Rod's Odds: Week 15 - Brighton
The Premier League road-show finally reaches Brighton for Week 15 and it's the last chance for qualification to the O2 on May 22nd. With only spots three and four up for grabs it's going to be make or break for three players. A nervy night is anticipated and missed doubles could be the dividing line.
Michael Van Gerwen is league leader on 22 points with Raymond Van Barneveld on 20 - they have already qualified - that leaves the other two places for Phil Taylor 18, Gary Anderson 18, and Peter Wright 17 to fight it out. The other three players are just playing for extra money and only Robert Thornton sits in the spoiler position outside of Adi Lewis and Dave Chisnall.
Last week Taylor could have wrapped up a place, however another gutsy performance from Peter Wright kept him well and truly in the mix with that draw. Anderson came through an easier game against Chisnall while Van Gerwen came out on top of the Double-Dutch match when beating Bareveld. Eslewhere Lewis stepped up his game and beat the inform Thornton.
Dave Chisnall v Adrian Lewis
First game of the Brighton night sees Chisnall taking on Lewis and going by last week's performance the form is well and truly with Lewis. If Lewis can keep that temperament and slower rhythm, especially with that last dart, then I can only see him winning. We all know how good Chizzy can be but his form has not been consistent enough to push for a qualifying place.
Lewis win 8/11
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
This next clash between Anderson and Barneveld starts the real darts on the night whre the Scot knows that a win secures him a finals night spot. A draw might not be good enough if Taylor and Wright win as Wright's leg difference is better.
This game is a very hard call and Anderson is not in a good place because Barney can not make the top spot. It looks like he will stay in the second position whatever happens in the other three games, so we could see a relaxed Barney doing the business. As for Anderson, his form has been top notch and that scoring power is there along with his doubling.
I am going with the draw hereeven though, for me, this is a match for the fans to put their money on their own favourite.
I do feel this will go over on legs though and maybe have the most 180s on the night.
Robert Thornton v Phil Taylor
The penultimate game matches Phil Taylor against Robert Thornton and although the Thorn cannot make the play-offs he could still spoil Taylor's Premier League who will have a fight on his hands considering the form line of Thornton.
Taylor has been here so often and nine times out of ten comes through the problem, however if Thornton gets on the 180 spree that he has done many times then there is concern for Taylor.
Taylor does have a bit of a cushion whereas Wright will still need to get a result out of Van Gerwen. I doubt Phil will want to let things go that far.
I have to go with the Taylor win and a high checkout.
Thornton to win the 180s
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Last match of the night is Van Gerwen playing Wright who will already know his fate. He might be playing just for fun if both Taylor and Anderson have already won their games, if one of them has lost or even drawn then Wright has a great chance of qualification to the O2.
Michael's win last week was the best for a while, he really got up for stamping his No. 1 position on fellow Dutchman Barney and considering the niggle in this match then he should be on the same mind set.
Peter Wright for me has been an inspiration, not only to the PL but to darts in general, he has proven that he is not a one hit wonder but has the bottle and determination to be around for a long while.
Can Mighty Mike come up with a blistering pace to take this? That is the question. I think he can and will, however if he starts missing then you know the colourful Wright will punish him as so many have found out this year.
I do feel Van Gerwen will win this but anticipate a close game so over on the legs.
180s must go with Michael.
The handicap bet here for Wright is worth looking at +2.5 @4/5, Wright has played so well this year that no one is thrashing him.
Treble: Lewis, Taylor and Van Gerwen. The William Hill boys have pushed this out to 3/1 so you'll get £40 back from a tenner.
Over on legs in the Anderson v Barneveld (+11.5 11/10) and Van Gerwen v Wright (+10.5 8/13) games which pays nearly 12/5.
What about Lewis and Taylor to win their first legs against the throw for a change of bets? At 6/5 and 10/11 respectively that pays well over 3/1