By Dave South
28 DECEMBER 2016 • 6:22PM
We conclude the second round action with the last game involving Peter Wright and Jamie Lewis. Wright is 1/9 ON with Lewis out at 15/2.
Wright is heavily fancied to progress with some layers taking Wright at just 5/4 to win 4-0 with the best priced firms out as BIG as 2/1 with event sponsors.
Lewis had quite the battle seeing off Mick McGowan in his opener with Wright beating Hendriks 3-0 in a solid 101 average performance.
This game will be all on Wright’s shoulders, but Lewis should be taking this less lightly to ease the pressure off.
This game should be a formality and I think the battle Lewis had in round one could have been a battle too far and that 2/1 on a 4-0 win is a tentative small bet on the night.
The third round commences with defending champion Gary Anderson facing Benito van de Pas to determine a place in the last eight.
Anderson will have his fiercest battle against Big Ben, and could be a massive scare for the defending champion in this game.
The compilers view that Anderson will get through this, but can Benito win two sets in the game? At 11/10 with some major names, will tempt some people, but van de Pas will need to tighten up on his finishing to show some fight against the Flying Scotsman.
We took Anderson on the under markets in the last round on the maximums, and a late flourish from Gary saw him land the right side of the line for us on that occasion, but he is certainly not firing as many in. This game is difficult to call and we are looking to sit this one out.
Last up is Raymond van Barneveld versus Adrian Lewis, where the Dutchman looked excellent versus Alan Norris and thrashed him 4-0, as Lewis delivered a similar scoreline to Joe Cullen in the second round.
The pair have played 65 times with Barney winning five of the last six meetings all since the last week of April in the Premier League.
Barney and Lewis both played quite the second round game to see off their oppenents. Barney chucked seven maximums in 13 legs to win the game and rattled off the first nine legs without reply.
Lewis threw five maximums in his 16 leg win over Cullen. Both racked up high checkouts which is sure to be present in their encounter.
Lewis is a shade of value at 11/10 to hit the higher checkout out of the pair, with Barney the 50/50 evens player to win the game.
Looking at the pair, I see Barney more focused than Lewis, but only narrowly. Both have the know how of how to win the title, with Lewis more recent between the two.
I have to go with Barney narrowly on this personally, as something suggests he will have the inner strength to see this through. His form in the autumn suggests this versus a Lewis, who we could have seen better from.
Raymond van Barneveld to win – 1/1 general
Prices correct at time of publication