Sunday 28 October 2018

European Championship - from bad to worse

Yeah, that wasn't pretty at all. Let's start with the Hopp game - 156 checkout and the ten darter aside, Hopp didn't play all that great again - only four of the ten legs he won were in fifteen darts or less, three of those four being the legs to move from 7-6 down to 9-7 up - this was just Wilson not threatening the Hopp throw in the slightest outside of the breakback he got in leg ten. Hopp's first leg won was solid, but the next five he won, including one break, were all six visit legs - and what did Wilson have left after five visits? 66, 80, 7, 56 (in the break) and 142. So it was just the leg where he missed the 122 where he'd actually left a double, let alone had a dart at it. If he picks up just one of those to lead 8-5 rather than 7-6 when Hopp hit the ten darter to spark his run, does Hopp do that at all? It's questionable.

Elsewhere, Price looked good again against Chisnall, never really giving up much at all on his own throw, taking a couple of breaks when he was offered them and forcing a break in the eleventh with a four visit kill to make it 8-3 and effectively kill the game. Reyes/Webster sounded like a cracker to watch, maybe not the highest standard, but towards the end where they had that clownshow leg where nobody could hit a double, Reyes naturally follows up next leg with a ten darter, Webster holds then breaks to throw for the game at 9-8, misses match darts but thinks he'll be back unless Reyes hits a 145 out, which he does, then Reyes, waiting to return on 97 for the match, sees Webster go out 156 to break in the decider. Wade/Evans didn't see Ricky step up as we thought he'd have to - it's a tale of missed doubles, five to break in leg three, one to hold in leg four, two to hold in leg six, three to break in leg seven, at which stage the damage was done, Wade showing a bit of class at the end to go out 130 and 121 for the match and back to back twelve dart legs, fair play.

Wide open now - following on from where I mentioned Burton looking at the Slam permutations, I think Hopp making the final doesn't automatically knock King out, it just moves Hopp up from the fourteenth man in (from his Euro Tour title) to having a spot locked up, on top of the Price and Cross permutations. Anyone other than Cross (West, Whitlock, Cullen) in the top half would definitely knock King out, while Wade or Webster would see someone out in the bottom half. Price has clinched anyway as he's moved ahead of White on the Order of Merit, so Cross or Price making the final would see White clinch a spot as well.

Looking at the percentages to win this, Cross still leads the way with 36%, but Price is now second favourite on 17% - Whitlock, Webster and Wade all have 10% with West, Cullen and Hopp having 6%, 5% and 2%. I know that doesn't add up, that's rounding. For today's quarters, West/Whitlock is priced pretty closely with Whitlock around 55/45 ahead on the market. This is very close to how I'm reading it as well - Whitlock having 56% on the year long stats. It'd need a huge swing on the recent stats to even think about betting, and as it only moves 1% in favour of Whitlock, I'm not touching this one. Cullen/Cross is next with Cross being the 2-1 favourite. On the recent stats, that is bang on within a quarter of a percent to how the master computer is reading it. Season long I'm getting it a bit more in favour of Cross, up at 72%, so certainly worth thinking about, but if there is a differential in stage and floor form then this wouldn't show it and that's certainly a possibility for Cullen, Cross being pretty sluggish against North is enough to not bet. Third up is Webster/Hopp, which is a similar line to yesterday with Webster a slight favourite - a touch shorter than Wilson, but not much. Season long I'm seeing Webster as a 2-1 favourite. Since the Matchplay I'm seeing it as nearly 60/40 in favour of Webster. 0.25u Webster 10/13, I should probably go as strong as I did yesterday but the crowd could certainly help to pull things a little bit nearer, while Darren's got all the experience in the world, especially over the last couple of years in long leg play formats, you never know, it might give Hopp the extra couple of percent that warrants toning down the bet size. Let's not forget this is a huge pressure spot for Darren as well - win this and he's in the semis with a very winnable match to make his first major final. Last up is Price/Wade (at least according to oddschecker, dartsdata reckons this and the Hopp game are the other way around? If that's true, and it's true that the oddschecker order was there first and it was changed, that can only be to benefit Hopp, which is bent. The PDC website is still showing Hopp on third so we'll roll with that). Line has Wade at 8/11 to Price's 5/4 - which surprises me, I'd have thought it's either 10/11 pick your poison or Price would have the edge. Since the Matchplay, the model favours Price hugely. Enormously. It's over 70%, nearly 75%. Year long, it's a lot closer but still Price being favoured at 57%. We mention Wade and we have to talk consistency - Wade is, as you would expect, a lot tighter on that, averaging exactly 90 in losing legs compared to 92.65 when winning per turn - Price is 93.59 when winning, which explains why the model favours him, but only 88.08 when losing, giving Wade a quarter of a point overall lead. Still, I think I have to go 0.25u Price 5/4, it just feels as if the line is correct and he's certainly played better in the first two rounds.

Updated before the final session seem unlikely, so I'll make another post shortly putting the semis/final permutations through the master computer to guide you all.

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