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BDO World Darts Championship Final Preview
Stephen Bunting v Alan Norris
On Sunday evening, Frimley Green’s Lakeside Club will host the final of the 2014 BDO World Darts Championship.
It’s been a fantastic week of darts action and few fans would argue against either Bunting or Norris reaching the final. Both players have been on top form since round 1 and have reached this stage on merit alone.
Norris and Bunting have thrown the most consistent darts this week and if both bring their respective ‘A’ game then we could be in for one hell of a final. It’s unchartered territory for each man though and the occasion could prove too much.
With the BDO’s biggest prize, along with a cheque for £100,000, at stake this is the biggest match of their careers. Who will come out on top?
World Number 1 Bunting To Win Title?
Even before a dart was thrown, Stephen Bunting was installed as the clear favourite and the 28-year-old is now just one step away from lifting his first world crown.
The world number one already has three majors to his name and is desperate to get his hands on the BDO’s biggest prize.
Prior to this week, his best performance was a 2012 quarter-final and apart from that his showings in this tournament have been poor. Even last year he was eliminated in the second round by Darryl Fitton but victory on Sunday would make amends for all those previous heartaches.
Bunting has lived up to the billing of world number 1 by demonstrating phenomenal talent all week long. The 6-1 semi-final win over Robbie Green is a barometer of how easily he has brushed opponents aside; other than a slight scare against Hofstra in the quarter-final, Bunting has barely broke a sweat.
The tournament favourite is the only man to register a three-dart average of 100+ this week and if he plays like that will have a fantastic chance of claiming the £100,000 prize.
Norris Ready To Cause Another Upset
Somerset boy Alan Norris has been in the best form of his life this week and now finds himself just six sets away from lifting his first ever major.
If the world number 27 does go on to lift the trophy then nobody can accuse him of taking the easy route. After dethroning the 2013 champ, Scott Waites, in round 1 the 41-year-old has gone from strength to strength.
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A round 2 triumph over 10th seed Glen Durrant set up a quarter-final tie with world number 2 James Wilson; a 5-2 victory there set up a fascinating semi against Dutchman Jan Dekker.
Saturday’s semi-final was arguably the best match of the tournament so far and one in which Norris showed his ability to fight with the very best. Despite trailing for much of the contest, he came back strong to win the deciding 11th set to cement his place in Sunday’s final.
Norris, like Bunting, has thrown consistently well this week. He has registered three-dart averages of 90+ in every round and hit a dozen 180s in that enthralling semi-final clash.
The 41-year-old will enter the final as clear underdog but maybe, just maybe, it will be this dog’s day.
BDO Darts Final Betting Tips
World number 1 Bunting was the pre-tournament favourite and nothing has changed as he enters the final as the odds on favourite priced 2/5 whilst Norris is a 2/1 outsider.
Norris has been superb all week and showed great determination during his semi-final comeback against Dekker. However, if Bunting gets ahead in this match then it is unlikely that the underdog will be allowed to get back into it. As long as Norris stays level pegging he has a chance but if the favourite opens up a two set advantage then it may be game over.
The handicap is set at 2.5 and in a race to 7 that is probably the right line. This is probably a question of how quickly Bunting can break the throw. In my opinion, Bunting’s superior experience of the big events along with his determination to win a world title could mean he comes out like a train. If he does it could be a very short final.
Bet Tip: Bunting -2.5 sets @10/11 Bet365
Against Dekker, Norton showed he can fire in 180s for fun. However, his semi-final did go the distance and we are not sure this one will last write as long. Also, if he falls too far behind his head could potentially drop and so we believe that both his personal 180s and therefore the match 180s could fall short of their respective lines.
Bet Tip: Norris under 12.5 180s @4/5 Bet365
Bet Tip: Under 24.5 match 180s @10/11 Bet365