It’s that time of year again, throw a few logs on the fire, break out the mince pies and catch up with familiar faces that you haven’t seen all year – namely, the top darts players in the world.
So make a space for MVG in the corner of your living room, put a brew on for Gary Anderson and make sure you’ve told your mam to be careful about what she says to Gerwyn Price, because we’re stepping up to the oche and aiming for the bullseye with these tops tips for the Ally Pally action.
The first round starts on Friday, Van Gerwen’s a raging favourite, but our traders have given us their best value picks for the tournament.
The former world champion has had a good year on tour winning both the World Matchplay and European Championships so it is a bit of a surprise to see him at 12/1.
He should be able to negotiate the opening rounds and he tends to come alive in the longer format games at the end of the tournament. Experience is key in the latter stages and we could see another name added to the list of multiple world champions.
A surprise semi-finalist last year, Aspinall has shown this year that he belongs among the top players in the game-winning the UK Open and US Darts Masters.
He’ll have good memories of the Ally Pally and he has shown a great temperament in the big events. He’ll have a tough test against Ratajski or Hughes in the third round but if he comes through this he can go all the way at 40/1.
Chizzy is the world’s best 180 hitter so if he can reach the latter stages of the tournament he will have a great chance in this market.
His form has been good all year and he has previously played well at this tournament, reaching the quarter-finals last year. At 9/1 it’s worth taking a chance that he can reach a semi or final, which could be enough to win this market.
A veteran of the Ally Pally stage Mervyn has had a good year this year with the highlight being a victory over Michael van Gerwen at the UK Open. He has lost to MVG in two quarter-finals recently but has shown a good level of form in reaching this stage.
Gerwyn Price is the big name in Quarter 4 but he hasn’t got a great record at this tournament so it’s worth taking a chance on Mervyn reaching the semis at a big price.
First Round Match Bets
Klaasen is obviously the bigger name here but he has been in poor form over the last couple of years which gives Burness a good chance to cause an upset in the opening game of the tournament. Burness showed good form in qualifying for the tournament and can win the dubious prize of a 2nd round clash with Michael van Gerwen.
Huybrechts is another player whose form has dipped in recent years but there have been signs lately that he is rediscovering his form. Nentjes did play last year losing 3-0 to Nathan Aspinall and I can see a similar result here if Huybrechts can continue the improvement he has shown recently.
Jamie Hughes has had a very impressive year on the circuit including winning the Czech Open on the European Tour. He’s one of the unseeded players all of the top players would have hoped to avoid in the draw and he can beat Lerchbacher with little fuss. He is a good 180 hitter and finisher so I believe the 7/4 about him winning the match, having most 180s and highest checkout is the way to go.