Sunday 12 November 2017

Grand Slam Day 3

The group stage is now already two thirds done, and we drop to a more sedate pace now with groups E-H finishing tomorrow. Two of these are half finished already, with Durrant and Anderson advancing and Cadby and Whitlock being eliminated respectively - these face off respectively and I'm not touching them as they're close to dead rubbers, although the Durrant price being offered up by BetVictor at 8/13 is mighty tempting. These two groups have straight elimination games between Wright and Norris, and Menzies and van Peer. Berry's dartitis issues have been talked about plenty and I won't go into them here, Menzies has been playing solidly enough to get it, but at 1/3 there's just about enough doubt to ignore the game. Norris comes in as a very big underdog to Wright, even longer than van Peer is against Menzies, but Peter's playing excellent stuff while Norris has been pretty ordinary throughout, so I think the line here also looks fair.

This leaves the Suljovic and Bunting groups - Mensur's up against James Wilson, needing just the four legs to be absolutely safe on leg difference, and he's nearly as big a favourite again. Suljovic has slotted in 7/10 won legs in under fifteen darts, including two four visit kills, while Wilson's at 6/8, also with two four visit kills, so the averages might be misleading a bit. Wilson's on the same leg difference as Smith who has the easier out against McGeeney, and I think it might be worth a small punt - 0.25u Wilson 5/2, only needing 30% for it to be profitable I'm fancying it. On that Smith/McGeeney game, Mark has been very disappointing and I expected more, only winning the four legs and two of them were 19+ dart gifts, Smith's around the same price as Mensur but I think the differential here is much greater, his kill speed against Wilson was not as good as against Mensur, but in the legs he lost against Wilson he was averaging over 112 so the game was still clicking well throughout - 0.5u Smith 4/11.

In the Bunting group, Stephen plays Scott Mitchell knowing three legs will see him through, he's looked pretty decent if not killing quite as quickly as I'd want him to, but it's a fair bit quicker than Mitchell was, who did alright against Chisnall but just got outplayed, while against de Zwaan he was flat out ordinary with just one of his five won legs in fifteen darts or less. Bunting's a small favourite and I like the chances of him locking the group up - 0.25u Bunting 8/11. The final game is Dave Chisnall against Jeffrey de Zwaan, Chisnall's a big favourite and too big to contemplate betting, de Zwaan has enough that he can get home enough to make it not a Chisnall bet, but I think that Dave should come through, Jeffrey's got to feel a bit disappointed, missing match darts in game one and missing 13 at double in game two, it'd be a statement win if he could get there but he must win at least 5-3 and hope that Bunting wins, which isn't too ridiculous but a bit of an outside shot.

Of the groups that finish on Tuesday, Cross will play Montgomery in a straight fight to join van Gerwen in the last sixteen, Cross having missed match darts tonight (sigh) while Montgomery hit a third twelve darter of the tournament tonight to power home against Murnan. This may be closer than the line looks but it's hard to back against Cross at this stage, and van Gerwen/Murnan isn't worth betting on. The other groups have all seen real disappointing performances from the BDO lads with only Noppert still technically alive but needing at least a 5-1 win and a big win from Gurney as well. Gurney I think should have enough to handle Darren Webster which would make the equation simple for Mark Webster, beat Noppert and you're through. In the Barney group, Lennon's whitewash of Hughes has given him a chance if he can upset Barney, while Price can lock up a spot with a 5-1 win over Hughes regardless of results elsewhere. In the Taylor group, you'd think he should have enough to handle James Wade, who's looked pedestrian in both games, which leaves Robbie Green with close to a free pass, having a three leg advantage over Wade already, meaning that the only Taylor win that'd not advance him is a 5-4 Taylor win, and even then he'd need to lose every leg against Machin.

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