World Matchplay 2012 Day Two Premium Picks

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World Matchplay 2012 Day Two Premium Picks

Almost the perfect start to the World Matchplay last night, with Paul Nicholson getting us off to a good start, scoring 3 maximums to Andy Smith’s 2. We also had Barney do the business on the handicap, demolishing Michael smith 10-4, to comfortably beat the -4.5 line. but in between that, there was heartbreak, as our only outright pick for the night, Kim Huybrechts, couldn’t get over the line against Terry Jenkins. It wasn’t even that it was nip and tuck, it was the fact the Belgian was 9-5 up that caused the heartbreak!

Still, it left us 2-1 for the tournament, with a profit of +2.1 units with plenty more action to come over the next week.

Betfair are the new sponsors of the PDC World Matchplay, and they’re doing more for darts than ever before – a lot of their markets have more liquidity than ever and no is a great time to sign up there if you haven’t done so already. Plus, what’s better than trading darts matches in-play? Sign up now, get a free £20 bet and up to £1,000 cashback:

Mark Walsh versus Colin Osborne:

Not exactly the exciting start to the night those in attendance will have been hoping for. I’m not wanting to take anything away from either player, but they’re the definition of grinders, so this might not be a pretty match.

Mark Walsh had an exceptional year last year, reaching the semis of the Grand Slam of Darts, and the quarter-finals of the Players Championship Finals. The problem for Special Brew is his that while he’s consistent, he’s consistent for a player of his level, never really doing more, but occasionally doing less, especially in the floor tournaments. The fact he’s not got further than a quarter-final this year sums up the consistency, or lack of a killer punch. Then there’s the “run” at the UK Open, where he lost in his first match (in the round of 96) 4-3 to Jason Crawley – Crawley went on to lose 9-5 to Dean Winstanley in the next round. It just seems like 2012 hasn’t been Walsh’s year so far, and this isn’t a tournament Walsh traditionally excels in, so therein lies the problem.

Now, take everything I wrote about Mark Walsh and apply it to Colin Osborne. Osborne has had a distinctly average 2012, with no real stand-out performances. In fact, he’s only made one ranking quarter-final in 2012, and that was in the recent European Tour event in Dusseldorf.

So, my write-up makes it sound even, and that’s how the bookies have priced it up; toss a coin and pick your winner. The head-to-head is 9-7 in favour of Osborne, not enough to really say, “Yeah, he’s going to cruise it!” So where do we go for a bet? Well, I get the feeling this match is going to be close, so we’re going to get a lot of attempts at big checkouts, and over 17+ legs, the line of 123.5 should be broken, as both men will need those big outs to win such a close match.

Highest checkout in Mark Walsh versus Colin Osborne match over 123.5: 5/6 @ Stan James.

Recommend: 2 units.

Kevin Painter versus Steve Beaton:

A match between two PDC stalwarts, and it’s quite an interesting match. Painter’s career has been on the up-and-up for the last 10 months or so, while Beaton’s seems to have stalled after his big win over Phil Taylor a couple of years ago at the Grand Slam of Darts, when he was expected to show some resurgence. However, don’t be fooled by the trajectories of each man’s career, as this could be a close one.

Yes, Kevin Painter has been playing in the Premier League, but outside of that, just one semi-final on the floor, interspersed with a lot of last 32s, last 16s and last 64s. So Painter isn’t exactly playing AMAZING darts, but he’s playing consistent darts. Add in his 9-8 defeat to Arron Monk in his first match at the UK Open and it’s hard to see how this man can be an 8/13 shot to beat a former World Champion.

Well, when that former World Champion is Steve Beaton, it makes a bit more sense. As I mentioned earlier, Beaton’s career has stalled over the same time that Painter’s has taken off again. In fact, his Preliminary Round defeat to John Jukes summed that up. However, Jukes was highly fancied in some areas to cause an upset, so maybe we’re reading too much into that result. The fact that Beaton’s floor tournament results this year read about the same as Painter’s makes the puzzle pieces fall into place a bit more. Then there’s the head-to-head advantage Beaton has over Painter – 12-6 in favour of The Adonis – and where we’re going here starts to look a lot clearer. In fact, Beaton won their last meeting in Crawley at the start of this month 6-1.

Yes, Painter’s had the Premier League experience this year, but his form outside of that isn’t enough to make him an 8/13 shot against someone who holds all the cards against him. Beaton is too big a price here, especially as he has form, albeit old form, at this venue, reaching the semi-finals in 2001. He’s too big, Painter’s to short, so we’re going for The Adonis as our winner here.

Steve Beaton to beat Kevin Painter: 6/4 @ Betfair.

Recommend: 2 units.

James Wade versus Richie Burnett:

I think this is the night of former BDO World Champions, isn’t it? We’ve got Steve Beaton and now Richie Burnett, it’s like a flashback to my younger days watching the action from Frimley Green on the BBC. Anyway, this is going to be a belter. You think I’m mad? Well, Burnett’s performance in the recent European Tour event surely shows what kind of form the Welsh veteran is capable of. He averaged over 121 in his first round match against Andy Jenkins in Dusseldorf.

Burnett went on to reach the semi-finals, where he narrowly lost out to eventual winner Raymond van Barneveld, so he’s certainly one of the form players in the PDC at the moment. He’s also made the semi-final of a UK Open qualifier, and hit a 9-darter this year, so he’s definitely playing better than the bookies would have you believe.

I don’t know what I can write about James Wade that I haven’t written before. He plays great darts at times, he plays shocking darts at times. The UK Open was his last match on TV and he didn’t put up much of a fight against Colin Lloyd. Prior to that, however, he was putting in good performances on the floor and in the European Tour events, reaching the final in Vienna, where he lost out to Justin Pipe.

This is tricky for me. Burnett at around is a fair price for someone who looks to be playing quality darts at the moments. But his head-to-head against Wade doesn’t scream out that he’s going to win, with it reading 4-0 in favour of the man from Altrincham, with a 9-7 win in the last 16 of last year’s UK Open the last time these two met. Burnett never recovered from missed doubles at the business end of the match, and Wade got over the line in what was an amazing match.

The handicap looks like no real value, but the one thing that stood out from their UK Open match was the number of maximums. The two men hit 11 in their 16 legs, and the line is 7.5 for this encounter, which is easily within each man’s reach, especially with Burnett in the form he’s in, and the fact I can see this match going at least 16 legs, like their match in Bolton did.

Over 7.5 180s in James Wade versus Richie Burnett match: Evens @ 888sport.

Recommend: 2 units.

Simon Whitlock versus Michael van Gerwen:

This has the potential to be the match of the round. Both men are in fine form and the last time they met on TV, it was an absolute cracker, in last year’s World Championship. Whitlock is going deep in most tournaments he’s playing, and Michael van Gerwen is playing some of the best darts of his life, winning two floor tournaments this year, and hitting a 9-darter back in February.

Two 9-darters this year for Whitlock, two floor tournament finals, fuor semi-finals since the World Championship, and five quarter-finals (including three in the last three ranking events, show that Whitlock is playing the darts we expect of him, especially his run to the final of the Premier League where he lost 10-7 to Phil Taylor. He wasn’t too hot against Dave Chisnall in the last 16 of the UK Open, but then Chisnall is perhaps the form player in the PDC at the moment.

Michael van Gerwen has come into form and is now a legit threat to the top 16 in the PDC. His cover shooting is what’s been winning him the big matches, and the fact he’s taken out two floor tournaments this year sums up the big change in his game. Like Whitlock, van Gerwen made the last 16 of the UK Open, where he was unfortunate to lose to Terry Jenkins, and it was a sign of the form the youngster is in.

This is going to be a close one, and 9/4 van Gerwen is quite tasty. The 180s line of 7.5 also looks tempting, considering I can see a lot of legs, and a lot of high scoring from both men.

Michael van Gerwen to beat Simon Whitlock: 9/4 @ Betfair.

Recommend: 1.5 units.

Over 7.5 180s in Simon Whitlock versus Michael van Gerwen match: 4/5 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 1.5 units.

A big night of action, a couple of lively outsiders for us and more to come during the week. Last night’s action at the World Matchplay was fantastic, but I think tonight’s is going to be even better.

Enjoy the darts, and happy betting!