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PDC 2014 World Championship Day Thirteen Premium Picks.
What can I say about yesterday? It ended up being one of those days. We’ve had the perfect day, and then yesterday made up for that, with a Black Friday. Devon Petersen easing past Justin Pipe was the only highlight, with antics such as doubles on the wrong side of the wire for highest checkouts, or Wes Newton somehow outscoring Robert Thornton on the maximums. It was a crazy day of darts, summed up with the fact Mark Webster won yet another match 4-3. The Premium Picks are now 21-24 with a profit of +2.46 units.
Another double session today, and the evening session sees the start of the quarter-finals. We kick off with Adrian Lewis facing Mervyn King in what could be an interesting battle. Then Devon Petersen gets 24 hours to recover before getting back onto the oche to face James Wade. The afternoon is rounded off with the last of the Round Three matches – Michael van Gerwen versus Gary Anderson, and it’s a fantastic looking line-up that would be worthy of a later stage in the tournament. The quarter-finals then get underway with Wes Newton and Peter Wright, with the last match of the night seeing Simon Whitlock taking on Ian White. No easy matches at this stage of the competition, that’s for sure.
Adrian Lewis Vs Mervyn King.
I want to start this with one statistic – Mervyn King has won the last 9 matches against Adrian Lewis. That is a hugely significant stat when looking at this match. Yes, King’s tournament average of 92.34 is a long way behind Lewis’s 99.47, but there might just be something to King’s game that gives him an edge over Lewis. The one thing in Lewis’s favour is that their last competitive match was back in 2012, and Lewis is playing some fantastic darts just now. King didn’t look great against Ricky Evans, while Lewis has looked like a champ in waiting against Vincent van der Voort and Dennis Smith. I think that the bookies are overestimating Lewis here, though, and King should give him a game – the handicap line is the place to be.
Mervyn King +2.5 sets to beat Adrian Lewis Best price 6/5 (Various)
Recommend: 1.5 units.
James Wade Vs Devon Petersen.
Well, before their last two matches, I completely slated both men. James Wade has not impressed me for a while, and Devon Petersen didn’t look like he had a chance against Justin Pipe. However, both men are through, albeit in different fashions. Petersen looked extremely competent against Justin Pipe, averaging 95.18, and put in some accomplished checkouts. Wade survived two match darts against Andy Smith and scraped through, yet again, with another average around the 92 mark. Wade is not slotting into a place where you know what you’re going to get from him, he’s like a far more reliable John Part at this moment in time. Petersen is the upstart, the wild card left in the competition, and if he plays in the same manner as he did last night, he’s going to take at least 2 sets from Wade, perhaps even the 4 he needs. The handicap, again, is the place to play here, as it’s great value.
Devon Petersen +2.5 sets to beat James Wade Best price 5/6 (Various)
Recommend: 2.5 units.
Michael van Gerwen Vs Gary Anderson.
This is surely the match of the day. Michael van Gerwen is the tournament favourite, and Gary Anderson is coming back to some kind of form, so for both men to be facing each other in Round Three, it’s an exciting prospect. The big thing for me is that Van Gerwen’s form has dipped off from the heady heights he had shown over the previous 18 months, and although he’s won handsomely in his first two match, facing Gary Anderson is a huge task given the fact that Anderson’s been playing better darts. In fact, the Scotman’s average of 97.9 is far better than the Dutchman’s 93.01. I think the key to success for Anderson is keeping his scoring consistent and hitting a few more maximums. If he manages that, he might just rattle Van Gerwen, who is looking more and more human by the tournament. The value is with the Scotsman here, as there might just be a shock on the cards.
Gary Anderson to beat Michael van Gerwen Best price 7/2 (Various)
Recommend: 1 unit.
Wes Newton Vs Peter Wright.
The first quarter-final and I thought it was going to be an all-Scottish affair, but Wes Newton knocked out Robert Thornton in a confident display. Newton’s another player that you know what you’re going to get, just like James Wade. Newton’s tournament average of 92.04 sums him up – he’s going to be steady and consistent. However, he’s now facing the hard-hitting Peter Wright, the man with the highest average of the tournament so far – 105.81 – and the only man so far to have a tournament average over 100 – 100.60. Wright is the man to beat in this half of the draw, and Newton, for me, doesn’t have the change in gears to take on Wright when he’s at the peak of his game. Newton won’t be able to push Wright the way Smith did last night, so I expect a much more comfortable win for Snakebite tonight.
Peter Wright -1.5 sets to beat Wes Newton Best price 5/6 (Various)
Recommend: 3 units.
Simon Whitlock Vs Ian White.
Last match of the night, and it’s looking like a good one. Simon Whitlock has yet to lose a set, he’s averaging 95.2, he’s hit 15 180s and looks in good form. Ian White has shown amazing fighting spirit, winning his last two matches in deciding sets. He has a tournament average of 97.11 and has 17 180s. The head-to-head between the two is 3-3, and it’s evidence of how close this could be. While Whitlock has been looking good, he hasn’t been pushed by his opponents. Kevin Painter averaged just over 86 last night, which would never trouble Whitlock even on an average day. White’s got the game to push Whitlock, and we’ve also seen the fight White has – he’s so hungry for this, and he’ll fancy his chances against anyone in his half of the draw. I want to be on the side of the player who’s shown his desire this week, not the man who’s had it easy so far. White is slightly overpriced, and I can see a little upset on the cards.
Ian White to beat Simon Whitlock Best price 9/4 (Various)
Recommend: 1 unit.
That’s all for Day Thirteen of the Premium Picks. I’ll be back tomorrow with more.