Watch the World Matchplay on Sky Sports 1. Coverage commences at 7pm on Saturday July 19.
Arrow-throwing geniuses will descend on Blackpool this weekend when the 21st World Matchplay gets underway. And there’s a stellar line-up scheduled for the opening day of the tournament with World No 1 Michael van Gerwen and 2007 champion James Wade both in action on Saturday night.
Mighty Mike is 2/1 clear favourite to triumph at the Winter Gardens with sponsors BetVictor, but all eyes will be on Phil Taylor who has officially been displaced as the best in the business by the Dutchman this year, but the Stoke thrower boasts a truly tremendous record in this event.
The Power, currently 7/2 second favourite with BetVictor, hasn’t tasted defeat in a PDC World Matchplay game since 2007. Indeed, he secured his successive title 12 months ago and, astonishingly, has won the tournament on no less than 14 previous occasions.
The 53-year-old will commence his title defence on Sunday evening when squaring up against Norwich man Darren Webster, who hasn’t competed in the World Matchplay since 2005. Predictably, Taylor is long odds on – 1/16 with BetVictor in fact – to win his opening match.
Van Gerwen faces Steve Beaton in his opening game and, like Taylor, BetVictor’s odds compilers reckon he will have little trouble in emerging victorious – the Gibraltar-based firm go 1/9 about the No 1 seed sailing through to the next round.
Four-time finalist James Wade, 14/1 in the tournament outright betting with the sponsors, has a slightly trickier pipe-opener against Andy Smith in the final match of Saturday’s session, but The Machine is expected to come through that tie all the same (1/5 with BetVictor).
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BetVictor World Matchplay Darts Outright Winner Odds
- Michael van Gerwen 2/1
- Phil Taylor 7/2
- Adrian Lewis 8/1
- Gary Anderson 12/1
- James Wade 14/1
- Raymond van Barneveld 14/1
- 22/1 bar
Simon Whitlock, a former Matchplay semi-finalist, meets Kevin Painter in the first round. That bout should be more evenly matched, but the first match of this year’s Matchplay at the famous Winter Gardens between Ian White and two-time finalist Terry Jenkins is likely to be the tightest of the four games on Saturday.
Adrian Lewis, third best at 8/1 in BetVictor’s ante-post betting, will kick-start his bid to land the 2014 Matchplay crown against Andrew Gilding on Monday evening. Jackpot is 1/7 to see off the 43-year-old who will be making his debut in the tournament.
Others that are prominent in the outright market are Gary Anderson, a 12/1 shot who will tackle Jamie Caven on Monday, and the redoubtable Raymond van Barneveld (14/1 with BetVictor), who will square up against fellow countryman Vincent van der Voort in the final game of Sunday’s evening session.
Betting On Darts: A Basic Overview For The Uninitiated
If you’re new to the sport in betting terms, you will notice that, quite often, betting on darts matches is akin to boxing matches, particularly in the early stages of tournaments. In other words, in the first couple of rounds at least there tends to be several mismatches – an example being Sunday’s clash between Phil Taylor and Darren Webster.
However, as with the winning round and method of victory markets in boxing, there is value to be had when it comes to darts matches, too. The handicap and correct score markets tends to be the best options until the latter stages when the games tend to be more evenly-matched.
Darts Betting Tips – World Matchplay Betting Advice
It goes without saying that Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor are the men to beat in Blackpool this month. The Power is the better option of the pair from a value standpoint at 7/2, but I don’t believe that the Matchplay will be anywhere near as clear-cut as the betting suggests.
At 8/1 and 14s respectively, the recommendation is backing Adrian Lewis and James Wade against the field. Jackpot has had personal problems to contend with, but he’s a strong character and could easily bounce back in a tournament in which he was runner-up to Taylor 12 months ago.
Meanwhile, Wade’s record at the Winter Gardens speaks for itself, winning the tournament in 2007 and finishing runner-up on three other occasions. For some reason, The Machine tends to peak at this time of the year, as he illustrated when ending a three-year title drought in the Gibraltar Trophy last month.