By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 21st May 2019
The anticipation is escalating for Rod’s Odds disciples who followed the Prince of Style’s pre-tournament advice to back Michael van Gerwen to top the Premier League darts table and then go on and win the playoffs.
An element of good fortune allowed the Dutchman to claim the £25,000 bonus, with Rob Cross suffering an unexpected defeat at the hands of James Wade to relinquish top spot last week.
The pair face-off for the second time in seven days in the second semi-final, while Van Gerwen too clashes with a recent conqueror, Daryl Gurney, who lowered his colours at the Manchester Arena.
Our oracle of the oche is back with his Premier League darts betting tips ahead of the playoff semi-finals. Scroll down for his predictions.
Premier League Darts playoff semi-finals betting tips
Michael van Gerwen vs Daryl Gurney
As I’ve said, I really can’t see anyone getting near MvG unless he has a real bad night. However he will be so up for this and focused that I cannot not see that happening.
His all-round game is so much better than all the rest, but if there is one small criticism then it has to be that he has not been hitting enough 180s in his matches. This he may have to up if Gurney gets off to a flyer.
The state of Van Gerwen’s game
- Great scoring power, however more 180’s will be needed.
- The best at the set up shot from 200 down.One of best at taking out two and three dart checkouts.
- Plenty of bottle.
Gurney’s beaten MVG in this event before and will not worry about who he is playing. Like MVG, he’s not hit enough 180s over the last few months and he certainly will need plenty of them here.
If he can get them going early on and get a good lead then the pressure may just get to his opponent, however to keep that pressure on over this distance is very hard.
The state of Gurney’s game
- Very good scoring power on his day, however will need a lot more 180s.
- His set up shots seem to be okay when in front but not so much when he is chasing.
- The single dart check outs seem to be hard for him when he is behind.
- He tends to get the first dart low when under pressure so that needs to be right from the start as he will not win having to switch to the 19s too often.
- I’ve got MVG winning this at around 10-6 @ 6/1 or 10-7 @ 7/1.
- I do feel that both players will up there 180 count so over 8.5 in the match @ 4/6
- MVG to win the first two legs @ 13/8
- Over 15.5 legs in the match @ 4/5
Rob Cross vs James Wade
Cross will need to get his A game going from the start here as he needs a confidence boost early on.
He’s played well for most of his games in this year’s PL, posting many 100-plus averages, however there has been the odd poor game that has been very costly, like the loss to Wade last week.
Rob will need to get his throw smooth from the start as he does tend to snatch the first dart low and then finds it hard to find the treble with the other two.
However, he does seem to be able to find a few checkouts just over the 100 to help him out and I feel that the elongated-format will help him.
The state of Cross’ game
- Very good scoring power for most of the time.
- Set-up shots will need to be upped a fraction.
- Excellent on his checkouts, especially just over the 100.
- The first dart will need to find the right place, in the treble or just above.
Wade has had a brilliant 12 months, winning two TV tournaments and three Tour events, also posting many good finishes in most of the others.
He beat Cross last week and so should feel in the right place to do the same again at the O2, there is no question that his scoring is higher now, which gives him even more confidence on those doubles.
The state of Wade’s game
- Has upped his scoring power to match most of them.
- Set up shots – he’s one of the best.
- Hitting doubles are what has won him so many games from behind. He’s up there with the best there has ever been for punishing other players.
- Possibly has the most bottle in the game at the moment.
This match is a very hard call and I feel will be a close one, there is no question in my mind that if Cross doe’s not have his A game then he will not win. However, I feel that he can turn it on to down the Machine.
- Cross to either win around the 10-7 @ 15/2 or 10-8 @ 15/2
- Cross -1.5 on the handicap @ 5/6
- Over 16.5 legs in the match @ 4/5
- Wade over 106.5 on his checkout 5/6