Article written

  • on 15.07.2011
  • at 03:19 PM
  • by KT

SkyBet Mobile World Matchplay Darts – Betting Preview

This year’s World Matchplay Darts tournament will be sponsored by SkyBet, who have taken over from long-term sponsors Stan James.

The PDC’s top 32 players will compete for the 18th World Matchplay title (and the £100,000 winners’ cheque!) at The Winter Gardens in Blackpool; what better place to hold such a prestigious darts event than the famous Empress Ballroom.

There’ll be no complex qualification criteria here, as is often the problem at other events such as the Grand Slam of Darts, just the top players going head-to-head in a straight knockout competition from the off.

With no easy ‘warm-up’ games, as is often the case in the World Championships, players must get off to a flyer if they are to give themselves any chance of making the latter stages.

(All odds quoted are with SkyBet and subject to change)

Unsurprisingly Phil Taylor heads the betting (11/8) coming into this as reigning 11-time champion. ‘The Power’ takes on Mark ‘Mile High’ Hylton in the first round, and is 4/5 giving his opponent a 5.5 leg start on the handicap. Talyor is often a slow starter in these type of events and although we expect him to win comfortably, Hylton with a 5.5 leg head-start may prove to be a good bet.

Taylor’s form has been scrutinised of late following a disappointing Premier League campaign and his defeat to Paul Nicholson in the Speedy Hire UK Open earlier this year. However, this tournament is deemed a ‘major’ in golfing terms and he will want to prove that he is still worthy of the number one spot.

Despite Taylor’s dominance in the sport since the early 90’s, a number of other players have come to the fore in the last year or two. We have had 3 ‘new’ major winners this year already, with Adrian Lewis (7/1), Gary Anderson (11/2) and James Wade (9/1) showing they have what it takes to topple Phil Taylor at the top of the darts tree.

Phil Taylor

Phil 'The Power' Taylor after winning his 10th World Matchplay title at the Winter Gardens in 2009.

World Number 2 Adrian Lewis is the reigning World Champion and will be in action on the opening night. He is to 7/1 to win the World Matchplay, but faces a tough first round match against Kevin Painter. ‘The Artist’ has recently had eye surgery, an operation that did wonders for Paul Nicholson’s game. If Painter was to benefit from the same fortunes then we could well see an opening night upset at 11/4.

Gary Anderson (11/2) is quickly establishing himself as a top player, after managing to sort out the mental side of his game. He has tended to struggle with accuracy in the past, but his scoring is second to none. If he can manage to find the doubles when it matters he may have a great shout of following up on his Premier League title win with another major title here.

Paul Nicholson won the Players Championship back in 2009, showing he has great potential at the major darts tournaments and the Aussie could well prove to be a dark horse at 25/1 after his giant killing exploits at the UK Open in June. He beat both Gary Anderson and Phil Taylor in consecutive matches in Bolton before coming unstuck against James Wade. At the price, he might represent the each-way value of the tournament.

The World Matchplay will get underway on Saturday night when two-time finalist Terry Jenkins takes on Steve Beaton. ‘The Bull’ will be looking to go one better than he did in 2007 & 2009 and looks nailed on at 1/2 to send Beaton home. TJ is 33/1 to win the World Matchplay outright – a big price if his form stacks up.

The opening night also sees Holland’s Vincent van der Voort take on Alan Tabern. The Dutchman is 8/13 favourite for this one, with Tabern available at 5/4. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Tabern were to slow down the Dutchman and take the spoils.

The final game of the night will see two former World Champions come together as resurgent John Part will take on Mark Webster. The Canadian has won two Players Championships this year and has twice previously reached the World Matchplay final, losing on to Phil Taylor and Colin Lloyd. ‘Darth Maple’ is 50/1 to win the tournament and that may prove to be a big price if he can recreate anything like his best from.

**Don’t forget that as the main sponsors, SkyBet will be betting in-play throughout the tournament and on every match. So even when a player puts his darts away as his opponent steps up to the oche to nail the winning double, SkyBet will still be offering generous odds on his opponent should he bottle it!**

Selections:

  • Paul Nicholson each-way – 25/1
  • Terry Jenkins each-way – 33/1
  • Paul Nicholson to win 4th Quarter – 5/1
  • 1st Round Acca: Jenkins, Lewis, Nicholson & Barneveld – 11/4

(All odds quoted are with SkyBet and subject to change)

Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay – Schedule of Play

First Round

Saturday July 16
7.10pm – Terry Jenkins v Steve Beaton
8.00pm – Vincent van der Voort v Alan Tabern
9.00pm – Adrian Lewis v Kevin Painter
10.00pm – Mark Webster v John Part

Sunday July 17
7.10pm – Paul Nicholson v Colin Osborne
8.00pm – Mark Walsh v Dave Chisnall
9.00pm – James Wade v Jamie Caven
10.00pm – Raymond van Barneveld v Steve Brown

Monday July 18
7.10pm – Wayne Jones v Scott Rand
8.00pm – Mervyn King v Justin Pipe
9.00pm – Phil Taylor v Mark Hylton
10.00pm – Wes Newton v Andy Smith

Tuesday July 19
7.10pm – Ronnie Baxter v Denis Ovens
8.00pm – Colin Lloyd v John Henderson
9.00pm – Gary Anderson v Andy Hamilton
10.00pm – Simon Whitlock v Peter Wright

Second Round

Wednesday July 20
7.10pm – Jenkins/Beaton v Webster/Part
8.20pm – Lewis/Painter v van der Voort/Tabern
9.30pm – van Barneveld/Brown v Nicholson/Osborne
10.40pm – Wade/Caven v Walsh/Chisnall

Thursday July 21
7.10pm – Whitlock/Wright v Baxter/Ovens
8.20pm – Anderson/Hamilton v Lloyd Henderson
9.30pm – Taylor/Hylton v Jones/Rand
10.40pm – Newton/Smith v King/Pipe

Quarter-Finals

Friday July 22
1.10pm – TBC
3.00pm – TBC

7.10pm – TBC
9.00pm – TBC

Semi-Finals

Saturday July 23
7.10pm
9.00pm

Final

Sunday July 24
7.10pm

Format

First Round – Best of 19 legs
Second Round – Best of 25 legs
Quarter-Finals – Best of 31 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 33 legs
Final – Best of 35 legs
(All games must be won by two clear legs)

Tournament Draw

Phil Taylor (1, ENG) v Mark Hylton (ENG)
Wayne Jones (16, ENG) v Scott Rand (ENG)
Wes Newton (8, ENG) v Andy Smith (ENG)
Mervyn King (9, ENG) v Justin Pipe (ENG)
Simon Whitlock (5, AUS) v Peter Wright (ENG)
Ronnie Baxter (12, ENG) v Denis Ovens (ENG)
Gary Anderson (4, SCO) v Andy Hamilton (ENG)
Colin Lloyd (13, ENG) v John Henderson (SCO)
Adrian Lewis (2, ENG) v Kevin Painter (ENG)
Vincent van der Voort (15, NED) v Alan Tabern (ENG)
Terry Jenkins (7, ENG) v Steve Beaton (ENG)
Mark Webster (10, WAL) v John Part (CAN)
Raymond van Barneveld (6, NED) v Steve Brown (ENG)
Paul Nicholson (11, AUS) v Colin Osborne (ENG)
James Wade (3, ENG) v Jamie Caven (ENG)
Mark Walsh (14, ENG) v Dave Chisnall (ENG)

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