2017 World Grand Prix Darts Betting Preview
Ben Levene (@benlevene96) previews the upcoming 2017 World Grand Prix Darts.
2017 World Grand Prix Darts Betting Preview
When does the 2017 World Grand Prix Darts tournament start?
The 2017 World Grand Prix Darts tournament starts on October 1st and runs until October 7th.
Where can I watch the 2017 World Grand Prix Darts tournament?
You can watch the 2017 World Grand Prix Darts tournament on Sky Sports.
The standard of Darts is as good as it’s ever been. Records are being smashed, prize money is on the rise and having followed European Tour floor events intensely since the turn of the year, I can tell you this a trend that’s only going to continue.
For me, there are two ways to approach the Grand Prix. The first is to dutch Gary Anderson and Peter Wright from the lower half of the draw, the other is to take on the market leaders in their Quarters. The set and double-in nature of the Grand Prix tends to favour the higher quality players, and although the gap is no doubt being bridged, we can’t ignore the obvious. In last year’s Grand Prix, World Number 1 Michael Van Gerwen beat World Number 2 Gary Anderson in the final and this was again the case at the last World Championships. We can compare this with the two most recent TV events, the Champions League and the Matchplay, both of which have seen the playing-field levelled. Anderson and Wright met in the semi-final of the last World Championships and their experience and comfort with playing on TV makes their prices even more appealing.
Gary Anderson has been playing at about 70 or 80 percent over the last few months, yet that has been good enough to see him win the Perth Masters and reach the final of the Champions League. As we established in our Champions League of Darts preview, Gary tends to peak at the Worlds. We’re just a couple of months away and if he brings anything near his A-game, he’ll prove a steal.
World Number 3 Peter Wright is arguably the most consistent player on the circuit. He turns up week-in week-out, whether a floor or TV event. What Wright was doing for the first six months of 2017 was almost outrageous. Record averages, whitewashing MVG, consistent wins on the European Tour, Wright probably should have also won the Premier League. Although experiencing a slight dip in form, Wright managed to pick up his 10th title of 2017 last weekend.
Expecting anyone outside an elite few to win a TV tournament is a tough ask. World Number 7 Mensur Suljovic won his first TV tournament, the Champions League of Darts, earlier this month and that was deemed a shock. But backing suited players to win their quarter can be a shrewd way to keep them onside if you fancy them to outperform their odds.
With the Double-In format, it makes sense to consider efficiencies on the doubles. Now obviously these stats include floor events and don’t account for the pressure that comes with playing on TV but given the significance of double hitting is even greater this week, it’s something worth considering. There is also a huge range of number of attempted doubles by players in these stats, while there is no context of the match situation and these could be limitations worth acknowledging.
Since the start of 2017, Ian White has been the most successful PDC player in terms of Checkout Percentage. He also ranks 13th for Doubles hit since the start of August and 14th since the start of September. From this we can see that double-hitting is quite clearly a strong-part of White’s game. He’s averaged over 93 in each of his last 11 matches and although not pulling up any trees, looks to have benefitted from a quiet August. According to Darts Database, White ranks 11th in terms of recorded average (of those having player 20 or more matches) since the start of 2017. White is in the 4th quarter with Peter Wright and could prove a clever cover at 18/1 to take the quarter. Mensur Suljovic is lethal on his obscure favourite double 14 but is a short 7/2 while 9/2 shot James Wade has next to no form to go by, despite his ability to win clutch legs. Mervyn King is a tidy player but at 18/1 with Betfair, White definitely draws appeal.
Michael Van Gerwen is just 1/4 to take the 1st Quarter but faces stiff competition. Although the likes of Rob Cross and Kyle Anderson boast commendable form, Raymond Van Barneveld is simply too big at 10/1. Barney has the A-game to match anyone. At last year’s World Championship he was in inspired form and had no problem beating MVG in his run to the Semi-Final of the Champions League of Darts. The Premier League trip to Rotterdam also springs to mind, he left his Dutch fans in awe during his victory over Van Gerwen. Van Barneveld can be inconsistent but oozes class when on-song. The signs were there in Cardiff earlier this month, so Barney is worth chancing at 10/1 to win this Quarter.
Anderson is the seeded player in the 3rd quarter and he’s odds-on to progress through it. Gerwyn Price showed glimpses at the weekend and while Michael Smith has the power scoring to match most, there is little form to go by as well as question marks over his finishing. If you fancy opposing Gary or want to cover your outright bet, Simon Whitlock looks the value at 9/1. Whitlock is an experienced campaigner and after a quiet time, has shown signs of a bit of a resurgence over the last couple of months. Whitlock went shoulder-to-shoulder with the elite at the World Series and this looks to have stood him in good stead for his return to the European Tour. He reached the Semi-Final of the German Grand Prix earlier this month, losing to eventual winner Michael Van Gerwen, before reaching the Quarters of the International Open at the weekend. The Aussie is cool under pressure and doesn’t really seem to ever look phased. If you’re chancing a bet on this Quarter, Whitlock is the standout value.
The most interesting scope for value here is the 2nd Quarter. Adrian Lewis is the seeded player but has little form to go by due to his injury and personal troubles. Aidy is an opposable favourite and the bookies seem to agree. Lewis is the longest priced seeded player to win their quarter at around 3/1. Dave Chisnall and Daryl Gurney are similarly priced and despite both their claims and Gurney’s impressive rise, in such an open quarter we can chance longer shots. Jelle Klaasen is next at 8/1 but has had his own injury problems. Klaasen has shown some signs of a return to form in recent weeks. He’s recorded consistent 90+ averages and has lost to the eventual winner in each of his last two tournaments. But at 9/1, International Darts Open runner-up Kim Huybrechts can be backed. Huybrechts has had his own personal problems this year. The Belgian caught the eye at the weekend and is comfortable with the format. He reached the Quarter-Final in this tournament last year before being stopped by eventual finalist Gary Anderson. As well as this form, Huybrechts ranks in the top 20 for both doubles hit and averages in 2017, so boasts consistency over a long period. Huybrechts is a fighter and doesn’t lie down, this only enhances his appeal. The other player worth backing in this quarter is Joe Cullen. The 11/1 shot has gone slightly under the radar but his rise can be put in the same bracket as those of Daryl Gurney and Rob Cross. Cullen reached the Semi-Final of the International Darts Open at the weekend and has won two Players Championship’s as well as hitting a 9-darter in 2017. He has no problem with performing on TV either, Cullen of course beat Corey Cady in that mammoth encounter at the last World Championship’s and last November reached the Quarter-Final of the World Series of Darts, a run which included the scalp of Gary Anderson. The open nature of this quarter allows us to take a high-variance approach, and so we will chance Huybrechts at 9/1 and Cullen at 11/1.
Grand Prix Winner:
- Dutch Gary Anderson EW @ 5/1 with Peter Wright EW @ 8/1
- Raymond Van Barneveld to win Quarter 1 @ 10/1
- Kim Huybrechts to win Quarter 2 @ 9/1
- Joe Cullen to win Quarter 2 @ 11/1
- Simon Whitlock to win Quarter 3 @ 9/1
- Ian White to win Quarter 4 @ 18/1