Rob Cross (Picture: Kieran Cleeves/PDC)
Rob Cross (Picture: Kieran Cleeves/PDC)

Masters 2024: Darts betting tips, preview and predictions for the ITV4-televised major in Milton Keynes

The 2024 Cazoo Masters takes place in Milton Keynes from February 2-4 - live on ITV4 - and our expert Chris Hammer brings you his preview and best bets.

Darts betting tips: Masters

1pt Ryan Searle to win the second quarter at 4/1 (General)

1pt each-way Chris Dobey to win the Masters at 20/1 (General, 1/2, 1,2)

1pt each-way Rob Cross to win the Masters at 12/1 (General, 1/2 1,2)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Over the last three years, the Masters turned into the last-chance saloon for 'outsiders' to steal a place in the Premier League from the clutches of those just inside the top eight.

Remarkably in each of those three editions, Jonny Clayton, Joe Cullen and Chris Dobey all broke their major ducks from outside the top eight to force their way into the line-up and two of them went on to reach the grand final, with the Ferret managing to lift the trophy and the Rockstar agonisingly missing a match dart for it.

So in many ways, it's a shame that this year's Masters is 'relegated' to just a standard non-ranked major again with no extra subplot.


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We may even go back to the days when a usual suspect wins the trophy - especially because Luke Littler isn't in the field due to not yet being in the top 24.

Well, this year being ranked 26th is enough for Daryl Gurney, who is promoted into the field due to Gerwyn Price withdrawing on the eve of the tournament for personal reasons and Jose de Sousa not being available at short notice.

Not only that, but SuperChin skips the first round for players ranked 17-24 and takes Price's spot in the second against either Joe Cullen or Josh Rock. I'm sure ninth seed Clayton is wondering why the rules aren't for him to be shunted into round two, and Gurney replace him in round one - but that's not an issue for us to debate.

As usual, I'll look at both halves in turn before selecting my champion...


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  • (1) Luke Humphries v Stephen Bunting/Ross Smith
  • (8) Peter Wright v Jonny Clayton/Krzysztof Ratajski
  • (4) Nathan Aspinall v Dirk van Duijvenbode/Ryan Searle
  • Daryl Gurney* v Joe Cullen/Josh Rock

Odds to win quarter one: Humphries 8/13, Wright 5/1, Bunting 7/1, Clayton 17/2, Smith 12/1, Ratajski 16/1

Odds to win quarter two: Aspinall 13/8, Cullen 9/2, Searle 4/1, Rock 4/1, Van Duijvenbode 12/1, Gurney 16/1

I can't really oppose Luke Humphries in this section of the draw despite the fact his toughest test until the final could well be his first encounter against either Stephen Bunting or Ross Smith.

Both of the world champion's potential opponents ended the season in great form, with Smith's Ally Pally campaign ending in a dramatic match with Chris Dobey in which he averaged over 103 while Bunting just couldn't get going against a rampant MVG having been highly fancied to cause a shock.

Like any player who hasn't been involved in the World Series or the Premier League, we'll only find out their sharpness levels after a month 'off' on Friday night and for that reason picking a winner is very tough. Especially in a best-of-11 legs encounter.

Nevertheless Humphries, who also won three of the four majors before his Ally Pally heroics, will be more finely tuned to deal with either if he plays to the levels we now expect and after that, I feel it'll get easier.

So lets instead focus on the second quarter, in which I fancy Ryan Searle at a very tempting 7/1.

Heavy Metal was unable to produce his best at the World Championship but before then he was averaging around 100 across his previous five matches and that's certainly more like the standard he's capable of in any competition.

He starts off against Dirk van Duijvenbode, who averaged just 82 against Luke Littler in the Dutch Darts Masters as his ongoing shoulder issues show no sign of going away, and after that he'll face Nathan Aspinall.

The Asp recently admitted his lack of tour action in recent months was a mistake and his disappointing results in majors since lifting the World Matchplay trophy were testament to that - while his outings on the World Series in January and opening night of the Premier League weren't too encouraging.

Searle would then be just one win away from landing this bet against either Joe Cullen, Josh Rock or Daryl Gurney, and although the Rockstar ended his World Championship hopes, he'd be well fancied against any of this trio.


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  • (2) Michael van Gerwen v Chris Dobey/Andrew Gilding
  • (7) Danny Noppert v Dave Chisnall/Martin Schindler
  • (3) Michael Smith v Dimitri Van den Bergh/James Wade
  • (6) Rob Cross v Damon Heta/Gabriel Clemens

Odds to win quarter three: MVG 8/11, Noppert 9/2, Dobey 6/1, Chisnall 6/1, Schindler 16/1, Gilding 18/1

Odds to win quarter four: Smith 6/4, Cross 7/4, Heta 15/2, Wade 8/1, Van Den Bergh 11/1, Clemens 12/1

Michael van Gerwen has bounced back from his shock World Championship quarter-final drubbing at the hands of Scott Williams in typically impressive fashion by reaching two World Series finals and winning one of them against Luke Littler.

However, despite averaging in excess of 100 in five of those eight matches, he only averaged 87 in the first of those finals against Littler and that's why you can never be as confident about backing MVG anymore. He didn't lay down an ominous warning on night one of the Premier League either.

If he weighed in with a 93 average in a 10-6 defeat to Chris Dobey on Saturday, I really wouldn't be shocked whatsoever, so I'd rather take a chance on Hollywood who produced such fantastic darts at the World Championship until he led Rob Cross 4-0 in the quarter-finals.

Hopefully he'll have stitched up that wound by now and be raring to go ahead of the new season, which could be filled with plenty of titles if he can consistently churn out the blockbusting displays we saw at the Ally Pally - which included four successive 102+ averages.

Dobey is obviously the defending champion and can count himself very unlucky to have missed out on another Premier League call-up, so this is an opportunity to remind the selectors that picking Peter Wright ahead of him was very harsh indeed.

If he beats MVG, then it's a probably a toss up between Danny Noppert and Dave Chisnall, who faces Martin Schindler in the first round, and he'll be priced up as favourite in any eventuality.

In the fourth quarter, all logical signs point to Cross.

Voltage will be clear favourite to overcome Damon Heta or Gabriel Clemens while there's no guarantee he'll be facing quarter favourite Michael Smith given the general question marks over his form. He didn't have to play his best to win what was a fairly mediocre opening night of the Premier League all-round so we shouldn't read too much into that.

Bully Boy will open up against either Dimitri Van den Bergh or James Wade, who both failed at the Ally Pally, and if he battles through that contest he'll have to be at the top of his game against a player who won four titles in 2023 and averaged significantly higher than him.

Not to mention reaching the World Championship semi-finals, where he ran into a certain Luke Littler.

Who will win the title?

Of the big hitters, tournament favourite Luke Humphries clearly holds the greatest claim in that top half but in the second, I feel Rob Cross and Chris Dobey can do some damage and am hopeful one can find their way into the final ahead of Michael van Gerwen.

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