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PDC 2014 World Championship Day Twelve Premium Picks.
Welcome back, and a belated merry Chirstmas. I hope you enjoyed the time away from Sky Sports and the Ally Pally. I hope you’re over the heartbreak of Andy Smtih being unable to finish James Wade off. That would have given us the perfect lift just before Christmas, but the way his bottle was going at the end of the match, I never fancied him to hit either of those two match darts, and Wade was a banker to win from then, unfortunately. Mervyn King also struggled a bit to get over the line against Ricky Evans, and he let him get in on the handicap, which was frustrating. The one bright point was Vincent van der Voort nicking a set from Adrian Lewis, so we didn’t have a completely miserable night! So the Premium Picks are now 20-19 with a profit of +9.21 units.
A double session today, and we start with the final match from Round Two – Justin Pipe against the darling of Sky Sports, Devon Petersen. Then Round Three gets underway with Wes Newton and Robert Thornton, who will hopefully have recovered from his bout of illness which could have scuppered his chances in Round Two. Last match of the afternoon will be Richie Burnett and Ian White. The evening session is a bit more interesting, and we start with an interesting match between Simon Whitlock and Kevin Painter. The conqueror of Phil Taylor, Michael Smith, faces Peter Wright, and then Mark Webster faces Raymond van Barneveld in a battle of the former World Champions.
Justin Pipe Vs Devon Petersen.
Not an exciting match, by all means, but it’s interesting in terms of the draw. Both men will be fancying their chances of a good run, especially with the form that James Wade has been showing. Devon Petersen has been heralded by Sky Sports as the second coming in darts, while Justin Pipe, well, it’s all been said before – he’s going to ground and pound, to use a UFC term. I can see a Pipe win here, how comfortable, I don’t know – the handicap line looks about right, there’s no value. However, between them, both men only hit 5 maximums, and if Pipe does the job quickly, we’re not going to get a lot of chances for maximums. I think Petersen may just struggle with Pipe’s game, and I think he’ll not be able to get a rhythm going. A low amount of 180s seems to be the order of the day.
Under 9.5 180s in Petersen Vs Pipe match Best price 5/6 (Various)
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Wes Newton Vs Robert Thornton.
First of the Round Three matches, and it should be a cracker. Newton’s had a spectacularly average year, while Robert Thornton has continued to improve. Newton has beaten Royden Lam 3-1 and John Part 4-0, while Thornton beat Max Hopp 3-1 and Beau Anderson 4-0. Newton’s tournament average is 90.30, Thornton’s is 92.88. Thornton’s 98.89 average against Anderson is a true 3-dart average, as Anderson never got a dart at a double, and that’s a spectacular average. The one concern is Thornton’s fitness. He was sick as a dog against Anderson, and he looked like he wouldn’t make it through the match. Newton has been workmanlike in his performances, never being troubled and has done what has been expected. On his day, Thornton wins this easily, but I’m concerned that there may be underlying health issues here. My thinking here is on the 180s. Thornton has 11 180s over 30 legs, Newton has 9 over 33. Thornton is a prolific maximum hitter on his day, and I think he’s going to comfortably outscore Newton.
Robert Thornton to score more 180s than Wes Newton Best price Evens (Victor Chandler)
Recommend: 2.5 units.
Richie Burnett Vs Ian White.
What a story we’re getting with Richie Burnett. He’s playing darts that take us back to the mid-’90s – he’s looking comfortable on stage, he’s firing maximums in left, right and centre, and there’s something about his game that reminds me of his World Championship winning performance back in 1995. However, Ian White has also looked super-impressive, not least against Kim Huybrechts, where the Belgian pushed him all the way, but he showed great determination, and averaged over 100 for a lot of the match. white showed something he hasn’t shown a lot of on TV – bottle. This is going to be a cracker. White has a tournament average of 97.71, Burnett 96.55. 11 180s for White, 15 for Burnett. White has a 115 checkout to his name, Burnett a 96. It’s so close, and it’s an exciting match to close the afternoon session with. I think we could see some big scoring here, and a lot of legs, so the line of 12.5 180s is where we’re going. Get involved in the overs, as both men are more than capable of hitting at least 7.
Over 12.5 180s in Burnett Vs White match Best price 5/6 (Various)
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Simon Whitlock Vs Kevin Painter.
Yet another one of those matches that is looking tight on paper. Simon Whitlock and Kevin Painter are yet to drop a set, Whitlock whitewashing Ross Smith and Jarkko Komula, while Painter dished out the same to Tomas Seyler and Paul Nicholson. Tournament average for Whitlock is 96.33, Painter 95.09. Whitlock has lost 9 legs, Painter 6. So it should be tight. And we know both men are quite well matched on the oche. The bookies have the prices right, as they should, given that they’ve played 16 times, with Whitlock leading the head-to-head 8-7 with 1 draw in there. They’re going to push each other close, but like a lot of Whitlock matches, I like the highest checkout here, as Whitlock will be leaving himself with a lot of big finishes, and he’ll need to hit them if he’s to beat a man in form, as Kevin Painter is.
Highest checkout in Whitlock Vs Painter match over 130.5 Best price 5/6 (Various)
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Peter Wright Vs Michael Smith.
Michael Smith bust the outright market wide open with his win over Phil Taylor, and Peter Wright will no doubt have felt it was an early Christmas present. Instead of The Power, Wright faces a slightly easier proposition in the shape of Smith. The thing here is that Smith wasn’t amazing against Taylor, it was the fact Taylor looked human. And I’m still taken back to Smith’s sub-80 average in the first round against Morihiro Hashimoto. Wright, on the other hand, hasn’t looked troubled by Joe Cullen or Per Laursen, and his tournament average of 98.27 is 11 points greater than Smith’s. Smith looks in trouble here, as Wright will be thinking this is his title to lose with the year he’s been having. There are lots of people that would agree, and the handicap line of -1.5 looks crazy, considering I can’t see Smith taking 3 sets from a dominant Wright.
Peter Wright -1.5 sets to beat Michael Smith Best price 4/5 (Various)
Recommend: 3 units.
Mark Webster Vs Raymond van Barneveld.
Mark Webster, the man I’ve written off more often than I can count now faces the man who has let me down more times than I can count. But it’s a tale of two performances. Barney has played well, even though the 4-3 win over Jamie Caven might not suggest it. Barney fought hard, something he hasn’t done for a long time, and he averaged 99.65, bringing his tournament average to 99.11, the second highest, behind Adrian Lewis. Webster has an average of 89.47, and he was pushed all the way by Mensur Suljovic and John Henderson. While Suljovic and Henderson are good players, they’re not in the class of Barney, and Webster needs to find at least 7 points to really push the Dutchman, and it’s points I don’t think Webster has in his arsenal. Barney should have too much, and with his diabetes, he’ll be wanting to keep the match short. Barney 4-0 and 4-1 look good to me.
Raymond van Barneveld -2.5 sets to beat Mark Webster Best price 6/5 (Various)
Recommend: 1.5 units.
That’s all for Day Twelve of the Premium Picks. I’ll be back tomorrow with more.