Who will prevail at Wolverhampton in the tournament where players from all organisations are eligible?
We’re within touching distance of the Worlds and that means we head to the Wolves Civic once again as the PDC and BDO players combine for a unique tournament. The Grand Slam has always been one of the better ‘minor’ TV events full of memorable moments, like ‘Wolfie’ Adams’ and Andy Fordham’s appearances in 2015 and hometown boy Wayne Jones reaching the Semis in 2010. This year sees some real talent from the BDO come over and the gap between the top players from both organisations is less than in other years. There’s a couple of 'groups of death' that will keep things interesting throughout the week.
As always, MICHAEL VAN GERWEN (best price 19/20) takes his customary place at the front of the betting. His half of the draw is the tougher of the two, as Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld stand in his way before the final. But that won’t stop the Dutchman from making it a hat-trick of Grand Slam crowns. It’s inconceivable that he doesn’t get out of his group, as only Rob Cross has a sniff of beating him and second place will still be good enough to qualify. Once the format changes to a best of 31 legs in the knockout stages, only a couple of players will be able to live with him. The longer format suits van Gerwen all day and although it’s not the most imaginative of bets, there’s just no way I can see anything other than a predictable outcome.
The 180 market is always great fun and we’ve had success in the past by backing Dave Chisnall. However his Saturday match is against Scott Mitchell who is one of the weaker BDO stars in the tournament, so ‘Chizzy’ might not get the number of legs he needs to top the leaderboard. Instead, look at DARYL GURNEY MOST SATURDAY 180s (best price 10-1) for some potential value. The Northern Irishman is on such a high after his Grand Prix win last month and his match against Danny Noppert will be fast paced and keep him working hard. Gurney’s action where his darts hit the board at 45 degrees lends to some real power scoring and if ‘Superchin’ gets into a tight contest, there is every chance he can hit several maximums.