World Matchplay betting column, day one: Four favourites to progress, but how will they do it?

Favourite backers out there will be glad to know they will be able to secure industry-wide odds against for the four-timer, with Paddy Power laying 5/4 on Smith/Wade/Anderson and Wright all to win their matches.

If you were to back the four outsiders, in the unlikely event they all win, you will be able to pocket a cool 846/1 on this with Marathonbet if you choose this route.

Taking the middle approach and taking on all the favourites and underdogs on the handicaps respectively pays:

FAVS – Smith -2.5; Wade -2.5; Anderson -4.5 and Wright -4.5 pays 10/1 with Marathonbet

Underdogs – West +3,5; Webster +2.5; Kist +5.5 and Wilson +4.5 pays nearly 10/1 at Betfred

Michael Smith vs. Steve West

Down to business and Bully Boy opens up the Winter Gardens against the very experienced Steve West tonight.

Last autumn West rallied in a mini surge on the circuit, which got people talking about him, and he has continued some good form to the extent of making the cut via the leading 16 players in the Pro Tour Order of Merit, outside the players that qualified by right.

Smith is 3/10 vs West out at 100/30, and I am sure this will see some shrewd money on West, knowing Smith’s tendencies, although he has been one of the more form players most recently, especially on the European Tour.

This has earned him a call up to the World Series next month Down Under in Australia and New Zealand. The pair have met four times previously, both trading at two-apiece.

Compilers have Smith between a -2.5 and -3.5 handicap with Boylesports offering 8/11 on -2.5 and odds against -3.5. Remember either player will need to win by two legs!

Smith is the 4/5 favourite to land the highest checkout, with West 15/8 and 6/1 for the tie.

Layers offer just 4/7 the game sees 16 or more legs and 4/5 for fewer than 17 legs. With Smith in a better place and more stage exposure than West, the format for West will not be as familiar and I’ll give Bully Boy the edge. -2.5 legs for Smith is for me.

James Wade vs. Darren Webster

James Wade battles recent Pro Tour title-holder Darren Webster in what could be a closer game than the layers are anticipating.

Some firms are as big as 2/5 for Wade (71.4 per cent implied probability) to win the contest.

This is one of Wade’s fondest arena’s having lifted the title and being his most successful major from the list.

Webster on the other hand has nothing to lose, with Wade jet-setting on the World Series which must have had some influence for his preparation.

Webster’s record is not great against Wade. Darren has racked up three wins in 11 attempts with one victory in 10 years, although meetings have been sparse in this time.

On a potential betting market, at the time of initial writing I will be interested in what checkout line is priced for Wade generally, and will be interested whether they price it over 116 concentrated as a 5/6 pick-em price?

Luckily, just before this went to press bookmaker Marathonbet priced the Wade checkout line at 113.5 at 1.89.

Wade has maintained his position at the top via his checkout ability as the power scoring is not always there for The Machine, which is a fair comment to make.

So many Wade bets we have played in the past on the checkout have delivered more often that not and we will take this on one more time.

Gary Anderson vs. Christian Kist

Gary Anderson takes on Christian Kist where the Dutchman has been suffering with some darting issues, which has seen a dip in performances.

In fact Kist has struggled to the point that he has failed to get beyond a last 16 in any event in 2017 according to my sources.

The pair have met five times, with Anderson seeking the advantage in three of them.

Anderson is a hot favourite to win this, and where there is no value on the outright, the next bet is to see how the bookmakers have weighed in the handicap.

From analysing the markets, Anderson is favoured to win this 10-5 or better at 4/5 with bet365. The 4/5 market is also available on Sky Bet taking the game fewer than 16 legs and this will suffice for us.

Peter Wright vs. James Wilson

The final game of the night sees Snakebite take on the Jammie Dodger and according to the head-to-head the pair have not met in competition before.

Wright with his UK Open title has demonstrated some steady performances winning European titles, as well as appearing in the Premier League finals back in May.

Wright is heavily favoured to win this and is given a 4.5 leg handicap so winning this 10-5 or better, which is 6/5 with Betfair.

Marathonbet has priced up the maximum line at 4.5 and the line at 5/6 and is a bet I am willing to take on and possibly trade in play if Wright fires out the blocks quickly with a maximum.

Recommendations (Lockup Dave’s personal stake plan – £10 a point)
Michael Smith -2.5 legs vs West – 1.72 Boylesports – 2pts
James Wade Over 113.5 checkout – 1.89 Marathonbet – 1pt
Anderson/Kist Under 15.5 legs – 4/5 Sky Bet – 1.5pts
Peter Wright Over 4.5 180s – 5/6 Marathonbet – 1pt

Please bet responsibly


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