By Dave South
23 DECEMBER 2016 • 10:19AM
Round two opens up with the first six of sixteen games which will determine competitors in the third round.
Interestingly players competing on Friday will have extra time off before their third round clash if they win of course.
The afternoon session sees Ian White take on Jonny Clayton; Michael Smith battling against Mervyn King and Benito van de Pas taking on Terry Jenkins.
All three favourites to win are a smidgen under 3/1 with bookie Blacktype and under 5/2 with Bet365.
Ian White and Jonny Clayton see the afternoon session in with White at 8/15 and Clayton 15/8 in places.
Okay, White did not get tested too much versus Kevin Simm in his opener which led to a mid 80 average performance. Clayton battled nicely over Gerwyn Price to progress.
With the format a first to four, this will be a format Clayton is less used to, with the veteran White having the seeming advantage.
The standout bet here has to be White to win the game by two or more sets at 13/14 with Marathonbet and a general 5/6 with other bookmakers.
White is 4/9 for the most maximums, which I like also. He was not tested too much against Simm, but can switch on the maximums when he needs to, although less so recently.
The danger is that on his day Clayton can deliver on the red bit, so with compilers and sponsors William Hill betting 2/1 White winning the match, most 180s and highest checkout to be king of the oche is worth a look!
Clayton on TV has not hit above a 120 checkout in the last twelve months, and White nailed a 130 in round one! White is a general 8/11 for the highest checkout which also appeals!
Michael Smith and Mervyn King second up could be an absolute classic if both turn up and a game both desperately have reasons for needing the win!
Smith goes off at 8/15 with King a shade under 2/1. Smith leads the more recent head to head winning three of the last four, however King leads overall 6-3 in the standings.
Both rattled in their openers can hopefully open up and understand why Bully Boy is fancied for a third round potential tie with James Wade or Steve Beaton.
The pair have not played in nearly two years, but since then have seen a decline in King’s game play, although without sticking up for Smith, the Premier League syndrome has happened to him, like it did to Wes Newton and Kim Huybrechts in recent years in struggling to buy a win proceeding this!
Smith over 117.5 checkout appeals with Skybet and expected the line to fall at 120.50, so hopefully the omen is on us!
Benito and Terry will be an epic in the finale game of the afternoon session with the European thrower marginal favourite over the veteran Jenkins!
With five meetings previous runs in a win-lose pattern with van de Pas winning back at the World Grand Prix by three sets to one in a game that saw the double format not go Jenkins way!
This is really a game where I find this difficult to call with the youth versus the veteran. I do think heading down to the checkout markets could be the way to go, with Jenkins registering a 156 in his last meeting with Benito.
The line is set at 110.5 with Betbright at 3/4 and 11/13 at 111.5 and Jenkins has landed a high checkout in three of his last five wins!
This afternoon’s recommendations
Ian White -1.5 sets – 13/14 Marathonbet
Michael Smith over 117.5 checkout – 10/11 Skybet
Terry Jenkins over 1105 checkout – 3/4 Betbright
Prices correct at time of publication