Lockup Dave’s betting tips for the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix

We are at the point in the World Grand Prix, where we will discover our semi-final line up for Friday and it could be an absolute cracker.

Tonight’s action will be available to all Sky TV customers on their free sports channel Sky Sports Mix and in addition to this the same channel will screen the final on Saturday also.

Order of play

Robert Thornton vs Daryl Gurney – Players tied on 3-3 (Gurney has won all of the last three inclusive of his last 32 win at the last World Championship)

John Henderson vs Raymond van Barneveld – No previous meetings

Benito van de Pas vs Simon Whitlock – van de Pas leads 3-2 (van de Pas won last three)

Mensur Suljovic vs Peter Wright – Wright leads 6-3

Robert Thornton vs Daryl Gurney

Thornton – 23/10 Boylesports; Gurney – 4/9 Betfair

Despite some jerky darts in his win versus Dave Chisnall, Robert Thornton is capitalising on his free meal ticket in the competition seeing Phil Taylor made way for his inclusion.

Thornton’s game against Chisnall could have gone either way at times. Daryl Gurney played a great spirited game against Joe Cullen in what was a well-paced game which saw Superchin win 3-1 in a deserving battle.

Gurney was superb on his finishing doubles against Cullen ending up with a 75% conversion, which is beyond expectations of any player for this level of accuracy.

Thornton headed a respectable 34.29% on the checkouts and relied on his third dart as his most effective.

The game will be another best of five encounter with the young Irish star odds on to win the game either 3-0 or 3-1. Thornton is evens to win the game by any method and covers a 3-2 loss if this is the bet you are looking for.

There was grave expectations in the Gurney game to see maximums and even discussed this game on my off air darts elite forum chat.

When approached on the subject, we saw just four in the process with the line twice this. Thornton’s game saw the Scot pocket nine, also upsetting many Chisnall 180 backers. With the line set at 8.5 the assumption would be that we need to see more than a straight sets win to consider this and with a fair contribution from both. The pair both play reactively, which is a factor to support the over line on this case.

Thornton can show his disappointment visually when darts go astray and guaranteed the crowd will be PRO Gurney on this game.

John Henderson Vs Raymond van Barneveld

Henderson – 7/2 Sportingbet; Barney – 2/7 Bet365

There is no data to suggest the pair have ever met having both been in the game for several years. Henderson is newer to the PDC code, but has been around for a while and is a credible top 32 player.

Henderson’s fairy tale adventure continues with credibility as expectations of beating van Gerwen in the round took the pressure off him and that was the case for Alan Norris in that he was expected to win the game. The Highlander punished Norris on several occasions

The game between van Barneveld and Beaton was not quite the classic we might have expected as Beaton said himself he had a bad day at the office.

Beaton suffered a host of key misses which handed Barney a 3-0. Barney pre-game was 4/5 to win his quarter, and on the basis of his match odds would have gone in no better than 2/5 to beat Alan Norris had he won his game. Barney is 2/7, so punters could cash in marginally here on a trade-off.

There was little activity on the maximums in the Barney game seeing just the one and the Scotsman is BIG at 21/10 with Coral to hit the most 180s in the game which may appeal to some.

Benito van de Pas vs Simon Whitlock

Whitlock – 19/20 Betfair; van de Pas 23/20 Boylesports

Benito and Simon Whitlock meet in what should be a tightly contested game where van de Pas made light work of Gerwyn Price in his second round disposing of the Welshman 3-0.

Whitlock similarly easily beat North in a one sided encounter, with Richard North putting up some resistance, but was not enough to trouble the Aussie.

Both players had impressive checkout percentages with Benito hitting a 64.29% conversion compared to Simon’s 52.94%. Overall Pas has converted 53.33 with Whitlock’s 48.57%.

Punters will be keen to consider the Aussie to hit the most maximums in the tie, knowing the angle of throw Big Ben often throws. Whitlock has eight compared to van de Pas’ three making this market a potential target.

Over the format of best of will emulate the format in the previous round. Whitlock is 4/7 for most 180s which appeals. The -1.5 Handicap also will raise some eyebrows on the basis van de Pas often switches to 19s and at 10/11 is a fair price.

Mensur Suljovic vs Peter Wright

Wright – 7/12 Marathonbet; Suljovic – 15/8 Betfair

The Austrian made light work of Steve West in their encounter taking a straight sets victory. Suljovic took out some excellent scoring including a 140 finish on double top twice. The look on West’s face said it all when this landed and he new it was not his day, but put up a valiant fight despite the scoreline.

Playing Suljovic is no easy task in respect of playing his pace. Suljovic’s opponent Peter Wright will endure a task of dealing with Mensur Mania and the apparent niggle Wright seem to have against King towards his elbow is nothing serious.

This game could go some distance so Paddy Power are 8/11 for over 15.5 legs which I expect to see at least four sets in the game. This is a fair price on the basis the game will last anywhere between 9-25 legs!

Recommendations

Whitlock -1.5 180 Handicap 10/11Coral and Ladbrokes 1.5 Pts

Over 15.5 legs (Wright/Suljovic) 8/11Paddy Power 1pt

1st leg 180 NO – Whitlock and Barney games – 2.07 Betway 2pt double

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Lockup Dave’s betting tips for day four of the World Grand Prix

The quarter-finals will be finalised as the bottom half of the draw takes shape and Peter Wright remains the hot favourite to win the title!

Order of play

Gerwyn Price vs Benito van de Pas (Players tied 3-3)

Mensur Suljovic vs Steve West (Mensur leads 2-1)

Richard North vs Simon Whitlock (Richard leads 2-0)

Peter Wright vs Mervyn King (Peter leads 11-5)

Gerwyn Price vs Benito van de Pas

Two of the younger stars will get a chance to make the quarter final, and with Price having made the UK Open final back in March should have enough to see off Big Ben in this last 16 clash!

Layers edge Price by the narrowest of margins. Coming into the game Price certainly made some impact over the summer reaching a semi final at the World Series event, as well as the World Cup final back in June.

Benito in comparison bar a European Tour semi final last month had experienced flat form having exited early on in events dating back to early May.

The bet I really like here is a little unorthodox but William Hill are offering a special #yourodds bet on NO 180 in the first two legs on the basis that double in on a particular leg in my view does lean more so to the no outcome rather than a regular leg of 501.

On their last game, Benito did not register a maximum until after leg two, and despite Gerwyn hitting one in his opening we did not see another in the set from the Welshman.

At 21/20 this has a fair chance of landing, especially if both players struggle to get going.

Mensur Suljovic vs Steve West

Suljovic survived an early set deficit to overcome Ian White in his opener. Mensur was fairly effective throughout his match and has Steve West, an ideal opponent for his pace in the second round. Steve West was well backed to beat Wade and did not disappoint.

The pair have met only three times, with Suljovic on the slight edge. Odds compilers are giving nothing away with their general 1/3 odds on the Austrian with West out at 14/5 with Bwin.

There is no bet for this game and will enjoy this as this could be closer than the odds suggest!

Richard North vs Simon Whitlock

Richard North is going places in Darts and overcame a patchy Mark Webster in their opener. Whitlock survived match darts against Christian Kist resiliently to take 108 out with double 16.

North comes into this game as the likely underdog at 5/2 with Whitlock a solid 2/5.

The Aussie has the experience on the TV stage, which will give him the edge. In addition, Whitlock’s checkout ability has assisted in his elevation to the top four just a short while ago.

North has enjoyed a sound year including a recent pro-tour final back in August, but expect Whitlock to reign supremacy, without conceding more than one set.

Peter Wright vs Mervyn King

The two good friends square off in what could be an epic game. Both players know each others game inside out, although Wright in the last four years has had the better of King 8-2 on the head to head including winning the last six. Wright is chalked up short at just 2/7 with Bet365 with King at 7/2 with Boylesports.

King made relative work of his game versus Ronny Huybrechts 2-0 with Peter Wright getting through by the skin of his teeth with Bunting missing two match darts on double 16.

Wright should win the maximum count on the night, having pocketed four in his win over Bunting. King took just one, and is not the maximum hitter we have known him to be. At 8/11 with Sunbets is a fairly strong bet to take with Betfred chalking the maximum handicap at -1.5 at just 6/5.

The expectation for Wright to come out on top to make the last eight by many. King has plenty in the tank to bag a set or two. From 2/7 for Wright to win by any method, you can get Wright to win but concede a set or more at 11/10, which is a shade of value on their correct score combined percentage which should be around evens winning 3-1 or 3-2.

Recommendations

NO 180 in legs 1 and 2 (Price/Pas) 21/20 William Hill (#yourodds) 1.5 pts)
Wright/King – Wright to win but both to win a set – 11/10 Betfred 1.5pts
Whitlock -1.5 sets to beat North – 11/10 Unibet and 888sport 2pts
Wright – most 180’s Vs King – 8/11 Sunbets 1pt

Lockup Dave’s betting tips for day three of the World Grand Prix

There was a major upset on night one of the World Grand Prix opening the top half of the draw right up with Michael van Gerwen’s elimination thanks to John Henderson.

The opening round of 16 begins with four matches as the third major of the year unfolds.

Order of play

Dave Chisnall vs Robert Thornton – Chisnall leads 14-10
Daryl Gurney vs Joe Cullen – Cullen leads 5-1
John Henderson vs Alan Norris – Norris leads 4-3
Raymond van Barneveld vs Steve Beaton – van Barneveld leads 9-2

Short price backers will be able to back the four fold of Chisnall/Gurney/Norris and Barney at a shade under 3/1 with Hills.

The underdogs will reap a tasty 88/1 with BetVictor seeing the longshot prices all storm home.

Looking at the line up you cannot be overly confident all four favourites will win, although support the reasoning perhaps over one or two of the above.

With the format best of five, the competitors will have a little more time to settle in.

Chisnall squares off against Thornton, where Chisnall is short at just 4/11 to make the quarter final. Thornton is BIG at 14/5 but to win this must be strong at starting off.

Chisnall is a firm favourite on tops and considered double 18 as his reserve option in polishing off Jelle Klaasen in just eight legs.

Thornton had an edgy but confidence boosting win over Kim Huybrechts and the look on his face when he won could determine how relived he really was.

There were classic Thornton signs during the game which the Thorn will need to shake off quickly.

Chisnall hit six maximums in eight legs against Klaasen and is a solid 4/9 with firms to outhit the Scotsman.

Betfred punt just 8/13 Chisnall wins by two or more maximums, which is too short for us, but the 4/9 is good double material with another maximum bet, which enhances to 8/5 with a 6/4 minimum price acceptable, which you will find at the end of this feature.

Gurney and Cullen is a great pairing, where the Irishman will be heavily cheered by the Irish fans, with Cullen potentially having to be the crowd heel especially on the doubles, which could be Gurney’s 12th man in football terminology.

Gurney is no bigger than 4/7 for a place in the last eight, with the former postman at 13/8 lengthening from his initial 6/4 quoted price.

Cullen endured a very close encounter with fellow in-form Darren Webster, which saw a great three set game where the final two sets went the distance.

In a nutshell, there will be punters looking at a Gurney 3-1 win, which is best 3/1, with a clean sweep chalked at 4/1 with Bwin, representing a 20% chance.

One bet that does appeal is for there to be no maximum in the first leg. For even money on a maximum, I would want Chisnall or MVG to be one of the two men in the game and this percentage is not on par with both players featuring.

They did not achieve this in their opening game, and again with double start there is one fewer opportunity to hit a maximum in any given leg.

The third game has John Henderson facing off versus Alan Norris. Norris probably expected to be facing Mighty Mike in the last 16, but both players will have an opportunity to make some further headway in this competition.

Henderson averaged a mid to high 70 average in his victory and relied on MVG’s double in misses, which went punished.

Norris will be well fancied for this and is a short 4/9 shot to beat the Highlander at 21/10.

Norris did appear to be pretty rusty in his opener, and a repeat performance will see Henderson take advantage of this.

Henderson in any game in 2017 has not hit more than three maximums over any distance. Norris has exceeded this in six games in the same period, but has played a small handful more games than Hendo.

Both did not hit a single maximum in their opener, but Norris once in the groove can reach consistency. My worry with the Highlander is his rocking movement on the throw, which works for him, but does suffer in the maximum scoring department.

I am willing to take on Norris over an extended format to get settled in and beat the Scotsman by one or more maximums. It is 4/5 with Sunbets but doubled up with Chisnall pays 8/5 with Blacktype, with Winner, Sunbets and Marathonbet all offering better than 6/4, the minimum price acceptable for this double.

In the final match we see two veterans face off, where Barney at the time of writing became the second favourite for the competition. Barney plays Beaton, where the pair bar one meeting have not faced off in the best part of five years.

Both players outclassed their opposition to reach this stage and Barney is installed as the 3/10 favourite with Beaton at 5/2.

I had taken the price at 4/5 for the game to see fewer than seven maximums, but has subsequently shortened to 8/11, which is below my minimum price acceptable.

Elsewhere in the match, I considered a high checkout for Barney but is set high at 117 which is 5/6, but wanted nearer even money to take on. I will sit back and watch this to see the best man win!

Recommendations

Most 180 double – Chisnall/Norris – 8/5 Blacktype (6/4+ acceptable at Marathonbet/Winner and Sunbets) 1pt

First leg 180 NO – Cullen/Gurney 8/11 Paddy Power 1.5 pts

Second seed Gary Anderson withdraws from World Grand Prix and is replaced by Mark Webster

Gary Anderson has withdrawn from the Unibet World Grand Prix to stay at home ahead of the impending birth of his second child with partner Rachel.

The world number two, who lost 5-2 to Michael van Gerwen in last year’s final in Dublin, was due to face debutant Richard North in the first round on Monday evening.

However, it was confirmed shortly before the start of play on Sunday that the second seed had withdrawn, electing to instead remain at his Somerset home.

Under PDC Rule 3.7, the Scot has been replaced by the next non-qualified player from the PDC Order of Merit, from which Anderson had qualified, meaning Webster takes his place in the draw bracket.

The world number 24 reached the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix on his most recent appearance in the double-start event two years ago, and also made a run to the quarter-finals on his debut back in 2011.

VIDEO: Unibet unveil hidden camera prank with top stars to launch three-year sponsorship of the Premier League

Online gambling operator Unibet has agreed a three-year deal with the PDC to become the new title sponsor of the Premier League from 2018.

Taking over from previous sponsors Betway, who held the sponsorship for four years from 2014 to 2017, Unibet, one of the largest gambling brands across Europe and Australia, will be the title sponsor from next year.

To mark the start of the partnership that runs through to 2020, the bookmaker worked in secret with PDC chairman Barry Hearn to surprise some of the biggest names in the sport in a hidden camera style video.

Taking a wry look at the lengths some brands go to get their name up in lights, the video features an actor posing as a Unibet marketing executive alongside Hearn.

The duo then set out to convince reigning Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen and world number three Peter Wright to take on various outlandish and ridiculous brand initiatives, from Unibet logo head tattoos to brand-themed dances, nothing is left on the table.

The Unibet Premier League will be the 13th sponsored darts event by the company since its initial partnership of the Unibet Masters back in 2014.

Since then Unibet has become the partner of the European Championship, World Grand Prix, Champions League of Darts as well as the World Series of Darts Finals and Melbourne Darts Masters.

PDC chairman Hearn said: “We’re delighted that Unibet have furthered their association with us in their sponsorship of the Premier League for the next three years.

“The Unibet Premier League will be bigger than ever in 2018, with our success in the UK, Ireland and more recently in the Netherlands leading to the introduction of a league night in Berlin next year, and it promises to be a special tournament.

“The Premier League’s growth since 2005 has been a phenomenon in British sport and it’s another boost that Unibet were so keen to add this prestigious event to their growing darts sponsorship portfolio.”

Peter Wright says he’s ‘joined the elite’ after winning his tenth tournament of the season

Peter Wright claims he has ‘joined the elite’ after becoming only the fourth player in history to win ten PDC tournaments in a season at the weekend.

The world number three pipped Kim Huybrechts 6-5 in the final of the HappyBet International Darts Open, in Riesa on Sunday, to reach double figures for tournament wins in 2017.

Wright follows in the footsteps of Phil Taylor, John Part and Michael van Gerwen to have reached the significant milestone, with his trophy haul this season including the UK Open, his maiden televised title, five European Tour titles and four floor titles.

“I’ve joined the elite,” Wright said after beating Huybrechts. “I’m only the fourth player to actually win 10 tournaments in a year.

“Obviously there’s Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and John Part, and now me!”

What a difference a week can make. The previous Sunday, Wright was seen jokingly throwing his darts to the floor of the Motorpoint Arena stage after losing 10-9 to world number two Gary Anderson in the Unibet Champions League of Darts – a defeat compounded by Wright missing eight match darts to knock out his fellow Scot in what was effectively a quarter-final.

“Obviously I’ve been struggling in the last three months,” the 47-year-old said, before going on to heap praise on Huybrechts, who had enjoyed a run to his first final in over a year.

“Kim Huybrechts is coming back to form, watch out for him in the next couple of weeks. Watch out for him in the Grand Prix in Ireland, he’s going to be dangerous.”

Picture: PDC Europe

Premier League watch: Four players with PL experience seeking another call-up in 2018

In the final part of this three-part series, I look at four players who have played in the Premier League before, but have been infrequent participants recently. I make a case for them getting a return to the Premier League in 2018, as well as a case against.

Michael Smith

The Case For

Michael Smith may have deserved a spot in the Premier League in 2016, but he never seemed ready for the week-in, week-out gruel of the competition. He’s bounced back, however, in 2017, winning a European Tour title and reaching two other Pro Tour finals. He’s reached 15 quarter-finals or better on the Pro Tour in 2017, in addition to the last 16 in the UK Open. And he should be in the top 10 of the world by the end of the year, despite having a poor 2016 on his ranking. It’s been a Premier League season to date.

The Case Against

But what has he done on television? He went out first round of the World Matchplay to an out-of-form Steve West, and he followed that up without a victory over a tour card holder in the three World Series events in New Zealand and Australia. As he said when he was on the Weekly Dartscast, all that matters for Premier League is your TV form, and so far he hasn’t shown it in 2017. If the Premier League was based on European Tour, he’d be a lock. But it’s not, and he has a lot of work still to do.

Jelle Klaasen

The Case For

Klaasen was never given a fair shake in 2017. He should have gotten an invite in 2016, but was snubbed. Instead, he was called into action whilst injured and never got off the ground. Since having surgery in May, his form has slowly improved, and he’s made a good account of himself on then European Tour this past month. Granted, he needs to have a few months where he shows he’s back to where he was before his wrist injury, but fairness dictates he gets another shot.

The Case Against:

Everything I just said, but in reverse. Yes, Klaasen got a raw shake of the dice, but those are the breaks, and there are no free passes in darts until you’ve established yourself as consistently one of the faces of the game. Klaasen, all due respect, hasn’t yet. And while he has injury to blame for a subpar Premier League campaign, all that is on paper is an excuse. He has struggled mightily at times this year and has looked eons away from someone who merits a Premier League invite.

Kim Huybrechts

The Case For

Okay, he didn’t get a win in the Premier League, but he played very well for most of the campaign, despite competing whilst his mother was terminally ill. He made it to the quarter-final of the UK Open, and has consistently made it deep into tournaments both on the floor and the Euro Tour. I think Huybrechts was given a raw deal heading into the Premier League this year, with many questioning his inclusion. But he showed he belonged over the eight weeks he participated. And everything considered, it would be harsh to drop him so quickly.

The Case Against

Before reaching the final in Riesa this past weekend, in 30 matches on stage since the World Championship, Kim Huybrechts had won just eight times, including losses to Pete Hudson, Jan Dekker, Christian Kist, and James Wilson. In the 19 matches on stage since the end of the Premier League, before last weekend, he averaged under 93 nine times, against just one average over the ton. Before Riesa he had lost his last five matches on stage, and hadn’t beaten anyone ranked higher than 28 in any competition since mid-May. Nothing he’s done the last six months before Riesa rings Premier League. It barely even rings Championship, if not League One.

Simon Whitlock

The Case For

What a run that was for Whitlock at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, winning five Pro Tour titles in the space of four months. And right in the middle of that, he missed a dart at double 15 to knock Michael van Gerwen out of the European Championship, the only time anyone came close to the world number one in a ranking major in 2016. Okay, he hasn’t gone on and made a deep, deep TV run like he used to do with regularity, but there’s only so many times you can run into Michael van Gerwen before the draw comes kind to you. He’s shown he’s yet again an elite player.

The Case Against

“He’s shown again he’s an elite player.” No, he hasn’t. He’s shown he has the game to be an elite player, but he hasn’t followed up on it. Since the last of those five Pro Tour titles in March, Whitlock has failed to cash at eight Pro Tour events, while reaching the quarter-final or better just five times. He only won one match against the seeded players from three World Series events last month, and outside the UK Open—where he was off TV most of the way—still hasn’t had a real sustained televised run in a few years. While there’s little doubt Whitlock will make a good showing of himself if he is selected, he has to earn it first. It’s hard to say he has.