By Dave South
27 DECEMBER 2016 • 8:32AM
The Christmas break is over and the darts resumes at the Alexandra Palace where six more second round matches will be decided over two sessions.
As per previous columns, for the short price ACCA backers all six favourites to win on Tuesday (Suljovic, Gurney, Barney, Taylor, MVG and Chisnall) pays 5/1 with William Hill for some not seeing any of the above losing.
For those that split out the afternoon and evening session will get 4.40 in places with the evening session getting JUST 4/11 for Barney, Taylor and MVG to reign supreme with tournament sponsors William Hill.
Mensur Suljovic will toe the oche with Mark Webster in Tuesday’s opener, with the Austrian 8/15 and Spider 7/4 with some firms.
Arguably Suljovic has endured an excellent 18 months or so on his push inside the top 10. The last two meetings Webster has prevailed including this year’s UK Open.
The pair have met in the World Championships three years ago, where Webby nudged out Suljovic on that occasion.
Compilers have the opinion this game could go some distance offering 4/6 on there being over 5.5 sets and it will be a necessity for Webby to show the sparks of his previous World Championship performances to assist in this happening.
Suljovic to have the higher average of the two players appeals at 4/7 with Totesport and Betfred.
I do like the look of Suljovic to hit four or more maximums, although not a big hitter I would not feel comfortable on backing fewer than four.
Robert Thornton and Daryl Gurney will toe the oche in a view that Gurney is the 4/6 favourite for this over Thornton.
Despite the world rankings, Gurney is still favourite and compilers see the view that as Thornton continues in decline, Gurney continues to rise.
As a punter who has enjoyed some success with Thornton betting markets in the past this will not be easy for either player in this instance and the best bet for this, is seeing both winning at least two sets, which is around the 8/13 mark with most firms.
Reasoning for this was the number of missed doubles Gurney demonstrates, which is his Achilles heel and Thornton has the power scoring to keep this close.
To round off the afternoon is Dave Chisnall and Chris Dobey, which I find an intriguing match.
The Racing Sport pundit Steve Davies was spot on in Chisnall’s last game, which saw Rodriguez keep the match close.
Dobey is an up and coming talent which has seen the youngster flourish in the autumn season.
Chisnall is by far the obvious most likely winner in this, and I see Dobey could force this game to go on longer than expected, with the over 5.5 set market priced at evens with Bet365, which in our view has mileage!
Looking briefly at the evening session, for ticket holders a delight to see Barney, MVG and Taylor all on the same card Tuesday night! Just 4/11 with sponsors William Hill to all progress, have the compilers got this right?
The longest price of the four Barney is just 1/4 to see off Norris, which is a little disrespectful for the underdog, but you can appreciate why. Compilers have markets in this game well covered on most lines, which do not really appeal to us taking on.
A battle of the titans with Taylor and Painter in the penultimate match will see Taylor continue his quest against a real out of sorts Painter, who made life tough for himself in an entertaining first round win over Jamie Caven
The only market as such player to hit first 180 does appeal leaning on Taylor at 8/11 as Phil generally strikes early in this area and the Artist did not appear to be the player he used to be.
MVG will need to see off Cristo Reyes in the final game of the evening, and odds compilers see this as an ultimate formality for the Green Machine to progress. Again, this game might not go to plan as compilers see this, so will be best left alone.
Mensur Suljovic highest average vs Webster – 4/7 Betfred/Totesport
Suljovic v Webster over 5.5 sets – 8/13 general (13/20 Betstars)
Chisnall v Dobey over 5.5 sets – 1/1 Bet365
First 180 – Taylor vs Painter – 4/5 Betstars and 8/11 general
Prices correct at time of publication