Our tips for the opening night of the Premier League make up a 28/1 five-fold.
Premier League Darts is back and Week 1 sees the players go to Aberdeen to get the action under way. I think the favourites look pretty solid in the opening week, while Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright has all the ingredients for a fantastic match of darts. The man of the moment, Snakebite, will be looking to continue his unbelievable form and pick up a first Premier League title, although I am sure MVG will have something to say about that.
Gary Anderson is back this year which is only a good thing and the Flying Scotsman will be looking to make up for lost time. Glen Durrant and Nathan Aspinall make their debuts this year and both thoroughly deserve their spots too, having played really good darts throughout the year.
Michael Smith v Glen Durrant
To start off proceedings, we have Michael Smith against Glen Durrant in a tight looking affair. Smith comes here off the back off missing three tournament darts in the Masters on Sunday and I hope that will not play on his mind. This one looks pretty tough to call, but I think Smith to hit the most 180s at 5/6 is the bet. If he can get into a good rhythm, his scoring power will be hard to keep up with. He has hit over double the 180s that Duzza has in major events in the last year and when he is on form and gets his first dart in the treble 20 bed, the next two usually follow.
Gary Anderson v Daryl Gurney
Gary Anderson will return to the Premier League with some huge home support and that will help him here. He played some great darts in the Masters, blasting away Price 10 – 2 with a 102 average. There was no shame in losing to Peter Wright in the semis and he still played well there. Gurney, on the other hand, has not been at his best the last few months and it was another poor showing over the weekend. This coupled with the Scottish crowd means Gary Anderson at 11/10 is worth taking. I was surprised to see him odds-against.
Michael Van Gerwen v Peter Wright
In what should be the highlight of the night, I was originally tempted by the 5/2 about Wright but bookies have clipped him in a bit since and having thought more about it the even money about MVG is the angle here instead. It is testament to how Wright is playing that MVG is this sort of price. Michael was poor against Johnny Clayton in the first round of the Masters and deservedly lost. He may be taking time to adjust to his new darts, but I just think 1/1 is too big. Wright is of course in the form of his life, but a wounded MVG is a dangerous beast. How often will we see evens on the best player in the world? I am backing him to come out here and silence any of the doubters and show why he is the best darts player in the world.
Nathan Aspinall v John Henderson
The Highlander is another contender again this year and who could forget his match against Michael van Gerwen last year. However, I think Nathan Aspinall will spoil the crowd’s party on Thursday. He is making his debut, having been a contender last year, and he just relishes the big stage. Another semi-final in the World Championship last year finished off a fantastic campaign from the UK Open winner. He was unlucky to lose in a last leg decider against Smith in the semis of the Masters too. He rarely seems to have a bad game and I think he can ignore the home support and go on to win this. 10/11 on The Asp is the play here.
Gerywn Price v Rob Cross
I am really not sure what has happened to Rob Cross recently, he averaged a scarcely believable 83 against Adrian Lewis last weekend. Before that, he bowed out in his first game of the World Championship to Kim Huybrechts. Price was blown away by Anderson last weekend but he didn’t actually play poorly. He averaged 99 in his two games and that sort of level will see him past a badly out of form Rob Cross. I don’t doubt Cross will come good at some point, but the Iceman is too big a price based on the last few months. The Scottish crowd will be sure to get stuck into him after his incident with Anderson, but he can block out the boo boys and win at 11/10.