PDC World Darts Championship
The 2014 World Darts Championships get underway on Friday with Phil 'The Power' Taylor the bookies 10/11 favourite to add a 17th World Championship to the 16 he has already banked over an incredible era of darts.
The landscape of darts can change very quickly of course and with more money than ever before available for the top players, the best continue to get better, yet somehow Phil Taylor manages to ensure his rate of improvement matches all the young pretenders to his throne - and he has shown no signs as yet of packing in the game.
Taylor was as long as 3/1 for the title back in April - just as Michael van Gerwen was winning the Premier League in fact, but he’s enjoyed yet another stellar season since then to ensure he goes off odds-on once again.
The below table shows the results of all the major TV tournaments this season, and adds more value than a long spiel of text we could write explaining it all.
|2013 World Championships||Phil Taylor||Michael van Gerwen|
||Phil Taylor||Andy Hamilton|
|World Matchplay||Phil Taylor||Adrian Lewis|
|World Grand Prix
||Phil Taylor||Dave Chisnall|
|Premier League Darts||Michael van Gerwen||Phil Taylor|
|Grand Slam of Darts||Phil Taylor||Robert Thornton|
|Players Championships||Michael van Gerwen||Phil Taylor|
|German Darts Championships||Dave Chisnall||Peter Wright|
|Championship League||Phil Taylor||Michael van Gerwen|
|European Championships||Adrian Lewis||Simon Whitlock|
|World Cup of Darts||Taylor/Lewis
It’s a pretty clear pattern of domination, and with Taylor unable to meet Adrian Lewis or Michael van Gerwen until the final, his two toughest opponents would need to beat him over an epic best of 13 sets to win the tournament were they to meet in the final.
We’re supporting Taylor again, with his first real test not likely to come until the third round, by which time it's best of 7 sets - somewhat mitigating the risk of the set based format. That opponent in all likelihood will be the talented Peter Wright, who could well be worth backing in his opening two rounds and he looks big at 5/2 with sponsors Ladbrokes to beat Joe Cullen 3-1 in the opening round. The Scot has won three times as much money on tour this year as Cullen and sits over 20 places higher in the order of merit.
Looking back at the draw and Ladbrokes have an interesting offer worth opening an account for if you don’t have one already. They are offering to refund losing outright bets, up to £25, if Phil Taylor wins the competition. When you consider that Taylor is odds on across the board to win, and just 4/11 to reach the final, you can see what an offer that is.
With Ladbrokes offering the best odds of 6/1 on Adrian Lewis outright, we reckon that looks a cracking each-way bet given his good form of late and love of this event, which he’s won twice before. He’ll have to beat MvG in all likelihood, but each-way odds of 3/1 just to reach the Final and the potential of getting your cash back if he then went on to lose the win part of the bet simply looks too good to turn down.
Finally, with so many matches going on through Christmas, we thought it would be good to offer a few pieces of advice on betting on darts, in case we can’t deliver daily tips over the yuletide period.
1) Always consider who has the first throw of the match when betting on correct scores within sets and the match and wait to put your stakes on until you know. A player who throws first in the match is far more likely to win 3-0 or 3-2, while a player who throws second is more likely to win 3-1 statistically.
2) When betting on players averages, remember that the better their opponent is, the higher their own average is likely to be - as they get fewer opportunities to miss doubles.
3) If you are betting live, remember, momentum can be huge as a player starts to win legs, but that momentum can be threatened by an advert break!
4) Check out the stats before betting on 180s. Some players target these (Andy Hamilton, Adrian Lewis particularly), while others are quite happy to rack up the 177, 174 and 171’s when the lay isn’t right (Taylor of particular note).
|Adrian Lewis (ew)||Winner||6/1
*Money-back, as a free bet, if Phil Taylor wins (up to £25)