Sheffield is the venue for this week's round of Premier League darts action - best bets here.
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld (19:10)
James Wade picked up a point against World and Premier League champion Gary Anderson last week in a topsy-turvy game. It leaves him in 5th place, one position and one point off the play-offs as we enter phase two. Raymond van Barneveld scored well against Michael van Gerwen and picked up a point also but crucially missed double 16 for the match. Missed doubles at crucial stages has been the story of Barney's Premier League losing four of his matches 7-5 to go along with last weeks draw.
Indeed when these two met in week 6 Barney missed three doubles to grab a point allowing Wade to seal a 7-5 victory. Wade is slight favourite and that looks about right given he's won three more legs than his opponents (F51-A48) with RVB a negative two (F50-A52). These two boast the joint-most 100+ checkouts in the league so far with 11 a piece (Taylor and van Gerwen both have nine in-comparison), and with five in their previous meeting, another one looks the way to go. Siding with Wade appears the best bet given his superior checkout rate (41% to 31%) and Barney's superior scoring power allowing him at smaller finishes. Wade hit 121 and 101 in week six and in all this bet would have won in 15 of his last 19 TV matches (79%).
Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor (19:45)
Gary Anderson's run of six straight wins ended last week with his doubles once again letting him down, missing 17 darts to win legs, meaning in the last two weeks he's missed 29 of his 42 darts at a double (69%). Phil Taylor moved to the top of the league with a 7-5 win over Michael Smith and looks value here with some firms struggling to split them. Taylor beat Anderson 7-4 in week three and leads in him every scoring and finishing statistic. He boasts a superior overall average with 103.19 to Anderson's 99.85, is hitting a 180 every 0.30 legs compared to 0.28, has a 48% checkout success to the Scotsman's 38%, with nine 100+ finishes to five, winning 21 more legs than his opponent against Gary's 12. Back The Power draw-no-bet.
Robert Thornton v Michael van Gerwen (20:30)
Despite knowing he was safe last week by the time the match started, Robert Thornton still put in a lacklustre performance in a 7-4 defeat to Adrian Lewis, averaging only 92.54 and hitting just 22% of his doubles. It's now back-to-back defeats on the tour, seemingly reverting to his overall form despite his initial surge of a win against Michael Smith and a point against van Gerwen with his new darts. MVG seems to have taken his foot off the peddle with three successive draws and losing top spot. However, the odds are pretty much identical to their meeting two weeks ago meaning MVG is overwhelming favourite. In that preview we recommended van Gerwen to be leading 4-0 as the value bet and that looks the case again. Mighty Mike averaged just 97.57 in that match, over 10 points shorter than his overall tournament average of 107.62. Thornton's is just 91.14 and if the players perform how they have over 189 legs of darts combined in the Premier League - the 4/1 looks very generous.
Adrian Lewis v Peter Wright (21:15)
Adrian Lewis predictably performed how he has all Premier League, once again beating a player below him in the league table, making it 6 out of 6 versus 5th and below. Peter Wright won his first match in six, edging past Dave Chisnall 7-5 despite missing four match darts along the way, before commenting he's still yet to find a set of darts he's happy with. These two met in week 6 with Lewis winning 7-3, meaning that since 2015 he's won 9 of their 11 meetings. With not knowing what darts Snakebite will be using and the market struggling to split them, back Lewis draw-no-bet given his consistency in beating bottom-half players and superior head-to-head record.
Phil Taylor v James Wade (22:00)
Taylor and Wade both play twice this week and given we don't know how their previous matches will have gone, it makes this one difficult to call. If Taylor wins against Anderson he may well be happy with a point here as he has previously stated in the past, with last years double header week seeing him let up against Stephen Bunting 6-6 after beating Dave Chisnall 7-3 earlier in the night. Wade played twice in week two, and after beating Michael Smith 7-4 then went on to lose 7-1 against an inspired-111.20-average Phil Taylor, although truth be told Wade didn't do a lot wrong averaging 101.85 himself. Taylor isn't quite playing at that level at the moment but Wade will have to take his chances when they arise, so it looks worth sticking with a reliable bet and that's Wade to cover his highest match checkout line again, something that's happening 79% of the time, here set at just 92.