Posted on July 10th, 2012
Players to Rock The Bookmakers in Blackpool, by Phil Haigh
As expected it is the usual suspects who are commanding the shortest odds ahead of the World Matchplay with the Order of Merit pretty much matching the betting card; but there is a new face among the tournament favourites and that is Dave Chisnall.
Chizzy has made the transition from the BDO look straight forward since moving across last January and having shot up to 13th in the world already he looks a real contender. Successive finals on the European tour and a strong showing at the UK Open go further to suggest he is ready to make the breakthrough on the stage and this is why he is all the way down at 9/1 with most bookmakers.
As ever, Phil Taylor is favourite to lift the title, and generally any odds-against bet looks good value for the Power, especially in a tournament that he has won 10 of the last 12 additions of; so the 13/8 that Paddy Power and Bet Victor are offering does look quite tempting.
One price that does look enticing is the 14/1 widely offered on Raymond van Barneveld who is hitting form at the right time. The Dutchman was thoroughly impressive in winning the European Darts Open on Sunday night and is still well capable of picking up major titles, especially as he is in the opposite half to Taylor.
Recommended Bet: Phil Taylor to win @ 13/8 with Paddy Power
There isn’t too much value that jumps out at you from the midfield for the Matchplay to be honest. Paul Nicholson’s odds of 66/1 with Sky Bet look long at first glance, but he has been struggling with a shoulder injury and hasn’t made an impact for some time now so I wouldn’t rush to back that. Kim Huybrechts has continued to impress but his first three matches could well be Terry Jenkins, Van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis which makes it a monumental task just to reach the semis.
Now with Premier League experience Andy Hamilton (50/1) and Kevin Painter (80/1) might be worth a punt, but after both fell early in the UK Open it doesn’t necessarily look like the glamour of the Premier League has done them too much good.
The best bet outside the strongest favourites is the continually under-rated Wes Newton who is available at a very decent 25/1 with some bookies. The Warrior is now in the world’s top five and capable of beating anyone on his day, if he can hit form then this price will look very generous indeed.
Recommended Bet: Wes Newton to win @ 25/1 with bet365
The Long Shots
After Rob Thornton tasted success in Bolton it might just be worth having a pop at a real outsider coming from nowhere in Blackpool as well. With the field much smaller there are less of the astronomical odds, but still some that might attract a few quid here and there.
Richie Burnett is out at 100/1 and having reached the semis in Dusseldorf at the weekend is showing some good touch. He showed in the Grand Prix last year that if he can get going then he can still compete with the very best and he might just be able to repeat that kind of performance in Blackpool.
Colin Lloyd has also impressed of late, winning a Players Championship event and memorably knocking out James Wade in Bolton, he is also available at 100/1 and might be worth an each-way flutter.
The man with the longest odds of them all is Michael Smith who bet365 will let you back at 250/1. He has a very tough draw as he faces Barney first up, but the youngster has done some remarkable things in his career so far and that odd 50p that is left in your betting account could be worse spent than backing him.
Recommended Bet: Colin Lloyd (each-way) to win @ 100/1 with sky BET
Photo – Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Follow Phil on Twitter – @philhaigh_