The 2017 Premier League started with a bang in Newcastle last week courtesy of a world-class showing between Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen, who went toe-to-toe in a high-quality contest before settling for a point apiece in a 6-6 draw.
Kim Huybrechts and Jelle Klaasen, making their second appearances in the competition, couldn’t get off to a winning start and succumbed to James Wade and Peter Wright respectively, while Phil Taylor breezed past Dave Chisnall 7-3 with both players far from their best. Raymond van Barneveld just about crept past Adrian Lewis 7-5 in an entertaining affair.
And so the roadshow heads to Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena this week with points and pride at stake; particularly for MVG. He tasted defeat three times in as many days at the UK Open qualifiers at the weekend, including one to his opponent on Thursday night in Peter Wright. Revenge may well be served up to Wright on the former stomping ground of Robin Hood.
Here is the pick of this week’s Premier League Darts Betting Tips:
Raymond van Barneveld to beat Kim Huybrechts (8/11)
There is a bit of steel to the performances of Van Barneveld at present, and he called upon all of his years of experience to get past Adrian Lewis last week in a tightly contested affair. Barney average a shade under 100 with four maximums, and assuming his checkout success improves this week he will once again put in a formidable performance.
Huybrechts showed up well in Newcastle with a ton average of his own, but a lack of the killer touch at this level was once again cruelly exposed as he tasted defeat to James Wade, who averaged just 96. Expect Barney’s winning run to continue here.
Michael van Gerwen -2.5 Legs against Peter Wright (8/11)
Prior to their meeting in the UK Open qualifiers at the weekend, MVG had beaten Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright in their previous 16 encounters. The defeat in Wigan was one of a trio suffered by the Green Machine, and clearly he wasn’t at the races.
Not that we could suggest he is out of form; he won the World Championships a few weeks ago and averaged nearly 108 in an outstanding dust-up with Gary Anderson in Newcastle.
Wright averaged just 93 last week, and while his UK Open heroics will have done him the world of good, we expect him to be brushed aside by a Dutch darting destroyer keen on revenge.
Gary Anderson -2.5 Legs against Jelle Klaasen (5/6)
This 2.5 handicap allows Anderson to win by any scoreline up to 7-4, and we are confident the Flying Scotsman will deliver here.
He was superb last week and is in a rich vein of form at present; not having the tag of ‘world champion’ around his neck seems to suit him.
Klaasen is perfect for the Premier League in his rapid throwing style, but you do worry that if he gets on a losing run he will find it hard to turn things around. The Dutchman should never have lost to Wright last week, and his lack of victories against the biggest names in the sport is a concern.
Anderson has won all eight of their most recent encounters, with 6/6 satisfying the handicap mark in longer format matches.
Phil Taylor to beat James Wade (8/11)
There is just something about Phil Taylor at the moment, and after announcing his retirement from the game at the end of 2017 his performance level has noticeably increased in shorter format matches.
The Power won’t win a big tournament but in quickfire games like these he is still a menace. He wasn’t at this best against Dave Chisnall last time out but took advantage of his opponent’s errors; in the same way he has been doing for the best part of three decades.
You know what you’re going to get with Wadey, and he is more than capable of winning this match, drawing or getting beaten by a heavy margin. The Machine’s checkout success rate against Huybrechts was down at 33%, and that won’t be good enough to trim Taylor down to size.
Dave Chisnall Most 180s vs Adrian Lewis (4/6)
Even if Chizzy’s double-hitting is more unpredictable than Donald Trump after a bag of sweets, his ability to pepper the treble 20 bed remains undimmed. He bagged five maximums last week – more than any other player.
Adrian Lewis hasn’t hit the heights expected of him since winning back-to-back world crowns, and his power-scoring seems to have eluded him in the past year or so too. He may or may not win this match, but we believe that Chizzy will have more 180s to his name by the end of the night.