World Matchplay First Round

World Matchplay

Published: 20/07/2014

The 2014 World Matchplay Darts Championships gets underway Saturday night from Winter Gardens in Blackpool and fans look to be in for a cracking opening evening with Micheal van Gerwen, Simon Whitlock and James Wade all in action.

The first game (19:00) features Ian White up against Terry Jenkins in what bet365 think will be the closest game of the evening making the pair 10/11 shots. The head-to-head record indicates how close this will be as from nine previous meetings Jenkins has won five and White four, with the latter winning each of the last two. With so little to choose between the pair I would go over on the legs market which is set at 16.5 legs.

The second match of the evening has Simon Whitlock up against Kevin Painter. It will be the 20th time that these two have met with the Australian leading the meetings 11-9. The Wizard was excellent in reaching the European open final last weekend and saw off Painter in that tournament with ease in a 6-2 victory. It marked a third straight victory in battles between the two and a seventh in the last eight. It is then hard to see past the Australian here though bet365 agree making him as short as 2/5 to progress. The same firm though does run a nice market where you back a player to be ahead after six legs and then again at the end of the match. You can get Whitlock at 11/8 in this market and this looks the bet of the night.

The third match of the evening sees the number one seed and pre tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen in action. Mighty Mike has had a good year though has not picked up any major silverware since the World Championship in January. The Dutchman should go far in this tournament and a first match with Steve Beaton should present few problems. These players have met 11 times and van Gerwen has come out on top eight times including a 6-0 victory in their only meeting this year. Beaton did make the final of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy so is not without form though I would not be rushing to back him at 7/1. The best bet in this game is to take the under 15.5 legs in the game at 8/11.

The concluding match of the evening sees James Wade take on Andy Smith and the Machine is the 1/5 favourite for victory over the Pie Man. Wade has the better of the head-to-head meetings winning 12 of their 16 battles. Smith in fact has won just one of the last 11. It has been a poor year on the circuit for the larger than life Smith and I see few reasons to think he can take down Wade at 7/2. Wade is in good form in recent weeks making the quarter-finals of the European Open last weekend and at the end of June he won the Gibraltar Darts Trophy. This was an important psychological boost for the Machine who admitted that he had begin to question if he had it in him to win another trophy. Wade is 4/5 to be ahead after six legs and again at the end of the match and this is the way to play this game.

RECOMMENDATION: Over 16.5 legs between White and Jenkins, 8/11 (bet365)
Whitlock ahead after six and to win the game, 11/8 (bet365)
Under 15.5 legs between van Gerwen and Beaton, 8/11 (bet365)
Wade to be ahead after six and to win the game, 4/5 (bet365)

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (20/07/2014) but are subject to change.

20/07/2014     © Frixo 2019

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