2018 PDC World Darts Championship Outright Betting Preview
In this betting preview Ben Levene (@benlevene96) analyses the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship which begins this Thursday 14th December, including the format, betting angles and best bets.
2018 PDC World Darts Championship Outright Betting Preview
Date: 14/12/17 – 01/01/18
Venue: Alexandra Palace
Watch: Sky Sports Darts
The darts returns to ‘Ally Pally’ again this week for the 2018 edition of the World Championship. Every match will be televised on Sky Sports and I’ll be back with daily previews.
The World Championship takes the set format, each set is best of 5 legs, with the first to 3 legs winning that set. The 1st round is best of 5 sets, 2nd and 3rd rounds are best of 7 sets, the Quarter-Finals are best of 9 sets, the Semi-Finals best of 11 sets and the Final is best of 13 sets. Preliminary round matches are best of 3 sets.
Reigning champion Michael Van Gerwen goes off as odds-on favourite, and the price makes sense when you consider the Dutchman is on a 29-match unbeaten run. MVG has won the last four televised tournaments and looks to have a favourable route to the final. Raymond Van Barneveld, Rob Cross, Daryl Gurney, Mensur Suljovic and even the tricky Kyle Anderson can make claims to go deep in the top-half of the draw.
Given Van Gerwen’s dominance, I’m happy to delve into the lower half of the draw and it’s in the quarter market where I’ve found my outright fancies.
World Number 2 Peter Wright heads the third quarter and while he’s performed with phenomenal consistency throughout the year, I’m happy to chance former World Champion Adrian Lewis. If you think back, in the same preview 12-months ago we backed Snakebite at a longer price to win a weaker quarter. Wright potentially faces Jonny Clayton, Kim Huybrechts and Alan Norris before the Quarter-Final and these are by no means rollovers. Wright has shown poor moments of late. He was defeated in the First-Round of the Players Championship Finals and despite reaching the final of the Grand Slam and Matchplay, looks to be lacking the relentlessness he possessed in the first six months of 2017. Wright was taken into hospital for a day last week too, so whether that has affected his practice remains to be seen.
Lewis has been troubled with a back injury this year but when he gets the first dart right, he has the scoring power few can compete with. Jackpot showed glimpses at the Players Championship in his loss to the impressive Rob Cross. He averaged over 97 in all three matches at the Players Championship Finals the other week after a month away from darts. He took out a 170 finish against Cross and averaged a maximum every 3 legs across the that tournament. There were promising signs from Lewis, he’s had his back operation and changed the darts he’s using too.
Moreover, Jackpot is in desperate need of a deep run. Firstly, he needs to consolidate his Premier League spot. In addition to this, Lewis is at risk of dropping out of the top 16 with a poor run over the coming months as he is defending significant prize money given he reached the Final here two years ago (The order of merit is based on two-year prize money). He’s amongst the most naturally gifted players on the planet, the application lets him down at times but he’s won nine televised titles and hit five nine-darters on TV if you wanted further evidence of the ability he owns.
Lewis loves ‘Ally Pally’ too. After winning the Worlds in 2011 and 2012 he reached the Final in 2016. Since 2012, the only players to have eliminated Lewis from the Worlds are Van Gerwen, Van Barneveld and Gary Anderson – all of whom are World Champions. He’s reached at least the Quarter-Final in six of the last eight World Championship and on both the occasions he hasn’t, he’s lost 4-3 to Raymond Van Barneveld in the Third Round . Should he reach the Quarter-Final this time around, he’s likely to have some momentum and confidence behind him.
Wright is amongst the most consistent performers on the circuit but I just think given the draw and the prices, Lewis looks the value. He’ll give you a decent run for your money and should he reach the Quarter-Finals, the margins are so fine that anything can happen. I got on him at 7/2 early last week but even the 13/5 still available looks tempting.
I’m taking a similar angle in fourth quarter. As I’m sure everyone is aware by now, this is Phil Taylor’s final tournament before retiring. The Power has won this event 14-times and if he can handle the long-format, has a decent chance of going close again. Taylor has been focusing on the majors this calendar year and has looked phenomenal in patches. If we look at televised tournaments this year, Taylor won the Matchplay in Blackpool and reached the Semi-Final of both the Premier League and Grand Slam. He looks determined to end in style and this can be seen through the tactics employed in interviews before and after games with Daryl Gurney and Michael Van Gerwen last month.
Over the last few years I’ve massively opposed Phil. He’s gone off too short because of his previous achievements. He went off at a single-figure price 12-months ago when playing poorly, however this year is playing throwing the best darts we’ve seen from him for a long-time.
Gary Anderson is favourite for this quarter and it’s totally understandable when you consider the two-time World Champion has reached the Final here in each of the last three years. Anderson was mesmerising at times during the Grand Slam yet somehow found a way to lose in the Semi-Final to Peter Wright. Like Wright, Anderson was knocked out in the First-Round of the Players Championship although he had some personal problems around the time.
If you want to remove some risk, it could be worth covering your stakes with both Wright and Anderson given they are available at around even money to progress through their Quarters.
- Adrian Lewis to win Quarter 3 @ 13/5
- Phil Taylor to win Quarter 4 @ 2/1