Saturday 5 March 2022

UK Open round 5 bets

I'm not entirely sure how we ended up in the black today after a horrific round one where we put 2.6 units in and ended up dropping nearly a unit and a half, some of that was players not showing up at all (Andersen), players blowing leads (Mansell losing from 3-0, Rock losing from 4-2), but I think a fundamental error I made was to underestimate how good the unknown Rileys' qualifiers are. Thinking about it more, if I'm looking at someone like Alcinas who was averaging (IIRC) 81-82 on the Challenge Tour, think more about what that means. That's taking slightly more than six visits to kill. It doesn't really take that much to stand a pretty good chance against that - think of how many trebles you need to leave yourself on a reasonable finish after fifteen darts. If you go 60-100-60-60-105, you're on 116 and just need one treble in visit six to kill in 18, and if the other guy doesn't, you're coming back on 60 at worst. Given two things - first, there's only half the Rileys' qualifiers there were historically, so the general strength of field you would expect to be a little bit stronger, second, the actual strength of the qualifiers itself is better than it used to be a long time ago when they had the separate qualifiers for the Pro Tour and those who did Q-School, you've got plenty of players who are on the Challenge Tour, Development Tour, strong county players etc. Even if we get a random name come through and not a Jelle Klaasen or a Paul Hogan, it is extremely likely that they're going to have beaten some tough players to get here and fluking your way in as a 60 average pub player does not seem all that likely.

Still, we did get out of it, up two thirds of a unit on round two, another unit on round three and a quarter on round four. Which would have been more, but Labanauskas losing an 8-2 lead was a thing. Fair play to Ricky, but those sorts of things suck from our perspective. Got to retain some sense of balance, we had games like the Scutt/O'Connor match where we got away with one (although, from 5-2, it looks like Willie only allowed Connor two match darts, and I think even those might have been preventable). Down to the last 32, there's a few real interesting ties, let's go in running order:

Searle/van den Bergh - Think the line looks just about perfect. Maybe Searle is a touch undervalued, but it's really only that he should be 11/8 rather than 6/4, and some mediocre 2022 form coupled with Dimitri looking fantastic in round four, compensates enough for me. Actually, checked the best of 11 projection rather than best of 19 and it seems bang on on long term form.

Noppert/Petersen - Seems on point again. Noppert being 4/11 equates to a low 70% win chance, I think 77%, so I think Danny is acca safe, but I don't think there's quite enough edge there with Devon looking a little bit better yesterday, averaging 95 over a sixteen leg run is probably the best he's played since 2020.

Chisnall/Krcmar - This one should be very interesting, Dave won't hate the draw but Boris is a very formidable opponent whose back to back 93 averages are only a hint at what he can do. Projections I have see Dave winning two in three. He's a touch shorter than that, but not enough that we can consider betting on Krcmar really. If we had seen Boris do what he had done on some of the Pro Tour games, then maybe.

Waites/Evans - Scott isn't really firing on all cylinders with three averages of 87 yesterday, but I suppose he wasn't really getting any help from any of his opponents. Ricky made the best comeback of the year so far after looking very impressive in round three, and comes in as a marginal favourite. Model can't split them. Even if they were to play over the length of a world final it still rounds to 50/50. No bets here given most bookies list Scott at evens or 10/11 the pair.

Heta/van Gerwen - Tasty main stage tie, Damon's been looking very good on the Pro Tour, and was steady in a comfortable win over Andy Boulton, Michael won the most recent Premier League night and did enough against Gary Anderson, could have been a real banana skin but despite only averaging 93, he got through, Ando averaging the same helped I guess. Damon is definitely live, I see a touch over a one in three chance, basically smack bang in the middle of that and 40%, so I'm almost tempted to have a nibble at 12/5. I've just got a hunch that Heta will still be waiting for that first big TV win, if he'd knocked off one of the big three previously (and I don't believe he has, at least on stage) then I probably go for a small stab. But I'll pass and just enjoy the game.

Clemens/Smith - There's two Germans left standing and Gabriel is one of them, dumping out Rob Cross in a game that didn't look fantastic statistically, Smith took Dobey out by the same score of 10-7 with for all intents and purposes a hundred average, and enters as what looks like a prohibitive favourite at shorter than 1/3. As my projections say 74%, that's certainly prohibitive, but not inaccurate, Michael ought to move on as he still looks for a first major title.

van Duijvenbode/Schindler - This one should be fun, Dirk's moved through with a very good showing over William Borland, while Schindler's had to come from a few rounds further back, crushing Williams and Smith before edging a very close one with Ryan Joyce by one break. Schindler is at a level where he should only be a very small underdog to Dirk - 11/10 no vig line looks correct. We can get 6/4 which is extremely close to what we need, if he was to drift even just to 13/8 I think I would take it, but drilling into the match on oddschecker I can't actually see which bookie has that line and most say 11/8 best price, so that's not happening I guess.

Suljovic/Nentjes - Decent opportunity for both here, Mensur could do with the money to shore up a top 32 position but needed every single leg to defeat Huybrechts, one of the players looking to snatch it from him, Geert is still looking for a first statement run somewhere and has made the most of what, in fairness, has been a fairly favourable draw, and remains that way still. Geert looks about a 2/1 dog in the projections, and we're being offered 21/10, so they seem accurate there.

Wright/Whitlock - Almost tempted to take this one off the table, given Wright was, per ITV comms, close to withdrawing before knocking Cullen out yesterday. Whitlock needed all nineteen legs to dispose of Maik Kuivenhoven, who's certainly a competent operator but that's not what you want to see coming into a match against the world champ. I see that as somewhere between 75 and 80% for Peter, the line is around 1/3, a little bit shorter, which makes things easy from a punting perspective.

Clayton/de Sousa - Another good clash which has been relegated to board two sadly, Clayton was out on the outer boards yesterday and had a real scare against Martin Lukeman who's had a very nice start to 2022, Jose meanwhile wasn't scoring overly heavily and took out Steve West 10-7. I want to take a controversial bet on de Sousa here, as long form says that Clayton should only take this just over half the time on year long form, so 9/5 looks pretty huge on that, but that's ignoring what Clayton's done in unranked, and Jose hasn't been quite so good over the last few months, if I drop the sample to since the start of September he only wins 30%. So I'll ignore this one.

Zonneveld/Barry - Big chance for two players who've come through from the afternoon session, Niels has averaged in the 90's three times, needed a decider against Jon Worsley but won easily against van Peer and then got a surprisingly one sided scoreline against Jim Williams. Barry wasn't really troubled by either Evans or de Zwaan, the most issues so far being against Graham Hall. It is what it is. Long data says this is a flip, Keane enters at around 4/6, with the Irishman's ascendant form and that we can't get better than 13/10 on Niels, we can ignore this one as well.

White/Bialecki - Ian pulled off a little bit of a surprise in getting through Luke Humphries in a decider, 170 out to break in twelve with Luke sitting on 38 which I assume was after a missed dart at bull for the match. Nice way to win. Sebastian's the last non tour card holder remaining, beating a poor Matt Campbell, Murnan in a decider, Brown comfortably then Edhouse 10-6. Both players should be happy with the draw you would think, projections say Ian three times in four, need to be a little bit careful here with sample sizes but Bialecki has over 100 legs counting to that so I think it's safe enough. White is 4/9 so there's not really enough to play, kind of like the Noppert game, it's acca safe but not quite enough to punt.

Hughes/Price - Nice bit of a return to form for Yozza, Razma was easy enough and Gawlas was not able to score enough to trouble him. Price had a tough draw in Ratajski but he could only muster a 91 average which was only enough to net five legs in a comfortable win for the Welshman. Price is, as you would expect, a huge odds on favourite and the shortest of anyone in the round, I was thinking this might project enough that we can go small on Jamie, which I'd be able to defend a bit given we know the A-game that he has is capable of winning it. Then it said 15% which is near as damnit to the 11/2 we're offered. Bugger.

Meulenkamp/Wade - James won't mind this draw you would think, especially given how he played yesterday in a very high quality encounter with Lennon where only the last leg of the sixteen went beyond five visits and Wade, with a 104, had the lower average. That was on board two so will need to check that out later as I assume that's found its way to Youtube. Ron struggled over the line against Kciuk 10-9, a huge contrast to the 100 average he put up in a 6-2 win over Danny Baggish. Odd change of form. This looks like one where Ron doesn't quite have a one in three chance of winning, and we can get 10/3. Slightly shorter form makes this a no bet, but on form since the worlds, it looks like a flip, albeit Meulenkamp is very inconsistent in that sample and this isn't the opponent you want to gift opportunities to. I should probably bet Ron but I just can't trust him on that round 4 performance.

Rydz/van der Voort - Callan pipped Aspinall who missed match darts, looks like it was a scrappy one, Vincent averaged a fair bit higher and easily despatched Jermaine Wattimena 10-5. This is extremely similar to the Zonneveld/Barry game, it seems too close to call with Callan only having about a 3% edge, but there's a lot of vig in this market with Rydz 4/6 and VvdV 13/10. 6/4 I'd definitely consider.

O'Connor/Bunting - Final game, Willie escaped once already as mentioned before, but was much improved in round four, Heaver took seven legs while O'Connor was averaging 101 but it wasn't enough. Bunting took Mervyn King apart 10-4, I'm kind of worried for Mervyn right now, he has not looked good at all this year. Market has Bunting as a moderate favourite, I'd say it's 62/38 in favour of Stephen, so a general best price of 8/13 looks about perfect.

So, much to my surprise, I see no bets worth taking. Maybe round six will give us something?

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