Fifteen weeks of bullseyes, checkouts and one hundred and eeeeeiiighhtttttyyyys has finally brought the 2016 Betway Premier League Darts season to the Play-Offs. The O2 in London will be rocking as Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen will be fighting it out for the title of 2016 Premier League champion.
It’s been a long season but it's fitting that the finale of the season will see the top four players in the world compete for this championship. Michael van Gerwen has topped the table for the fourth year in a row, but with only one Premier League title so far to show for that dominance, he will be desperate to make amends in 2016. 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor will also be motivated after losing out for top spot in the showdown with MVG last week. He’s an experienced campaigner on the big stage and a six-time Premier League winner who will no doubt rise to the occasion. Gary Anderson is the reigning two-time World Champion but his form has been a little mixed in the Premier League and he hasn’t been able to crack the top two players this season. However he is the reigning Premier League champion. The final member of the foursome is Adrian Lewis who landed a crucial win last week to make it to the Play-Offs but really hasn’t been in the best form of late. He’s capable of anything so it will take a big turnaround for him to challenge here.
The semi-finals will be played over 19 legs and the final will be over 21 legs, so with the longer format, it has opened up some good betting opportunities on certain markets.
We had another profitable week last week with our best bet landing once again, so hopefully we keep that going for the last week of the Premier League. Don't forget to join in the conversation on Twitter @BullsEye_Bets!
Here are our best bets for the 2016 Darts Premier League Play-Offs:
The top seed against the number four seed, it’s going to be a very tough ask for Adrian Lewis to defeat the world’s best darts player in Michael van Gerwen. MVG has been building for this very night and looked extremely focussed last week in the battle against Phil Taylor, highlighted by a superb 164 checkout. The longer the match is, the harder it is to keep MVG down, so there’s no doubt the 19-leg semis will suit him here.
Adrian Lewis has not been at his best for several weeks, with some rumoured family problems away from the oche most likely causing some distractions. He was also off the boil in the European Tour event over the weekend, losing to Jelle Klaasen in the Round of 16 in a pretty ordinary performance. However he has done enough to make the final four here in the Premier League and is definitely capable of an upset.
Their two matches during the season have been 7-4 and 7-5 wins for MVG, so Lewis has certainly been close without breaking through for the win.
I think MVG will prove too strong here, but there’s no value in his win price. You may like to entertain the line handicap if you’re keen, however I’ll be making my plays on a couple of other markets.
The 180s throwing of Lewis has been non-existent in recent times. He didn’t throw any in his loss to Klaasen over the weekend and has only thrown three maximums in his last five Premier League matches – an average of less than one a match! Those matches are best of 11 and this semi-final is best of 19, so there’s definitely more chance of finding a rhythm with the treble, but the signs have been that Lewis is just not consistent enough to smash out enough 180s. MVG has the most 180s for the season, but he switches so effortlessly and sets up big numbers so majestically, that he doesn’t have to be smashing the maximums to be dominant.
I really like the Under 10.5 180s line for this match. I would even suggest the u9.5 line at a better price but we are getting such a good price for the 10.5 line at Sportsbet that I’m happy to go with that. There’s the risk that MVG just comes out and throws like 8 maximums himself, but it will take one of them to really fire to get close to that line.
I also want to take on Lewis with his average which has been set at 97.50 at Sportsbet. He has been under this mark in his last seven matches, and has only touched over 100 twice in his last 21 matches. Of course when MVG is taking out big checkouts it inflates the average of his opponent, but with the match over 19 legs, it will require sustained consistency to record a high average and consistency is not a strength of Lewis.
This will be a cracking semi-final with Phil Taylor gunning for his 7th Premier League title against the reigning Premier League champion in Gary Anderson.
Taylor would be disappointed to miss top spot in the Premier League standings after losing last week to MVG. You would think that will give him a lot of focus for this semi-final. Taylor was very consistent during the season with only three losses, but two of those did come in the last three weeks. However Taylor did account for Anderson with relative ease during the season with 7-4 and 7-3 victories in their two meetings.
Anderson seemed to find some form in the mid-stages of the season but has been unable to really match it with the top two players. He also looked out of sorts in his match at the European Tour over the weekend so will need to rise to the occasion here to get past Taylor.
At his best, Anderson is right in this match. He drills that treble 20 with the best of them. But his first dart is missing the mark too often lately, and Taylor will punish that with his rock-solid play and ability to land big checkouts. Anderson will need some magic and some big checkouts of his own to have a chance. I think it will be close but with the 19-leg match, happy to side with Taylor at the -1.5 legs line.
I’m also going to nibble the 180s line here and again I’m going to side with the unders. Taylor is well known for switching to the 19s if he’s not happy with his first dart, and he hasn’t hit more than three maximums in his last ten Premier League matches. Anderson has only hit more than three in one of his last nine Premier League matches. Anderson is more likely to smash out a high number, but again it will take at least one of them to really fire to get close to the 10.5 line. There’s another factor in this bet which I didn’t mention in the previous match, and that is PRESSURE. While I think the result of the first match is pretty clear cut, this one will definitely be closer, so there could be some huge pressure on both players. That will no doubt affect both players and make straight arrows a little tougher.
I’ve thrown together a couple of multis to extract a little more value from these two matches.
The first takes even wider lines for the 180s market that I’ve already talked about above. This one looks safe as houses at $1.61.
MVG vs Lewis u13.5 180s
Taylor vs Anderson u12.5 180s
Multi at $1.61 at CrownBet
I’ll pick MVG and Taylor to both win their matches to setup a thrilling finale. Multi them both at decent odds.
MVG win vs Lewis
Taylor win vs Anderson
Multi $2.02 at Ladbrokes
The 2016 Premier League finale should be a beauty but I like the chances of Michael van Gerwen to once again emerge triumphant. Game on!!!
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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