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PDC World Matchplay 2013 Day Eight Premium Picks.
A frustrating night, but God, what a great night of darts. To me, it signaled that Andy Hamilton is the real deal and a threat to the Big 4, and it also heralded Dave Chisnall’s return to form. High averages, quality finishing and drama – everything you could ask for in a night of darts. We lost out narrowly on our Andy Hamilton bet, which is frustrating, as he probably should have won it from the spot he was in.
And now we’re got the top four in the PDC battling it out in the quarter-finals. It would have been more interesting if we had a new face in the semi-finals, but these four deserve their places due to the high quality of darts they’ve been playing.
Phil Taylor (1) Vs James Wade (4).
If Taylor Vs Barney is the classic rivalry, Taylor Vs Wade isn’t far behind. 45 matches in competitive competition between the pair, and you can add another after tonight.
A 104.38 average for Phil Taylor in his quarter-final match against Justin Pipe, his highest of the week, taking his tournament average to 103.40. He’s looked a class act throughout the week, and he’s been pushed by Terry Jenkins and Justin Pipe, yet never looked in too much danger. The main thing about Taylor’s performance this week is simply his consistency. He’s averaged over 100 in his three matches, he’s firing in the big checkouts and not missing too many doubles. We all know hos comfortable he is on the Blackpool stage, and it’s going to take a very special performance to beat him.
James Wade has been another model of consistency, firing in averages in the high 90s in all of his wins. He has been pushed hard in all three of his matches, with John Part taking 8 legs from him, Gary Anderson taking 9, and then Simon Whitlock taking him to extra-time in an 18-16 win for the man from Altrincham. Wade has a tournament average of 97.48, third best of the players left in the competition, which isn’t bad at all. The things missing from Wade’s game, however, seem to be the huge checkouts and the 180 scoring. While he has a high of 135, before that he hasn’t impressed on the combinations. And Wade was once a prolific 180 scorer, but he’s hit 17 over 74 legs, which isn’t bad, but not the heights of someone like Dave Chisnall or Michael van Gerwen.
The fact is that Wade has to up his game by about 4 points just to push Taylor. Justin Pipe put in an average of 97.46, 0.02 points off of Wade’s tournament average, yet Pipe went down 16-10 to Taylor. So if Wade plays to the level he’s played all week, Taylor might just steamroller him. The head-to-head also speaks volumes, with Wade only winning 5 of their past 45 meetings. I can’t see past a Taylor win here, and the handicap line looks good value, as I have Taylor about a 6 or 7 leg winner. The other thing to note is that in the 2012 World Matchplay Final, the highest checkout was a 114 from Wade. Tonight the line is 140.5, which looks high when you consider their history. Wade also hasn’t passed that mark this week, which leaves Taylor as the man to put that in that finish – he’s capable of it, but he might not need to if his scoring is firing.
Phil Taylor -4.5 legs to beat James Wade: Best price 5/6 (It’s worth noting that a lot of bookies have lines of -5.5, but Paddy Power among others have -4.5, which is a far better proposition for us).
Recommend: 3 units.
Highest checkout in Taylor Vs Wade match under 140.5: Best price 5/6
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Michael van Gerwen (2) Vs Adrian Lewis (3).
Not a bad match to end the night. Two young, quick, high scoring players with a lot of flair take to the oche to close out the night.
Michael van Gerwen has improved in every match he’s played this week. He started off a bit shaky against Colin Lloyd, but then improved greatly against Peter Wright, before impressing against Dave Chisnall. He’s averaged over 100 in his last two matches, with his 102.29 against Chisnall 3 points down on his 105.58 against Peter Wright. However, he was pushed hard by Chisnall, and Van Gerwen just looked calm wen danger struck. Van Gerwen also hit 14 maximums in his match last night, which brought him up to 20 for the tournament. It also shows his game has improved through the week. He’s now averaging a 180 every 3 legs – not bad at all. He’s rightly the favourite here, as, like Taylor, he’s not looked in danger of losing yet, even though Colin Lloyd took him close.
Adrian Lewis put in his best performance of the week at just the right time. He was on the ropes throughout his match with Andy Hamilton, but he raised his game at the right time and powered through. He put in an average of 95.95, which was slightly down on his win against Brendan Dolan, but he put put in 13 180s and hit highest checkout of 161. It was an amazing performance considering he hasn’t been looking like a two-time World Champion this week.
The thing is that although Lewis looked good against Hamilton, Van Gerwen has always looked better. Lewis will need to find a few more points on his average, but unfortunately his average seems to be stuck in the mid-90s. We know Lewis has it in him, but he doesn’t seem able to do it as much as Van Gerwen does. The line on the handicap is -4.5, and I think Van Gerwen looks good for that. He beat that line against Dave Chisnall, and Chisnall put in a great performance. The Dutchman is a good thing here.
Michael van Gerwen -4.5 legs to beat Adrian Lewis: Best price 5/6
Recommend: 3 units.
And that’s all the Premium Picks for the semi-finals of the 2013 World Matchplay. We’ve only got the final left, so come back tomorrow for that.