Power can hit the jackpot

  • By: Carl Longhawn
  • Last Updated: February 13 2014, 21:23 GMT

Premier League Darts returns on Thursday and Carl Longhawn is backing Phil Taylor to bounce back.

Phil Taylor has a good head-to-head record against Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor has a good head-to-head record against Adrian Lewis

Premier League Darts hits Bournemouth this Thursday, hot on the heels of a fascinating opening week of action headlined by Michael van Gerwen's whitewash of Phil Taylor.

Talk of the defeat representing a watershed moment is wide of the mark in my opinion and this was illustrated by Taylor's performances during the weekend floor events, one of which he won.

The Power is still very much a factor in this competition and a price of 3/1 about him topping the league may tempt those still looking to play in the outright markets. More immediately, Adrian Lewis is Taylor's opponent this week and their clash is the first of three matches I will focus on.

Adrian Lewis v Phil Taylor

Such are the vagaries of darts. Statistically Lewis and Taylor had similar performances yet Taylor was steamrolled by Van Gerwen but Lewis ran out an easy winner against Whitlock. The two met in the final of Sunday's floor event of the weekend and Taylor was victorious with an average akin to his pomp of 2013. Lewis was impressive himself in his weekend performances, reaching the final of Friday's UK Open Qualifier as well his defeat to Taylor on Sunday. Despite this, I think odds-against about Taylor is the value call based on his superior head-to-head record and overall win ratio in the Premier League.

Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock

Anderson was the victim of a rampant Raymond van Barneveld last week and only managed two legs despite averaging over 100. Such occurrences are rare and if 'The Flying Scotsman' reproduces that level of performance on a regular basis then he will be a major player in this event. Whitlock can be excused a bad night at the office last week as he was recovering from a bout of flu but he didn't perform well over the weekend. Anderson's superior scoring power will be too much for Whitlock and he is taken to cover a handicap of -2.5 legs.

Robert Thornton v Michael van Gerwen

MVG stole the show on week one with his rout of Taylor and in doing so he added further credence to those who feel he is now the man to beat. It's hard to argue against that school of thought and the level of expectation around MVG is now at an all-time high which will mean he is more of a marked man than previously was the case. Thornton was below par last week but he has a decent record against MVG in terms of not being blown apart. Both players have a habit of hitting big checkouts so this match looks ideal for the highest checkout of the night.

  • Other fixtures on Thursday, for which bets are not recommended, are Wes Newton v Raymond van Barneveld and Dave Chisnall v Peter Wright.

  • Posted at 0830 GMT on 11/02/2014.