The Premier League roadshow hits Nottingham this week and we've got every game covered.
Michael Smith v Gary Anderson (19:15)
A huge weight was lifted off Michael Smith's shoulders last week when he picked up his first Premier League victory over Raymond van Barneveld. It was an improved performance as he increased his TV average this year by nearly five points from 90.85 to 95.77, hitting four 180s with a 41% checkout rate. Gary Anderson put in a poor performance last week but was fortunate he was up against the Premier League's worst player in Robert Thornton coming back from 3-0 down to win 7-4. He averaged just 89.88 and his doubling was down at 32% (7 of 22). His inconsistency continued over the weekend, after coming back from 7-5 down to beat Dave Chisnall 9-7, he suffered the biggest upset in UK Open history losing 9-3 in the 4th round to Rileys qualifier Barry Lynn. It now means across TV tournaments this year, he has lost five of his eight matches at odds including 1/33, 2/9 and 1/7. The head-to head between these two stands at 3-2 Anderson with him only leading the leg count 24-23. Based on everything, it makes the 8/15 on mentor Anderson look too short in a best of 12 format. Let's keep the draw onside and back the Smith double chance at 13/8.
Peter Wright v Adrian Lewis (20:00)
Despite his 7-2 defeat to Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright's switch back to his old darts served him well as he averaged 108.98. He followed this up by once again making the final of the UK Open only to be stopped again by the man taking darts to the next level in MVG. Adrian Lewis was poor against Phil Taylor, averaging just 93.11 with no 180s and hit just one double meaning he's missed 12 of his last 13 doubles in the Premier League. He exited the UK Open in the 5th round at the hands of Jelle Klaasen meaning Wright is the form player. However, Lewis seemingly has somewhat of a hold over Wright. Since 2015, the players have met 10 times with Adrian leading 8-2. So rather than enter the match odds given Lewis' inconsistencies with his new darts, let's focus on the showman Wright. His checkout line is set at 99.5 and that looks too low. Four of his five PL matches have seen this win (75 v RVB with new darts) as have all four of his matches at the Dutch and UK Masters. At the weekend he took out 127 v Klaasen and 116 v Cullen in the latter stages of the UK Open.
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade (20:40)
Raymond van Barneveld is seemingly plodding along at the moment. Defeat last week to bottom of the table Michael Smith means it's only one win in four and that victory was only 7-5 v Robert Thornton. At the weekend he won a deciding leg in his 1st match against David Pallett before going down 9-3 against Phil Taylor. James Wade did what he does best and took advantage of Dave Chisnall not playing to his best by beating him 7-4 last week. However, he crashed out at the first hurdle of the UK Open 9-2 to Mensur Suljovic with Wade allegedly being distracted by the board setup. Regardless, the 'Machine' continued his proficiency in three-figure checkouts taking out all of 161, 121 and 102 last week, meaning in 13 of his last 16 TV matches he has landed a 98+ finish (81%).
Robert Thornton v Phil Taylor (21:10)
Things just go from bad to worse for Robert Thornton. 3-0 up v Anderson last week yet he went on to lose seven of the next eight legs despite Gary averaging less than 90. This was further compounded by being the earliest Premier League player to be knocked out of the UK Open at the weekend losing his first match 6-4 to Arron Monk in round two. Phil Taylor has been continuing his good form with a 7-1 victory over Adrian Lewis last week, averaging 104 and 54% on his checkouts, before making the semi's at the weekend with van Gerwen seemingly the only man preventing him lifting a TV title at the moment. It means the 1/4 on the Power doesn't look too far wrong but we can boost that to 23/20 by backing him to hit the most 180s. His new darts appear even more suitable to his stacking method and he's fired in 16 in 48 legs of darts in the Premier League (0.33 per leg). It's no surprise one of the reasons for Thornton's results is his current somewhat erratic throw, and the Scot has hit just 5 180s in 42 legs (0.12 per leg).
Dave Chisnall v Michael van Gerwen (21:50)
We mentioned last week that Dave Chisnall isn't in great form, and following his defeat to Wade it now means no wins in four with three defeats. He was unlucky to draw World Champion Gary Anderson at the first hurdle at the weekend but still managed to lose despite being 7-5 ahead. Michael van Gerwen continues to mesmerise. 116.67 average v Peter Wright last week including 7 out of 8 on the doubles. He followed that up with another TV tournament win at the UK Open in a weekend that included four 170 checkouts and a nine darter. These two are proficient 180 hitters and they don't disappoint when they face each other. In the seven matches since 2015 of available data, there has been 82 180s in just 99 legs (0.83 per leg). Even with the market anticipating a relatively low leg amount in 10, this would still see us looking at around 8.3 180s in the match. These two sit 1st and 2nd in table for 180s this season (21 and 22 respectively), carrying on where they finished last season (62 and 58 respectively).