Saturday 15 July 2017

Matchplay pod 5 - Chizzy! Chuck! King! Kim!

Dave Chisnall (World rank: 5, FRH rank: 4, match odds: 1/3, tournament odds: 33/1) v Mervyn King (World rank: 20, FRH rank: 20, match odds: 3/1, tournament odds: 250/1)

The highest ranked player in the tournament not to have won a major, Chisnall sets out on what would be a very tough run - King's one of the players you wouldn't want to be facing, his next round opponent wouldn't be pretty either, the quarters might be OK but he's in the same half as van Gerwen again, if he gets that far. Chisnall's not had a particularly good 2017 so far, getting drawn against Peter Wright early in the UK Open, and only having the one ranking final to date, losing out to Adrian Lewis. He had a pretty good Premier League after a slow start to end up fifth, and hasn't been doing too badly in other non-ranking events, but he's outside the top 10 for qualifying for both the European Championship and Players Championship finals, so he could be doing better.

King has been playing some of his best darts for years of recent, in reaching the final of the last European Tour event he was spectacular, only coming unstuck against Peter Wright, and while he's not done too badly this season (actually leading Chisnall in form points), he might have wanted his UK Open game against Tabern over again, and could easily have taken out Rob Cross in a Pro Tour final, and there's been a few deep runs where he's lost to players in the 11-20 ranking bracket, who I guess he thinks he should beat.

I think this is a lot closer than the odds make out. Looking at the graph, King is not that far off Chisnall's numbers in all aspects, while Chisnall's better in all aspects, it's not by much. This seems like a clear play given the odds we're offered, I'd probably still bet this at 2/1 - 0.5u King 3/1

Kim Huybrechts (World rank: 13, FRH rank: 13, match odds: 4/6, tournament odds: 150/1) v Alan Norris (World rank: 19, FRH rank: 16, match odds: 13/10, tournament odds: 250/1)

In a season where Kim Huybrechts is looking to push on to the top 10, he's been a bit disappointing. Finishing bottom of the Premier League in the circumstances isn't a big deal, but he's only made the one final so far this season, additionally he's made two semi finals. This is a rematch of the UK Open, where we bet Huybrechts at almost exactly the same odds, only for it to all go wrong in the deciding leg. He'll look to push on here and start to accumulate serious ranking money, which someone with his quality should be doing - it's just a case of doing it leg on leg, and not letting the pressure off.

Norris in contrast does have a tour win, taking the opening Players Championship over Peter Jacques. Since the UK Open though, his form has declined, with just the one semi final and two quarter finals, and a string of last 32 exits in Europe to qualifiers such as Jamie Bain, Dimitri van den Bergh and Jan Dekker. Similar opening losses on the Pro Tour to Robert Owen, Andy Jenkins, Ted Evetts and Tony Newell are also questionable results.

Both of these players are often inconsistent and see a big dip in average when they're not winning legs, but Huybrechts is still doing more when losing than Norris is by three points on the averages. Both are in the sixties for five visit finish percentage (Norris low, Huybrechts high), but the Belgian finishes in four visits considerably more often, a full 18% of winning legs being good for the fifth best in the field. He is that good, and I'm going to try to rectify the UK Open loss. The model has Kim winning 75% of the time - 1u Huybrechts 4/6

In round 2, Huybrechts would project as favourite against either opponent - a small one against Chisnall and 2-1 against King, while Norris would be around a 60/40 dog to King and a similar size dog to Chisnall as he is here. I have to think that round 2, if Huybrechts makes it, will be another Huybrechts bet.

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