2018 PDC World Darts Championship Day 2 Betting Preview
Ben Levene (@benlevene96) analyses Day 2 of the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship.
2018 PDC World Darts Championship Day 2 Betting Preview
Watch: Sky Sports Darts
Day Two of the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship this Friday is an evening session consisting of 3 1st round games and Prelim. The Schedule is as follows (times can change depending on the previous game). The First Round takes a best of five sets format, the Preliminary round is best of three.
19:15 – Seigo Asada v Gordon Mathers
20:15 – Stephen Bunting v Dmitri Van den Bergh
21:15 – Phil Taylor v Chris Dobey
22:15 – Rob Cross v Asada/Mathers
Seigo Asada v Gordon Mathers
The opening game of the night is a preliminary round game. The prize for the winner? A first-round meeting with the in-form Rob Cross.
Asada is an experienced campaigner. He’s been at the last three BDO World Championship’s and has been dominant domestically in Japan, winning the last two events he competed in.
Gordon Mathers has won three events on the Australian Pro Tour this year and is here via the fact he’s the DPA’s highest ranked players. However, he hasn’t competed since June so we can question the extent to which is match-sharp.
We have little info to go by, but Mathers has won three of his last four meetings with Corey Cadby and three of his last four with Rhys Matthewson, who has twice lost 6-2 to Peter Wright this year.
Like I said, we have little information to go by and that for me is enough reason to steer clear of a bet.
Stephen Bunting v Dmitri Van den Bergh
For me this could be the tie of the opening round.
After a sorry spell, Stephen Bunting has found form over the last few months. The Bullet has averaged at least 90 in his last 11 consecutive matches, averaging at least 95 in four of his last five.
He’s hit 35 maximums across his last 119 legs of Darts, which suggests a rate of a maximum every 3.4 legs. He’s hit at least 30% of doubles in nine of his last 11 matches and the occasions he fell below this mark were against Michael Van Gerwen and Peter Wright. So essentially, outside his games versus the elite, Bunting has hit at least 30% of his doubles, hitting 40% in six of his last nine.
We usually associate Bunting with his power scoring but he’s even finishing well at the minute. That’s testament to how well he’s playing.
Newly crowned World Youth Champion, Dimitri Van den Bergh, is the man tasked with facing Bunting. Van den Bergh beat both Michael Smith and Raymond Van Barneveld at the World Series Finals in November, averaging over 100 on both occasions. He’s come on leaps and bounds in a short space of him and is a dangerous player. It will be no surprise to see him challenging for the top-16 in the Order of Merit over the next few years.
Van den Bergh has hit 14 180’s across his last 59 legs of Darts, yielding a rate of a maximum every 4.2 legs and his hit 13 maximums in his last 40 legs on TV, giving a frequency of every 3.1 legs.
He’s hit four or more 180’s in each of his previous three games at ‘Ally Pally’, including nine in last year’s 1st round 3-2 defeat to Cristo Reyes. 12-months prior to that he beat Ian White before losing to Benito van de Pas, hitting four maximums on both occasions.
On TV since the Grand Prix at the start of October, Bunting has hit 27 180’s in 102 legs, giving a rate of a 180 every 3.8 legs. Bunting hit six maximums in his opening round 3-2 defeat to Darren Webster at last year’s Worlds’, and the year prior to that hit three in a 3-0 opening round win over Jyhan Artut and a whopping 15 in a 2nd round 4-3 defeat to Raymond Van Barneveld.
The evidence shows that both players are at home on the big stage, if anything their power scoring is likely to push one another to further levels. With this in mind, the 5/6 offered by Betfair for both players to hit 4 or more 180’s looks a well-founded bet. Assuming this goes four or five sets, you’ll get a decent run for you money.
That brings me on to my next bet. The pair met in September with that game going to a last-leg decider, seeing Bunting win 6-5. Both players are scoring well at the minute which means they should be adept at holding their throw. This match seeing the distance wouldn’t be any surprise, but instead I like the Over 17.5 legs quoted by Sky Bet at even money,
Phil Taylor v Chris Dobey
The 16-time World Champion begins on a voyage to end his phenomenal career with a fairy tale ending. The Power has cut down on the amount he’s played this year but that’s benefitted his performance. He’s focused on the majors and if we look at those events, he succeeded in winning the World Matchplay in July (the event he’d rank second to this) and reached the Semi-Finals of the Premier League, Champions League and Grand Slam.
Chris Dobey is a promising young player and is more than capable. This time last year I’d have probably tried to side with him, but he’s not playing as well at the minute. Nonetheless, Dobey has shown some form of late. He’s averaged over 90 in five consecutive matches on TV and in November beat the likes of Mensur Suljovic, Kim Huybrechts and Robert Thornton.
If he can average around the 90 mark, Dobey can take legs off Taylor. I expect Dobey to score well and find the treble bed frequently and was tempted towards a bet in the 180 market, but Taylor’s inconsistency in terms of maximum hitting is enough to put me off.
Rob Cross v Asada/Mathers
You could make a pretty convincing case for Rob Cross being the second best player in the world at the moment. He’s averaged over 100 in seven of his last ten games on TV and it’s difficult to see him not taking this 3-0.
Cross’ opening round results in TV tournaments since October read 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. In the group phase at the Grand Slam of Darts, excluding his 5-4 loss to MVG, he beat Joe Murnan 5-1 and Ross Montgomery 5-2. Cross should take this 3-0 meaning he wins nine legs. If the total legs line is drawn at 13.5 or 14.5, going under looks the way to go. It’s difficult to see either Asada or Mathers taking more than three or four legs.
Voltage is notorious for his high-checkouts and that’s a potential angle worth delving into. The minimum number of legs this match can go is nine, so it’s worth airing with the side of caution for a bit of perspective.
Of Cross’ last 18-matches on TV (since October), he’s checked out at least 80 in 16 of those games, over 100 in 14 of those, and 120 or more in 13 of those. Moreover, he’s checkout over 100 in 11 of his last 13 matches on TV, with his high-finish being at least 80 in 12 of those 13 games.
If we look at Cross’ matches to have had nine or fewer legs, his high finishes read 130, 129, 164, 170, 130, 121. So in his last six games to have had nine or less legs he’s finished at least 120.
The markets for this match are yet to be priced but if you can get anything around the 1/2 mark for a Cross win and the highest finish, you’ve found a cracker.
- 2pt Cross win + highest checkout (at odds of greater than 1/2 when priced up)
- 1pt Bunting v Van den Bergh – Over 17.5 legs @ Evs
- 1pt Bunting v Van den Bergh – Both players 4+ 180’s @ 5/6
- 1pt Cross v Asada/Mathers – Under 13.5/14.5 (If priced up)