The 2021 PDC World Darts Championship gets underway on Tuesday, and we have three outright selections for the tournament.
PDC World Championship
The 2021 PDC World Championship is almost here. The highlight of the darting calendar for many, it’s fantastic news that up to 1000 spectators will be allowed in the Alexandra Palace for this year’s tournament.
Despite the lack of crowds in the last year, we have still had a very entertaining year of darts. Michael Van Gerwen failed to finish in the top four in the Premier League, which Glen Durrant went onto win and Jose De Sousa has thrown himself into the limelight.
Despite an up and down year for the Green Machine, Michael Van Gerwen is still the 5/2 favourite for the tournament. However, this is the biggest price he’s been in a long time. Going into majors, MVG is usually far too shorter price to consider, but 5/2 is tempting. He was as big as 7/2 before his impressive run in the Players Championship Finals last month, culminating in a thrilling 11-10 victory over Mervyn King in the final. He averaged over 100 in four of those six matches, including an outrageous 110 against Dirk van Duijvenbode.
However, as he showed in the Grand Slam against Simon Whitlock, his doubling is just not good enough at the moment. He can score as heavily as he likes, but if he continues to miss doubles at the rate he is, someone will punish him. He’s the most likely winner, as the odds suggest, but I can pass on him and look elsewhere in the market.
Last year’s winner Peter Wright is third-favourite at 6/1. He, of course, deserves plenty of respect but at his price, I’ll pass up on him too. He was disappointing in the Grand Slam but he has produced some great darts at the Players Championship as of late. However, there’s no juice in that price.
Jose De Sousa has had a sensational year and it would be no surprise to see him go deep into this tournament. However, his price is gone now. He was 66/1 back in October before his outrageous form in a number of Players Championship events. Then came his Grand Slam victory and he’s now a 16/1 chance. He’s one of the very best in the world right now but he’s just a bit short for my liking.
It’s DIMITRI VAN DEN BERGH at 22/1 who makes the most appeal in the market. The Belgian has upped his game this year and arrives here as the ninth seed. He became a major winner in July when beating Gary Anderson with ease in the World Matchplay Final.
He then went onto to lose in a last leg decider to James Wade in the Grand Slam semi-final, and will probably feel like he should have won. He averaged an incredible 114.86 against Ricky Evans, which was a record for the tournament. He’s playing as well as anyone in the world right now in the big tournaments.
He’s reached the quarter-finals of the Worlds twice now, and given he’s only improving, there’s no reason why he can’t go even further this year. I also think the reduced crowd will play to his strengths. He often likes to calm himself down before throwing for doubles, and he shouldn’t get jeered by the crowd when doing so.
Dimitri’s Grand Slam conqueror, JAMES WADE, is a decent price at 33/1 given his recent form. He just lost out in the final of the Grand Slam to a sensational Jose De Sousa. He also made it to the European Championship final last month. He couldn’t quite cope with a Peter Wright averaging 106 that day, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Wade is playing the best darts he has in a long time.
Does he deserve to be eleventh in the betting market based on his recent efforts? In my opinion, it vastly underestimates a multiple major winning player who has bags of experience under his belt.
Furthermore, he has a relatively kind quarter to negotiate. Peter Wright is in there but apart from that, should he be too worried? Simon Whitlock played great darts at the Grand Slam, beating MVG, but Wade is a better player than the Aussie. Ian White has disappointed on this stage too many times now. Krzysztof Ratajski must be respected but he disappointed at both the Grand Slam and European Championship.
The three-time World Championship semi-finalist has his mojo back. He’s a scrapper and in the set format is a nightmare to play against. If he keeps up his recent form, he has the best chance he’s had in a long time and at 33/1, I’m willing to find out.
To finish off the outright selections, DIRK VAN DUIJVENBODE is worth a small bet at 80/1. He too, much like the previous two selections, has had a very good 2020. If it wasn’t for an inspired MVG averaging 110 against him last month, he could have very well gone onto won The Players Championship Finals.
He showed the world how good he was in the Grand Prix, when reaching the final, beating Suljovic, van den Bergh, Anderson and Whitlock along the way. Not a bad list of scalps. He was unlucky not to get out of the group in the Grand Slam when coming up against a stunning performance from Ian White. He did beat Peter Wright though and he’s firing in some big averages in defeat. This is, of course, a very big ask but his price is too big to ignore.