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Premier League 2012 Play-Offs Tips
We’ve reached the final night of Premier League Darts action for 2012, and what a Premier League it’s been! We’ve had the closest finish to a Premier League season, almost matching its footballing counterpart. We’ve also had top darting action, with Phil Taylor breaking the highest average. And we’ve also seen the World Champion getting eliminated before the play-offs. It’s been an amazing Premier League Darts season (even the charity single is hilarious in its awfulness!), and we’ve got one night left, from the O2 in London.
Simon Whitlock faces Andy Hamilton in the first match of the night, before Phil Taylor faces old adversary James Wade. Then after the Under-21 World Championship final between Michael van Gerwen and James Hubbard, we have the final of the 2012 Premier League Darts season.
To thank you for sticking by me through a pretty grim Premier League Darts season, all Premium Picks subscribers will get their UK Open for free, where I’m sure we’ll get our money back, and then a hell of a lot more!
Simon Whitlock vs Andy Hamilton.
Second placed finished Simon Whitlock takes on the surprise third-placed finisher, Andy Hamilton. This is going to be an interesting match, as Hamilton has surprised a few people this season, including myself, while Whitlock has been incredibly steady (well, most weeks!), but Hamilton holds the edge in this year’s Premier League.
Simon Whitlock has had a good season, considering the form he’s shown over the past couple of years, added into the injury he suffered at the end of 2011. So to finish second in the Premier League with an average of 96.31 and a highest checkout of 164 isn’t bad at all. Yes, he had 5 defeats, but he still finished 3 points clear of third-place. Whitlock is leading the head-to-head 8-5, so that’s clearly in his favour. The worry here is that he’s not as far ahead of the pack as people might think, given that he’s had 5 defeats in the Premier League, which is exactly the same as Andy Hamilton, and Raymond van Barneveld, who hasn’t even qualified for the play-offs!
As I mentioned previously, Hamilton is the surprise opponent for Whitlock tonight. He’s had a phenomenal end to the 2012 Premier League season, losing once in the last 8 weeks. In those 8 weeks, he drew with Simon Whitlock, then beat him 8-4 in Week 13. Hamilton averaged a decent 94.54 throughout the tournament and fired in a highest checkout of 152. So, although he’s trailing on the stats, Hamilton took 3 points from Whitlock, which can’t be ignored.
For me, this is all about Hamilton’s form. His demolition of Kevin Painter last week summed up the form he’s in. Add in the fact he actually beat Simon Whitlock only a couple of weeks ago and you have to wonder why he’s almost 2/1! Hamilton’s not lost since Week 9, where he was defeated 806 by Phil Taylor. He’s finally taken to the tournament, and he looks the value here, especially when you consider he’s won 2 out of their 3 meetings this year (once at the World Championship, once in the Premier League).
Andy Hamilton to beat Simon Whitlock: 15/8 @ 888.com.
Recommend: 3 units.
Phil Taylor versus James Wade.
I don’t want to waste your time with a big write up here, considering Taylor has demolished Wade 8-2 and 8-1 this season. Taylor is in imperious form with a tournament average of 107.95. Wade’s 95.82 is nowhere near the standard required to challenge The Power. Wade also hasn’t won since Week 10, so I don’t think the signs point to a win for The Machine.
The handicap line here is 3.5, and Wade hasn’t got near it in their two matches this season, so I don’t see why he’s going to start now.
Phil Taylor -3.5 legs to beat James Wade: 5/6 @ 888.com.
Recommend: 3 units.
Michael van Gerwen verus James Hubbard – Under-21 World Championship Final.
Michael van Gerwen has had a resurgence of sorts, and it’s highlighted by his place here in the Under-21 World Championship Final. He’s had a great 12 months or so, and he’s picking up wins left, right and centre on the PDC Youth Tour. James Hubbard has also impressed on the PDC Youth Tour, but he he’s not done it on the PDC Tour like his opponent tonight has, and this is where experience should come in. Michael van Gerwen should win here, but he’s no price, especially as it’s only best of 11 legs.
Recommend: No bet.
I’ll be back to update this for a selection for the final, but hopefully we’re going to see Phil Taylor taking on Andy Hamilton!