PDC Premier League Darts Week 8 Premium Picks

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Premier League 2012 Week 8 Tips

A sad week for darts fans this week, with the passing of Jocky Wilson on Saturday. He was one of the greats of the game, and will no doubt be sorely missed by those who knew him. If you get the chance, check out footage of Jocky on YouTube – not only will you witness some great darts, but you’ll also see crowds that put current PDC crowds to shame with their rambunctiousness. Imagine Mervyn King playing back in the late-‘70s and ‘80s! Anyway, tonight’s Premier League action will start with a minute’s applause to remember the great Scotsman, and it’s a fitting tribute to a man who would have had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

In other sad darts news, Gary Anderson won’t be playing this week in Cardiff, as he is attending the funeral of his father. That leaves Adrian Lewis on double duty tonight, so we still get the four maximum games.

A heartbreaking week last week, missing out on two tips by one maximum. I was shocked Gary Anderson or Barney couldn’t hit one in the final few legs of their match! That puts us at 13-18 for the season, and our current total is standing at -8.55 units. Of course, a couple of darts landing in the right bed and we’re laughing all the way to the bank. But we’re only at the halfway stage and there are a lot more darts to be thrown between now and the end of the Premier League Darts Season. Remember if the Premier League Darts Premium Picks don’t finish the season in profit, the 2012 UK Open Premium Picks will be free to all Premier League Darts Premium Picks subscribers. As this is the first outing for our Premium Picks, I think it’s a fair trade!

The Premier League comes to Wales this week, minus Gary Anderson, as mentioned earlier, but we have some big matches in store, with Phil Taylor looking to continue his winning streak, after taking out both UK Open qualifying events over the weekend. Can Kevin Painter stop him? How will Adrian Lewis cope with double duty, first against Andy Hamilton, then when he faces the high-scoring Dutchman, Raymond van Barneveld? We have a James Wade trying to get back to winning ways against the consistent Simon Whitlock in the other match of the night. It’s going to be interesting, and we’re going to have some cracking bets in store.

Adrian Lewis versus Andy Hamilton.

First match of the night is also Adrian Lewis’s first match of the night. Both men need a win, as they’re propping up the Premier League table and it’s going to be tough for both of them. Both men have one win, while Lewis is one point ahead thanks to one more draw. The first match finished 7-7 in Belfast, with Hamilton averaging 94.53 and Lewis averaging 92.29. It was Week Three of the 2012 Premier League and both men played distinctly average.

The big thing for me with Adrian Lewis is just how poor he’s actually playing. I say this every week, but he’s just not firing on all cylinders. The fact he’s second bottom of the Premier League halfway into the 2012 season shows just how bad his form is compared to his usual standard. However, he didn’t have too bad a run in the Sunday floor tournament, while he was just average on the Saturday. However, it’s a step up from first round exists in floor tournaments, so maybe his 8-3 over Kevin Painter has sparked him into life. The big part of his game, the 180 scoring, hasn’t left him, as he’s leading the Premier League by a long distance in terms of maximums scored, with 35, taking his average to 5 a match, or one every 2.5 legs. So, in a match of 12-14 legs, we’re looking at around 4-5 maximums for Lewis. Not bad at all!

Andy Hamilton has slipped steadily down the Premier League table after a whirlwind start to his debut campaign. However, he’s played some fantastic darts, scored well at times and put in a few fantastic finishes. The only thing lacking from Hamilton right now is some consistency – he’s struggling to put two wins together now, although his 7-7 result against an in-form Simon Whitlock last week was a great performance, especially with an average of 97.10. However, his tournament average of 92.33 is the second lowest in the league (behind Kevin Painter) and it shows his inconsistency. Add to that his poor showing in the UK Open Qualifiers at the weekend and Hamilton just seems to be slipping back to the Andy Hamliton of old, who is capable of great darts at times, but flounders when the going gets tough.

For me it all depends on Adrian Lewis turning up focused – if he does, it should be a certainty for the World Champion. He dismantled Hamilton in the World Championship Final, and is capable of doing it again. The fact you can get 4/6 on Lewis sums up how far his form has slipped in 2012. However, it’s a worry about which Lewis turns up, and it’s difficult to back him with any confidence unless we get a fantastic price. But there’s one market I can’t see past Adrian Lewis and that’s the player to score the most 180s. He’s looking for around 4-5, while Hamilton has floundered some weeks to even score 1, and last week he managed 2 in 14 legs. So the price, for me, is huge on Lewis here, and I can’t avoid tipping him.

Adrian Lewis to score the most 180s against Andy Hamilton: 5/6 @ 888.com.

Recommend: 4.5 units.

James Wade versus Simon Whitlock.

From a betting perspective, I think this is the most interesting match of the night. We have Simon Whitlock, who is sitting third in the Premier League table, taking on James Wade, who has disappointed at times and is sitting in sixth, but only after a couple of good results over the last 3 weeks – he couldn’t buy a win at the start of the season! That being said, he’s come into some good form and will be looking to continue that against the Aussie, who has been playing some of his best darts for quite some time.

James Wade, as mentioned above, hasn’t had a great season. However, his form has picked up and although his winning streak came to an end against Phil Taylor last week, he still averaged 102.07. Now, Phil Taylor has done that to a lot of players in the Premier League, with Barney, Hamilton and Whitlock all firing in big averages against him in defeat, but Wade did play well – it was just a shame he was playing Taylor some of the best darts I’ve seen from him in such a long time. But The Machine is creeping up the table, with 21 maximums and a highest checkout of 154. The fact is, Wade’s maximum scoring has finally kicked into gear and he’s starting to find his range, maybe just not quite on the doubles yet. Wade didn’t play in the UK Open qualifiers at the weekend, but we know his form isn’t too bad at all from his last Premier League outing.

Simon Whitlock has been on a bit of a tear recently. It seems like his defeat at the hands of Taylor spurred him into life and he’s been firing in a lot of maximums over the past few weeks, taking him up to 26 for the tournament, and giving him a tournament average of just over 97. He’s been playing great darts and I’d be surprised if he didn’t make the play-offs. However, the one worry is that Whitlock picked up only one win over the weekend, losing to Steve Hine and Dennis Smith in the early stages of the floor tournaments. So he’s not coming in on the back of any significant wins, especially after only managing a draw against Andy Hamilton last week. But he’s going to put up a huge fight against the resurgent Wade, and maybe that’s why the bookies have him a marginal favourite here.

Like the bookies, I can’t split these two, as they’re both playing to the same standard, and their stats are creeping closer together as the weeks go on. For me, it’s a bit of a coin flip, and I think, for the first time this season, we’re going to go for the draw, just because I think there’s a great chance of it and the price is tempting enough. I’m also wanting to have a nibble at the total 180s market, as both men have been scoring heavily over the past few weeks, and the line of 6.5 is achievable, especially if we get the 14 legs that we require for the draw – looking at the stats, Wade would be on for around 3, Whitlock 4, although Wade’s stats are skewed because of his shocking start to the season. So I think we’re going to have a long, high-scoring encounter, and we have to bet accordingly.

Over 6.5 180s in Wade versus Whitlock match: 4/5 @ 888.com.

Recommend: 2.5 units.

James Wade to draw with Simon Whitlock: 4/1 @ 888.com.

Recommend: 1.5 units.

Kevin Painter versus Phil Taylor.

I know I’ve given up writing much for Phil Taylor’s matches, but what can I say? I read that he had won over 60% of ProTour events since they began, which is a sick number – 61 out of 101 is just a crazy statistic, and he got numbers 60 and 61 over the weekend, where, yet again, he didn’t lose. Taylor is going great guns, he’s averaging well into the 100s nearly every week and it doesn’t look like he’s going to stop. He’s 1/7 here, I’m not having it. What I am having is Taylor on the handicap. I know how this went last time round, but Painter is struggling on the averages while Taylor is not. Taylor’s also flying on the doubling and if he kept James Wade to 2 legs, when the Altrincham thrower averaged over 102, he can keep Kevin Painter to 3 or less!

Phil Taylor -4.5 legs to beat Kevin Painter: Evens @ 888.com.

Recommend: 2.5 units.

Raymond van Barneveld versus Adrian Lewis.

Second match of the night for Adrian Lewis and he’ll be taking on a revitalised Raymond van Barneveld. Their first meeting of the 2012 Premier League season was a 7-7, but things have changed for both men since then. While Lewis has slipped down the table, Barney has climbed and climbed, taking him all the way to second, which might as well be first, since no-one is going to topple King Phil I.

I’ve already written about Jackpot’s woes and his form, so I won’t bother repeating myself. I’ll get straight onto Barney, who has been in great form. Barney’s unbelievable win over Gary Anderson last week in Dublin was a sight to behold – both men put in big averages, but Barney’s 107.22 average was so impressive that Lewis has to be worried about facing the Dutchman in this form. Barneveld also made two quarter-finals over the weekend, signaling his return to form. In fact, if I’m being honest, Barney is the only player right now that I can see challenging Taylor for the Premier League title, so he has to be doing something right.

The fact is, it doesn’t look like Lewis is in Barney’s league right now and I think the bookies have got this spectacularly wrong. The bookies can’t split these two, but I can – Barney’s scoring heavily, he’s checking out well and he’s shown a fight that I haven’t seen in him in years. Lewis is plodding along, struggling to motivate himself when he’s losing and just hasn’t impressed since his World Championship win. So, we have to back the man in great form, especially at such a generous price.

Raymond van Barneveld to beat Adrian Lewis: 5/4 @ 888.com.

Recommend: 2.5 units.

And that’s all from Week 8 of the PDC Premier League 2012 Premium Darts Betting Tips from Cardiff. Remember to check back next week for more darts betting tips, this time coming from Robin Hood country – the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham.