Premier League Darts: Predictions & betting tips from John Part as MVG, Gary Anderson & Rob Cross head to Leeds

Last Updated March 08 2018, 21:45Darts
Check out who John Part is backing this week in Leeds
Check out who John Part is backing this week in Leeds

Fresh from his own run at the UK Open, John Part is back with his treble and predictions for Thursday's Premier League Darts action in Leeds.

After last week's action in Exeter was cancelled due to the disruption caused by Storm Emma, the 10 Premier League Darts players resume their season at Leeds Arena for what is effectively the fifth round of fixtures.

Three-time world champion John Part is here once more straight after his big return at the UK Open to give you his expert match-by-match previews & predictions, plus his weekly treble.

You can also listen to the legendary Darth Maple on episode six of the Sporting Life Darts Podcast (available for FREE on iTunes and soundcloud) in which he talks about his exploits at what was an unforgettable UK Open over the weekend both on and off the oche!

Click here to listen to episode six of the Sporting Life Darts Podcast on iTunes for free (or soundcloud here)

TREBLE – Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Michael Smith - click here to back it at 5/1 with Sky Bet

Scroll down for his full rundown of each match, helpful stats, bet explanation & latest table

John Part talks about what was an amazing UK Open for both he and Gary Anderson
Listen to John Part talking about what was an amazing UK Open for both he and Gary Anderson

Michael van Gerwen (1/8) v Simon Whitlock (12/1), draw (8/1)

Head-to-head: 28-5
PL Darts 2018 stats
3-dart Average: 103.99 - 94.89
180s: 15 - 9
100+ checkouts: 5 - 2
Highest checkout: 170 - 160
Checkout %: 48.15% - 46.15%

MVG was shocked by Jeffrey De Zwaan at the UK Open but I think it was more of a case that his opponent played so well rather than Michael necessarily playing badly.

Michael would have still found it a bit embarrassing so his mentality and attitude will be to put things right on Thursday.

I don’t think there can be any doubt about him being able to perform at the same levels he’s been at of late so we can just chalk the UK Open off as just an exception to the norm.

The last time these two played in the Premier League was four years ago and it was a draw but since then they’ve played 20 times and Simon’s won once.

So MVG is going to be very confident about this one.The odds are so short on MVG that I like the Player Performance bet on him to win, score over 3.5 180s and a checkout of over 114.5. That’s 4/1 and I think those targets are all pretty standard fare for MVG.

Gerwyn Price (5/2) v Raymond van Barneveld (8/11), draw (7/2)

Head-to-head: 1-4
PL Darts 2018 stats
3-dart Average: 92.60 - 94.02
180s: 12 - 10
100+ checkouts: 4 - 2
Highest checkout: 124 - 167
Checkout %: 39.44% - 33.90%

Of the two, Gerwyn Price will have felt a lot better about the UK Open weekend although he won’t have liked losing to Corey Cadby in the quarter-finals.

But in the context of the Premier League, they are both at sea a bit now and it’s hard to pick one of them to emerge with a win.

Between them they have three draws this season and I like the idea of them sharing the points in Leeds, I really do.

That said, I’m not keen on the 3/1 so instead I’m going for the Match Action bet which needs more than 11.5 legs, a checkout of over 120.5 and more than 5.5 180s at 9/2.

It’s a good option for too close to call matches with two desperate players, which you feel will go back and forth.

Peter Wright (4/6) v Mensur Suljovic (3/1), draw (3/1)

Head-to-head: 7-4
PL Darts 2018 stats
3-dart Average: 100.24 - 100.90
180s: 10 - 7
100+ checkouts: 3 - 5
Highest checkout: 120 - 138
Checkout %: 40.35% - 44.19%

I can’t pick a guy to win this one.

Mensur has beaten Peter the last couple of times in big TV majors so he’ll feel confident.

Although he would have travelled to Exeter for nothing – like everybody else – at least he didn’t have to compete in the UK Open where many other players struggled, such as Peter.

Suljovic also got his first win in Berlin two weeks ago and kind of dodged a bullet last week with Exeter being postponed because he was meant to play MVG and that could have ruined his momentum.

Maybe it’s some kind of darting divine intervention to keep his good feeling and I think he’ll put in a good performance.

Peter will probably bounce back from his shock at the UK Open and play well too but he has found it tough against Mensur in the past.

I like the idea of another long gruelling match so I’m going for over 11.5 legs, a checkout of over 121.5 and more than 4.5 180s at 5/1.

Gary Anderson (1/2) v Daryl Gurney (4/1), draw (7/2)

Head-to-head: 6-6
PL Darts 2018 stats
3-dart Average: 99.43 - 97.02
180s: 17 - 17
100+ checkouts: 4 - 0
Highest checkout: 170 - 95
Checkout %: 35.00% - 28.57%

The newly-crowned UK Open champion against Daryl Gurney, who has won the last few times against Gary Anderson.

But it was at a time when Daryl was in his prime in the midst of the summer of last year into the autumn. He enjoyed a spell of superiority against Gary and a host of other guys which culminated in him winning the World Grand Prix.

What’s happening now is most important and although Gary is feeling a little tired for his UK Open efforts – even more so than me – he’s going to have a few days rest and then be really focused and confident in Leeds.

He won’t be concerned about being cut at Judgement Night but he will want to make sure he pulls himself right into the top four sooner than later.

By contrast Daryl is one of the players at the bottom and Gary can’t afford to drop points against those guys.

I think he’s going to do very well in that match so I’m going to back him to win, more than 2.5 180s and over 85.5 checkout at 6/4.

Rob Cross (4/5) v Michael Smith (5/2), draw (3/1)

Head-to-head: 5-1
PL Darts 2018 stats
3-dart Average: 95.38 - 92.60
180s: 10 - 12
100+ checkouts: 2 - 4
Highest checkout: 128 - 124
Checkout %: 36.17% - 39.44%

I’m going for a mini upset here by backing Michael Smith.

He’s loving his Premier League experience and although he lost a tough match at the UK Open to Steve West, 10-9, I think he’ll bounce back and be OK.

I think he might be feeling better about how he’s performing to his potential than Rob is about his game after he lost 10-5 to Gary Anderson at the weekend, losing six legs on the trot.

It’s a risky bet because Rob is of extreme quality and a worthy world champion but let’s not forget Michael had darts to knock him out at the Ally Pally in one of the earlier rounds!

Michael will want revenge and I’m backing him to do it at 6/4.

If you want bigger odds then you can go for the Player Performance option of him winning with more than 2.5 180s and checkout over 76.5. That’s 4/1.

Premier League Darts Table

  1. Smith P 4 W 4 D 0 L 0 LegD +14 Pts 8
  2. MVG P 4 W 3 D 0 L 1 LegD +12 Pts 6
  3. Whitlock P 4 W 3 D 0 L 1 LegD +7 Pts 6
  4. Wright P 4 W 1 D 2 L 1 LegD -1 Pts 4
  5. Cross P 4 W 2 D 0 L 2 LegD -4 Pts 4
  6. Anderson P 4 W 1 D 1 L 2 LegD -2 Pts 3
  7. Barney P 4 W 1 D 1 L 2 LegD -5 Pts 3
  8. Suljovic P 4 W 1 D 0 L 3 LegD -5 Pts 2
  9. Price P 4 W 0 D 2 L 2 LegD -8 Pts 2
  10. Gurney P 4 W 0 D 2 L 2 LegD -8 Pts 2

* Players level on points split by leg difference, legs won against throw and then, if necessary tournament average

CLICK HERE FOR FULL SEASON FIXTURES, RESULTS & TABLE

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