Sunday 24 March 2019

Leverkusen last 16

We're coming into the bizarre situation where the afternoon session matches are worth two grand to whoever wins them, but then if you win the first match of the evening session, that's only an extra 1500 quid? If you've got an extra five grand to allocate, why not give the last 16 losers an extra 250 each (3k to 3250), the quarter finalists an extra 500 each (4k to 4500) and then the semi finalists an extra 500 each as well (6k to 6500)? It's a smoother increase that goes up each round by either the same or a larger amount. Oh well, they did something equally silly in the UK Open qualifiers (there I think the prizes per round went 250 - 1000 - 1500).

Most seeds got through safely, Ian White was the biggest casualty in terms of seeding (but we thought that might happen), Michael Smith the biggest in terms of FRH rankings (and we definitely thought that might happen, what a game from Ratajski), while Lewis and Whitlock were the only others - Dimitri's good, so not unexpected, and Whitlock's no longer good, so also not unexpected. What have we got today?

van Gerwen/Wattimena - We're denied the first PDC v BDO champion matchup, which we've been waiting for since 2014 if ochepedia's right - Jermaine came from behind to edge Durrant in a decider, while van Gerwen easily dealt with a way below par Mervyn King. This match between two players who could well be national team partners in a few months could be closer than the market suggests - 0.1u Wattimena 6/1, it's surely just a matter of time before Jermaine finally breaks through and beats a big name in one of these, could it be today? I'm seeing this as 66/34 on 2019 form, such is how Jermaine's playing and how Michael isn't his other worldly best. Over the last twelve months it's a lot closer to the line but Jermaine would be at 18% which is still fine to bet.

Ratajski/Price - Krzysztof put in a great display to beat Michael Smith, but oddly had to survive match darts to do so after running up a big lead, it's a great game, go and check it out if you can. Price easily put away Taylor, a bit swingy early but he closed it out well enough. Price ought to be about a 2/1 favourite on current form, maybe not so much on the last twelve months where it's roughly 60/40, maybe a bit closer, the line's about at the last twelve months level. If you don't think Ratajski maintains that form from yesterday, take the 4/6 on Price.

Suljovic/Cullen - Mensur got through a surprisingly decent and close match with Dennant, while Cullen blew away van der Voort in easily his best match of the season. Are we seeing another year of Joe ripping up the European Tour? As far as bets go I won't be bothering, twelve month sample looks about 65/35 in favour of Suljovic, which is roughly where the line is, on 2019 form it's more 70/30, but with Mensur barely better than 1/2 in the market I can pass this, particularly if yesterday was a warning sign that Cullen will repeat the situational trends he had in 2018.

Wade/Chisnall - Potential good one this, both got through with good showings against Plaisier and Evetts respectively, they've met twice on the floor already this year and Chisnall's won both of them. Bit of a differential in form guide - twelve months worth of data reckons 60/40 Chizzy, but in 2019 it thinks it's a coinflip. The bookies can't separate the two, I won't bet it, it seems counterintuitive that Chisnall's won two events this year but he only becomes favoured when you look at all the data I have. Then again Wade has picked it up massively in the last six months.

Pipe/Webster - Justin took out Ian White coming from 5-3 down to reach the last sixteen, nothing spectacular but solid throughout, Webster took down Jirkal but Pavel didn't really show up here. There's a huge disparity in stats here. Over the last twelve months, Darren is strongly favoured - 70/30 in fact, but in 2019 where he's struggled a bit and Pipe's shown some occasional signs of getting his game together, they can't be split. Line's 11/8 Pipe, could be sneaky value if you're unconvinced with Darren.

Cross/Clayton - Rob had no trouble opening up a big lead on Beaton and seeing it out, Clayton meanwhile was in a bit of a scrappy game with Adam Hunt but was similarly able to get an early lead and hold after getting a fourth leg break. I think there's almost value on Clayton, he's available at 12/5, the projections I have on 2019 form see him having a one in three shot, actually going up 5% over the last twelve months, but I think this could be one where the stats are deceptive, as Clayton has a fairly large differential in winning and losing points per turn compared to Cross, so I'll leave this one alone.

van den Bergh/Gurney - Dimitri took out Lewis in a game featuring a weird incident where nobody seemed to know what was going on, Gurney beat de Zwaan in a game with a comedy opening leg but got better and he pulled away from 2-2 to win 6-2. The market has this fairly close with Dimitri being slightly odds against. Not sure why really, Dimitri had a fantastic game with Adie where he broke Lewis three times in four visits, Gurney was merely OK, on 2019 stats I've got Dimitri over 60% to win and it's still 55/45 over a twelve month sample. 0.25u van den Bergh 5/4.

Wright/Smith - Both players did exactly what I thought they would against Huybrechts and Whitlock respectively, their speed to win legs was the same in their games, it's just Ross lost more legs with a bit of a lower average in them. Wright's 1/3 in the market, which I think is being a bit unfair on Ross, but it's not one of those where it's enough to bet Ross at 3/1, I'm only seeing 29% chances on 2019 form, which rises slightly over a twelve month span but not to the point where he's got a one in three shout. If you want to fire on Ross I certainly wouldn't blame you.

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