Rod Harrington's quarter final previews
Today sees the start of the quarter finals of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts and it's make or break and glory time for these eight players. The four winners will get exception for the next two years in this event so that is added pressure.
First game up this afternoon sees my old practice partner Kevin Painter take on the inform Dean Winstanley and, if you look at the averages, then you would have to go with Winstanley, however that added pressure of the quarters can sometimes throw the form out of the window.
The one thing that Painter has been good at this week is staying straight. This means he is not missing too many big numbers when scoring and that translates into having perhaps a dart at the double instead of just leaving the double. This is the area where he must stay strong as Winstanley is a great scorer. He does, however, miss doubles at times and this is where Painter must be on his game as he has been all week.
It is a very hard call as these two are so evenly matched for me but I am going say that Painter will edge a very close game, if you going take that bet then take the handicap at +1.5 at 5/6 gives a little extra leeway on the bet.
There is no question that the bet of the match is over 27.5 legs at 5/6 - get on this one.
My fun bet for this game is over 40.5 check-out for the first leg at 10/11, I do like this little flutter.
This afternoon's second game sees three-times World champion John Part take on "The Hammer" Andy Hamilton and on current form I have to go with the grit and determination of Hamilton.
Part has been playing darts this week as the senior professional he is by jumping on his opponents' mistakes, as he did when beating Dolan last night, and there is no question he is a class player. However, I cannot see Hamilton making too many errors and if he turns up as he has done all week then a semi place beckons.
Hamilton win for me and under 27.5 legs. Best bet of the match: Hamilton for the most 180s... and under on the Total 180s as Part has not hit to many this week.
First up this evening, it's revenge time for Raymond van Barneveld when he takes the stage against fellow Dutchman and BDO World champion Christian Kist.
Although Kist beat Barney in the group stage and played great when beating Newton last night I can only see a Barnevld win.
Kist dug deap last night and showed a lot of bottle on his check-outs and, if given the chance, he needs to do this again if he is to grab the win.
Barney was very nervous when playing Kist earlier in the week but now he knows what to expect and he had a great game and over the 100 average when beating Harms last night so he should be flying.
There is only one thing that puts the smallest of dampers on a Barney win, and that is that he was last on last night, however I am confident that he will have slept well and fuelled his body with the right food to be strong and get the win. William Hill seem to agree with me as they have him at 2/5.
180s in the match: I'm going under at 13.5 at 5/6. Barney to hit the most 180s at 5/6 and again the first leg check-out over 40.5 at 10/11.
Game of the night is the match-up of the top PDC player at the moment Michael van Gerwen and the inform Scot Waits of the BDO.
There is know question for me that the reputation of both codes are on this match, added pressure that both these players can handle.
For me the way that Mighty Mike beat Taylor is going to keep him in good stead to carry on and should be just to consistent for Waits, the only flaw that Michael has is that he does miss doubles at time, not against Taylor I might add, however he does and needs to keep the lid on that part of his game this evening. at 4/11 a very short price in a two horse race.
Waites has been playing the best darts I have ever seen him and he has got bottle in abundance so he will have a big say come the back end of this match, however it is a Van Gerwen win for me.
If you fancy Waites to win this then look at him to win the tournament at 8/1 as I feel the winner of the event will come from one of these two so the 8/1 in my eyes represents the odds for him to beat Van Gerwen, if you don't want that bet then back him with the handicap at 3.5 legs at 4/5.
Two bets I realy like in this match is over 26.5 legs at 8/11 and over 125.5 highest match check-out, those two I am certain will come up.