Before the tournament started, I said Michael Smith would be there. I said Michael Van Gerwen would be there, and I said Gary Anderson would be there.
I thought it would be a Gary Anderson v Michael Smith final, and told you to back Smith each-way – you’re in the money if he beats Nathan Aspinall tonight.
In a tournament of shocks and surprises, we’ve ended up in the semi-final with the best two players in the world, Van Gerwen and Anderson, Michael Smith who was the Premier League finalist, and an unknown kid, 750/1 pre-tournament outsider Aspinall.
No-one saw Aspinall, the former accountant from Stockport, coming. But can he make it to the final?
Smith v Aspinall
Smith showed his class, averaging over 100 in his last three matches and winning 5-1 over Luke Humphries in the quarter-finals, hitting eight 180s along the way. He has looked very comfortable.
Head-to-head against Aspinall, there’s not much in it. They’ve hardly played each other. I think the occasion could get to Aspinall, while Smith has dreamed of the World Championship final for years.
The stats: Smith has a 99.61 three-dart average, while it’s 94.98 for Aspinall. The class of Smith should shine through.
There’s no value in backing him just to win, but what about him to get the most 180s, the highest checkout and to win the match at 6/5?
I’m looking at Smith to win fairly comfortably, and the 6-3 scoreline is 9/2.
MVG v Anderson
I’m calling this the People’s Final. It’s the one everybody wanted to see, the best two players in world darts. Michael Van Gerwen is in his fifth World Championship semi-final in six years, which is amazing. Both men are aiming for a hat-trick of World Championship titles, with the only player having done that in the modern era being Phil Taylor.
Gary Anderson is 6/4, while MVG is priced at 8/15. Three-dart average for the pair of them: MVG is at 103.38, with Anderson at 98.89. As far as 180s go, Anderson is way ahead with 40 compared to MVG’s 21.
So what about this for a bet?: MVG to win the match but Anderson to hit more 180s, which is priced at 17/10.
When Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson met in Newcastle in February, this magic happened…
More of the same tonight please fellas! pic.twitter.com/veCFxiIoH8
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 30, 2018
There could also be a nine-darter. They’ll push each other hard – it’s 20/1 for there to be a nine-dart finish in the match. I’m also looking at MVG to win 6-4, which is priced at 6/1.
If you fancy a double, Aspinall and Anderson won’t lie down to have their tummies tickled but I’m pretty certain we’re looking at a Smith v Van Gerwen final. The double on those two winning their semi-finals comes out at about Even money.