get to see foreign stars take to the stage. Oh, and Paul Lim – the line for the number of mentions his 9-darter gets when he plays must be somewhere around 45.5 times. Anyway, without further ado, let’s begin.
John Part Vs Mareno Michels.
This is the experience vs youth match-up that we see so often at the World Championship. Last year we saw the emergence of Max Hopp, and although Michels has been around for a while, he’s still in his 20s, which is considered young in darting circles! Part, on the other hand, is 47 and it’s fair to say his best days are behind him. That’s not to say he’s playing poorly, but he’s more of a grinder, putting in averages around 85-89 and just grinding his opponents down with big finishes. Part is rightly favourite here, but Michels has done enough to suggest he can take the Canadian on, especially with a run to the quarter-finals of the German Masters. Part’s been steadily earning a couple of hundred bucks here and there, with Last 32 finishes on the ProTour commonplace, and I just think his heart’s not in it. It won’t be long before he joins Wayne Mardle permanently in the commentary box. 2/5 for Part? I don’t think so!
Mareno Michels to beat John Part Best price 9/4.
Recommend: 1 unit.
Rob Szabo Vs Ian Moss
I don’t know too much about Rob Szabo – he cleans up in New Zealand, he came close to qualifying for the Sydney Masters, and he averages around the low 80s. Ian Moss? Well, he’s a player who’s struggled in the few PDC events he’s played this year. He missed out in Q School, played some UK Open qualifiers, and then somehow won the Qualifier for the World Championship. What can I say? It’s a best of four, and if you really want a punt, toss a coin. But I’ve seen enough of these prelim matches to know that this might not be pretty.
Recommend: No bet.
Peter Wright Vs Joe Cullen.
A tale of contrasting years. Peter Wright has finally had the breakout year we’ve all been predicting for some time now, while Joe Cullen has almost slipped off the face of the earth. It’s amazing the difference a few years makes. I can see Wright winning this comfortably, but there’s no value to be had on the handicap. Cullen could nick a set if Wright nods off for a couple of legs, but his scoring is just too strong for Cullen. Where will Wright win this, though? His scoring, definitely not his doubling. He looks good thing for a few maximums here, and I like him to get more than Cullen.
Peter Wright to score more 180s than Joe Cullen Best price 4/6.
Recommend: 3 units.
Phil Taylor Vs Szabo or Moss.
Since we don’t know who Phil is playing, there’s no betting to be done here. That being said, you’re going to get no value on any market here, because it’s more than likely going to end up 3-0 to The Power, and it’s going to be horrifically skinny.
Recommend: No bet.
Richie Burnett Vs Dean Winstanley.
The main event of the evening, and rightly so, given the dross we’ll have had beforehand. This is a game I eyed up as soon as the draw was made, as I was curious to see which way the bookies would lean. They have it almost 50-50, and I like the look of that, as I think Winstanley is starting to find some form again. He’s destined for big things, and playing someone like Burnett should be enough to bring it out in him, especially on the big stage – remember his 9-darter? Burnett has been playing solid darts, but I wasn’t impressed last time he was on my TV. Winstanley was my pick as soon as the draw was made, and I’m glad to see the price the bookies have up. The 180s from Winstanley should get him over the line, because even though he’s guilty of missing tonnes of doubles, Burnett is just as likely.
Dean Winstanley to beat Richie Burnett Best price 5/6.
Recommend: 2.5 units.
An that’s all for tonight. It’s not the most inspiring night of darts, but they usually come after the first round is over. After the first week, we’ll have a feel for who’s playing well, and who looks to be in danger. So, stick with the Premium Picks, and we’ll make a few quid for Christmas.