World Darts Championship Final: Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith predictions, betting tips, odds, stats & TV time

Michael van Gerwen takes on Michael Smith in the World Darts Championship final
Michael van Gerwen takes on Michael Smith in the World Darts Championship final

Michael van Gerwen takes on Michael Smith in tonight's PDC World Darts Championship final. Here's our full preview including facts, stats and predictions.

So after 15 days, 27 sessions, 94 matches, 430 sets and around 1720 legs (I haven't worked that out exactly!) of darts, we now reach the crescendo.

Despite all the shocks, dramatic comebacks and underdog stories which have made this World Championship so memorable, we have a repeat of the Premier League final between two world-class players who have pretty much blazed their way through their sections of the draw without any real issues.

Michael van Gerwen starts as hot favourite to win his third world title but Michael Smith should - at the very least - run him much closer than Gary Anderson did, that's if he can maintain the same stunning standards he's produced so far.

Below I've compiled each player's tournament statistics and their respective routes to the final, as well as a detailed head-to-head record, before previewing the final and picking out my best bets.

World Darts Championship final: Tuesday January 1

  • TV Coverage: Sky Sports (2000 GMT)
  • Format: Best of 13 sets

Michael van Gerwen (1/4) v Michael Smith (3/1)

Michael van Gerwen is favourite to defeat Michael Smith in the World Darts Championship final
Michael van Gerwen is favourite to defeat Michael Smith on New Year's Day

TOURNAMENT STATS (MVG first)

  • 3-dart Average: 103.72 - 101.19
  • 180s: 32 - 51
  • 100+ checkouts: 7 - 11
  • Highest checkout: 170 - 136
  • Checkout %: 46.25% (74/160) - 44.83% (78/174)
  • Sets won/lost: 22/5 - 22/8
  • Legs won/lost: 74/37 - 78/45
  • Legs won against throw: 28/54 - 29/60
  • Legs lost on own throw: 11/57 - 14/63

ROUTES TO THE FINAL

(Click here for full tournament results)

Michael van Gerwen

Michael Smith

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

MATCH PREVIEW

Amidst all the carnage of the shocks and titanic battles that have grabbed most of the headlines, Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith have powered their way through to the final and nobody can possibly dispute they've been the superior players in each half of the draw.

Obviously MVG faced the tougher route on paper but with five more averages over 100 - a feat he's now managed in 18 straight matches on the Alexandra Palace stage - none of his opponents, including a lacklustre Gary Anderson, could live him and he's lost just five sets and 37 of the 111 legs he's played.

Smith, by contrast, had the easier-looking route and he's become only the third player since 2000 to reach the final without having beaten one of the top 16 seeds. However, that stat is misleading in the sense that both Luke Humphries and Nathan Aspinall ended up being two of the success stories of this tournament and he produced 100+ averages and a glut of 180s to put them both to the sword.

Indeed, Aspinall's performance in that thrilling semi-final on Sunday night was far superior to the test that Anderson gave MVG while Smith produced a statistically better display than the world number one.

Coming into this tournament both men had something to prove.

As daft as it sounds, Michael van Gerwen's dominance was being questioned having 'only' won three major trophies - the Premier League, Masters and the World Grand Prix - out of his overall haul of 18 in 2018, but now he's on the cusp of firmly silencing those critics and becoming the first man since Phil Taylor to become PDC world champion more than twice.

Michael Smith, who was soundly beaten by a ruthless MVG in that Premier League final, made huge strides in his career in 2018, winning three titles, but blew match darts to win his first proper big major against James Wade at the World Series of Darts Finals.

The St Helens thrower, 28, has repeatedly mixed it with the best but now he's hungry and ready to prove he can deliver when it really counts.

The way he handled the pressure in the last two rounds makes me believe that he can do it and when you look at the stats in the routes to the final section, you'll see he's statistically got the power to challenge MVG.

This season they've met seven times, with van Gerwen winning all three Premier League encounters including that final.

However, since then there have been two matches to give all Bully Boy fans real confidence that the gap between the pair has closed. Firstly he defeated him en route to winning the televised Shanghai Darts Masters.

And at the recent Grand Slam of Darts, he lost 10-8 in one of the best matches in the tournament's history but it could have been so different had his attempt at tops for a 160 checkout when trailing 9-8 not missed low.

Smith averaged three figures, weighed in with six maximums and also produced ton-plus checkouts of 121 and 112, underlining the fact that he's not fazed against such formidable opposition.

Regular readers will know I tipped Smith at 16/1 in my pre-tournament betting preview and I'm not about to desert him, even if there was always the chance he'd reach the final with someone else having done the hard yards for him on the other side of the draw.

Anyone who has backed Smith at 16s may want to consider the 15/8 on MVG winning the final but Smith to fire in the most 180s. If Bully Boy is to triumph, he will need to produce great numbers so another option is 6/1 on him to win, score over 15.5 180s and a checkout of over 131.5.

Overall I'm sticking with him to edge what should be a final worthy bringing to an end what's been a remarkable tournament.

Just to finish on a lighter note - Smith, who incredibly gets married to his fiancee Dagmara this weekend, knows he can't wait too much longer to win a world title given the rising standards of the game's young stars, and he's also wary about his 180-throwing four-year-old son Junior catching him up in the not too distant future!

Prediction: 5-7

PREDICTION & BETS TO CONSIDER (all with Sky Bet)

  • Michael Smith to win at 3/1
  • Smith to win, hit over 15.5 180s & checkout over 131.5 at 6/1
  • Both players to hit 15+ 180's each & both players to checkout 125+ each at 6/1
  • For those who think MVG will win, MVG to win and Smith to hit most 180s at 15/8

Related Darts Content

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Stay on top of all the action from the Masters snooker final
1

Masters snooker final - As it happened

Judd Trump has completed a superb 10-4 victory over Ronnie O'Sullivan at Alexandra Palace to win his first Masters snooker title.

Harry Winks earns Tottenham all three points2

Harry to the rescue for Spurs

Tottenham survived the absence of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min as Harry Winks' stoppage-time header secured a vital 2-1 victory at Fulham.

Mark Allen
3

Masters Snooker: Results & schedule

The draw, schedule, results and odds from the 2019 Dafabet Masters, which will take place from January 13-20 at Alexandra Palace in London.

Action from Wolverhampton4

Monday's racing preview

Nick Robson fancies War Tiger to come good at Wolverhampton on Monday - he has a tip for every race on every card.

Judd Trump has the Masters trophy in his sights5

Trump lands maiden Masters title

Judd Trump claimed his maiden Master snooker title in superb fashion with a commanding 10-4 victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan at Alexandra Palace.

Most Read

Stay on top of all the action from the Masters snooker final
1

Masters snooker final - As it happened

Judd Trump has completed a superb 10-4 victory over Ronnie O'Sullivan at Alexandra Palace to win his first Masters snooker title.

Harry Winks earns Tottenham all three points2

Harry to the rescue for Spurs

Tottenham survived the absence of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min as Harry Winks' stoppage-time header secured a vital 2-1 victory at Fulham.

Mark Allen
3

Masters Snooker: Results & schedule

The draw, schedule, results and odds from the 2019 Dafabet Masters, which will take place from January 13-20 at Alexandra Palace in London.

Action from Wolverhampton4

Monday's racing preview

Nick Robson fancies War Tiger to come good at Wolverhampton on Monday - he has a tip for every race on every card.

Judd Trump has the Masters trophy in his sights5

Trump lands maiden Masters title

Judd Trump claimed his maiden Master snooker title in superb fashion with a commanding 10-4 victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan at Alexandra Palace.

Racing Tips

Action from Wolverhampton

Monday's racing preview

Nick Robson fancies War Tiger to come good at Wolverhampton on Monday - he has a tip for every race on every card.

The latest Nap runs at Wolverhampton

Daily Nap: Tons of appeal

Matt Brocklebank heads to Wolverhampton for the Monday Nap as Irish raider Ahundrednotout gets the vote.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

Next Race Off

21:33 Santa Anita
6
(6)
Bartlett Hall
J: Brice Blanc
1
(1)
Emotional Ride
J: Joel Rosario
2
(2)
Captain N. Barron
J: Tiago Pereira

Football Tips

Aux Ptits Soins streaks clear at Cheltenham

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in January 2019.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package for Fulham v Tottenham

No Kane no problem for Spurs

Life without Harry Kane starts for Tottenham on Sunday at Fulham, and the generous nature of the opposition means they can get away without their star man.