Imagine you have sat down to enjoy a banquet with King Henry VIII back in the day. A glorious table filled with chicken, goose, ham, full hogs, potatoes slathered in butter, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings…..the whole works. Hmm, lovely.
Then imagine your lunch the next day: flaccid leftover meat crammed in between two slices of stale bread. Thanks for your hospitality, Henners.
The feast and famine analogy is apt for the world of darts too. Around Christmas and New Year we have the stunning PDC World Championships, with its technicolour light shows, dancing girls and sublime tungsten tossing.
When the dust has settled at the Alexandra Palace, attention turns to the first week of January and the BDO’s version of the World Championship, where a lukewarm pint of bitter accompanied by some rather average darting action awaits.
That is harsh on the BDO: this is an organisation manned by amateur players remember, who have actual jobs to go to and thus they cannot spend as many hours on the practice board as their PDC counterparts. But as we have seen in the cross-code Grand Slam of Darts, when they do put the graft in they can more than compete with their more illustrious peers.
This year’s competition is an intriguing one because we have maybe five or six genuine title contenders. Scott Waites is the reigning champion, but he faces stiff opposition from the likes of two-time Masters winner and favourite, Glen Durrant, plus a host of eclectic talents ranging from the young Dann Noppert to the wily old veteran Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams.
So where’s the smart money going?
BDO World Darts Championship Betting Tips: Outright Winner
The Lakeside stage can have a magical effect on some players and take away the magic powers of others, such is its history in the game, and one player who seems to love the Frimley Green atmosphere is Scott Waites (12/1).
Carpenter by day, expert tungsten tosser by night, Waites is a two-time world champion who also boasts the distinction of being the only BDO representative to win the Grand Slam of Darts. He faces a tough draw, with a potential clash in the second round with Masters finalist Mark McGeeney followed by a last 16 date with fancied Danny Noppert, but Waites has a habit of pulling big performances out of the fire. That was certainly the case in 2016, when he fought back from 2-4 down to beat Durrant 5-4 before going on to lose just two sets in the semi-final and final as he cantered to the crown.
At 40/1, a small investment on Geert de Vos seems fair. The Belgian reached the semi-finals of the Finder Darts Masters and the last 16 of the World Masters in 2016 and won the World Trophy in 2015, and while his form at Lakeside is sketchy he has lost to the eventual champion on three occasions! With his scoring power, De Vos is an outsider worth following.
BDO World Darts Championship Betting Tips: Match Bets
We were surprised to see Martin Phillips priced as long as 8/11 to beat Paul Hogan tonight (Monday, 7pm). The Welshman is a former World Master who has reached the latter stages of this tournament on numerous occasions, while ‘Crocodile Dundee’ rather went through the motions against an injured Tom Sawyer (yes, those genuinely were the players’ names) in the preliminary round. Phillips is excellent value.
Raymond Smith looked distinctly average in his preliminary round clash, and he will be subjected to fire and brimstone on Monday night by the heavy-scoring De Vos in their first-round clash. We like the look of the De Vos to Win, Hit More 180s and Highest Checkout triple-threat at 6/4.
On Tuesday wins for McGeeney (8/15) and Ricard Veenstra (5/8) appear formalities, and in Wednesday’s first confirmed second round encounter the scoring power of Jamie Hughes should be too hot for Jim Williams to handle. ‘Yozza’ can be backed at 1/3 to win the match, but wait for the ‘Most 180s’ market to be priced and act accordingly.