The World Series of Darts returns to Australia this week as Melbourne and Brisbane play host to the Darts Masters for 2018. Eight of the best players in the world will take on the best that the locals have to offer in what should be some exciting darts action. The Melbourne Darts Masters event kicks off this Friday, August 10th, with champion crowned on Sunday night, while the Brisbane event will run the following weekend.
So who are we going to see in Australia? All the stars will be here including Gary Anderson, Michael Smith, Peter Wright, Raymond van Barneveld, World Champion Rob Cross and world number one Michael van Gerwen. They will be taking on the locals who are led by “The Wizard” Simon Whitlock, “The Original” Kyle Anderson, and “The King” Corey Cadby.
The knockout format will see the eight PDC representatives play eight locals in the first round on Friday, with the winners progressing to the quarter-finals on Saturday. The final day on Sunday will see two semi-finals and then the final to crown our champion.
The recent event in Auckland was an exciting one, with Michael van Gerwen emerging triumphant, and once again he’s installed as the short-priced favourite in Melbourne at $1.67 at Sportsbet. Yes, he's the best, and yes, he will probably win but there’s really not a whole lot of value at that price.
Anything can happen in the rapid-fire format so you’ll get a better sweat looking for some value in some of the other players. Raymond van Barneveld reached the final in Auckland and is priced at a juicy $21 here in Melbourne, while Simon Whitlock showed glimpses of good form in Auckland and is priced at $26 this week.
The wild card in the pack is undoubtedly Corey Cadby. The young gun has been waiting for his UK Visa application to be approved, and after being unable to travel to Auckland last week, he’ll be champing at the bit to get stuck into some big time action. While Whitlock and Kyle Anderson are representing the PDC and have a chance at a softer first round match, Cadby is on the same side of the draw as the locals, so he’s going to be guaranteed a tough first round match against a pro.
The draw will be held later this week and I’m pretty sure all of the PDC players will simply be wanting to avoid playing Cadby in the first round. If you think Cadby can get through that, and emerge triumphant, then you’ll get odds of $17 at Sportsbet.
That price looks unders, and if you really must take on MVG then I’d rather go with Michael Smith at $15. Smith had a superb Premier League, which is similar to this format, and despite a poor showing in Auckland, he’s capable of beating anyone if he’s on song.
A better betting strategy will be to wait for the draw and look at the individual match markets. There’s often value in the game handicaps where the PDC reps are likely to dominate the locals, and you can also look at the 180s and High Checkout markets for value. Follow @Bullseye_Bets on Twitter for more tips and bets throughout the weekend.
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