James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
As we head into the final few weeks, a gap seems to be opening up between the top four and the rest, though a lot can change in a short space of time with the new format and nothing is certain just yet.
James Wade had reached three successive Premier League night finals before encountering van Gerwen in the semis last week and suffering a 6-3 defeat. His 88.25 average in that clash was never going to be enough to get past Mighty Mike, and we’d expect a stronger showing from him this time round.
Neither have played since last week so there’s no weekend form to go off here, and while Wade has been in top form in recent weeks, up against van Gerwen he’s struggled. He’s lost twice in the last three weeks and while he has beaten him this season, he’s still lost six of the last seven meetings between the two, and since the Dutchman has fallen off top spot, he’ll be determined to claim that spot back this week. What’s more, Wade has only won 18% of his 180’s match bets this season at an average of 1.59 per match , while van Gerwen is throwing a 2.76 average, and that’s worth coupling with the result.
MVG TO WIN AND HAVE THE MOST 180’s
Gerwyn Price v Joe Cullen
It looks all but over for Gerwyn Price in his plight for a maiden Premier League title barring a miraculous recovery. He currently sits nine points off the play-off places and defeat to Joe Cullen here would almost certainly be curtains on his campaign. In fairness to him, he faced an fired up van Gerwen in the quarters last time out, though he did still enter that night with four defeats from his last five outings as confidence seems low at the moment.
Joe Cullen, however, is still in with a shout of the playoffs with five points separating him and Peter Wright in fourth. A 6-5 quarters defeat to Snake Bite last week was agonising for the Englishman, though a win here could well see him back in contention.
Cullen seems to be the player in better form, and we wouldn’t want to discount the effect actually having something to play for can have. What’s more, he seems to have Prices number. Cullen leads the head-to-heads 9-5, though that’s massively swung in his favour in recent meetings as he’s now won four successive meetings with the Iceman, and we’ll back him to make that five here.
JOE CULLEN TO WIN
Michael Smith v Gary Anderson
There’s not a lot going right for either of these players at the moment as they prop up the table with next to no hope of qualifying for the next stage. Michael Smith remains the only player yet to win a single night this season, and while Anderson won night 6, he’s only won one other match across the other 10 nights combined.
It’s now five defeats on the trot for the Flying Scotsman coming into this one and unless he can muster up something out of nothing it’s hard to see where his next victory is going to come from.
There’s very little to split the two on the head-to-heads either, with Anderson just taking that 10-9 from their 19 meetings so far, so we’ll ignore the winner market on this occasion with both looking out of touch.
These two have thrown 73 180s between them across a combined 29 matches (2.5 per match), though 20 of those came on night 6 alone and they’ve shown little promise in racking up maximums since, leaving the unders bet on the match 180s looking a strong proposition here.
UNDER 5.5 MATCH 180s
Jonny Clayton v Peter Wright
Finally, top of the table Jonny Clayton takes on Snake Bite to strengthen his hold on the play-off spots. Barring a tumultuous last few nights, its safe to say that defending champion Clayton will be in the latter stages, though he’ll not want to rest on his laurels and give others a chance to catch up.
This is a big clash for Snake Bite who sits five points clear of Joe Cullen in third, and a win certainly isn’t guaranteed here. The Scot has lost five of his last six outings, including a 5-5 defeat to Clayton himself in last weeks’ semi-final. That was Wright’s third successive defeat to the Welshman, though two of those matches have gone to a decider while the other finished 6-4, so there’s not much to split them.
This is likely to be a game of high quality, and while the over 180s match bet appeals, the over legs looks like a better proposition given recent history.
OVER 9.5 LEGS
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