Saturday 24 November 2018

Players Championship round 3

Back to break even for the tournament. A case of what could have been, with Searle and King both losing deciding legs and both having match darts, but I'll take Clemens, Dobey and Burton again getting the job done at solid odds against.

We're now into the last sixteen and had a few more big names fall - Ian White the biggest one as far as seedings go, but we've lost Smith, Lewis, de Zwaan, Chizzy, Whitlock... this gives us a draw of Dolan/Gurney, Wade/Dobey, Ratajski/Noppert, Wright/Bunting, Anderson/Cullen, Clayton/Evans, Lennon/Clemens and van Gerwen/Burton. Let's project all of these:

Dolan/Gurney - Draw's opened up nicely for Gurney with White falling, but Dolan's not going to be a pushover by any stretch of the imagination, if he's beaten the #1 seed then he really shouldn't fear anyone. Gurney played better this afternoon though, despite surviving match darts, and projects at 70/30.

Wade/Dobey - James will be looking to go deep in another TV event, while Dobey's looking to use the event to get into form for the worlds and a push up towards the top 32 in 2019. Dobey had a solid win over Chisnall, while Wade was in an up and down battle with Aspinall, and the projections have them fairly close - 55/45 in favour of Wade.

Ratajski/Noppert - Anyone feeling that Krzysztof in on a career trajectory similar to that of Suljovic from maybe five years ago? It's got that kind of feel to me anyway. He came from a 3-1 hole against Lewis to win 6-3, while Noppie needed every leg to see off Mervyn King. He may need to up his game as Ratajski's favoured 65/35, but over a longer format will Noppert's experince (having made the Lakeside final lest we forget) be key?

Wright/Bunting - The only last sixteen matchup that's gone as seedings would suggest, Peter ran away with it against Hopp after Hopp hit a nice twelve to level it at 2-2, while Bunting was 5-2 up against Razma and could easily have been 5-5 but for Madars to miss a lot of doubles in the tenth leg, allowing Stephen to hold in 23 darts! Wright's over a two in three shot here and nearly 70/30, so Bunting has work to do to reach the quarter finals.

Anderson/Cullen - We have a repeat of their instant Matchplay classic, with Ando brushing aside Whitlock with ease to continue a great run so far, while Cullen was caught up in a dogfight with Beaton, who missed one dart to level at five and throw for the match. Cullen's showed he can hang with Anderson over a decent length match, but he's an 80/20 dog to actually get the win tonight.

Clayton/Evans - Clayton can think himself a bit lucky to be here, with Smith missing a match dart before Jonny finished 80 for the game, having missed six match darts the leg before. Evans moved on with a surprisingly easy win over Jeffrey de Zwaan, averaging just shy of a ton and doubling well to reach the last sixteen. The in-form Ferret rates at nearly 60/40 to advance to Sunday and maybe repeat his run from last year.

Lennon/Clemens - Bit of a surprising last sixteen tie, both players needing all eleven legs to get through, Lennon in a really poor quality game against Reyes which he honestly should have lost, while Clemens played decently for a second game in a row to edge out James Wilson, a nice twelve dart leg in the decider on throw being the difference. The model can't separate the two, making it a true coin toss in what's somewhat uncharted territory, at least for Clemens.

van Gerwen/Burton - Michael nearly swept Keegan Brown, leading 5-0 at the break before Keegan nicked one consolation leg, while Stephen held off Darren Webster in a swingy match, winning the first three and last three legs to take it 6-3. How will he adapt to playing on a big stage for the first time against the best player in the world? We'll see, the model thinking it's a 90/10 sort of game.

What are we betting on? Nothing on Dolan/Gurney, we're getting 10/3 which is an alright little edge, but Gurney will surely be locked in for this one. 0.25u Dobey 13/5, that's a shorter price but we have a much better win percentage for Dobey than we do for Dolan. The Ratajski game's not on oddschecker yet but I'm seeing an 8/15 line which indicated there'll be little value, similar for Bunting really, only 3/1 isn't quite enough. Anderson's bang on the correct line at 1/4 so nothing there, Clayton/Evans also sees Evans at slightly north of the 6/4 which I'm thinking's a fair line. Lennon/Clemens has the market agree with me in that it's too close to call, and while there's a bookie offering up 33/1 on Stephen Burton, I'm not going to touch that one as there's just too much chance he underperforms in an alien environment, even if he has no pressure whatsoever (which of course would come back on if he gets to the second break level or close to it).

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