Luke Littler to lose to Gerwyn Price or Gary Anderson in the 1/4 finals
Wednesday 12.45pm: Scott Williams v Martin Schindler – Williams to Win and Throw 10+ 180s
Wednesday 2.15pm: Dave Chisnall v Gabriel Clemens – Chisnall to Have 1+ 180s in Each Set
Thursday 3.45pm: Ross Smith v Chris Dobey – Both Players to Hit 12+ 180s Each
*Odds quoted are correct at time of publication but are subject to change.
As we head into the worst three days of the Festive period, 32 players will be sitting down to their Christmas dinner with particularly large smiles on their faces this year. Eleven of the Top 32 have failed to make it through to the latter stages, including Peter Wright (4), Nathan Aspinall (6) and Danny Noppert (7).
At Joint-164th in the two-year Order of Merit, Jeffrey de Graaf and Luke Littler are the lowest-ranked players left in the tournament. In fairness to Luke Littler, this time two years ago he was unwrapping a brand new Fireman Sam Rescue Centre play set. Now he’s a 10/1 fifth-favourite to win the Worlds.
Best Bets for Round 3
A lot of attention is on Luke Littler this year, and for good reason. The rookie enters the latter stages looking very likely to reach the Quarter Finals, with Canada’s Matt Campbell and either Jim Williams or Raymond van Barneveld in his way.
If he puts in anything like the displays he’s shown so far, he’ll almost certainly be toeing the oche alongside Gerwyn Price or Gary Anderson in the Last Eight. On paper, that should be where his run ends, but it already looks like it could be one of the clashes of the tournament!
Scott Williams comes into the Last 32 after a 3-0 demolition of #7 seed Noppert. Martin Schindler coasted through against Jermaine Wattimena in his last game, but was fairly lacklustre in terms of his scoring. Williams looks like a bit of value in this one, but it should be close enough for Williams to rack up plenty of maximums. I’ll take Williams to Win and Throw 10+ 180s here.
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Chizzy got off to a slow start in his curtain-raiser, before winning three sets on the spin to seal a 3-1 victory, hitting two 180s in each of those last three sets. At 0.35 180s per leg, only Ross Smith and van Duijvenbode hit maximums more frequently than Dave Chisnall, and you’d fancy him to rattle them in at a decent rate against the German Giant on Wednesday so I like Chisnall to Have 1+ 180s in Each Set.
If you’re looking for a closely-fought clash, Ross Smith v Chris Dobey could be an early shout for game of Round 3. At #16 and #17 seed respectively, the game is a close one on paper and should be a high scoring affair. Ross Smith is having a fantastic year, with the 5th-highest average and most 180s per leg on the PDC tour.
Meanwhile, Chris Dobey ranks 10th for averages and 13th for 180s, and he showed every bit of that in his scintillating victory over Willy O’Connor in the last round. In a match that could go the whole 7 sets, we can expect an absolute hatful of maximums.
Both Players to hit 9+ 180s at looks like a very appealing price, but I’m pushing the boat out and hoping for a classic. With both players scoring freely, breaks of throw should be at a premium, meaning plenty of legs and plenty of 180s. A bad day to be the Treble 20 you feel if Both Players to Hit 12+ 180s Each lands.
*Odds quoted are correct at time of publication but are subject to change
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