Jackpot provides maximum value

  • By: Carl Longhawn
  • Last Updated: February 18 2014, 10:10 GMT

Carl Longhawn is backing Adrian Lewis to outscore Wes Newton as Premier League Darts heads to Belfast.

Adrian Lewis: Fancied to continue totting up the maximums
Adrian Lewis: Fancied to continue totting up the maximums

The Premier League Darts heads to Belfast this week with the Odyssey Arena playing host and a typically boisterous crowd likely to be in attendance.

After two weeks of competition, certain patterns are beginning to emerge which we can look to utilise to find value across the weeks fixtures.

One thing is clear, unpredictability will continue to be a big factor in each week with surprise results bound to crop up. With that in mind, let's look at this week's five fixtures starting with the all-Scottish clash between Robert Thornton and Gary Anderson.

Robert Thornton v Gary Anderson

It was good to see Anderson get the rewards for consistent good play over the last few weeks with a decisive victory over Simon Whitlock. Unfortunately it was a case of more checkout problems for Thornton with missed doubles littering his game and costing him a point against Michael van Gerwen. Frankly, 21.73% on the doubles is not going to cut it in this event. He has struggled in this area for the last few months which is unusual as he was prolific on double 20 for most of 2012 and 2013. Anderson looks a likely winner here but there is little value in any market.

Dave Chisnall v Michael van Gerwen

Three points from four makes good reading for Chisnall but as yet I am not willing to reappraise my pre-tournament assessment that he will struggle. He couldn't beat a massively below par Wright last week and he is still not hitting his pressure doubles with great confidence. Van Gerwen was not at his best last week but still averaged 95 and looked in very good form over the weekend, winning the Dutch Masters. I expect plenty of 180s with the two averaging a combined 7.5 per game in the first fortnight but 11/10 about this game providing the most on the night is short enough.

Peter Wright v Phil Taylor

It's far from panic stations for Taylor just yet but there is no disguising the fact that back-to-back defeats will hurt him. He does look to be lacking in confidence which is strange when you consider his experience and achievements in the sport. Wright managed to get a draw last week when throwing his worst darts for a long time and he in fact was clearly ahead in the match before being pegged back. The rhythm of this one will suit both and 10/3 about it providing the highest checkout is good value, Wright showed in the World Championships he is capable of wowing the crowds, with checkouts of 130 or higher in three of his six matches at Ally Pally. Taylor hit a 140 finish last week as well two nine dart finishes two weekends ago in Wigan, and between them I'd expect a big finish somewhere along the line.

Wes Newton v Adrian Lewis

So far, so good for Lewis, two wins from two and he tops the table on legs difference. He has dominated both his matches and has hit eight 180s so far, good news for those who followed our tip on Jackpot hitting the most 180s in the competition. Newton took advantage of a below par performance by Raymond van Barneveld last week to get his first points of the campaign but that of level of performance shouldn't be enough to beat Lewis on current form. With Lewis's maximum figures mentioned he looks worth backing on the 180 handicap (-1) here. Newton's darts can stray from the right line when under pressure as he's likely to be from the off, and he's managed just four maximums so far. Lewis is fancied to cover the start and further strengthen our antepost position.

Raymond van Barneveld v Simon Whitlock

This is probably the hardest match to call, largely due to the inconsistency of Barney and the likelihood that Whitlock surely produce a vastly improved performance at some point in the next few weeks. How much fatigue played a part in Barney's lacklustre display in Bournemouth is debatable but there is a lack of aggression in his throw currently which is a concern. Whitlock continued to struggle at the weekend with an early exit but in Holland but there is no doubt he still remains a classy and gritty operator who will return to form soon. However, his poor form and Barney's inconsistency make this game easy to avoid.

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