ALL BELOW PRICES ARE CORRECT AS OF 17:30 11/02.2020 HOWEVER ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS
Rob Cross v Nathan Aspinall
Rob Cross fought out a thrilling draw with Gerwyn Price in his opener, and beat Michael Smith in a hard fought 6-5 victory just two days later in Barnsley. However, consecutive defeats to Gary Anderson and Darius Labanauskas won’t do much for confidence heading into this clash, especially coming up against a seriously in-form player.
Having reached the semis at the World Championships, the Asp followed that up with another semi at the Masters before going down narrowly to Michael Smith. He then proceeded to beat John Henderson on his Premier League debut and follow that up with victory at the Players Championship at the weekend, beating ‘Snake Bite’ Wright and ‘The Iceman’ Price on route, so he’ll be brimming with confidence heading into this. His lowest average from 11 matches in the last week has been 95.39, tonning up on five of those occasions, including a 117.45 and a nine dart finish against Wright as he hits red hot form.
What’s more, despite trailing the head-to-head record with Voltage 3-2, both victories have come in the last two matches coming 11-5 and 8-5 last year, so we’re more than happy to get behind the in-form player at an incredibly healthy price.
Gerwyn Price v Michael Smith
Michael Smith has had a slightly turbulent time of late. Having been convincingly dumped out in his opening round of the World Championships to Luke Woodhouse, he managed a final at the Masters and only narrowly missed out to ‘Snake Bite’ Wright. He then suffered defeat to Glen Durrant in his opener in Aberdeen and failed to deliver in his first Players Championships of the year, losing to Gerwyn Price himself in his last outing.
Smith leads the head-to-heads over the years 14-9, though form is very much with the Welshman, winning each of the last three going back to October and he looks in better nick heading into this. Indeed, the Iceman reached the semis of the World Championships and the final of the Players Championship at the weekend, and will be raring to overcome his first-round draw with Rob Cross and make a charge for the playoffs.
Despite being odds on, there’s not much of a case to be made for Smith on current form, and even though their meeting at the weekend finished a narrow 6-5, the averages suggested Price should have won by a larger margin and we’re happy to get behind him again here.
Gary Anderson v Peter Wright
What a time Snake Bite is having of late. Back-to-back wins at the World Championships and the Masters is no mean feat and although he lost his opener here against van Gerwen, the world number 1 hasn’t lost three consecutive matches since April 2018 so Wright was really up against it.
Two quarter-final appearances at the weekend aren’t quite to his recent standards, but a closer look suggests he’s actually performing better than he was a month ago. Indeed, Across the world Championships he managed an impressive average of 98.94 across his 10 wins, though that’s been upped to 100.78 in his 11 matches since, which included a whopping 113.69 in his last high-quality clash which he lost to the Asp, who threw a whopping 117.45, so we can’t fault anyone there.
He’ll come up against a familiar Scottish opponent in Gary Anderson on Thursday night, who’s coming into some form himself. The Flying Scotsman beat both Gerwyn Price and Rob Cross on his way to the first Players Championship title of the year, following up on his opening round win over Daryl Gurney in Aberdeen, and has been hitting some impressive totals. He’s averaged tons in half of his eight matches at the weekend, so we’re expecting a game of quality and the over 6.5 180s appeals.
Glen Durrant v Fallon Sherrock
Glen Durrant got off to a winning start by downing Michael Smith in convincing fashion on his Premier League debut last week, and will be hoping to make it two from two when he takes on Challenger Fallon Sherrock in Nottingham in Round 2. Duzza failed to build on his win last week when in Barnsley for the Players Championships, falling at the last 32 stage in both competitions, with his last performance a 6-1 defeat to Dirk van Duijvenbode with an average of just 89.43, so Sherrock might fancy her chances.
The 25-year-old rose to stardom having become the first woman to ever beat a man at the World Championships in December, before following that up with a victory over 11th seed Mensur Suljovic. She has now, however, lost four of her last five matches and averaged just 84.22 across these, so Durrant should have enough experience to see him through.
That said, Duzza’s first round victory came courtesy of some incredible double hitting, with a whopping 77.8% checkout percentage on the night, as his play throughout the legs needed work. With just the single 180 hit in his victory last week, and his opponent posting 18 in her three matches at the World Championships, the match 180s bet seems to offer much better value than the outright.
Daryl Gurney v Michael van Gerwen
Magic Mike righted some wrongs in his opening round clash, taking revenge on Snake Bite Wright having lost his world Championships title to the Scotsman, and he’ll be looking to push on here. The Dutchman was underwhelming at the Players Championships at the weekend, losing to Brendan Dolan in the last 32 and Jamie Humes in the last 16, throwing an average of just 94.34 in the latter.
Daryl Gurney isn’t exactly in flying form himself. He threw away a 5-4 lead to Gary Anderson in his opener, while he fell at the Last 64 in both Players Championships at the weekend. He’s now only won three of his last 10 matches, with all three victories coming against players outside the top 50 in the Order of Merit. It’s looking like a straightforward win for the world number 1, though at such a short price and with both players not throwing some of their best darts of late, the 180s comes into play. This could be a relatively straightforward victory for van Gerwen, which would limit the legs played and the Unders appeals for Gurney.
ALL ABOVE PRICES ARE CORRECT AS OF 17:30 11/02.2020 HOWEVER ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS
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