Darts expert Tom Beresford (@Tomsportsjourno) previews night one of the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay and provides us with his best bets at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

2019 World Matchplay Day One Betting Preview & Tips

  • Date: 20/07/19
  • Time: 19:00
  • Venue: Winter Gardens, Blackpool
  • Channel: Sky Sports Football

As the heavily anticipated 2019 Betfred World Matchplay kicks off on Saturday evening at the historic Winter Gardens in Blackpool, there are some stand-out ties on the opening night as defending champion Gary Anderson takes to the stage.

In terms of the betting on the opening night of action, there’s some great value to kick of the prestigious tournament.

Nathan Aspinall vs Mervyn King (19:10)

In the opening match of the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay, we have an ‘exciting’ match to kick off the tournament as the UK Open and US Darts Masters champion Nathan Aspinall takes on Mervyn King.

Believe it or not, it’s the first meeting between the pair, which comes as a bit of a surprise considering the amount of competitions that both players participate in.

In terms of current form, Aspinall is most definitely the more in-form player, fresh from his victory in Las Vegas. As for Mervyn King, he has a history of sciatica and doesn’t always handle the heat well on the big stage. But, King is a battler, who never gives in.

I certainly think that the match has legs in it, but I think that Aspinall will edge out ‘The King’ in this one.

Gerwyn Price v Stephen Bunting (20:10)

In terms of quality, this match should most definitely throw up moments of drama, 180’s and high-quality legs of darts. Gerwyn Price, the Grand Slam champion has been in some electric form in 2019, and as you’d expect, the Welshman is the red-hot favourite to win this match. But, Stephen Bunting has come into a great bit of form lately as he reached the final of the Czech Darts Open just a few weeks ago, and ‘The Bullet’ is always a threat. Let’s not forget that Bunting is a former World Champion, and knows exactly what it takes to win tournaments.

I think that the Welshman will emerge victorious, but it won’t be a straightforward victory for ‘The Iceman’.

Gary Anderson v Danny Noppert (21:10)

Defending champion Gary Anderson will be cautious to say the least as he begins the defence of his World Matchplay crown as he’s faced with the Dutch debutant in the shape of former BDO World Championship finalist Danny Noppert.

Noppert has already tasted success since joining the PDC, and ‘Noppie’ is certainly a dangerous player to say the least. The pair famously clashed at the Grand Slam of Darts back in 2017 in a classic encounter.

Anderson hasn’t really played many competitive matches in 2019 due to injury, but after lifting the World Cup title alongside Peter Wright, the Scot looks healthier and keen to return in action.

If Anderson can get into Noppert early, then we can expect to see a convincing victory for the Scot, but if Noppert brings his best form to the big stage, then we could witness a dramatic encounter.

Rob Cross v Chris Dobey (22:10)

World no.2 and former World champion Rob cross could’ve been handed an easier first round draw on the opening night. ‘Hollywood’ Chris Dobey is a really strong performer, and despite only making his debut at the World Matchplay, Dobey could pose a huge threat in Cross’ ambitions to go deep in this tournament.

Dobey was involved in a unbelievable match with Gary Anderson at the World Championship in December which culminated in a 180-fest. Much like Gary Anderson, Cross will need to get into Dobey early doors if the World no.2 is to have a stress-free evening at the Winter Gardens.

I think this match will have bags of 180’s, and over 16.5 legs in length. As for a match winner, I think that the quality and consistency that Cross possesses, will just prove too much for Dobey in the end.

The Verdict

In the opening match of the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay, I think that the scoring power of Aspinall will just prove to be too much for Mervyn King. With the heat of the big stage and the confidence that Aspinall has heading into this one, I think that the Stockport-based star will emerge victorious. Perhaps 10-7 or 10-8.

In terms of value, you can get an Aspinall win at 2/5, and a -2.5 legs handicap at 5/6.

In the battle of Wales vs England, Gerwyn Price is a player that many people expect to have a deep run in Blackpool. Price’s form is fantastic, and in terms of recent meetings, the Welshman has emerged victorious in their last two meetings.

I fully expect Bunting to cause Price a few problems, but I expect Price to see the match out convincingly. You can get odds of 1/3 for a Gerwyn Price victory, and the 180’s market is also a viable option. Over 8.5 180’s is available at 4/5.

Gary Anderson will most certainly be up for the fight in terms of producing a strong display on the opening night in Blackpool, but Danny Noppert will pose a threat to the Scot. I fully expect Anderson to book his place in round two.

In terms of value, a Gary Anderson victory is available at 1/3, and I really feel that this particular encounter will have a stack of 180’s. Over 7.5 180’s is available at 2/5.

Rounding off the evening, the no.2 seed Rob Cross could really be under a great deal of pressure against debutant Chris Dobey. Despite Cross’ good form as of late, Dobey will be really up for this one.

In terms of value for this one, a Rob Cross victory is available at 1/3, but my recommended bet for this one is over 16.5 legs at even money, as I really feel that this one could go the distance. 

Recommended Bets

  • 1pt – Nathan Aspinall to win – 2/5 (Betfred)
  • 1pt – Gerwyn Price to win – 1/3 (Betfred)
  • 1pt – Gary Anderson to win – 1/3 (Betfred)
  • 1pt – Rob Cross vs Chris Dobey over 16.5 legs – Evens (Betfred)