Friday 22 December 2017

Round 2 Previews Part 4 - Cross/Smith showdown

Firstly, DIMITRI extending the FRH betting expert analysis sunrunning and putting us further up for this tournament, and it also notably puts him up above Ronny Huybrechts in the FRH rankings, which should hopefully stand him in good stead for making a World Cup debut. Gerwyn Price and Vincent van der Voort were two games that I thought would go the way they did, but nowhere near the size of victories in either case, Price is probably done barring miracles but I'd think he's done enough at this stage to make the Premier League with every other marginal player cocking the worlds up epically to date. Vincent is lining up against the Barney/Anderson winner, and the way he's playing, who's to say he can't cause an upset?

Anyway, long overdue - analysis:

(13) Michael Smith v (20) Rob Cross (afternoon session, tomorrow)

Round 1 - Smith 3-2 vs Lennon, Cross 3-0 vs Asada

Set winning chances on throw:
2017 to date - Smith 52.61%, Cross 62.16%
Matchplay to date - Smith 43.05%, Cross 71.22%
European Championship to date - Smith 42.21%, Cross 71.30%

Match score calculations:
2017 to date - 3.96% Smith 4-0, 21.66% Smith 4-1/4-2, 30.80% 3-3, 34.90% Cross 4-1/4-2, 8.68% Cross 4-0
Matchplay to date - 1.53% Smith 4-0, 10.92% Smith 4-1/4-2, 24.60% 3-3, 46.50% Cross 4-1/4-2, 16.45% Cross 4-0
European Championship to date - 1.47% Smith 4-0, 10.50% Smith 4-1/4-2, 24.15% 3-3, 46.90% Cross 4-1/4-2, 16.98% Cross 4-0

Here comes what should be one of the most anticipated matches of the second round - two 27 year olds clashing with a potential last sixteen game against Daryl Gurney (or John Henderson) to come. Their first round games were somewhat contrasting - Cross having what looked like a fairly routine win over Japanese qualifier Seigo Asada, but while hitting three twelve darters was still forced to deciding legs in two sets, whereas Smith needed a deciding set to get past dangerous debutant Steve Lennon, clocking off seven out of eleven won legs in a "par" of fifteen darts. Cross has clocked up an amazing amount of matches in recent times, 130 legs won in the smallest sample listed compared to Smith's 54, so those figures where Cross looks the best can in no way be put down to dubious statistics. He is that good, and his consistency on the pre-worlds stats was much tighter than Smith's, with around a two and a half point difference between winning and losing, in comparison to Smith's five.

My first thought would be that Smith does enough that, if he brings his best game, he can take out Cross often enough for it to be a bet on Smith. As it's nearly a 75/25 game according to the market, it's not asking much, particularly when you factor in intangibles - Smith's pulled out wins on this stage in big pressure situations, whereas Cross is still on debut and it's still the first time that he's in a situation with a huge crowd where he is expected to win against a player who, if he turns up, absolutely can defeat him. Over the course of the full season data, this is a slam dunk Smith bet, but over more recent samples, Cross looks to be the place to put your money, although not anywhere near as clear cut as in the whole year sample. You've got to bear in mind that the full year includes Smith's only win this season, and is from when Cross was only really warming up. I'm thinking that I avoid this and just enjoy the fireworks.

(6) Phil Taylor v (27) Justin Pipe (evening session, tomorrow)

Round 1 - Taylor 3-1 vs Dobey, Pipe 3-2 vs B Smith

Set winning chances on throw:
2017 to date - Taylor 76.77%, Pipe 36.61%
Matchplay to date - Taylor 74.11%, Pipe 39.91%
European Championship to date - Taylor 75.18%, Pipe 39.28%

Match score calculations:
2017 to date - 23.68% Taylor 4-0, 51.10% Taylor 4-1/4-2, 18.49% 3-3, 6.00% Pipe 4-1/4-2, 0.72% Pipe 4-0
Matchplay to date - 19.83% Taylor 4-0, 49.22% Taylor 4-1/4-2, 21.66% 3-3, 8.23% Pipe 4-1/4-2, 1.07% Pipe 4-0
European Championship to date - 20.84% Taylor 4-0, 49.89% Taylor 4-1/4-2, 20.79% 3-3, 7.54% Pipe 4-1/4-2, 0.95% Pipe 4-0

Now for one of the less interesting second round matches that we haven't already analysed, as Taylor flies in as a 1/10 favourite against Justin Pipe, who avoided match darts against Bernie Smith and advanced in overtime in a deciding set. I don't think too many pundits saw that one coming. Taylor didn't look his mercurial best against Chris Dobey, but did enough to get the win and capitalise on what he was given. This should be a formality with Pipe only just coming through a game featuring a coughing "incident", but Taylor's 10/1 on, and it needs an awful lot of certainty to consider betting on him. Pipe's up at around 6-9% to win the game depending on what sample you look at (Pipe doesn't have the greatest, and Taylor's isn't large either, to the point where his sample for the first two time periods is the same. With Taylor looking not his usual ├╝berconfident self in the opening round and Pipe throwing a level of throwing speed that isn't that far off in the first game, there's just about enough weirdness factor that I don't think we can just bet Taylor and print.

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