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World Grand Prix Day Five Premium Picks
A break even night for the Premium Picks last night, with the Steve Beaton match starting us off on a bad foot, when it could all have started so well. He was 8 points off on the highest checkout, having missed chances at some huge finishes, and he had a 2-1 lead over Andy Hamilton. But it wasn’t meant to be. Andy Hamilton put in a great fightback and knocked out The Adonis.
The night continues with Colin Osborne summing up why he’s falling down the rankings, his scoring against Paul Nicholson was just not of the calbire expected of a player at that level. But then the fireworks kicked off, and Michael van Gerwen did us a great turn, proving my faith with in him was well justified, and, as expected, he’s now tournament favourite. To finish the night, Wes Newton got the highest checkout just 3 legs into the match.
We went 2-3 last night, taking us to 13-12 and we have stay with a nice profit of +6.38 units after four days of competition.
Quarter-finals tonight, and it’s an intriguing line-up, and we’re going to get a new name on the trophy now. Justin Pipe starts against Brendan Dolan, and I’m sure Sky are considering putting this on PPV. At least they didn’t put it on last, they have Aerobics Oz Style to show at 6am. Then Wes Newton faces Paul Nicholson, Andy Hamilton takes on Michael van Gerwen and then Mervyn King takes on the resurgent Robert Thornton. It’s safe to say the bill has been staked at the end, not the beginning.
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Brendan Dolan vversus Justin Pipe.
This isn’t one for the fans of showboating, it’s definitely one for the purists out there. I have to admit, I’m a fan of Justin Pipe. Not as much Brendan Dolan. But both men deserve their places in the quarter-finals, with convincing wins over big names. Pipe’s win over Simon Whitlock was equal to that of Dolan’s win over Gary Anderson. Dolan then had a comfortable win over Vincent van der Voort, while Pipe had another close one, this time against Gary Anderson.
Looking at Dolan, he’s definitely playing with confidence. His average of almost 90 in his second round match is impressive, considering you can add 10 on because of the double start. His doubling was also impressive, and there is definitely something to be said about form at a specific venue.
Justin Pipe, with this performance, has broken into the PDC’s Top 10, and he’s only going to continue climbing if the big guns continue to play the way they’ve been playing. His grinding style had come in useful, especially against Kevin Painter. His average in that match, 81.85, wasn’t spectacular, but it was enough. His doubling was OK, and it’s what got him through eventually against Painter.
So where do we go? I think the prices are just about right for the winer, with Pipe a short enough favourite. So I think we can avoid that market. But I think this could go all the way, and the total number of sets line at 4.5 is where we’ll go. I think we’ll get a 3-2 win either way, and the price is nice.
Total number of sets in Brendan Dolan Vs Justin Pipe match over 4.5: 13/8 @ 888sport.
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Wes Newton Vs Paul Nicholson.
After what I think is going to be a long, close match, we could be in for another one, as both players seem evenly matched. Newton fought had to beat Ian White, after a poor start. Nicholson never looked in danger against Colin Osborne.
Wes Newton, the World No.5 again after this tournament, must think he can win his first PDC Major, and people have no reason to doubt him. Although, that being said, he hasn’t been firing on all cylinders, and at the start of both his matches this week, he hasn’t looked like a player in the Top 10, let alone the Top 5. He almost lost to Ronnie Baxter, and got a lucky reprieve from Ian White. But he’s here, and he was doubling superbly at the end of his legs, and took out the big finishes.
Nicholson has been like a man on a mission. He’s scoring well, finishing well, and it seems like he’s in a better place mentally. He’s said it himself, but we’ve all seen players play a great game or two in a tournament, then revert back to sort and put in an average of 80 in an unexpected defeat.
Newton has the advantage in the head-to-head, but Nicholson has won the last two matches, but at the end of last year. My feeling here is that Newton’s slugging starts to both his matches could cost him against Nicholson, as The Asset is playing better than he has on the stage for quite some time, and he’s not going to let him off, given the chance, like Baxter and White did. The price is nice enough for us, as I think this is a coin-flip.
Paul Nicholson to beat Wes Newton: 6/4 @ 888sport.
Recommend: 2 units.
Michael van Gerwen Vs Andy Hamilton.
Big one, with both men fancying their chances here. Hamilton is continuing his rich run of form on the stage, while MvG is just continuing his great form.
Hamilton fought hard to beat Steve Beaton, coming from 2-1 to win 3-2, winning the last leg 3-0. Hamilton also averaged an awesome 93.25, and hit 57% of his doubles when checking out. It was an impressive performance, no doubt, and he’ll really think he can win this.
MvG took the scalp we expected him to take last night, eliminating Adrian Lewis with an average of 85.60, but with no maximums. It was another solid performance from the young Dutchman, and it was the perfect sign that he’s ready, finally, for the big time in the PDC.
Nip and tuck match here, for me, and although MvG is the form player, Hamilton’s scoring in the last round was fanastic, and he’ll put the pressure on MvG. Hamilton also leads the head-to-head, but it was a different MvG to now. I just think van Gerwen’s form is too good at the moment, and he’s playing with a confidence that he last showed in the BDO.
Michael van Gerwen to beat Andy Hamilton: 8/11 @ 888sport.
Recommend: 2.5 units.
Robert Thornton versus Mervyn King.
A big night for Ian White, as he’s looking to bring his floor form to the second round of the World Grand Prix. He was soldi, if unspectacular, against Raymond van Barneveld, averaging 87.33, but it was his doubling that was outstanding. He hit 41% of his starting doubles, and 60% of his closing doubles. The rest of his game was generally average, but the start and finishi of the leg is where it counts.
Two BDO alumni face off in what is definitely an unexpected quarter-final. If you had predicted a Taylor/Chisnall match-up in this round, I wouldn’t have blamed you at all. But Thornton and King definitely deserve their places here, as they put in two amazing performances in the second round.
Thornton’s average of 96.67 would be enough to win most matches on the CityWest stage, and it was thanks to his 8 maximums and his consistent doubling. He hit 60% of starting doubles, 40% of finishing doubles, and just made Taylor pay for his misses. He’s carried his floor tournament form over to the big stage where it counts more, and he’s got the confidence.
Mervyn King’s win might not have been as shocking as Thornton’s, but it was still surprising given King’s poor form of late. But he scored heavily, missed few doubles and punished the slack starting from Chisnall. His average of 93.89 speaks volumes about his performance.
My thoughts are that King’s wins aren’t representatives of his recent form, while Thornton’s is. Thornton is the UK Open champion, he won one and came runner-up in the two floor tournament last weekend. And in that time, King’s not really done much at all. Thornton’s form the past few days isn’t a blip. In fact, he beat King in both ProTour events last weekend, 6-3 and 6-4, so Thornton really won’t be running scared of King. It wouldn’t surprise me if Thornton ended up running away with this.
Robert Thornton to beat Mervyn King: 8/11 @ 888sport.
Recommend: 3 units.
A huge night of darts, with the unexpected names, as I mentioned before. We’re going to get some close matches, and we should get a surprise performance or two. As long as we’re on the right side of them, I’ll be happy. Enjoy it!