The Premier League roadshow rolls into Aberdeen this week and we've got all the best bets.
Adrian Lewis v James Wade
Adrian Lewis ran into a rampant Michael van Gerwen last week as his winning start came to an abrupt halt. Despite picking up four legs and hitting four 180s, he again averaged less than 100 (98.54) and again failed to take out a ton-plus finish (85). James Wade took a 3-1 lead but lost 6 of the last 7 legs against an inspired Peter Wright succumbing to a 7-4 defeat. Despite being outsider here due to Lewis' power scoring, Wade actually leads the head-to-head 26-16-3 (draws) and 6-3-3 in the Premier League so the match betting is to be avoided. Instead focus on Lewis' average. Since switching to new heavier darts after the World Championships, he has averaged 97 in his four TV matches across 44 legs of darts.
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson made it four out of four defeats with a 7-4 loss to Phil Taylor last week. However, a day later he won a UK Open qualifier averaging 106 in the final to blow the cobwebs off following illness. Defeats in the last 16 and last 128 over the next two days prove there's still an element of rustiness though. RVB edged past a poor Robert Thornton 7-5 last week before following it up with two unexpected opening round defeats in Wigan. Despite Anderson being a narrow favourite, Barney leads the head-to-head 14-9-2 and 6-2-2 in the Premier League. So once again the match betting is to be avoided. Both players enjoy playing in Anderson's home country of Scotland, in particular Aberdeen, as neither has lost since 2011. With that in mind, look towards backing over 6.5 180s at 10/11. Since 2013 there has been 58 180s in 85 legs between them at an average of 0.68 per leg. With the pair averaging 11 legs in Premier League meetings over this period it would suggest 7.5 180s are to be expected.
Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith
MVG continues to play darts on another planet. Not content with averaging 106.40 in victory over Lewis last week, he followed that up by winning two UK Open qualifiers over the weekend. It now means that since his opening week defeat to Wade, in 42 matches he's won a staggering 250 legs to his opponents 88, maintaining a winning differential of 3.85, which is superb given the majority of those matches are a race to six. Michael Smith finally got his Premier League started with a point in a slightly improved performance against Dave Chisnall. His tournament average is just 88.15 (van Gerwen's is 105.53) and he failed to make it past the Last 16 over the weekend, going out in the Last 32 and 64, including a 6-0 whitewash defeat to MVG himself. Back van Gerwen on the handicap again.
Phil Taylor v Dave Chisnall
Phil Taylor recorded a decent 7-4 victory over World Champion Gary Anderson last week backing up his 7-1 defeat of Wade and first PDC ranking title in 9 months. Chizzy has gone somewhat off the boil recently, without a win in his last two and failing to get past the Last 32 in any of the three UK Open qualifiers over the weekend, including suffering a whitewash at the hands of Justin Pipe. These two met seven times last year with Taylor holding a narrow 4-3 lead, however he won 48 legs to Chisnall's 33. Given the current form, expect Taylor to win more legs and thus the match at 4/5.
Peter Wright v Robert Thornton
Peter Wright switched back to his old darts last week backing up his 103.57 average at the Dutch Masters with a 104.48 average in his 7-4 defeat of Wade to make it three wins out of three. Since winning the Grand Prix in October which ultimately got Robert Thornton back in the Premier League, he's experienced a horrible run of form, losing his opening two matches in this season’s tournament and exiting the Masters, Worlds and Players Championship all in the 1st round. This has further been compounded by losing three of his four matches in Wigan over the weekend to players with an average Order of Merit ranking of 86. Given their form is at the complete opposite ends of the spectrum, expect a comfortable Wright victory.