Thursday 27 October 2022

Euro Championship round 1 thoughts and tips

Let's go, we've got sixteen matches to work through, eight each today and tomorrow, what value can we find?

van Duijvenbode/Razma - Madars' game has come on quite a bit in the last eighteen months up to the point where he is in the conversation for getting a worlds seed, in particular his B/C game has caught up quite a bit as he could always put together a short spell of 11-12 dart legs. But Dirk's just so consistent nowadays and has a much higher ceiling. He's 1/3, and even that looks a bit long - I'd say nearer to 80% than 75% chances for DvD in this one. Not enough edge to bet, but looks very good for accumulators.

Searle/Lukeman - This is going to be an interesting one, Ryan's seemingly been lacking form over the last few months, or at least it feels that way, and he goes up against Lukeman, who hasn't put up spectacular numbers but has used every bit of them to get good results. Martin might have a bit more than a one in three shot here, the market's priced him at 13/8 which looks to me to be more or less spot on.

Noppert/Gilding - Danny is kind of in the equation to content at any tournament he plays in now, while Andrew is approaching the heights that he had back when he had his UK Open run - although he did have a bit of a bad Players Championship session just recently, which might be a bit of a concern for confidence. Season long, I'm actually calling it a coinflip, but if we focus on smaller and smaller samples, it goes from the line (we can get 6/4 on Gilding) looking right, to Noppert being enormously favoured. I think if you want to go with form and believe that the Gilding wheels have already fallen off, you've got to consider Noppert here.

Cross/Wade - This could have, and probably should have been a Premier League match this season, but lolpdc I guess, it's one of the picks of the opening round in any case and has no business being a last 32 matchup. Wade's been fairly quiet all year, and Cross has to an extent, but set out a marker by claiming a second Pro Tour of the season this past week. I'm thinking 65/35 Cross, so maybe 4/6 has small value. Not a bad one to put in an acca again I guess, but there's not the edge to recommend a straight play here.

Humphries/Ratajski - This one's pretty spicy for a 1 v 32 seed matchup. Krzysztof could do with a result here after a moderately disappointing 2022 to date, while Luke's made the European Tour his own this season and continues to look like a contender for major events. Luke is a little bit overvalued here at 1/2, I've only got him at about 62%, so this isn't one for an acca, but at 15/8 I can't see quite enough edge to recommend going on the Pole here either.

Aspinall/Rock - OK, this is the one I want to see. Nathan is resurgent in 2022, while Rock is arguably the best player in the world right now, and the bookies have him shaded as the slight favourite (albeit only at 10/11). They're catching up to the Rock hype train, but not quite enough here, as I've got Rock 65/35, and even if we cut down to more recent months where Nathan's put that injury issue behind him, it doesn't get any better. 0.25u Rock 10/11

Smith/Sedlacek - Karel's been one of the stories of the season, romping home in all the qualifiers and making the event as a non-card holder (nearly had two actually) as well as having a top eight finish in the Challenge Tour, one more win in either of the finals he lost and he gets his card back automatically. Michael continues to play at a top ten level and should take this one, but 1/3 is a little bit too short. Karel has a bit more than a 30% shot at this one, albeit not quite one in three. We can get slightly north of 5/2 on Sedlacek in a couple of places which isn't really tempting enough to consider taking a flyer.

Heta/van der Voort - Damon hugely boosted his seeding with the Gibraltar win, and picked up another Pro Tour just recently to solidify his credentials as an elite player, although it's not truly translated to big TV majors as of late. Vincent is hanging around the top 32, haven't really noticed him doing a great deal or mentioned him much in 2022, but is clearly still playing good darts, however this looks like a bit of a mismatch. Heta is 2/5 on Spreadex, but I'm seeing it shorter than that, the 1/3 that's generally available ought to be more like 1/4 if the bookies want an edge. If you have Spreadex then take the price, 1/3 isn't quite enough for me though.

Chisnall/Bunting - Dave picked up a Pro Tour this weekend, which is a bit more than Stephen's done this year, although the Bullet is still playing more than competent darts, a clip of 92 per turn isn't bad at all albeit a point shorter than Dave is. Seems an evenly poised contest, and a good one to start the Friday session. 55/45 Chizzy for me, market has it a little shorter but 8/5 isn't quite enough to go with the former Lakeside champion in this one.

van den Bergh/Gurney - Two players here who had a pretty torrid time in the past weekend, but will look to put that behind them and maybe go on a hero run and force their way into the Grand Slam - you might expect Gurney to not be there but Dimitri is currently an odd omission. The Belgian ought to take this one, but Daryl is good enough to maybe nick it one time in three. He's 13/8 so we wouldn't consider that, Dimi at 8/15 isn't worth the play either.

Cullen/Smith - Joe continues to get better results than his statistics suggest which isn't a bad trait to have, while Ross continues to be a bit up and down but has shown flashes in the past couple of months. I find it hard to separate the two, and so do the bookies - as such, I'd lean towards the 6/5 side that you can get on Smith, but it's not really enough to bet, especially considering that Joe is one of the players that my model tends to slightly underrate for as yet unknown reasons.

de Sousa/Schindler - Martin is the clear German number one at this stage even if the rankings don't show it yet, a good couple of points more scoring than Clemens is no joke. For once he gets an OK major draw, although Jose has been picking up his game since round about the Matchplay and is showing enough to be slightly favoured in the model I've got. 4/6 is a bit more than slightly favoured and should not be considered for an acca, but a best of 13/10 on Martin isn't enough to get excited about either.

Wright/Meikle - This is actually a rematch from a Pro Tour semi last weekend, which Snakebite won 7-2, and as the shortest priced player in the field for their first round match, the market is expecting more of the same. Ryan's a good player who can produce really high quality darts now and again which make you think he should be in the running to nick a Pro Tour at some point if he can put it together for a full day, but this is a tough ask. I don't even see a one in four chance, so a typical 7/2 price isn't worth the risk.

Price/Rodriguez - Gerwyn comes in favoured here against the runner up from Trier, and I think he should have little problems taking out Rowby here. Not quite as favoured as Wright is for my money (I have Rowby as a bit over a one in four chance, rather than a bit under), but the line looks spot on.

van Gerwen/Dobey - Feels like we've seen this one a few times on TV, and it should be decent. van Gerwen has probably played the best darts of anyone all year, albeit not by a massive margin, and Chris is showing enough that he at least has a chance in this one, although MvG is approaching a 70/30 favourite status for me. 11/4 on the underdog is at least worth considering, wouldn't be putting van Gerwen in any accumulators as Dobey is dangerous, but I'd probably need north of 3/1 to actually start to recommend a play.

Clayton/Clemens - Jonny and Gabriel close out the day, and it's a similar match to the previous in terms of favouritism, Clemens hasn't quite hit his top game for some time (he does at least have a Pro Tour final this year, but didn't win a leg), while Clayton also only has the one final which he lost to Brendan Dolan of all people. 70/30 Clayton for me, another case of 1/3 being too short but there is nowhere near the edge to go with the German for an underdog flyer.

Expect round two thoughts on Friday night.

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