PDC World Darts Championship Preview

PDC darts logoHopefully people have been following the column where we’re 3 from 3 on the Davis Cup, Mosconi Cup and backing Robertson in the UK Snooker. This week will be a little different, and we’re going to offer up a nice selection of bets to choose from. We should click another profitable week from them.

The 21st Ladbrokes PDC World Darts Championships  starts on Friday the 13th December, with 72 players (8 prelim matches to finalise the last 64) going into battle in a bid to become the 2014 Champion and claim the £250k top prize.

Only 5 players have managed this goal since the PDC split for the BDO (British Darts Organisation) in 1994. Phil Taylor has dominated this event winning it 14 times, and reaching the final on 3 more occasions. Adrian Lewis won back to back titles in 2011 and 2012 with John Part being the only other multiple winner. Dennis Priesltey won the inaugural event while Raymond Van Barneveld is the only overseas winner other than John Part.

The Contenders

phil taylorIt’s very very hard to look past Phil Taylor to win the 2014 title (Despite starting in 2013, the event finishes in 2014). He’s only going to be a short price, and @ 10/11 in a host of bookmakers, that can represent some good value for a man playing some of the best darts of his career at the moment.

In his last outing in the 2013 Players Darts Championships, he let slip a 6-3 lead over Michael Van Gerwin to lose 11-7 in the final. Despite the loss, Taylor managed a 3 dart average of over 104 for the tournament, which was 5 points better than his nearest rival. It was Taylor’s 9th final of the season and only his 2nd loss, both of which were to the Dutch maestro Van Gerwin.

The draw is kind to Taylor with Lewis and Van Gerwin in the opposite half of the draw, with Taylor’s likely opponent in the semi final being the enigmatic Aussie Simon Whitlock.

In Taylor’s last couple of outings he has been in fantastic form. In the Grand Slam of Darts he averaged 104+ and in the  Masters he averaged  105+. I think we need to take PaddyPowers offer of 6/4 that Taylor will have the highest match average of the tournament.

Taylor has also made massive strides developing and improving his 180 scoring over the last 12 months. On his way to winning the 2013 title, he hit only 20 x 180s in 147 legs of darts. In the Players Championships, he hit 15 x 180s in only 63 legs, and in the Grand Slam of Darts, he scored a very impressive 32 x 180s in 106 legs.

MVG is the favourite in the 180s market @ 13/8, but I think the 10/1 with PaddyPower on Phil is a massive price, so I’ll be taking some of that aswel as having a bet on Adrian Lewis @ 21/10 as I think he is the most natural and prolific 180 scorer in the game.

Adrian Lewis

Adrian Lewis

So, what about Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis? Well Lewis came back last year as double defending champion and he came agonisingly close to beating  the brick wall that was MVG in the quarter-finals, losing 5-4 despite scoring a 100+ average. Jackpot is in better form this season than he was last year, reaching 3 finals and coming unstuck against Phil Taylor in 2 of them. He saves his best game for the World Championships and the way the draw has panned out, his first test will come in the quarter finals against either Wade/Pipe before a likely semi-final showdown v MVG who he has beaten 7 times from 13 meetings this season.

At a much bigger price than both Taylor or MVG, I’m backing Lewis once again to go far in the World Championships and backing him @ 13/2 EW with 888sport. PaddyPower are also offering a double of Adrian Lewis to win the PDC and Scott Waites to win the rival BDO crown @ 33/1. To back them individually would be 26/1, so also having a little flutter on this one.

Michael Van Gerwin deserves to be up there amongst the favourites for the title, but at  4/1 I think he’s a little too short. He’s a man in form and a player I always want to see do well, but when if it comes down to a semi-final clash between Lewis and MVG, I think I’d rather he on the side of a 13/2 shot than a 4/1 shot. If you fancy a real outsider to waste a fiver on, then stick it on Merv King @ 150/1 with BetVictor.

Some 1st round matches that might hold some value:

Going with a King/Caven double

King @ 3/10 to beat Young

King is a seasoned pro that brings a good game to the Ally Pally. His opponent is an American that makes the trip across to the UK once a year to take part in the World Championships. In the previous 8 years, he’s one just one match and he never scores higher than a 3 dart average of ~87. King will easily dispose of him.

Caven  @ 4/5 to beat Klaasen

Klaasen has only made 1 quarter final in his last 21 tournaments and has been in pretty poor form all season, which has seen him slip to 133 in the world, which his his lowest rank in 9 years. Caven has played well in patches this season, with his best performance probably being his QF run in the European Championships where he lost 10-9 to Simon Whitlock and dishes out 6-0 and 10-2 defeats to Dave Chisnall and James Wade respectively. He’s won the 4 of the last 5 meetings between the 2

Some singles matches that might favour the underdog, but I wouldn’t be putting lives savings on them.

Burnett Evs v Winstanley with Boylesports
Evans 6/4 v Baxter with SkyBet
McDine 6/4 to beat Jones with BetFred
Michels 9/4 to beat Part with Bet365

And we’ll finish with a bit of a flyer by taking Dudbridge to beat Anderson @ 10/3 with SportingBet