It has been a fantastic tournament so far, with more shocks and surprises than in your average soap opera. But now, at the quarter final stage, things are really hotting up, so we have cast our steely gaze over the matches and come up with some lovely betting value to enjoy.
Ian White (4/5) vs Robert Thornton (5/4) – 19:15
There’s no doubt about it: Ian ‘Diamond’ White has been the most impressive performer in this tournament to date. He defeated world champion Gary Anderson in the last 16, and in truth looked the better player in that 3-1 victory. The confidence he has gained from winning a PDC Tour event just a week ago is clear for all to see.
Robert Thornton, the seventh seed, is a wily old campaigner and needed all of his experience to see off the frustratingly slow throw of Justin Pipe in the last 16. It wasn’t pretty at times, but the Scot got the job done in the end.
But it would take an optimistic punter to bet against White in his current form, and his outright price of 4/5 to win the match is tempting enough. But we really like him to score more than 4.5 maximums at 5/4 (he notched eight against Anderson).
Incidentally, if the Stoke thrower wins this match he would set up a semi-final clash with either Suljovic or Van Der Voort – either of whom he’d be fancied to beat. So back him now each way in the outright tournament market at 7/1; you’ll get a payout even if he loses in the final.
Mensur Suljovic (4/5) vs Vincent Van Der Voort (Evens) – 20:15
For casual observers of the sport, Suljovic’s rise may come as something of a surprise – but for those who follow the tour circuit it won’t have raised any eyebrows. The Austrian is a fantastic player who is finally showing his mettle on the big stage.
He has beaten James Wade, a former Grand Prix finalist, and Simon Whitlock with ease so far, and as such Van Der Voort will have his work cut out. The big Dutchman has beaten two of the best in Terry Jenkins and Phil Taylor to date, but is a free-flowing player who thrives on rhythm – and the slow, methodical Suljovic won’t allow him that. Back the Austrian at 4/5 to get the job done.
Mark Webster (11/8) vs Jelle Klaasen (4/7) – 21:00
This is one of those real ‘pick ‘em’ matches which have a habit of destroying punters’ acca coupons in a heartbeat. A battle between two former BDO World Champions, both of these players may be surprised however to find themselves at the latter stages of the tournament.
Welshman Webster has disposed of two former world champions in Stephen Bunting and Adrian Lewis en route to the last eight, and so his status as underdog in this one is surprising; despite how good Klaasen’s finishing was against Dave Chisnall last time out.
The Dutchman may well prosper in the end, though, but backing Webster with a +1.5 set handicap looks a steal at 8/13.
Michael Van Gerwen (1/10) vs Jamie Lewis (9/1) – 22:00
MVG, who is the defending champion here, has not been at his imperious best so far and has dropped sets to both Keegan Brown and Kim Huybrechts.
That said, he should have far too much in the tank against Jamie Lewis, who is one of the most rapidly improving players on the tour but whose world ranking of 32 belies his standing in the game. Indeed, but for a meltdown of epic proportion from Michael Smith in the last 16, Lewis might not even be here now.
So expect Van Gerwen to get into his stride and win at a canter – although backing the 3-0 scoreline is dangerous as he has a habit of taking his foot off the gas whilst on top. Instead, take the ‘MVG Most 180s’ at 8/15.
Friday’s Predicted Semi-Finals
Michael Van Gerwen to beat Jelle Klaasen 4-2
Ian White to beat Mensur Suljovic 4-1
Saturday’s Predicted Final
Michael Van Gerwen to beat Ian White 5-3