Saturday 31 October 2020

QF views

Wow, what a day, Petersen took the game in what looked to be a bit of a closer result than it should have been, then Ian White got his best performance in months to knock out MvG, who wasn't playing badly himself. We've got multiple unexpected quarter finalists, let's have a quick scan through to see what we think:

Wade/O'Connor - Willie was competent enough in defeating Jamie Hughes who never really got going at all, climbing to a 5-0 lead and not letting go, actually improving his relative performance after the break. Wade was maybe a little bit fortunate against Aspinall but was able to get the critical break in the first session and then hold out from there, Aspinall averaging a cool 97 in the legs Wade won but not quite being able to get the key break back. I see no real good opportunities here, this looks 70/30 in favour of Wade season long, it's a bit stronger since the restart, nearer four out of five, if you look at that latter sample then 4/9 on James would probably be worth the shot, but Willie's continuing a great freeroll so who's to say he can't take it further.

Clayton/van Duijvenbode - Jonny took a nice early lead against de Sousa, and then was able to hold things together when Jose threatened to make a bit of a comeback, getting the last couple of critical legs when de Sousa started missing doubles. Dirk needed to come from behind, Smith put together a run of six legs to hold a lead of a break, but Dirk ran off the last four legs to clinch the win. Bookies have this quite close, Clayton shading a 55/45 assessment, I think this is incredibly close to a bet on Clayton though. Jonny's projecting in the low 60's on any sort of timescale, so I probably should go with it, but there's this lagging doubt that Dirk, having made the last major final, has added confidence and will outperform his year long stats. I'll pass, but probably regret it.

Petersen/White - Devon needed to come from behind against Kleermaker, Martijn opened up a 4-1 lead at the break despite not needing to put up a huge performance to do so, although Devon was able to sweep the next session, they then traded pairs of legs before Devon held out for the win. Ian was able to dump out MvG, powering to a 5-0 lead, and then pushing home from 7-4 after Michael had got one break back, very fine performance, MvG was playing fine, another 11 points somewhere in a White leg and he'd average a clean ton in the legs White won. Market says 60/40 for Petersen, that seems close enough to ignore. White is a little bit better season long (although with White only 11/8, there's nothing there), while on performances just after the restart, Devon is up slightly more than two in three. Another one that's worth considering, but I won't actually pull the trigger on.

Wright/West - Great game from Peter here, took the probable best player in the world apart, could have been a bigger win but for Gerwyn to pull back three legs late (Wright meanwhile was casually averaging near 115 on the legs Gerwyn won). West stunned everyone with a decider win against Suljovic, the last four legs all being breaks after West had surrendered a 7-3 lead at the break. This seems to be a bridge too far for Steve though, the line of 5/1 looks close enough to accurate here. Year long, he's probably got slightly less chances, since we've got back under way, slightly more, but nothing that is worth considering in terms of a bet.

That's what I'm seeing things as - no actual recommended bets, going on more recent form I think you can argue for Wade/Clayton/Petersen, if you're leaning that way anyway then I certainly won't stop you.

Friday 30 October 2020

Day 2 bets

Tempted with Hughes. Worked out that it's O'Connor that's breaking oddschecker, so it's only showing Hughes at 4/6. Season long that looks about right, but since the restart Hughes has looked a lot better, maybe as much as a three in four favourite. Only concern is that O'Connor is really on a freeroll, he shouldn't be here and now has a confidence boosting win that'll help him see how far he gets. Will pass and probably regret it.

0.5u Petersen 1/3, this looks safe enough. Kleermaker's competent, but Devon's a tier above, probably several - should win this near 85% of the time since the restart, even nearer to 90% season long. Got to go with the form here.

Nothing on the de Sousa game. It's close to a Clayton bet, we can get 6/4 and he's above 45% season long, but only a couple of percentage points above the bet being break even since the restart, so the edge isn't quite there.

Also very tempted on Wade. The odds are only 11/8 though, which is probably a reaction to Aspinall's poor performance yesterday, Wade's in the high 40's season long to win this and effectively a flip since the restart, this is a gun to head bet on James, but fortunately our police state isn't quite there yet so we can pass on this one.

van Duijvenbode is one that I thought would be a bet given that all the stats I have on any time period give him a little over 40%, but he's already as short at 11/8 which is a little bit surprising, do they know something about Michael that we don't?

Price/Wright is up as a coinflip. Year long, yep, that's right, neither player I see as better than 51%. After the restart Price is a fair bit better, up in the mid to high 50's, but we only get the 10/11 side on Gerwyn, so I think I can reluctantly pass this one. If you see him win the darts then take it maybe?

0.1u White 10/3, going low as there's something about White that doesn't seem quite right, but even since the restart when he's seemingly not played quite at his best, he's still over a one in three shot. Season long it's even more. Also leaning low because Michael looked GOOD yesterday, which is a real change, that and it's a longer format TV game, and in Germany where the crowd has rustled Ian fairly recently.

Nothing on the Suljovic game. This looks like a standard West wins one in three shot (there's a difference in quality, but it's not as much as you'd think), West is just longer than 2/1, so nothing doing here.

Back for the quarters later.

Thursday 29 October 2020

Day 1 winners thoughts

Just going to blast through these, thank fuck that Hopp missed those match darts

Hughes - Played OK. Pulled out the best leg when it was most needed. Scraped over the line but can't really complain, was up against a tough opponent playing well.

West - Lucky. Ratajski missed a bunch of critical doubles, particularly in the mid game, Steve did enough but will need to up his game.

White - Meh. King didn't really show up, White didn't need to get out of second gear, three six-visit breaks is a nice bonus to be able to get.

de Sousa - Nine. Nice. Was a touch worrying when de Zwaan got back into the game a little bit, but thankfully Jose was 5-1 up at the time. Generally solid, but could do with cutting out the couple of bad legs he had.

Wade - Fortunate. Performance was sound, but as I kind of thought in the preview, Lennon had his shots to claim it and missed them.

Petersen - Competent. Hamilton never really troubled him. Can't really fault the performance but it certainly wasn't peak Devon.

Smith - Sluggish. Took forever to start, hit his game just about enough to get back on throw late in the game then kind of fell over the line as Ross's scoring against the throw fell apart. Maybe a good sign that Michael got through the first round, should come into it more in a longer match.

van Duijvenbode - Alright. For a 6-0 win it wasn't quite as amazing as it could have been, just the three par legs and the three in six visits. Good timing I guess, Noppie was on or around a double in every leg but only actually got a couple of pokes at them.

Aspinall - Must try harder. Lots and lots of sloppy darts and missed darts at doubles, fortunate that Kuivenhoven was equally off their game, could have been 4-1 at the break to Maik very easily.

O'Connor - Good. Cullen was really disappointing, the #1 seed seemed to get to him and Willie getting the comedy leg going into the break seemed to crush him. Plenty of things Willie could work on, but at least he has the opportunity.

Kleermaker - Composed. First leg was a bit lol but was able to pin quite a few big outs to open up a good lead against Cross then take advantage of misses in what turned out to be the final leg.

Clayton - Phew. Should really have been 5-0 and away after the break, needed to rely on mistakes from Hopp, was scoring real well in the legs Hopp won to be fair.

van Gerwen - Clinical. Never gave Labanauskas a sniff outside the one leg he hit a twelve in. Ominous signs that Michael could have shaken off the flaky form of late.

Price - Up there. Probably only the third leg that you can really criticise, which he won anyway and probably could have used another six darts to do so. No real signs of weakness beyond there and should still be considered the favourite if he can get past the next round.

Wright - Great. Apart from one leg never gave Clemens a chance. Was right there in the holds Gabriel was able to hit down, but this made all three of the big guns show up on day 1.

Suljovic - Did enough. Didn't really need to do that much against Gurney playing like that, but was hitting enough doubles and scoring just well enough.

So tomorrow we have, in some order, O'Connor/Hughes, Aspinall/Wade, Petersen/Kleermaker, van Gerwen/White, Price/Wright, Suljovic/West, de Sousa/Clayton and Smith/van Duijvenbode. There's one obvious stand out game, but I don't think there's anything that's going to be a particular stinker, West/Suljovic looks the least interesting on paper but if West can get by Ratajski, then he can certainly trouble Mensur. Aspinall/Wade (again lol) probably the second pick, Clayton/de Sousa should be fine if Jonny can finish things a bit better, van Gerwen/White will be alright if Ian can roll things back a year or so, Smith/van Duijvenbode ought to be excellent, O'Connor/Hughes is one where anything can happen, and Petersen/Kleermaker has potential if Martijn can perform like he did today, he's had enough good performances of late that it can happen.

Bets in the morning.

Wednesday 28 October 2020

Euros preview

Will go through section by section:

A few interesting games here, but let's go through one by one. Cullen against O'Connor is one where maybe Willie is happy just to be here, given he was the last man out prior to Durrant withdrawing? Joe's certainly the form player, and ought to be the favourite - if you look on 2020 as a whole, Willie might be value, as he had the much better early start to the season - running about 40-45% against Cullen, but since the restart it's more like a 3-1 edge for Cullen. The odds are somewhere in the middle, oddschecker is a bit funky in this one, but Cullen's around 1/2 so I'm fine to pass this one. Won't argue if you want to go with Joe though.

Hughes/Chisnall ought to be fun. We've not talked about Hughes much recently on here, certainly nowhere near as much as early last season where he actually binked a Euro Tour (which would have got him seeded for everything this year, which is nice), but clearly still a very dangerous player, if a bit inconsistent. Same with Chizzy really, although I think Dave's got a better floor game (in terms of worst he'll play, not off TV) and a comparable peak which he probably hits more often. Chizzy a bit better than 60% in the market, I think this is close to a Hughes punt in that he's around 45% no matter what I look at. 13/8 isn't quite tempting enough, maybe if he drifts a bit we can go with it.

Aspinall/Kuivenhoven's one that could have been a lot more fun if it took place earlier in the year when Maik was playing better stuff, he's not been bad but he certainly started 2020 a bit better than how he's playing round about now. Aspinall's going to be tough to beat, it's pretty rare that you see a bad game from Nathan, and the market price of 2/7 on Aspinall looks accurate enough to me. Maybe Maik has a little bit more chance than that, but it's not enough to look at a punt though.

Wade/Lennon's the last game - I'm never sure what to make of Steve, his figures have been competent all year but it's not really translated into results, so could be a bit under the radar. James is somewhat like Aspinall, very consistent, will not give away easy legs, but probably lacking the explosive peak game that the true top level players have. Very close to a Lennon bet, he's 2/1 and slightly over 40% in my projections season long, this drops about 3% since the restart, which is just about enough to make me avoid taking the shot, that and a general lack of results, wouldn't surprise me if he gets close here but misses an opportunity to get close to, or over, the finish line.

First round games here aren't too interesting. Hamilton's likely just happy to be here after a huge absence from the PDC TV stage, creeping in with a good run in the final event, but Petersen's different gravy right now, should have no problems. Devon's rated at near 80% in the market, this seems close season long, oddly enough the Hammer is rating as a better than one in three chance after the restart, but he suffers from enormous consistency issues, scoring over 11 points a turn better when winning compared to losing (in comparison, Devon is at 3 in the same timeframe). Projections don't take into account losing legs, so it won't show where he's just given legs away.

Cross/Kleermaker is the second game, Martijn's had some alright performances recently, while Cross is looking to re-establish himself in the upper tiers of the game, at least behind the big three. Cross is of course the defending champion, while he's not defending the ranking points, he is defending the title, so a bit to prove here. Cross is ranked around 70/30, I think he's got a bit more of a chance here - would set the line at 1/3, so 4/9 is real close to value.

van Gerwen/Labanauskas is a worlds rematch, there's plenty of questions over MvG after he's failed to win any of these titles, but is at least the number 5 seed after getting the most money of anyone that hasn't won yet. Darius has his work cut out regardless though - he's a live dog for sure, anyone that's in the field at least stands a chance, but the 4/1 line looks pretty much spot on to me.

King/White is easily the most interesting match of the first round in this section, King only just being the underdog at 6/5 in the market. Seems pretty clear that King's played his better stuff since the restart, while White's played the better prior to it - season long, White's projecting at 63%, but since the restart, it's King with the advantage at 57%. I'm loathed to bet against White more or less any time, but there's certainly a very strong argument to take odds against on Mervyn in this one. I'll pass on it - more data is better data, and Ian is actually still scoring more overall - the projections saying Mervyn coming from five points more inconsistency for King.

Not really much to say about game one, Kim only just snuck into the field (having one of the four events being in Belgium and getting a free ticket into the event is a useful talent to have) and is running into the form player in the world. Price is 1/4, that looks bang on the money season long, on form since the restart I think there's a realistic argument that it could be even shorter in the 1/6 region.

Wright/Clemens is fun, if only because I really want to see a Price/Wright worlds rematch. Clemens is certainly a very dangerous player in his own right, and as one of the two strong German contingent, has a bit of an edge he may not usually have. Market's giving Clemens a 25% shot, which appears in the right ballpark. It'd certainly be a breakthrough win, we all know how good Clemens has been but I think he's still lacking a statement victory, at least on the TV stage.

Suljovic/Gurney ought to be a good watch, Mensur's looking like he's regaining a little bit of form, while Gurney's always going to be tough to beat, even if he may be a little bit off his best form in recent months. The bookies can't separate these two, and I can't put much between them either - this does promise to be extremely close, I think the Austrian has the tiniest of tiny edges, and as he's on the shorter side of the 10/11 against evens line, we can move on.

Ratajski's yet another really strong player in what's an incredibly spicy quarter, and he'll come up against Steve West who's dropped down the ranking a fair bit, and certainly isn't at the levels of a couple of years ago where he was regularly making TV events. Ratajski is at around 70/30 in terms of market line, that looks about right to me, yet another quarter where there's no value.

First up here we've got one of the four event winners from this year in de Sousa, he'll take on de Zwaan who's had injury issues for a lot of the year and, much like West, doesn't seem quite at the levels he was at a couple of years prior where he was running really deep in TV majors. The market's still respecting Jeffrey's game some what, but I'm not, 0.5u de Sousa 4/9, Jose's better than that season long, but since the restart he's got such a superior record that he's rated to win this game nearer to 95% of the time than 90%. This looks an extremely safe punt at a good price, I'm almost tempted to go a full unit here.

Clayton's up next against the other German contender in Max Hopp, and we've got our second bet here - 0.5u Clayton 4/6. Max simply isn't in the same league as Jonny is - sure he's at home and he has his moments, but Clayton's made a final on the Euro Tour since the restart, has an event win like Hopp, and is one of the most underrated players on the circuit. Season long this looks more like an 80/20, Hopp improves slightly since the restart, but still doesn't project to even a one in four chance. Getting 4/6 is incredibly generous.

Smith-off here between Michael and Ross, Ross doing enough in the final event to claim a spot, so is hitting a nice bit of form coming into this. The market seems to have wised up, or are maybe sleeping a bit on Michael, who's gone a bit of time since doing anything in all honesty, I looked at the projections saying Ross would be a fair price of 6/4, then I looked at the odds and they're exactly the same. Oh well.

Finally we have the only all-Dutch game between Noppert and van Duijvenbode, Danny continues to be slept on as an incredibly dangerous player, while Dirk's made a major final extremely recently to completely ruin the underrated vibe we've had on him since he started 2020 in red hot fashion. When there's two players we think are undervalues it usually offsets, season long we think Noppert 55/45, since the restart it's more like 60/40, Noppert is 4/6, so nothing more here.

Disappointingly just the two punts, but regular readers will know we don't just spew money around just because there's games we could bet on. Let's just hopefully take what look like a couple of very safe plays and then re-evaluate tomorrow night for round two.

Monday 26 October 2020

Wait what, Cullen? Really?

Hmm, interesting winner there, as Joe Cullen binks a second Euro Tour title, and with it the most unexpected #1 seed for a major event in history. He played well, particularly on doubles where he wasn't missing a thing, so credit where it's due. MvG got the runner up spot, although Suljovic will surely be annoyed at missing four match darts in the semi.

Few tasty matches for Oberhausen - Hughes/Chisnall, King/White, Wright/Clemens, Suljovic/Gurney, Noppert/van Duijvenbode and Clayton/Hopp look to be the picks of it. Will put up some full projections. Irritating that the PDC, amongst others, continues to report that Durrant has a "positive Covid-19 test", that's not what it looks for, but that's right down the list of my priorities in worldwide in terms of Covid fuckups.

New FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Gerwyn Price
4 Rob Cross
5 Dimitri van den Bergh
6 Michael Smith (UP 2)
7 Nathan Aspinall (DOWN 1)
8 Glen Durrant (DOWN 1)
9 Dave Chisnall
10 Daryl Gurney
11 Gary Anderson
12 Ian White
13 James Wade
14 Krzysztof Ratajski
15 Joe Cullen (UP 2)
16 Mensur Suljovic (DOWN 1)
17 Simon Whitlock (DOWN 1)
18 Jonny Clayton
19 Adrian Lewis
20 Danny Noppert (NEW)

Smith's semi final, along with Durrant's non-participation, sees him jump back up a couple of spots, while Noppert hitting the quarters sees him into the top 20 at the expense of Chris Dobey, for what I think is the first time. Ross Smith is into the top 45, Scott Baker hits the top 70, Hamilton and Noguera are in the top 128, while surprise package Franz Roetzsch (please get in the German Superleague next season) is up to #163.

Surprise result from Russia with Koltsov not winning the qualifier for the worlds, instead Dmitriy Gorbunov, who had a 2-4 record at Q-School with a 69 overall average, manages to get the spot. Could be one that players will be hoping to draw.

Back in the next couple of days with some Oberhausen previewing I guess.

Sunday 25 October 2020

ET4 day 3

Well day 2 didn't have the finish we wanted, with both Jose de Sousa and Ian White inexplicably losing, which more than wiped out everything we'd made from getting Andy Hamilton and Franz Rötzsch over the line, the other bet (Lowe) losing in a decider, so really disappointing. Into day 3 now, a few players that need to win to get in the Euros, let's take a look:

van Gerwen/Hamilton - The Hammer looks to be in barring a very weird set of results, so doesn't really have pressure on here against MvG, but I can't really see a bet here - we can get 5/1 which isn't that much better than what it should be, maybe if van Gerwen's scoring remains as pedestrian as it was against Razma yesterday Andy's got a chance, but I don't think so.

Wade/Aspinall - We had this one this time last week as well, such is the way the seedings have worked out, yesterday Wade had no problems with Harrysson in a pretty poor match, while Aspinall needed every leg to take down Jason Lowe, who knows what'd have happened if Jason didn't miss those two darts to break at 4-4. Aspinall's the favourite, price is basically the same as last week, and so is the analysis, except here there's the added disincentive to take Wade given a middling performance on Saturday.

Ratajski/Rötzsch - Can Franz book his ticket to the Euros from nowhere? It'd be a remarkable achievement given ten days ago I had no idea who he was. Ratajski will probably be a step too far though, Krzysztof was very good in avenging the loss to Kleermaker yesterday, and we're only getting 10/3 today as opposed to 9/2 yesterday, so given that Ratajski can in no way be considered a worse player than Cross, we can pass on this one.

Suljovic/Hughes - Dartsdata fucked up yet again (why oh why don't the PDC use Dart Connect at least as a backup), Carl and others were able to put together the numbers from Mensur's deciding leg win over Clemens, very nice performance again, Jamie got through a scrappy affair with Steve West and is probably thankful for West missing a bunch of doubles. This is another redo from last week, and another no bet just like last week - Suljovic being a minor favourite in the market appears accurate enough.

Smith/Hopp - Ross rallied from a big hole to defeat Gerwyn Price in a decider, while Hopp pulled off the big upset against de Sousa, probably Hopp's best result in years. Hopp is in Oberhausen but Smith needs the win here to get there, market has Hopp as a tiny dog but probably should be a bit longer - 0.25u Smith 8/11, Ross has played some really good stuff this weekend, projects as a 2-1 favourite and has big incentives to reach the quarters here.

Chisnall/Cullen - This would be one more redo, if Chizzy hadn't lost to Labanauskas last week that is. Chizzy put in a big average against Meulenkamp and should be very dangerous, Cullen also got into three figures in a routine win over Marijanovic, and comes into this one with a bit more than a 40% chance in the market. That looks about right to me, no incentive to go either way here.

Noguera/Smith - Jesus got the huge win over Ian White to keep his Oberhausen chances alive, Smith's another tough out, Michael cruising to a 6-2 win over Schindler yesterday. Nearly enough value to go with Smith here, but not quite given Noguera should have the extra bit of confidence and motivation given what's at stake if he can just put out one more good game.

Baker/Noppert - Final game, Scott was able to put out Daryl Gurney with less than a 90 average, inflated by a twelve darter to ice the match 6-3, Noppert averaged 13 points more in defeating Adrian Lewis by the same score. Open section for Noppert is, who has as good a chance as anyone in this half, he's a big favourite in the market, shorter than 1/2, which actually seems about right - that's just how good Danny is playing right now.

So just the one bet on Smudger, let's hope Hopp can't repeat any of last night's heroics.

Saturday 24 October 2020

ET4 day 2

Fairly unremarkable day 1, all I'll say about the Lewis game is that we should have bet on Marijanovic at any price just out of general principle and that this didn't occur to me at the time is a glaring omission, Ross Smith looked great, Franz Rötzsch looked more than competent for a second straight week and picked up a good win over a solid opponent in Brendan Dolan, Kuivenhoven had a bit of an off day, Kleermaker got away with one while Benito continues to struggle. Let's pile into day 2:

Hughes/West - Good win for Steve that, taking out Alcinas with both players scoring comfortably into the mid 90's, West was threatening to drop out of the FRH top 50 if he didn't take that one. Bookies think this will be quite close but have Hughes as the favourite, I tend to agree with that assessment, I've got Jamie as having slightly better chances than the market indicates (thinking around 60/40), so it's close to a punt.

Lewis/Noppert - Tough one for Lewis this. Needs a result to have any chance of getting to Oberhausen, and Noppert is probably the toughest draw he could have got. Danny, who easily brushed aside Sebastian Pohl, is the market favourite and probably one of the most underrated players on the tour. This seems similar to the last one, I'm thinking Noppert is about a 60/40 favourite, so given the line it's close, but we'll pass again.

Smith/Schindler - Martin's into the second round after defeating Tytus Kanik in a game that was probably closer than the scoreline suggests, the Pole missing darts at double in three legs and being waiting on double in a couple more - obviously the only out he got was 170... Smith's a huge favourite, I was thinking this might be a shot for a small play on Schindler, but his 2020 form isn't matching his 2019 form where he was probably the best player to not make the worlds, Smith being 2/7 seems accurate enough.

Cullen/Marijanovic - Joe's nearly a 75/25 favourite in the market. There's not much data at all on Robert, but this has the feeling of being fair, I'm half tempted to take a shot on Robert given that he did average 99 yesterday, but I'll pass on it given Joe's showed some signs that he might be returning to form on occasion.

Gurney/Baker - Scott got past Unterbuchner, who was misfiring a little but was still able to get it to 4-4 before Baker put the game to bed, and he now has a tougher test in Daryl Gurney. Baker's 5/2, this seems close to spot on, I've got him closer to a one in four shot than one in three, but no value on either side in this one.

Chisnall/Meulenkamp - Big game for Ron this, a win should punch his ticket to the Euros as he currently stands on the bubble, he got through a scrappy game against Michael Rosenauer where he missed 24 darts at double which he'll have to tighten up. Line again looks accurate, I punched this into the computer and saw Ron with a 32% shot - thought there might be value but no, he's 2/1, let's keep going.

Wade/Harrysson - Andreas was one of the surprise packages yesterday, taking out Benito van de Pas with a sub-80 average. Can't see that troubling Wade in the slightest (Harrysson was actually over 40% on doubles so it's not like the averages are low because they missed a ton), 1/7 really isn't appealing however. Stick it as a banker if you want.

Cross/Rötzsch - Tempting one this, Franz got past Dolan with a 93 average, 6/12 on doubles, wasn't bad last week either. Cross is massively better than anyone he'll have ever faced, but we're getting a good price here - 0.1u Rötzsch 9/2, is it really that outrageous to say he'll nick this 20% of the time? I don't think so given how he's played in the last couple of weeks.

Ratajski/Kleermaker - Into the evening session and we get a redo from last Saturday where Kleermaker was a surprisingly easy winner. Martijn took out Ballaj after Arsen missed six match darts, so is probably lucky to be here. Krzysztof is 1/3, and this does seem like a 75/25 encounter, so no bets here.

Bunting/Hamilton - Stephen's got into the seeds somehow, and faces the former world finalist who did what he needed to do against a domestic qualifier, nothing great from Andy but we know what he's been able to do in the past. We've got an alright price here - 0.25u Hamilton 12/5, Andy is correctly priced as an underdog, but the computer's spitting out that he's got about a 40% chance - that's enough of an edge to grab this price here.

Aspinall/Lowe - Possible game of the night here, Jason's had a great 2020 and got through a decider against Scott Marsh who looked very impressive, Jason needs a win to keep Oberhausen chances alive, so a huge game in his career really. Exactly the same spot as the previous game - 0.25u Lowe 9/4, this looks more like a 60/40 than something that Nathan will win more than two times out of three, enough of an edge to go with it.

Suljovic/Clemens - Gabriel looked very solid in beating a domestic qualifier 6-1 with a near ton average, and now comes up against Mensur in what could also be a highlight of the evening. The line looks just about right, if anything it might be favouring Clemens a bit more than it should, but meh, game in Germany makes it right enough of the time.

van Gerwen/Razma - Not a great game for Madars against Kai Fan Leung, neither could really score that heavily, he'll need to up it tonight but we know he can put together runs of twelve darters and get two or three legs in no time at all. Almost worth a punt on Madars. I see him as having slightly less than a one in four shot, we're getting 5/1, if this was eighteen months ago we probably get 7/1 and go with it, but it's 2020, so no.

Price/Smith - Ross had the performance of the day yesterday with a bonkers 112 average in a drubbing of Mario Longname, the Belgian not playing badly at all but having no answer to that level of performance. Now he faces probably the form player in all the world, if he repeats that performance he wins, but is it really sustainable? Looking at the computer, this should probably be 5/2 Smith rather than 2/1, if you think that he can do that again for another twenty minutes then don't let me stop you betting.

de Sousa/Hopp - This one should be fun, Max got his best result in a while with a 6-1 win over Klaasen, but faces the most recent champion in de Sousa and enters as a near 3/1 dog. That is accurate - in fact, it's probably overstating his chances, 0.5u de Sousa 1/3, the computer's reckoning that a fair line should be 1/5, so taking half a unit on Jose looks good here.

White/Noguera - Final match, Jesus took every leg against Kuivenhoven without really hitting top gear, average was around 90 which you think would need to go up against Ian. I think we can take the favourite again here, 0.5u White 4/11, again the computer thinks the favourite has a lot more chances than the market suggests, this ought to be closer to 1/6.

There we have it, back tomorrow morning with the last sixteen.

Thursday 22 October 2020

Briefly on ET4

I have no recommended bets - mainly because there's so many domestic qualifiers I have no idea where to start on any of them. There's eight. Which is a lot. Chuck in knowing little about Harryson or Marsh, having very little read on Vandenboegaerde right now, similarly with Kanik, it's hard to call much of anything at all. There's only really Razma/KFL and Hopp/Klaasen that we can get much of a real read on, with the other games involving card holders featuring two Spaniards who missed much of the season. Check back early on Saturday for round 2.

Monday 19 October 2020

No way

Jose actually did it! de Sousa binks the title, with it a probable Grand Slam spot (hard to see how he doesn't get in really), and in some style with a 105+ average in the final over the world number 1. Very nice. And in other great news, Deta Hedman was able to get into the worlds (along with Lisa Ashton) from the Women's Series. Hearn must be gutted that Sherrock isn't in. We also saw Boris Krcmar get through his regional qualifier, who'll surely be one for the Pro Tour list to avoid (although as a whole the international list is looking extremely strong as a whole), someone I've never heard of won the Chinese qualifier, of course where the worlds is held is the biggest question right now.

New FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Gerwyn Price
4 Rob Cross
5 Dimitri van den Bergh
6 Nathan Aspinall (UP 1)
7 Glen Durrant (UP 1)
8 Michael Smith (DOWN 2)
9 Dave Chisnall
10 Daryl Gurney
11 Gary Anderson
12 Ian White (UP 1)
13 James Wade (DOWN 1)
14 Krzysztof Ratajski
15 Mensur Suljovic
16 Simon Whitlock
17 Joe Cullen (UP 1)
18 Jonny Clayton (DOWN 1)
19 Adrian Lewis
20 Chris Dobey

Smith drops a couple primarily because of his results being more backloaded than Aspinall or Durrant (e.g. his worlds final), although Nathan did need to reach the quarters to get up the two spots. White's semi final moves him above Wade, although a quarter would have been enough, Clayton not qualifying was enough to put him below Cullen.

Lower down, de Sousa reaches a new high of 27, Labanauskas is still hanging around just outside the top 40 after a good run to the quarter finals, Maik Kuivenhoven is up into the top 80 and with him now seemingly locked into the European Championship, stands a great chance of retaining his card, Kleermaker is just a couple of spots behind him. With their first round wins, new card holders Scott Waites and Derk Telnekes have hit the top 100. It's also a sad day in that, now two years after their last cashes, Terry Jenkins and Richie Burnett get taken off the main list.

We head to Riesa next. There's plenty of speculation as to how many players will see that they've got a Euros spot booked and drop out - certainly a possibility. Only time will tell, but it's probably going to be one that domestic qualifiers won't want to miss, although as Kim Huybrechts said on Twitter, maybe they ought to look to rebalance where there's a lot of dropouts opening up existing spots to the qualifiers. At least keep it the same ratio - if three spots come up, give two to the home nations and one to the affiliate. Of course, Kim's brother playing in the associate quali would have nothing to do with it, and they've already played the event for ET4 anyway, so there's not much they can really do. Something to think about for next year, although 2021 surely won't be as much of a clusterfuck as 2020 has been.

Sunday 18 October 2020

ET3 round 3 analysis

Bit of a disappointing day two that. The one bet we did fire on lost, with Petersen not exactly looking bad, but not quite at the peak level he needed to be in order to trouble Price. On the other hand, all the leans we didn't fire on won - Kuivenhoven took a deciding leg, Mensur looked extremely good against Evans, van der Voort took care of a misfiring Hopp, while Wade was able to edge out Clemens. Needless to say that having half a year to fix things since the last Euro Tour before last week didn't allow sportradar to stop being completely fucking useless, with no coverage of the Cross/Hunt game whatsoever. At least there's always Youtube heroes to pick up and show the actual game. It's really not difficult to do this.

Today we have eight games and I'm going to run through them quickly - Kuivenhoven's first up against Glen Durrant, nothing here as I think Maik's run ends, Duzza being shorter than 1/3 is maybe slightly underrating the underdog, but not enough to consider a bet.

Second is White/Smith - bookies have it fairly close, actually having Smith as a small favourite. This is close to a bet on White, he's 6/5 and I think he has the tiny edge season long, but at only 51%. I can pass on this, White's in need of results and as mentioned yesterday probably isn't at his peak, whereas Smith just murdered Telnekes yesterday.

Labanauskas/Cullen is a tricky one to call, Darius took Dave Chisnall out with an OK performance, whereas Cullen looked very nice in the legs he won against Huybrechts (nice big fish to ice the match as well after Kim made a stupid tactical error going bull second dart on 121 - go first dart or don't go at all), but mediocre in the others. Odds look close to fair, I've got Joe as a slightly better favourite than 60/40, as such 13/8 on the Lithuanian number one isn't value for me.

Game four is Price against de Sousa, the path for Gerwyn isn't getting any easier - we mentioned the Petersen game above, de Sousa had an easy time against Pietreczko but looked extremely ordinary. I'll take 0.1u de Sousa 15/8, Jose's good enough that this is only really 55/45 in favour of Gerwyn, I'd go the full quarter of a unit, but there's so much uncertainty in terms of de Sousa with how he played yesterday. Let's hope it wasn't just Ricardo bringing Jose down to his level?

Suljovic/Hughes next, and the line looks close to right with Mensur at 4/6 and Jamie at 11/8. Maybe it should be a little closer, it looks about 55/45 again, but Suljovic looked so good in round two, Jamie looked good enough that it should be competitive.

Kleermaker/Cross is sixth, Martijn improving massively from game one to take out Ratajski in a decent upset, while a couple of legs apart, Cross looked perfectly fine against Adam Hunt. Can't see any real value here, I've got Rob as winning nearly three games in four, so with him being close to 2/5, we can avoid it.

Seventh is Wade/Aspinall, very close to a bet on James at 13/8 - I'm seeing him as about a 55/45 underdog again, and he looked a little bit better than Aspinall did yesterday, wouldn't blame anyone in going for it, but I think Nathan should be able to raise his game a little bit.

Finally it's van Gerwen against van der Voort. This is about the least interesting game we could see, Vincent just never shows up against MvG, the price looks right, pretty weak game to finish off really.

Just the one bet again, and it's against Price again.

Some other notes, Covid bullshit has seen the Philippines team withdraw from the World Cup which is a huge loss given they'd drawn England, when will this garbage stop, and we've also seen Ashton>Sherrock and Hedman>de Graaf in the first two Women's Series games, leaving everything wide open for today. Probably won't be back for the quarters.

Saturday 17 October 2020

ET3 round 2 bets

That was beautiful. One of those rare days when nothing can go wrong, even when Nico Kurz tries his best to make things go wrong. All four bets came home, I guess the most surprising one was the Hunt bet - not so much in that it came in by itself, as the only one that was odds against that was always going to be the biggest surprise, it was more the manner in which he did it, Heta didn't get close. Suppose the only other real surprise outside of our bets was Ricardo Pietreczko steamrollering a somewhat out of sorts Luke Woodhouse.

Onto day 2, let's get straight into it:

Gurney/Kuivenhoven - I think if this game was taking place in April I'd have gone with Maik. For now, he didn't do quite enough against Worsley to make me think he's a recommendable punt at 3/1. It's not a bad play per se, I think he's got around a 30% shot, maybe ever so slightly more, I just don't think there's quite the edge there on present form.

White/Waites - This one looks pretty close to the mark. Season long I've got Ian at 65%, Waites is 15/8, so that's as close to on the money as you're going to get. I do wonder though, Scott's looked alright in some of the more recent events, and I get the nagging feeling that White, although still in the world's elite, has possibly already hit the highest he's ever going to get (he is north of 50 after all), and hasn't been at his peak for a while. No bets, but wouldn't be surprised if Scott's able to nick this one.

Smith/Telnekes - That's not quite tempting enough a price on Derk there. Smith's 2/9, I'm seeing the game at around 80/20. Derk's performance was a little sluggish early against Marijanovic, if he does that again he could easily be 4-0 down and out of the running against someone with Michael's quality. Not a great deal of interest in this one.

Durrant/Kurz - Can't recommend a play on this one either. The newest Premier League champion is rated as slightly better than 75/25 in the market, which is more or less where I see the game at as well. It'll be an interesting game for Nico, he's got all the potential in the world, could this be a statement win? It'll be tough against someone with the consistency of Glen to say the least, but he does have the peak game to possibly cause an upset.

de Sousa/Pietreczko - Jose's a huge favourite here, which seems fine, Ricardo got through a tough first round opponent despite only getting the one leg in five visits, but Jose's a step up in class again and I really can't see de Sousa having any problems. 1/6 doesn't tempt me though.

Chisnall/Labanauskas - Line makers are too good right now. I've got Darius as having more or less exactly a one in three shot, he's 21/10. Darius was steady against Unterbuchner, who had all the flashy moments (I think he had a 10 darter in there somewhere?) but couldn't put together the steady legs. Chisnall will know if Labanauskas plays at his best he'll have a game on his hands, but Dave ought to be good enough here.

Cullen/Huybrechts - Kim is someone I should have bet on yesterday on gut feeling, I trusted the numbers, and sure enough Henderson did very little, allowing Huybrechts to coast home without really getting out of second gear. Cullen's a step up in quality but the market is still thinking that Kim has almost a 40% chance to take this. That's pretty much exactly how I see it as well, so yet more no bets.

Hughes/Lennon - Steve looked pretty good against Madars Razma in the opening round, and has been quietly playing alright all season despite not getting the results, so I thought there might have been a bit of value here - I've got Steve as only a slight dog. And he's 13/10 in the market. Move on to the evening session it is then.

Ratajski/Kleermaker - Not a chance I'm betting this one. Kleermaker looked bad yesterday. Buffler you can understand, it's a Euro Tour debut and he's come out of left field a bit but Martijn just couldn't hit doubles. I'm seeing him at under 25% at the best of times, so 3/1 isn't the slightest bit interesting. Should be a comfortable win for Krzysztof even if Martijn does regress to the mean in quality.

Cross/Hunt - Now come on here. Adam was 12/5 against Damon Heta, and he's only 2/1 against Cross? It was a nice performance, but I wouldn't have thought that's enough to make him shorter, unless they actually think Heta is better than Cross at this stage... who knows. In any case, Hunt is underrated, but not betting at 2/1 underrated. Would have stabbed at 3/1.

Wade/Clemens - Apart from installment four of Price/Petersen, this is probably the most interesting match of the night. Wade is 8/11, which feels about right. He's actually coming up as closer to 8/15 in terms of a fair price from projections, but let's factor in that I've got the German Superleague in my dataset (where Clemens didn't play well), Clemens has homefield, and Clemens looked better than he's done for months yesterday. All things combined and I'm fine with not betting this one.

Price/Petersen - I am fine with a bet here though, 0.25u Petersen 13/8. Devon's that good right now that despite Gerwyn winning everything in sight, including a big major title, Devon's got legitimate chances to win this one, as he did on the way to winning the previous Euro Tour event. I've got Devon as just the wrong side of a 51/49, so 13/8? Yes please.

Suljovic/Evans - David didn't let us down yesterday, although Kai followed up that very nice final qualifying game and looked a lot better than he did in the Superleague, so let's see if he can get into ET4 and get a more favourable draw. Suljovic is a huge step up in class, the market however has adjusted to Evans enough that it's only slightly better than 60/40 for Mensur. I think that's a little bit too much of an overreaction, and it's very close - it's only the vig that's stopping me. The prices are 4/7 and 6/4, I've got Mensur at 70%. If someone throws out 4/6, take it.

van Gerwen/King - Think the days of auto-laying MvG are gone. King is only 3/1. He's got course and distance recently, I don't think he should be quite that long, but we're only talking 5/2 being about right, so no real underdog value.

Aspinall/O'Connor - Oddschecker is being a bit funky here, only showing a price for Aspinall, and he's shorter than 1/3 against Willie, who got past Chris Dobey in a scrappy game. That's probably a bit too short, O'Connor has better chances (I'd price around 4/9, maybe 2/5), but his first round display didn't fill me with confidence at all, he only really had a couple of good legs and that's it.

van der Voort/Hopp - Not quite sure how Vincent is a seed, but these are strange times. Hopp was good enough yesterday that, along with the German crowd, I can shy away from a Vincent bet. Can't blame anyone if you want to take 10/11, van der Voort isn't exactly playing badly and is up in the high 50% range season long, but I think there's enough external factors in this match that I can avoid recommending a bet.

So, just Petersen really. Back tomorrow morning, should quickly congratulate Lisa Ashton on getting through the qualifier to the Slam, will be paying a bit of attention to the Women's Series in terms of worlds reads.

Friday 16 October 2020

ET3 round 1 bets

Qualifiers done, up to six domestic qualifiers with the withdrawal of Wright and someone else, oddschecker is asleep at the wheel so I'll just compare two bookies for the best price:

Kuivenhoven/Worsley - Odds seem just about fine. Maik should probably be a bit of a shorter favourite on season long form but didn't play as well since the restart so can give it a pass.

King/Barauskas - No real read on the Lithuanian, King is probably acca safe at 1/6 but not worth the punt as anyone getting through one of the regional qualifiers should at least be OK.

Pietreczko/Woodhouse - Nothing here. Nothing much on Ricardo, Woodhouse isn't appealing at almost as short a price as King is.

Gotthardt/Evans - 0.5u Evans 4/9, this seems like a very good play for someone who's won two Challenge Tours in the past week against someone on Euro Tour debut, Kai does have a fair bit of experience this year and played very well in the final qualifying round, but David's just playing too good right now.

Waites/Lowe - Tough to call, even enough, market agrees, should be game of the session.

Kurz/Bellmont - 0.25u Kurz 8/15, this is more being a Stefan non-believer than anything, middling 80's in the quali shouldn't cut it against Nico.

Labanauskas/Unterbuchner - Don't have a great deal on Michael outside of the Superleague, if we look just on that it should be a Darius bet, but a lot of players didn't play great in the lollipop arena so happy to ignore this one.

Ward/Petersen - Line seems alright, and don't think it's even acca safe, if Harry brings a decent game then he absolutely can nick this one time in four. Don't think it'll happen, but it's possible.

Huybrechts/Henderson - Is seemingly too tough to call on season long data. That surprises me, John didn't play great after the restart so I thought Kim at just shorter than evens would be worth the shot, I guess not.

Hopp/Ljubic - Long time since we've seen Pero, I can't remember how well he plays, but Max ought to be able to raise his game enough in Germany on a stage that 4/1 isn't too enticing.

Telnekes/Marijanovic - 0.25 Telnekes 8/11, it's been a while since we've seen Robert play, but Derk's looked extremely competent since switching to the PDC and as such this looks like a fair enough play.

Lennon/Razma - Hmm, Lennon actually projects as a small favourite. I'd have thought given the eyetest it'd be the other way around, possibly enough for it to be a bet on Madars. Confusing, when confused, don't bet.

Buffler/Kleermaker - Martijn's 1/7, that should be acca safe against someone on debut who peaked at 82 in the qualifier. But who knows.

Hunt/Heta - 0.1u Hunt 12/5, Adam has played OK since the restart, and while Damon is correctly a favourite, I think it's worth a little bit of a play on Adam, think this is probably still good value up to around 2/1. Should certainly be competitive, we've been waiting on Adam to get a breakout win for a while now, maybe it's today?

Siepmann/Clemens - Yeah, we're not betting against Clemens in this kind of spot, Steffen's simply not in Gabriel's league. Nearly worth it at 2/7 on Gabriel to be honest.

Dobey/O'Connor - Good game to finish, bad game to bet on, Chris is an excellent player, and as such, despite Willie being competent, Dobey being in the 1/2 region looks like a fair assessment.

Wednesday 14 October 2020

OK, so I got delayed

Let's get straight into the new FRH rankings, needless to say I didn't like a bet in the final:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Gerwyn Price
4 Rob Cross
5 Dimitri van den Bergh
6 Michael Smith
7 Nathan Aspinall
8 Glen Durrant
9 Dave Chisnall (UP 1)
10 Daryl Gurney (DOWN 1)
11 Gary Anderson (UP 1)
12 James Wade (DOWN 1)
13 Ian White
14 Krzysztof Ratajski
15 Mensur Suljovic
16 Simon Whitlock (UP 3)
17 Jonny Clayton
18 Joe Cullen (UP 2)
19 Adrian Lewis (DOWN 3)
20 Chris Dobey (UP 2)

van Duijvenbode is up to #32 following his final performance, otherwise it's much what you'd expect, Whitlock's got back into the top 16, Lewis' unfortunate situations sees him pretty close to outside the top 20, Noppert is less than 500 points behind Dobey and surprise quarter finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan isn't too far off either.

Not much to say about the final. Dirk just got himself into too big of a hole early. He had some slight chances but I think he'd have needed to take all the ones he missed in order to come out on top which would have been tricky to do.

Challenge Tour is done, thankfully Barry didn't get into the top 2 spots (nothing against Damian Mol, but if someone gets in the top 2 of both secondary tours they should use the card from the Dev Tour), so we've got David Evans and Ritchie Edhouse onto the tour for the next two years, Edhouse getting the win in event 9 and runner up in event 10 to clinch the card. Evans gets the worlds spot and ought to be considered a very dangerous opponent to most card holders.

We've got some weird withdrawals, Wright's out of the remaining two Euro Tour events and also the World Cup, so Scotland will defend the title with Henderson and Thornton which I'm sure will work perfectly well, Sedlacek isn't in the Eastern Euro qualifier along with quite a few biggish names from that area of the world which should give Krcmar a very good chance, strange times. Back tomorrow evening with Euro Tour analysis.

Sunday 11 October 2020

God damnit Whitlock

Should have punted on Whitlock. Damnit. Oh well, at least Dirk came through for us, although it was a little bit nerve wracking when he missed the shot he had to win it 3-0 in sets (after being 2-0 up in the third set as well), but thankfully Anderson proceeding to take 11 darts to get under way in the next leg was enough to give Dirk the break with a couple of holds from there. Price and Chisnall advanced from the other half as you'd probably have expected, Cullen kept it close at least and had his chances - three clear at tops to go 2-1 up in set 4, incredibly sluggish in the second leg of the decider but still missed two darts for the leg, then was unable to generate a further match dart in a last leg needing 115 for the match. Them's the breaks.

Don't fancy any bets - Dirk looks good value on paper, but I've got the underlying feeling that the size of the occasion will end up getting to him quite a bit - against someone with the experience of Whitlock, someone who should play well in this format and is coming off a statement victory, both those things won't help matters. 13/8 when the numbers say a flip is very close to value. If it drifts further, go with it. Price at around a 2/1 favourite, slightly shorter actually, looks fine, although this'll be the best chance Chisnall will ever have of binking a major title, so maybe he steps his game up? How many times have we said that though...

Challenge Tour continues, David Evans claimed event eight to move into an extremely strong position to claim a tour card and a worlds spot. I can't find the race table someone posted right now, but the second spot is certainly wide open. Elsewhere, in shock news from Japan, Asada will not bink their worlds qualifier after he blew a 3-0 lead in a race to 4 (that short? Seriously?) in the semi finals. Wow. The other guy didn't play badly, but Seigo looked poor, simple as.

Back later probably with a Challenge Tour round up.

Saturday 10 October 2020

Grand Prix quarters

Hmm, bets didn't really go according to plan - Dirk did his bit, but then Noppert didn't show up (at least compared to Ando, who was looking solid enough), Petersen couldn't hit doubles at key moments, then Clayton couldn't hold in a last leg decider. Any of those would make things profitable (Clayton winning would probably have made it break even I guess), oh well.

Quarters sees van Duijvenbode/Anderson, Chisnall/Cullen, van Gerwen/Whitlock and Price/de Zwaan. Ironic that both the last second callups have made the quarters, what can you do. I think Dirk's worth the punt given the price, 0.1u van Duijvenbode 9/2, there really isn't anyone that Dirk should be that long a price against, and it's still only first to three sets so a fair bit of variance. It's only available at this price on Boyles so take it quick. Cullen against Chizzy looks about right with Joe being the small underdog at 11/8, I've got him slightly above 40% so can avoid that one. Whitlock is kind of tempting at the same price as Dirk against MvG, my concern in that one is that Simon couldn't recreate what he did in the first round in terms of quality of play, that and there's a lot bigger difference in quality between the two than there is in the Anderson match. Finally we see Price against de Zwaan with Gerwyn priced up as 75/25, I'm fine with that, it may even be a Price bet on current form, but Jeffrey looked alright in a pretty one sided affair against Clemens, 45% on doubles and a 180 more than every other leg isn't bad at all, so I'm fine passing on it. So just the Dirk punt.

Challenge Tour is rolling on. Keane Barry, who might well be the best player in the world without a tour card right now (yes, I know he's won one for next year), took the first, David Evans took the second and Jim Williams has taken the third. A few impressive plays - Maikel Verberk did a lot of damage in all three, Lewy Williams has hit a final today and was on fire in spots, Scott Mitchell made a semi today which will help in the tour card race (he's 200 quid ahead of Dennant and more than semi final money ahead of Barry), we've also seen some old names like Mark Walsh, Colin Osborne and Richie Burnett make runs. May post more later when event 8 has done. It's pretty tight for who might get Winter Series call ups as we've now had 14 different finalists through 7 events.

Thursday 8 October 2020

Grand Prix round 2

Well, either the field has been blown completely wide open, or this is an inevitable van Gerwen/Price final, only time will tell, but let's pull up the master computer and check what bets we like - we went 1-1 in the first round, as both bets were odds against we only needed to hit one to lock in a profit. Let's go game by game:

van den Bergh/van Duijvenbode - 0.1u van Duijvenbode 13/5 - very simply, I refuse to believe he'll play quite so poorly as he did against Suljovic, and additionally, I refuse to believe that Dimitri will play quite so well as he did against Smith. With the strengths and weaknesses of the respective players in the first round being the doubling, I'm toning this down to just a tenth of a unit, rather than the quarter that would normally be warranted by the master computer saying that, over 2020 data, Dirk should be the favourite - his scoring has been fine, but there's enough uncertainty over doubling. Still very much worth the play.

King/Whitlock - Not really sure where that performance from Whitlock came from. A ton plus average in double start? Really? The stats reckon that the line, which has Simon as a small favourite, is accurate enough. King will definitely need to up his scoring from the Wade game, which was remarkably pedestrian - at least prior to the last two legs, we saw in the last Euro Tour that there's enough there.

Anderson/Noppert - 0.25u Noppert 2/1, I don't get why the market continues to sleep on Danny. His year long stats are comparable with Anderson's, his first round performance wasn't too dissimilar (and he faced a lot more of a threat as Cross really did nothing), so I find it inconceivable that Danny doesn't claim this match at least 40% of the time. He's been playing well enough all year that it's worth going against Gary for a second consecutive match.

van Gerwen/Petersen - 0.25u Petersen 23/10, Devon literally whitewashed MvG less than a month ago and is one of the hottest players on the planet. van Gerwen was very good in the opening round against Ratajski, let's be fair, but he needed to be as he took a deciding set, and was reliant on Ratajski missing in leg two of the decider. Petersen's a stronger threat than Krzysztof - for the line to say that Devon wins this less than one in three times is frankly ridiculous.

Joyce/Chisnall - Half tempted with Joyce here. Stats probably give him a little bit more than a one in three shot, so 23/10 is nearly what we need, and he certainly produced the goods in the shock of the event so far, especially on the doubles where he basically couldn't miss. That said, Chizzy averaged some huge amount in giving Glen Durrant effectively zero chances, so I don't think we can say Joyce on form and ignore the overall picture. There's a fair chance that Joyce's doubling prowess was simply unsustainable.

Clemens/de Zwaan - Very good chance for Clemens to push into the quarters here. He's 4/6, which given the form of de Zwaan, which has been severely lacking in 2020 (albeit he has had some injury issues), could be worth the shot. I'm seeing it at around a two in three chance for Gabriel, but some pretty poor checking out gives me enough reason for concern not to bet the German number one here, which he clearly is in all but world ranking, and will be in world ranking if he wins this one.

Cullen/Clayton - Market can't really separate the two, with Clayton being a very small favourite, Cullen looked slightly the better player in round one, but Clayton's been the better player throughout the year, so I think we can do 0.25u Clayton 4/5, year long he's scoring a clear couple of points per turn more than Joe, which translates to around a two in three win chance, more than enough to take slightly odds against.

Price/Huybrechts - Not much to talk about here, Kim will have been pretty happy just to get the first round win in a format that ought to have suited his opponent in Dolan, while Price wasn't good against Wattimena but at least got over the line. Huybrechts is 4/1, this seems an accurate enough line, so no real value here.

That's the lot, I may come back tomorrow evening not with Grand Prix stuff (round two is spread over two days), but with early Challenge Tour thoughts as they kick off tomorrow. 

Wednesday 7 October 2020

Let's talk about the USA for a minute

I'm going to ignore Adrian Lewis and Stephen Bunting getting fucked over by a flawed testing procedure for a virus we don't need to worry about right now (and, as a consequence, Chris Dobey, I'm sure having his game shifted at the last minute didn't help his preparation one bit, although it looks like Simon Whitlock played pretty well). Let's talk about the CDC series, and these are the stats of the top handful of players:

Those really aren't bad stats. They're not bad stats at all. Especially for Baggish - I mean yeah, it's a less than 100 leg sample, but that's really good. If he plays like that he's certainly a danger to do some damage at the worlds. There's not many players with such a flat average in terms of winning/losing in my database around that sort of level, I guess the closest is Damon Heta - but that should give you a bit of a clue. I wouldn't sleep on him and there will probably be some value. The others there certainly look like they'd be able to give lower level tour card holders a bit of a problem. A couple of the Canadian guys are also in and around that level from the week before. The North American standard certainly seems to be improving and, assuming that the world stops losing their mind, Baggish could definitely do some damage on the Pro Tour level. I'm certainly excited to see what he can do in the worlds.

Back tomorrow with round 2 thoughts, although it'll probably be very brief and potentially at short notice.

Monday 5 October 2020

Grand Prix round 1 tips

Let's plow through these quickly in running order:

Lewis/Dobey - No. Line seems fine. If it moves in a bit more to where it's something like 5/6 Dobey then I'd think about it, this feels about 60/40, so obviously at 4/6 I'm not going to be interested.

Noppert/Searle - Not this one either. Line's a bit closer than I thought it would be with the relative form of both players, but the projection's also a bit closer than I thought it would be, so happy to avoid it.

Suljovic/van Duijvenbode - 0.25u van Duijvenbode 13/8, looks to me like this one has Suljovic only just on the right side of a flip, Dirk having a 10% better chance than what the line indicates, which is fine to go with I think.

de Sousa/Petersen - No bet here, projection is roughly the same as the last one with Devon having the tiniest of tiny edges, but with the market saying 4/5 Petersen, there's nothing worth punting on here.

Wade/King - No bet yet again. Market has Wade at 4/6. I have Wade at 60%. Move on.

Cross/Anderson - 0.25u Cross 11/8, as mentioned in the preview post there's nothing between the two players whatsoever. So I'll take 11/8, even if Cross isn't in peak form he at least has match practice, which Gary doesn't.

van Gerwen/Ratajski - No bet here now. I was looking at 2/1 on Krzysztof, but the market's moved in to 7/4, with van Gerwen still projecting to win around 60% of the time, I think the value's gone sadly.

Smith/van den Bergh - Close, but nothing here. Michael's priced up at around 4/6, I think he's a little bit better than that, but not by much.

Dolan/Huybrechts - Really, really close to a Dolan bet. Probably should be about 8/11, he's actually 10/11, if it ticks over to evens I'd go with it, as it'd be pretty much the same spot as Cross is in, albeit the win chances/odds are kind of reversed.

Hughes/Bunting - Too close to call in both the projections and the market, so aside from maybe taking whoever wins the bull 2-1 in sets, there's nothing of real value here.

Clayton/White - Exactly the same as the other game. Jonny's actually the marginal favourite, but only just.

Chisnall/Durrant - Lacking in real value here yet again. Thinking Glen's in the mid to high 50's range to take this, so 4/6 is close enough really.

Gurney/Cullen - Joe's tempting here, he really is. I'm seeing him at just over 45%, so 7/5 isn't quite enough to start punting. If money comes in on Daryl then I don't see why not, but I won't be watching this one too closely.

Wright/Joyce - No value. Joyce is probably slightly better than the 4/1 line that's being quoted to me, but I'd only go with 10/3 or 7/2, so I wouldn't be getting the wallet out here.

Price/Wattimena - Fairly similar to the above analysis. Would probably price Jermaine up at 11/4 given what the computer's spitting out, he's 7/2, so it's close, but I don't think we're getting rich betting against Gerwyn at this point in time.

Aspinall/Clemens - Nothing whatsoever on the Wednesday it is. Aspinall at just shorter than 1/2 is perfectly fair, this has a real 70/30 sort of ring to it, so I'll pass.

Disappointing lack of bets, but this is always a tricky one to accurately judge, so maybe less is more here.

Sunday 4 October 2020

Grand Prix preview

Before I kick off with this, some quick notes on the USA section of the CDC - Danny Baggish won both the first two events and is looking really good, I've not shoved the data into the master computer, but just scanning the raw averages, it's very promising and I would fully expect him to come back later today and clinch the worlds spot that's on offer.

Let's start by shoving all the stats up from 2020:

Will preface that by saying that Clemens would be a couple of spots higher if you exclude the German Superleague from the data - while it brings him down a little bit, it's not by that much really.

What it also shows is how tough that top section is. van Gerwen, Ratajski, Petersen and de Sousa - any one of those could realistically make the quarters. Petersen against de Sousa is a straight flip for me, while Ratajski has extremely good chances - it's hard to model the Grand Prix with the double start format, but over such a short race he's got at least a 40% shot and will surely be a bet in this one.

Next section has Wade/King and Lewis/Dobey. All English lineup, and these should be a good couple of matches. King returned to a bit of form last weekend, while Wade remains at a good consistent standard as always, Wade has an edge but it's not a big edge. Adie is perhaps a bit lucky to be here, if Clayton had have won that final against Petersen, he wouldn't have made it (and a spot would have been wasted by Jeffrey de Zwaan instead), while Dobey was one of the last players in, as despite being excellent when he gets to big events, he's struggled to do enough on the tour to be really sure of making them in the first place, which is why he's missed the Matchplay (there's a weird amount of churn between those two events, normally we only see a small number of changes, but we see seven between the two). Dobey should be a fairly small favourite here.

Third section is Smith/van den Bergh then Suljovic/van Duijvenbode. Smith's not been playing brilliantly, certainly not at his best, but I feel that Dimitri will be overrated here on account of him having won the Matchplay, it's a great achievement but he still isn't a top 10 player by any metric other than the FRH rankings. Only concern is the double start, would be pretty standard for Smith to miss three to kick off, see Dimitri kick off 146 and then that's that. Mensur/Dirk should be fun, DvD's made a good enough fist of things in 2020 to get here and make his first major event that isn't really a freebie in ages, but Mensur, especially in this format, will be a tough test. Suljovic's doubling will help him improve his chances beyond the coinflip that I'd see this at in straight 501, but is it enough that Dirk isn't value?

Final bit of the top half is Cross/Anderson and Noppert/Searle. That first match should be good. It's only really this event where you see such huge clashes in the first round, so kudos to the PDC for that. My model literally can't separate them - even in a length of game as long as the Matchplay final, Cross would only be favoured by 0.02%. Flip a coin, take your pick, although with Cross at 6/4 I know where I'd be looking. The other game is also fairly interesting - Noppert is playing as well as anyone in this quarter of the draw, but Searle's been underrated, although I think it's fair to say that his form has tailed off a little after binking his win earlier in the year. Noppie being the favourite that he is seems fair to me.

Bottom half starts with Wright/Joyce and Chisnall/Durrant. Less said about that first one the better, Joyce has done well to get here but this is the biggest mismatch of the first round by some distance. Chizzy against Glen on the other hand is another huge first round tie. Line looks fair at a first glance - Glen is playing the better darts by enough that 11/8 on Dave offers no real value for everyone. Like any match in this event it'll all come down to doubles, Dave's cleaned that area of his game up enough that it shouldn't provide a huge boost to Duzza, but there's always that underlying feeling that anything could go wrong.

Next is Gurney/Cullen and Clayton/White. This bit of the draw has a real Euro Tour feel about it, they've all managed to draw the weaker seed, they all have Euro Tour wins, this ought to be tight throughout. Cullen gets the first shot at the seed, he's correctly lined up as a small dog, Gurney's got distance in this one but not having course might be a bit of a factor, still, it's an event that seems like it should suit Daryl's game. White and Clayton's too close to call, Ian having a little bit of an edge on consistency but Jonny having a little bit of an edge on recent form, nothing really to pick between the two and no value either.

Price/Wattimena and Dolan/Huybrechts is next. Price is correctly the second biggest favourite in the first round, Jermaine's had some success here, indeed his biggest major run was here last year, but he looks outmatched here and Price being priced at better than 75% looks a fair assessment. Price will surely be the shortest chance to reach the quarters as well given the other game here, Kim was the last player in and I don't think it's disrespectful to say he's making up the numbers here, Brendan is probably a little bit of a favourite here, although the bookies can't separate them. Either way, Gerwyn cannot be in the slightest bit unhappy about this draw.

Finally we have Aspinall/Clemens and Hughes/Bunting. Gabriel is probably a bit off his 2019 peak game but still a dangerous player, against lots of other opponents he'd have good chances but Nathan's up in that tier just below the world's elite, and Aspinall being shorter than 1/2 seems a very fair assessment. Hughes/Bunting is an interesting one, both players have been somewhat under the radar, Hughes especially, as after Prague over a year ago now it's hard to remember what he's actually done. Market can't separate them, I can't separate them enough to consider punting on it, although I do have Yozza slightly ahead. Should be a good tie with explosive upside.

That's the lot - will return with bets tomorrow ahead of action starting on Tuesday. Final quick one - why am I seeing people on Twitter saying things like "speedy recovery to the boss" on account of Hearn having tested positive for that cold that's going around? Ignoring that it's more likely than not that he doesn't have it in the first place, such is the ridiculous inaccuracy of the testing system we have in place here, Matchroom's own tweet says he's not displaying any symptoms! You can't recover if you're not ill in the first place. Jesus christ.