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PDC HOME TOUR GROUP ELEVEN
Simon Whitlock (PDC Order of Merit – 14th)
The Aussie may be up in 14th in the world rankings due to him plugging away with consistent last 32 and last 16 appearances, but he’s yet to really stamp his mark down any further than that in recent times.
Indeed, Whitlock has reached a best of just one quarter and semi-final since July last year from 39 competitions, both of which came in his home country down under at Melbourne and Brisbane Masters back in August.
He did make eight last 16 visits over that period and so it’s clear to see why he remains near the top of the sport, but with only one of those coming from his seven Player Championship events so far in 2020, it hasn’t all gone his way. Furthermore, with four defeats from his last five, he’ll be hoping this break has allowed him to recalibrate.
Mike van Duivenbode (98th)
You can’t be too confident about the Pigeon’s chances tonight. He’s lost 12 straight matches now this year on the PDC Tour, with his only wins in that time coming on the Development tour in Germany, while his total prize money at the Players Champs in 2020 is a mere £1,500, all coming from the first two competitions.
It’s likely his appearance fee will be the highlight of the tournament for Dutchman as we can’t see him testing many of the opposition in this group, and an average of 80 across his last 18 matches says it all.
Alan Tabern (97th)
The 53-year-old veteran once again excelled at UK Open when reaching the last 32, before losing to Stephen Bunting. He may have lost four of his most recent matches since that run at the Minehead Resort, but three of those defeats came against the Bullet again, Darren Webster and Nathan Aspinall and so he can be forgiven those.
Moreover, four wins from his nine Players Champs outings isn’t exactly table topping performances, but four of those defeats were top 30 players, while he still beat the likes of John Henderson (32nd) and Gabriel Clemens (38th) and he could be an interesting player in this group.
Kirk Shepherd (78th)
A last 16 appearance at Players Champs back in early February is by far his best performance since his last 32 visit at Austrian Darts Championship in September last year.
However, on recent form he leaves a lot to be desired, losing six straight matches and only once even getting within two legs of his opponent.
Averaging 85 from his last 21 matches dating back to November, which decreases to just 82 across his most recent six outings, his form is certainly nothing to write home about.
His only saving grace tonight will be the fact that he’s amongst a pretty weak group in the grand scheme of things and so anything is possible.
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PDC HOME TOUR DAY ELEVEN BETTING TIPS 27 APRIL
Simon Whitlock v Mike van Duivenbode
The Wizard has won 12 of his last 20 Players Championship matches which usually would be a fairly poor record, but given his company in this group, it’s most certainly a positive.
In fact, if we exclude the current top 25 from that run of games, he’s actually won 10 of 13 matches, with two of those defeats coming by fine 6-5 margins, while the 10 victories came by an aggregate 60-31, with only one of them being taken to a deciding leg.
By contrast, the Dutchmen has lost his last seven matches against top 75 ranked players and considering six of those saw him score a maximum of three legs and five finishing either 6-2 or 6-1, the handicap looks a sure thing even in the best of nine legs format.
Simon Whitlock -1.5 Legs at 4/5
Mike van Duivenbode v Alan Tabern
Alan Tabern has had a tough run of fixtures of late, but excluding the current top 30 in the PDC Order of Merit Rankings, he’s won eight of his last nine matches now dating back to February and he looks in a good vein of form off the back of that impressive UK Open showing.
Moreover, an average of 93 across those matches is very contrasting to his second opponent of the evening in Mike van Duivenbode.
The Dutchmen is averaging 80 across his most recent 18 outings and is on a 12 match losing run in ranking tournaments, so we’re struggling to see why he’s favourite for this encounter in what will be their first ever meeting.
Having already seen the likes of Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, Luke Humphries, James Wade, Gabriel Clemens and Michael Smith all fail to show their talents from the safety of their own home, we’re inclined to have a punt on an outsider.
The Saint may be way down in 97th in the rankings, but that run of six wins from his last seven outside the top 30, as well as a 3-0 head-to-head record against Kirk Shepherd and the fact we’re confident in him toppling van Duivenbode, he looks the value bet of the night.
Of course, short favourite Simon Whitlock heads this market, but at the prices we’d have to have half a point on 52-year-old.
Group Winner – Alan Tabern at 9/2
ALL ABOVE PRICES ARE CORRECT AS OF 06:30 27/04/2020 HOWEVER ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS
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