World Grand Prix darts: Day one predictions, odds, betting tips, accas, order of play & TV times

Check out our preview of the opening night in Dublin
Check out our preview of the opening night in Dublin

Our guide for Sunday's action at the World Grand Prix includes the order of play, match-by-match predictions, Sky Bet odds and a suggested acca.

It's opening night of the PDC's third-longest running major, which runs until October 12 in Dublin, and half of the 32-man field are in action including the defending champion Michael van Gerwen.

It is, of course, the only televised event in which players must start and finish each leg on a double or the bullseye and this unique format often throws up some surprises.

World Grand Prix: Sunday October 6

Click on the odds for more Sky Bet match markets

  • TV Coverage: Sky Sports (1900 BST)
  • First Round: Best of 3 sets, players must start and finish all legs on a double/bullseye

Ricky Evans (11/10) v Chris Dobey (8/11)

Head-to-head: 4-1
2019 Meetings: 0-1
PDC Titles this season: 0-0
Career PDC Titles: 0-0

The fun and games in Dublin kicks off with a very tough one to call between two players that both came close to breaking their title ducks this season.

Ricky Evans reached two finals - including once on the European Tour - while Chris Dobey was runner-up to Dave Chisnall at the Danish Darts Open as he bids to build on his impressive run at last year's World Championship.

Although Hollywood is making his debut on this stage, he's certainly not short of experience of these big occasions in recent times so I'm going to give him the edge.

Prediction: 1-2

Mervyn King (6/5) v Dimitri Van den Bergh (4/6)

Head-to-head: 5-4
2019 Meetings: 0-0
PDC Titles this season: 0-0
Career Senior PDC Titles: 11-0

Never underestimate Mervyn King, even if the bookies do.

The King knocked Michael van Gerwen out of the UK Open earlier this year and then did the same to Gary Anderson at the World Matchplay, so a clash against rising star Dimitri van den Bergh certainly won't faze him.

If anything the 2012 runner-up revels at the challenge of showing those youngsters a thing or two and tonight will be no different at an event he'll be playing in for the 13th year in a row.

The Belgian, who has reached two finals this season but still searching for his first senior title, is making his debut on this stage so the experience factor could give him a disadvantage.

Prediction: 2-0

Joe Cullen (6/4) v Ian White (8/15)

Head-to-head: 3-9
2019 Meetings: 0-1
PDC Titles this season: 1-2
Career PDC Titles: 3-12

The last time these two met resulted in a potentially mentally scarring defeat for Joe Cullen as he lost 10-0 in front of the television cameras at the World Matchplay.

However the Rockstar, who I'm taking a big chance on at 100/1 in my outright preview, bounced back to win his first PDC title on a stage environment thanks to an impressive victory over Michael van Gerwen in the European Darts Matchplay final.

That could be a huge turning point in his career although tonight's assignment against a player who has won two European Tour titles this season as well as reaching five other finals on the circuit couldn't be much tougher.

Prediction: 2-1

Jeffrey de Zwaan (4/7) v Steve Beaton (11/8)

Head-to-head: 5-0
2019 Meetings: 1-0
PDC Titles this season: 1-0
Career PDC Titles: 2-3

I certainly wouldn't want to be accused of patronising the legend that is Steve Beaton but it is an incredible effort that he's qualified for his 16th World Grand Prix - 18 years after his first.

Still going strong at 55, the Bronzed Adonis first appeared at this event way back in 2001 although I doubt it's his favourite event having only managed to get past the second round twice, with his best being a semi-final run in 2004.

That said, he's knocked out Rob Cross here in round one for the last two years so don't be surprised to see a minor shock against Jeffrey de Zwaan.

Prediction: 1-2

James Wade (4/9) v John Henderson (7/4)

Head-to-head: 7-1
2019 Meetings: 0-1
PDC Titles this season: 5-0
Career PDC Titles: 35-0

John Henderson has fond memories of this stage thanks to that famous opening night victory over Michael van Gerwen two years ago, when he went on to reach the semi-finals.

James Wade has struggled here in very recent times with four successive first-round defeats but since the last of those he's been turning back into the player that won this tournament twice during his peak years.

I'm backing the Machine, who has won five titles this season to follow on from last year's televised European and World Series titles, to go far in Dublin so unsurprisingly I'm expecting him to go through.

Prediction: 2-0

Michael Smith (4/9) v Simon Whitlock (8/11)

Head-to-head: 8-5
2019 Meetings: 0-0
PDC Titles this season: 0-0
Career PDC Titles: 11-17

Michael Smith must be getting fed up of being runner-up this year having lost five finals including the World Championship at the top of 2019 and then this summer's World Matchplay.

There's no doubt he's destined to win a big title sooner than later and he'll have plenty of backers this week even though he's only managed one win on this stage in six previous visits.

Simon Whitlock is a canny operator in this event having reached the 2017 final as well as two other quarter-final runs but based on form this year and overall quality, there should only be one winner.

Prediction: 2-0

Michael van Gerwen (1/7) v Jamie Hughes (9/2)

Head-to-head: 1-0
2019 Meetings: 1-0
PDC Titles this season: 10-1
Career PDC Titles: 125-1

Michael van Gerwen is bidding to win the World Grand Prix for the fifth time this week but he's never previously managed to retain the title that he first won in 2012.

There's been plenty of occasions this season where his dominance has been questioned but at other times - particularly during the World Series events in Melbourne and New Zealand - he's emphatically silenced his doubters and has still managed to pick up 10 titles.

I still maintain the fear factor he used to hold over his rivals has diminished markedly, with Ian White, Mensur Suljovic and Joe Cullen being able to overcome him in tournament finals.

Jamie Hughes has enjoyed a fantastic debut season on the PDC circuit - which hasn't shocked too many darts fans - and certainly has the ability to nick a best of three set match at long odds.

Prediction: 1-2

Gary Anderson (1/3) v Keegan Brown (23/10)

Head-to-head: 5-0
2019 Meetings: 1-0
PDC Titles this season: 0-0
Career Senior PDC Titles: 47-1

We're still yet to see the 'real' Gary Anderson this season following his injury problems during the first chunk of 2019 and he can't afford to be rusty tonight if he's to avoid an upset.

Keegan Brown has been bubbling away nicely this season with three semi-final runs and that explains why his price of 23/10 isn't exactly eye-opening.

Nevertheless, the Flying Scotsman is hungry to pick up the big titles he's not previously won before and I reckon you'll see a switched on performance to get his campaign up and running.

Prediction: 2-0

Sunday's darts accas

Schedule for Monday October 7

Monday October 7 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
First Round (Best of three sets)

  • Stephen Bunting v Jonny Clayton
  • Vincent van der Voort v Nathan Aspinall
  • Adrian Lewis v Jermaine Wattimena
  • Glen Durrant v Krzysztof Ratajski
  • Daryl Gurney v Danny Noppert
  • Gerwyn Price v Dave Chisnall
  • Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic
  • Peter Wright v Max Hopp

World Grand Prix draw, schedule & TV guide

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