The PDC World Championships kick off on Thursday and the first round in particular, where mis-matches are commonplace, is an excellent place to start for punters looking to build a bit of a bankroll ahead of a packed sporting calendar this Christmas and New Year.
Darts is an under-utilised sport in betting circles, and the opportunities for those with even a hint of knowledge are there for all to see.
We’ve cast our eye over Thursday and Friday’s action and come up with an accumulator that looks, on paper at least, to have an excellent chance of landing. A fiver returns in excess of £22, which is a lovely way to start proceedings.
So, without further ado, here is our PDC Word Darts Championship 4-fold, which returns around the 4.50/1 mark depending on your preferred bookmaker:
Mick McGowan +2.5 Sets against Jamie Lewis
The Irishman known as ‘The Magnet’ continues to stick around on the PDC Tour after a period in the wilderness, and McGowan is currently throwing some pretty decent darts.
Last 32 appearances at the World Grand Prix and the Players Championship Finals netted some crucial ranking points, £10,000 in prize money and some much-needed confidence ahead of Thursday date at the Alexandra Palace with Jamie Lewis. Those performances came on the back of a semi-final appearance at a Players Championship event, so McGowan’s hard work is starting to pay off.
Jamie Lewis is a handy young pro but it has not been a good year on the circuit for the Welshman, and it is debatable that he has the confidence nor the form to see off McGowan 3-0 in this best of five sets match. All we need is the Magnet to show some steel and clinch a set and leg one is in the bag.
Michael Smith Over 4.5 Maximums against Ricky Smith
The last match on night one of the World Championships sees two rapid tungsten tossers do battle.
It has been a disappointing year for ‘Bully Boy’, and yet it was one that had started so well with a run to the quarters of the 2016 Worlds. But the pressure of expectation, allied to a wretched Premier League campaign, has led to a bit of a nosedive in form for the world number 11.
Even so, his power scoring has not deserted him – it’s his finishing where Smith struggles, so we’re happy to have him on board against a similarly quick-throwing opponent; a style which will help Smith settle into this natural rhythm. That bodes well for a high-scoring contest; even if doubling out is a problem.
Gerwyn Price -1.5 Sets against Jonny Clayton
The former rugby star is now firmly established in dart’s top 32 players in the world, and his performances in 2016 have confirmed that Price is capable of dining at the sport’s top table.
A winner of two Players Championship events, the ‘Iceman’ has also reached the latter stages of a number of ranking events, including the ultra-competitive Grand Slam of Darts, the European Championships and the World Series, and this will surely be third-time lucky for Price in making it past the first round of the Worlds.
Jonny Clayton is a solid Pro Tour darter but having not gone past the first round of a main tour event in six attempts, we have to favour Price to get the nod even with that -1.5 handicap.
Corey Cadby to beat Qiang Sun 2-0
This preliminary round match (best of three sets) actually takes place on Monday night, but adds decent value to our acca nonetheless.
Not much is known of Qiang, he plies his trade mostly on the Asian Tour and hasn’t really brought his A-game to the Ally Pally as yet you suspect in his two preliminary round defeats. Here’s a player that was so struck with nerves in this tournament last year that he managed to bust 133 and them miss the board completely with another dart. That does not bode well.
A lack of confidence is not likely to affect Corey Cadby here. The young Aussie has already beaten Phil Taylor this year in the Perth Masters, and capped a fine 12 months by becoming the World Youth Champion in November. His display in the final, in front of a raucous 5,000 or so people at Butlins, was nerveless and sets him up nicely for his first trip to the Alexandra Palace.