Back the Power of big guns
Our tipster Reece Killworth is rolling two big guns up into a Premier League Darts double this week, while also backing Simon Whitlock to finish well.
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Raymond van Barneveld and Phil Taylor get the nod as they face Wes Newton and Adrian Lewis respectively, while the stats suggest Whitlock has to be backed to notch a checkout in excess of the 101.5 quoted by the layers.
It could also pay to have a small investment in James Wade to draw with Andy Hamilton.
Here's his match-by-match preview:
- 3pts double Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld to win at 1.65/1 (William Hill) - both in better nick than respective opponents.
- 2pts Simon Whitlock's highest checkout to be +101.5 at 5/6 (General) - master of the big finish, particularly in the Premier League.
- 1pt Andy Hamilton and James Wade to draw at 7/2 (General) - look well matched and both have several recent draws on their record.
Wes Newton v Raymond van Barneveld
The highest average from Week One plays the lowest in the opening match of the night as van Barneveld looks to make it two wins on the spin while Newton attempts to notch his first Premier League victory. Barney averaged in excess of 102 (the only player in three figures) in beating Gary Anderson 7-4 while Newton came off second best to James Wade by the same scoreline, his 86.59 the result of a string of missed doubles. That in itself is a concern - as was his admission he felt "a bit nervous" - but at least his scoring was there. Barney looks bang in form right now, though, and when the darts are flowing as they are currently he looks much happier in himself. Factor in a decent recent record in Aberdeen (something that's often important in his case) and a much better record in the head-to-head - despite a 9-1 tonking at the UK Open in 2011 - and I'm sweet on his chances here.
Andy Hamilton v James Wade
Hamilton looked dead and buried when trailing Robert Thornton 5-1 last week, then had all the momentum once he'd levelled it up at 5-5 only to lose 7-5. Missed doubles early in the piece were costly but one thing you can never question is The Hammer's fighting spirit. Hamilton actually 'only' missed 10 doubles while Wade squandered 12 chances in his victory over Newton so it could be a case of who misses the fewest doubles wins. Wade looked really focused in his post-match interview and said he'd really been putting the hours in on the practice board which bodes well for his season, but he's got more to do to convince me he's an attractive betting proposition even at odds-against. Hamilton notched a win and a draw against Wade in his debut Premier League season and I think the latter is worth a little play here at 7/2. Wade has drawn three of his last six in the PL and Hamilton three of his last seven and with the shortened format (best of 12 legs rather than best of 14), it has to be a likelier outcome this season than last.
Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock
This is the third and final match of the night that pits a Week One loser against a Week One winner. Anderson led 2-0 and 3-1 but ultimately succumbed 7-4 against van Barneveld while Whitlock punished some wayward finishing from Adrian Lewis to secure a 7-3 victory. Like the previous match, this is another where if you have a firm view in either direction you'll get decent rewards with both players odds-against but while favouring Whitlock, I'll get with him in a different way. In six of his last seven Premier League appearances, the Australian has nailed a high finish of 116 or above and on three of those occasions he's had two outs of 108 or above. He's a renowned checkout specialist and given those stats, and the likelihood of this being a close game, I like Whitlock for a high finish of 101.5 or above.
Adrian Lewis v Phil Taylor
Lewis' Premier League campaign began with a 7-3 defeat by Whitlock, a result which means our ante-post 7/1 on him to be relegated is now in to 4s - and I'm expecting it to be cut further after this one. Taylor, meanwhile, kicked off last week with a 6-6 draw against Michael van Gerwen. Lewis hit more 100+ scores than his opponent last week but the fact his high finish was just 36 is telling - and the one thing you don't want to be doing facing Taylor is missing the ton-plus checks. It may surprise you, though, that Lewis has a decent record against Taylor in this competition - he's only lost one of the last five with three wins and a draw also in the mix. Current form matters more in my eyes, though, and with the van Barneveld/Taylor double paying at 1.65/1 I reckon that's worth a play.
Robert Thornton v Michael van Gerwen
Having tipped him to finish bottom in my ante-post preview, Thornton's win over Hamilton was an unwelcome opening result to the new Premier League season but you have to give the Scot plenty of credit. Much the more impressive in the early stages of the match, he then dug deep to go again after being pegged back from 5-1 up to 5-5 in the race to seven. He also has the benefit of being on home territory this week (Scotland, not specifically Aberdeen) though I'm interested to see how the crowd approaches this. It's hard to second guess them - particularly for the later games - but van Gerwen seems a pretty popular lad and as such I can't see him getting the treatment Lewis, for one, has had north of the border. If they're on van Gerwen's back and he misses a couple of early doubles the 4/1 on Thornton will look massive but I'd rather maintain a watching brief on this one as I'd expect the Dutchman to win through, albeit not as comfortably as you might imagine.