Monday, 18 October 2021

Wait, Cross? What?

Can't say I saw that one coming, but hey, congrats to Rob for taking it down, let's take a look at the new FRH rankings:

1 Gerwyn Price
2 Peter Wright
3 Michael van Gerwen
4 James Wade
5 Jose de Sousa (UP 1)
6 Jonny Clayton (DOWN 1)
7 Dimitri van den Bergh
8 Gary Anderson
9 Rob Cross (NEW)
10 Joe Cullen (UP 2)
11 Krzysztof Ratajski (DOWN 2)
12 Michael Smith (DOWN 2)
13 Dave Chisnall (DOWN 2)
14 Nathan Aspinall (UP 1)
15 Dirk van Duijvenbode (DOWN 2)
16 Stephen Bunting (DOWN 2)
17 Danny Noppert
18 Luke Humphries
19 Mervyn King (DOWN 3)
20 Ryan Searle (NEW)

Petersen and Whitlock drop out, although both are within 1000 points of Searle, although obviously trending in the wrong direction.

Four days of Pro Tour action coming up, keep an eye out for any each way fliers on Twitter, although who still constitutes value at this stage is beyond me.

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Semis and final

That Price/van Gerwen game is an instant contender for match of the year, if only Price didn't just run out of steam late and we'd got to a decider, it'd have been even better. Still, four names left in:

van Gerwen/Aspinall - Line looks fairly good. I'm seeing MvG at 68% - Nathan's continuing to play well. Line is 9/4 Aspinall with a bit of vig the other way, so no thanks.

Cullen/Cross - Huge, huge opportunity for both, Rob to halt the slide and Cullen to finally get to a big TV final (remember kids, they're ALL big TV finals). Market has this fairly even, shading ever so slightly towards Cullen. That looks about right again - I see Joe at 54%, so will pass.

I don't expect anything hugely out of line on the final if both semis look perfect, but what I would be looking for is odds that reflect at least a clear 5% out from these projections:

MvG/Cullen - 67% MvG
MvG/Cross - 71% MvG
Aspinall/Cross - 53% Aspinall
Aspinall/Cullen - 52% Cullen

So, for example, if we were given 6/4 on Nathan in a final, we'd definitely pile in if it was against Cross, and strongly think about it if it was Cullen. Cullen, if he does beat Cross, has the situation where I think we've got to factor in first big final nerves and maybe drop him down a percent or two. Back with FRH rankings later.

Quick quarter final thoughts

Florian gave us value at least, I think it's fair to say Mensur was the better player, but not Hempel a 7/4 dog better player. Oh well, de Sousa mitigated the damage to get us out of round 2 for a minor loss, now on to the quarters.

Noppert/Aspinall - Another fine performance from Danny to take down Ryan Searle with ease. Would it be fair to say that Aspinall is his easiest opponent to date? Quite possibly. Nathan actually looked good and seems to be gearing up into form at the right time of the season. Bookies can't split them, they actually give Aspinall the tiniest of edges, I'm thinking it should be priced 4/5 Danny rather than 10/11 Nathan. Not enough edge to bet it.

Price/van Gerwen - This is going to be good. Neither player had any trouble in round two, Gawlas flashed for one leg but that was it really, van Gerwen got up heavily against Wade and saw it home, James not doing a great deal wrong in fairness, other than simply not getting quite enough scoring to generate more chances. It's priced 4/5 Gerwyn 10/11 Michael, I think there should be a little bit more separation but not enough to bet Price here.

Cross/de Sousa - Thought Brendan might have given Rob a tougher time, but he just had too many legs where he couldn't generate the scoring power and Rob was consistent enough. Jose maybe got away with one against Humphries, who had a great combination of huge kills and power scoring, honestly do think he's going to win a big one soon. Market thinks just better than 60/40 in favour of Jose, and I think this is very close to a bet. I see it as more like 70/30. I would go with it, but the only place that is offering the 8/13 that oddschecker list is some obscure bookie, everywhere else looks to be 8/15, so if you want to go on whatever a spreadex is, be my guest.

Suljovic/Cullen - Mensur needed every leg to beat Hempel, but wasn't bad at all, Cullen was kept fairly close in the early stages but powered away after the first break. Similar price to the previous game with Joe being favoured, that looks about the right ballpark to me.

Meanwhile in the WDF it looks like Jim McEwan and Rhys Hayden have got to the final of yesterday's event - I only assume they're playing it on stream today? Jim we've mentioned a few times in relation to the Challenge Tour and he's got into a few Pro Tours as well, Rhys I really don't know anything about. Good to see quite a few familiar faces getting deep, Darren Johnson and Arron Monk being the semi finalists while Steve Hine also had a nice run. It's the bigger of the two events today, will keep a close eye on it as we hit a run of fairly big events on that side of the sport.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Euros round 2

Little bit disappointing to not come out better on the betting. King had three clear at tops for 2-0 that would have been 3-0, sure Nathan gifted the same back, but I think he was playing better and was just a bit unfortunate. Cullen was fine, then for the should have beens, Hempel. Man, nice job. I took 100/30 right before the off once I saw that he won the darts, which either means they haven't adjusted from their base price on that news (we've calculated what winning the bull is worth in the past), or that the 7/2 I was looking for was available previously. Either way, it's good. Jose won, although Lewy played some solid stuff and definitely will be in the conversation for young player of the year (although I think that it'll take some effort to remove Rusty from the front of the pack), then Borland won as well. Oh well, it indicates that the process in them being close to bets is fine, even if we didn't quite pull the trigger. Into the last 16 now and this is a big 10k jump in prize money, so huge for a lot of players.

Borland/Cullen - Joe was just fine against Ted, who wasn't on top form really. Borland was able to take out Whitlock with a steady performance. This is a bit of a step up to take out Joe in a longer format though, I see it as just under a one in for shot for William here. He's around 3/1, so the market's fine.

Dolan/Cross - This ought to be a good one between two players just outside the top 20 of the FRH rankings, both of whom can push in with a win. Brendan looked pretty unstoppable against Huybrechts, while Cross was given an interesting test by Keane Barry, match never really looked close but Rob never really got going. The market has this evens, with Dolan just odds on, I similarly can't separate the players.

de Sousa/Humphries - Another very interesting game on here. Mentioned Jose earlier, he probably played a little bit better than he had done in previous games without never really getting anywhere near top gear, while Humphries was pushed all the way in his game with Rydz and looked pretty ordinary in the legs he lost. Market is thinking Luke has a bit more than a 40% shot, that kind of feels right, although the computer's saying that Jose is a much bigger favourite than that at just over 70%. Got to bet this as a result, 0.25u de Sousa 8/13

Searle/Noppert - Another fine game to close the afternoon session. Searle was pushed extremely hard by Michael Smith who was unlucky to lose in a deciding leg, while Noppert just rolled over Ratajski with a five leg spurt that you rarely see against someone of Krzysztof's calibre. This feels like a flip on paper, the market gives the tiniest of edges to Searle, seems fine to me. Could be a sneaky game of the round, although how sneaky it still is given how they did at the Grand Prix is open for debate.

Aspinall/Heta - Mentioned Nathan above. Heta won last on against Clemens in a pretty decent match with neither player doing much wrong at all and just the opening dodgy leg where Clemens was on a nine to break, but couldn't finish in eighteen. Oops. I think Heta should be the small favourite without looking at anything, it's actually Nathan that is, and the computer says it's yet another flip. Oh well.

Price/Gawlas - Gerwyn swept aside Ritchie Edhouse looking great, while Adam was in a not particularly pretty game which started off horribly for both, but did what he needed to get the win. Price is 1/8, if anything that's value by a tick.

van Gerwen/Wade - Michael didn't need much time to finish off Krcmar, getting the two breaks he needed in the first three legs (finished in just 13 visits) and then not letting go from there. Wade was in a spot of bother against Smith-Neale early before a decent run of legs to get back from a 4-2 hole. Michael looks a little short on paper at 4/11, but checking the computer it's actually OK - Wade's over 30% so maybe the line could shade closer to 4/9 to be fair, but we don't get enough on Wade to bet.

Suljovic/Hempel - Final game, Mensur didn't need to do too much against Hunt who really didn't show up, Hempel's magic over Wright we've already talked about. Main question is whether that victory for Hempel has terminally damaged the value. He is 7/4 to beat Suljovic, and I think we can take that easily, 0.25u Hempel 7/4. The computer actually thinks this is 55/45 in favour of Florian, so getting a line that indicates he has less than a 40% chance is great. The worries are that Mensur's actually scoring slightly higher overall - albeit by less than a point, so Florian's got a bit more inconsistency to be concerned about, but that's not going to swing this to not being a bet. Even if we said as a result it was a flip, then we still take the price.

That's it, will also be keeping an eye on the British Open this weekend. Great to see WDF events getting more involved on Dart Connect.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Well these tournaments are thick and fast

Let's congrats Jonny Clayton on finally winning a major title that counts, and let's laugh at those on Twitter that called the Masters a "big TV title". Guess they're all big. Straight into the FRH rankings before anything else, and these incorporate Euro mincashes (which has the effect of bumping JdS and Whitlock up one but nothing else):

1 Gerwyn Price
2 Peter Wright
3 Michael van Gerwen
4 James Wade
5 Jonny Clayton (UP 7)
6 Jose de Sousa
7 Dimitri van den Bergh (DOWN 2)
8 Gary Anderson (DOWN 1)
9 Krzysztof Ratajski
10 Michael Smith (DOWN 2)
11 Dave Chisnall (DOWN 1)
12 Joe Cullen (DOWN 1)
13 Dirk van Duijvenbode
14 Stephen Bunting (UP 1)
15 Nathan Aspinall (DOWN 1)
16 Mervyn King (UP 1)
17 Danny Noppert (NEW)
18 Luke Humphries
19 Simon Whitlock
20 Devon Petersen (DOWN 4)

Obviously Clayton's the big mover, with Price's final extending his lead over Wright to nearly 300k points. MvG is closer to Wade than he is to Wright. Searle's good run puts him one spot behind Devon and will reach the top 20 if he turns over Smith in the first round, White's now looking a lot safer in the top 25 than he was a bit ago. Gurney's actually down to 25 now, he's the casualty as Noppert hits the top 20, if not for the first time then for the first time in a long time. Not inconceivable that Durrant is out of the top 30 this time next week, could be sooner if Suljovic and Rydz have runs.

Onto Salzburg. This might be the weirdest tournament the PDC has ever held, at least in terms of lineup - stuff like the Championship League and anything to do with quadro boards is clearly more odd. We'll go in draw order:

Price/Edhouse - I like Ritchie's game, but this has the potential to be a bit lol, although given the short race to six in the first round, I can't actually recommend a bet at a best price available of 1/5 on Gerwyn. Ritchie's got a competent enough level to win this maybe one in five.

Gawlas/Murnan - Well this is a big opportunity for both. 16/17 seed match up with the chance to probably face the world champion in round two? Who wouldn't want that. This is a really tough one to call, I'm seeing Adam as a tiny favourite - read 10/11 sort of level. That is close to what we have in the market, Adam's actually available at evens in places. Maybe worth the shot if you think that he has a bit of a better TV game than on the floor, for which there is definitely some evidence. He might actually have more stage experience than Murnan at this point.

van Gerwen/Krcmar - Immediate thought is that this might be a lay MvG spot, Boris is incredibly underrated and has produced plenty of high quality performances that have threatened an awful lot of the top players. We can get 3/1, although checking the master computer, it's saying he wins 25%. Ho hum, on we go.

Wade/Smith-Neale - We clearly don't have a great deal of info on ASN - just the 60 or so legs where he's going at a fairly pedestrian clip, much of which might be not needing to do much more than around 89 in scoring on the Challenge Tour, even in the latter stages. 1/4 on Wade feels right, computer says Adam has a little bit of a better chance than that, but I think that's a sample size thing to be honest, he's likely just happy to be here.

Smith/Searle - This is going to be pretty exciting, Smith is still looking for a first major and Searle has just had a first big breakthrough on TV, which could easily have gone further if things had have fallen slightly differently. Rates to be close, market has Michael as a small 55/45 favourite, I'm thinking it's a bang on coin flip. We're only seeing one or two places offer odds against on Ryan, so let's carry on.

Ratajski/Noppert - Match of the round for me, two players who are still super underrated (I really get the feeling that Ratajski will be another Pipe or White who does enough in terms of results to warrant a PL spot but won't get it unless he completely forces the PDC's hand by binking a big one), and Noppert's value has normalised enough now that he only comes in as a 55/45 dog in the market. That looks about right to me, I'm seeing it as right in the middle of that and a flip. One I'll definitely keep an eye on on Friday night.

Aspinall/King - Here's another one that on paper seems like it should be close, Nathan's a bit off his peak which saw him winning majors, while Mervyn is still quietly going about his business and getting results. Market thinks about 60/40 Nathan (fair bit of vig in this one), I'm seeing 55/45 Mervyn. I'm going to take 0.25u King 13/10, but you may want to wait and see if the market normalises a bit more and you see 11/8 or even 6/4.

Heta/Clemens - The good matchups continue. Heta seems to have had the better 2021 than Clemens, who I don't think has necessarily taken a step backwards, more just stayed a bit stationary while other have progressed. Would think Damon will be a slight favourite over Clemens, market sees this exactly the same as the previous game, I do actually see this one as 60/40 for Heta, maybe slightly more. He's awfully underrated still, probably the best Aussie right now regardless of what rankings say.

Suljovic/Hunt - Into the bottom half, Mensur's a bit of a surprise #2 seed, but here he is, Adam's just crept into the field but this'll all help to solidify a top 64 spot, maybe much higher. I'd guess this looks well in favour of Mensur but possibly worth a bet on Adam without looking at the market, said market is showing 70/30 to Suljovic, I'm, er, actually seeing it as a bit more in favour of Suljovic than that. Nowhere near enough to take 2/5 mind you.

Wright/Hempel - Peter's only the 15 seed, which is a bit of a surprise but he bricked Gib and didn't do a great deal in Hungary either. Florian's had a very solid first season as a card holder, oddschecker is doing weird things but it generally looks like they're all saying Wright takes this 75-80% of the time. I don't think it's that much, and it's more like 65-70%. As such, 10/3 is an awful tempter, but big stage nerves may still come into play for Hempel here.

Whitlock/Borland - Kind of an important one for Simon here, getting through the first round of these sorts of things is what's needed to stabilise your ranking, while Borland getting a win would certainly help in terms of solidifying a top 64 place and retaining his card, which he's looking decent to do already in fairness. Would envisage the market saying 2-1 in favour of Whitlock, it's roughly that (they're actually favouring Borland a little over that), it'd probably need a few more ticks the other way to consider a bet on William here. Just shy of 40%, I'd likely snap 9/4 so if "name player" money moves the market, move in.

Cullen/Evetts - Ted's been appearing on our screens a bit more over the past couple of months after a bit of a lean spell, and this'll be a big test against one of the Pro Tour's best. This looks massively in favour of Cullen, 80/20 for me. Betfair's actually offering us better than 1/3 in this one, I'll take it small, 0.25u Cullen 7/20, wouldn't normally fly with this edge but as it's a long odds on, it's hard to generate more edge than this.

Dolan/Huybrechts - Seems like a decent section for Brendan, who's still a tad under the radar, as is Kim to be honest, who's kind of where Dolan was 2-3 seasons ago in terms of looking to push back into the top 32. Master computer actually has this as a flip, which surprised me, but Kim's a bit inconsistent, when he's winning he's not messing about but his losing legs can be quite bad. Market is 8/11 on Brendan, this seems fine.

Cross/Barry - Similarly, this is a big chance for both these - firstly for Rob to regain confidence and halt a rankings slide, secondly for Keane to make big inroads in a senior major for the first time. Rob should take this about two times in three from what my stats say, the market thinks it's a bit more but it's not enough of an outlier to lay the former world champion.

de Sousa/Williams - Really interested to see what Lewy can do on the TV in this one, although it's a bit of a bastard draw. Still, no pressure as a result and he can take it as a learning experience regardless. Market is actually giving Williams a fair chance at 30% or there abouts, I'm seeing about 25%, maybe slightly under. Probably ought to think about taking Jose the same as I've taken Cullen, but I won't.

Humphries/Rydz - Finally we get what should be a fantastic game between two players who should be clashing on the big stage for a couple of decades to come. Luke's the favourite here, a bit more than 60% but not two in three, which in my mind seems alright, once I stop misclicking on Luke Woodhouse I can actually see that Callan seems to have a little bit of a better chance than that, nowhere near enough to consider a bet though, Rydz isn't exactly inconsistent by any means but Luke's extremely tight in terms of not giving anything away, so I think that'll normalise things close to where the line should be.

So that's it, just the two bets, I'd have expected more given the mishmash nature of the field, but it is what it is. Good luck to us all.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

No bet on the final

Didn't have the time to look at the semis in detail, but when you don't see anything in the quarters, you're generally of the opinion that the market is in the same place you are in terms of valuing players. Same for the final - they're seeing Price as a 60/40 favourite. That seems pretty much right, maybe the pressure on Clayton to win a first ranking major will be a factor, who knows.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Grand Prix quarters

Let's take a very quick look:

Noppert/White - Thought there might have been value on Ian in this one when I saw Noppie priced up at 4/6, second round match and the quality of the win not withstanding, White's been meh but he's done enough that he shouldn't be too far behind Danny, if behind at all. Then I shove the figures into the master computer and it's 60/40. Oh well.

Ratajski/Clayton - Incredibly tasty matchup, which sees Clayton come in as a near 2/1 on favourite, which is surely prohibitive regardless of how good Clayton has been, simply on account of how good Ratajski is. The master computer backs this up - Clayton's a favourite, but it's only slightly over 55%. That indicates enough quality differential that we can't be tipping Krzysztof unfortunately, although I may have a look at the handicaps for shits and giggles.

Price/Chisnall - Could we see Dave pull the upset here, and get the 95th iteration of "this'll be the best chance Chisnall will ever have to win a major"? Quite possibly. We're not getting an awful price either - 5/2 is indicative of slightly under a 30% chance of winning, whereas I'm thinking it's in the mid to high 30's. It's close but it's not enough when you additionally factor in how convincing each player has been in the tournament to date which surely favours Gerwyn.

Bunting/Searle - Wow, Ryan's the 60/40 favourite. Searle betting party time surely completely gone now. That does actually look fair enough, and there may actually be marginal value in Searle here, but Bunting's done just about enough this year to steer me away from it. The stage has got to be a factor as well - this is by far the biggest game of Searle's career, whereas Bunting has won Lakeside and gone deep at Ally Pally on multiple occasions.

So no bets.