By Rod Harrington
Last Updated: 13th December 2019
Michael van Gerwen is 5/4 to win this year’s William Hill World Darts Championship and walk away with his fourth title and £500,000.
I have him doing this beating Gerwyn Price in the final, however 5/4 is a bit tight so how about a 2/1 bet for him to win the tournament and to hit the 170 checkout on the way instead?
MVG goes for the 170 more than any other player and hits it a lot, so this tip I feel is bang on.
William Hill are putting up an extra £100,000 for any player to hit two nine-dart legs. While that might not happen, one of the 96 players to hit one is another good bet to get on because all of those players are capable of doing that.
Friday night sees the first four games of play in this year’s event. Players ranked 33 to 64 in the world rankings will play players from 65 to 96, with the winners of those matches then playing the top 32 seeds, and there are some great match-ups in this first round.
Jelle Klaasen vs Kevin Burness
Jelle Klaasen has not had the best couple of years on the PDC circuit – that electrifying scoring power that he possessed is not consistent enough, which in turn puts pressure on his doubles, which has been a problem in his game for a long while.
If Klaasen can get his game going early then he will win this one, however, Kevin Burness is a solid player that has plenty of bottle. He might not be able to match Klaasen in the scoring but he will take his chances when they appear.
The winner of this game, meanwhile, will play Van Gerwen in the last match of the night.
Kim Huybrechts vs Geert Nentjes
A few years ago Kim Huybrechts would have been massively odds-on to win this match, but in the last year or so he’s lost a lot of matches that perhaps he should not have, and that has eaten into his confidence. He does have a very strong throw and if he can keep his rhythm then he will win this, however, sometimes that last dart he throws too hard and it goes low too many times.
Geert Nentjes has had most of his successes this year on the Development Tour, where he has won a few events. He also has a tour card so has played on the professional tour, where the form has not been as good. There is no question in my mind that Nentjes will have a bright future in this game and experience is all he is lacking. A win here would jump him up that ladder. Nentjes, like most of the young players, has good scoring power and does not care who he plays, so he will attack from the first dart.
Luke Humphries vs Devon Petersen
Luke Humphries has had a great two years on the PDC professional circuit and he topped that off with winning the World Youth Championship. This is a player that has everything – great scoring power and plenty of bottle – and this occasion will not faze him so I am expecting a good performance here.
Devon Petersen has been very up and down with his form over the last two years and needs a win here otherwise he could fall outside of the top 64 in the world rankings, which would mean he goes back to Qualifying School in January, so there is a lot more pressure on this game.
On his day Petersen can match them all, however, the very short back lift in his throw means that he uses his shoulder too much in the action and that’s when he loses his throw a touch under pressure.
As for my double for the first evening, it’s both Klaasen and Huybrechts to win 3-1 in sets.