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World Darts Championship tips

December 16th, 2014

The tree has been decorated, the kids navity play was great, and the office party saw you embarrass yourself (again), but it’s not Christmas until the first Arrers have been chucked at the Ally Pally, and the good news for us all is that the annual tungsten festival gets underway properly on Thursday.

Sky Sports have thrown themselves into the action more than ever, dedicating an entire channel to the gladiatorial battles which are set to commence, and we´ll kick off by taking a look at the draw and try to suss out whether anyone can prevent a Taylor v MVG final, or even go one step further and win the event and the mega jackpot that comes with it.

The draw looks to have worked out slighty in favour of 2/1 favourite Phil Taylor, who will likely face one of Ian White, Simon Whitlock or Vincent van der Voort in the quarter-finals, and on the form of this season, it’s hard to see any of that crew prevailing over Taylor in what will be a first to five sets encounter. Those three have all averaged between 93.5 and 94.6 this season, so all would need to up their games considerably to beat a man who will surely be into three figure averaging by then.

Potential semi-final opponents could be James Wade - a player who has averaged above 96 for the season and looks a much improved and more settled spirit at the moment, while Adrian Lewis can’t be discounted and is probably at much the same level. Wade is quoted at 16/1 and Lewis is a 12/1 chance, but we don’t see those guys beating Taylor this year.

Despite being an arguably harder half, the value could come for the top part of the draw, where MVG (100+ season average and a 57% win ratio) will need to overcome an in-form Gary Anderson if he’s to book a berth in the final.

MVG has seen his best early form disappear in a season which has gone somewhat downhill for Mighty Mike. Although he’s still a regular feature at the sharp edge of tournaments, we think Gary Anderson’s win in the Players Championship was more an overdue success for his improved form than a flash in the pan, and the 7/1 on him winning the title looks very fair with e/w odds of 1/2 giving you a 7/2 bet on him reaching the final.

The Scot has long been criticised for failing to capitalise on his good scoring by missing doubles, but he ran at over 50% CO rate in the Players and has seen his season average rise a full point over the previous season to 99 - he’s now a real danger to Taylor and co.

Anderson can beat Peter Wright to a semi-final slot, but it could be worth taking a small punt on Jelle Klaasen in the 2nd quarter betting as well at 33/1. The Dutchman has been off the radar for a good while after serving a suspension from the game, but his end of season form since coming back has been strong, and he beat Adrian Lewis and James Wade towards the end of the season, as well as hitting 180s for fun against Jamie Caven in the European Championships. The price is probably undervaluing his chances.

Finally, it’s been a close thing between MVG and Anderson when it comes to hitting the 180s, with both averaging 0.33 per leg this season. It could well be a shoot out between the pair when it comes to who hits the most in the tournament, and Anderson could find his early round matches go on slightly longer than MVGs, so the 10/3 looks a fair play about the steady Scot.

Finally, it is worth noting that Betfred are offering to refund all tounament outright winner bets, as a free bet up to £50, if the final is contested between Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen.

Phil Taylor Tournament Winner 9/4 Betfred*
Gary Anderson (ew) Tournament Winner 7/1 Betfred*
Jelle Klaasen Quarter 2 Winner 33/1 Sky Bet
James Wade Quarter 4 Winner 7/2 William Hill
Gary Anderson Most 180´s 10/3 Sky Bet

*Moneyback on losing bets, as a free bet up to £50, if it´s a Taylor v MVG final

BetfredSky BetWilliam Hill
£25 free bet
£20 free bet
£25 free bet

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