Thursday 30 March 2023

100 not out

Great landmark for the European Tour to have reached, shame it's been marred by some withdrawals (Humphries is ill which is fair enough, Bialecki is double booked with the Development Tour, which is an odd choice but whatever, Lewis who knows) but at least we have a decent system of replacement in order. Odd that Williams passed on it despite being just the wrong side of Matchplay qualification, maybe he just couldn't make the trip. I know it's not the easiest of places to get to. Still, as mentioned, we've not got much time to analyse this weekend so let's get straight into it.

Mioch/Soutar - Jeroen's making a second attempt at this level after out-averaging Ted Evetts in Kiel but losing, while Alan's looking to climb the Pro Tour rankings, being a bit off the Matchplay qualification spots, which is the sort of thing he needs to look to get to in order to solidify a worlds seed (currently provisionally #31). With really limited data on Mioch it's hard to feel confident on his abilities, Soots is a bit more than a 70% market favourite, which might be a little bit high but I don't feel as if 5/2 on Mioch is any outstanding value. Then again, checking the Challenge Tour averages, Mioch is only at 85 in conventional averages, which shouldn't be a big deal for Alan to handle. The winner plays Cullen, fair line for that would probably be about 7/4 Soutar?

Lennon/Boulton - For some reason I was thinking this was a redo from last weekend. It isn't. Neither player has had a bad start to the year, Andy in particular doing enough that he only actually rates as a small underdog, I'd have guessed a bit more than it actually is, market also has Steve as a tiny favourite so I don't see any astounding value. Winner plays Cross, who's somehow the #3 seed, looks like Lennon would have enough to approach a 2/1 shot, maybe 21/10 would be the spot on line.

Vandenbogaerde/Razma - All Euro tie here, Mario has had a decent start, Madars has looked OK in spots, market actually has Razma as the small dog, which seems a bit surprising based on relative rankings but it is what it is. I'm also getting Mario as a small favourite, only just slightly higher than 55/45 so nothing to write home about and no market value to be had. Winner will go up against Aspinall on the Saturday, Nathan not quite being a two in three favourite, let's set a line at 15/8 Mario.

Raman/Meikle - Brian's been plodding along in what's now a second card season with occasional decent wins but no real breakthrough success, Ryan meanwhile is one of a few players you feel might be due a breakthrough run, he's not that far off making the tricky majors at just a couple of grand back for the Matchplay, so making sure of these sorts of games is what he needs to do. Meikle seems like the clearly better player rating at more or less a 65/35 favourite, but with a best price of 8/15, it's another game where we're not interested in gambling. Clayton would be next up, and that looks a straight 2/1 match.

Dolan/Rupprecht - Brendan's been steady for the past few months, still hanging around the 90 scoring point but not quite having enough results to make the Matchplay as of right now, while Pascal's not had a bad start to his fledgling PDC career either, so this should be a good test for both. Looks like Dolan is just shy of a 2-1 favourite, although Rupprecht still has a little bit of a small sample, Pascal comes in at exactly 2/1 in the market, so no interest there, which is probably a little shorter than what Brendan should be if he was to face Heta in the next round, round about 9/4, possibly 5/2.

White/Perales - Ian's seemingly regaining a little bit of form after a bad 2022, while Perales is looking to get enough cash to retain his card at the end of the season, which isn't completely out of the question if he's able to make the worlds. Ian's the better player but it's not quite two in three, disappointingly Jose is priced at 7/4 which seems just fine to me. If Ian gets the win he'd have Wright next up, who looks a 70/30 favourite which'd put White at around 9/4, 5/2 or there abouts as a fair line, but given Peter's lack of form, I don't think we'd need much more to consider making the play in that one.

Brown/Campbell - Keegan quickly got his card back but other than that win against Wright has maybe been a bit under the radar, while Matt's probably most noticeable this year for that horrific showing against Huybrechts. Seems like Matt has the edge to me at around a 60/40 rating, but the market has this one as pretty much too close to call - think we've got a first play here, 0.25u Campbell 19/20 on Coralbrokes, would take most things longer than 5/6 for the same. Let's say Matt gets through and plays van Gerwen next up - that's maybe not as much of a mismatch as we'd think, he's actually showing more than 25% so call a fair line about 11/4? We might get a decent price for a small play in that one.

Burnett/Maendl-Lawrance - Richie we know all about and he's still got some off days but clearly playing the best he's done for a while, and he goes up against Liam, who's a bit of a wildcard, but was averaging typically a high 80's with the occasional bad game in the quali and has won the Slovak Open fairly recently (alas with no tracking), so can't be counted out on what I assume to be a Euro Tour debut. I think there's nearly enough to make a small flier here, oddschecker was showing 2/1 which I'd probably have shot at, but I can't find the bookie in question. Richie against Noppert in round two? Probably a 5/2 game.

Huybrechts/Evans - Onto the evening session, Kim's back amongst the winners this season, while Lee, after winning his card, has been scoring alright but not really ripping up any trees, and will have a tough task against the former Premier League player, but is seemingly doing enough to have 40% chances. That's enough to make a small play, 0.1u Evans 2/1, only just about a play as I'm feeling about the same as the above, I wouldn't bet anything shorter. If Kim does hold though, he'd play call up to the seeds de Sousa, which in the data is favouring Jose by quite some distance and would price Kim at 15/8, which I don't think we'll see so maybe there'll be value on JdS on the Saturday.

Springer/Williams - Scott's been a little bit quiet since being on the main tour proper as a card holder, and comes up against Springer, who's looked good on occasions in the past and looked really impressive in the qualifier, topping it off with a ridiculous win over Nico Kurz in the final. The market has this as moderately close with Scott not quite approaching a 60/40 favourite tag, I feel like it should be a play on Williams, but Niko is so dangerous I'm not sure I want to bet. Fortunately I don't have to. Dimi would be next up and Scott ought to be priced around 6/4, and I think we may end up getting better than that, if it's enough to bet, we'll have to see - if Scott wins, of course.

Rydz/de Decker - Callan has been a bit quiet after his biggish TV runs some time ago, think he had a good floor run somewhere recently but he's certainly not kicked on and may be losing a fair bit of ranking money at some point, while Mike's another one who's seemingly poised to make some sort of breakthrough and start attacking the top 32, currently being the last man into the Matchplay - ahead of Callan. Mike is projecting about a 55/45 favourite, but he's odds against, so we can play here, 0.25u de Decker 11/10. If Mike does win, Smith would be the next up, which is clearly a different level but he is playing well enough that he only ought to be 6/4, so one to monitor.

Gilding/Gurney - Two players in solid form, obviously Andrew had the bigger bink but Daryl's been just fine in 2023, although Gilding is better and nearly a 60/40 favourite. 4/5 is not quite enough to be tempting, I would probably need 10/11 to think about a tiny play, evens or better for a quarter unit. Chizzy would be a fascinating second round match up, there Gilding should be a dog, 13/8, perhaps 7/4, looks just about right for that one.

Hempel/Wilson - Florian made it as one of the highest ranking Germans, don't really agree with that being a criteria but it is what it is, Wilson has not been bad but a little underwhelming since getting his card back, the game isn't too dissimilar to Florian's level and I see this as too close to call, as does the market with neither player even being even money. Let's say Hempel moves on for argument's sake, although the lines should be about the same, it'd be Rock up next and it really ought to be 9/2 or there abouts for whoever wins the opener, Josh is that good and has cleaned up a little bit of a blip in the early stages of the year these past couple of weeks.

Smith/Myller - Ross has a Pro Tour win this month and is looking the best he's maybe ever done, which is a bad sign for Paavo, who won the Nordic qualifier but is effectively a random and in the SDC matches I've seen he's scoring under 80, so this looks like a severe mismatch and Smith being 1/20 doesn't look like it's overly disrespectful. I can't recommend a play at that price, but 4/1 for 6-0? Why not. Winner faces Price who is probably the hottest player in the world right now and has an extremely good track record at this venue, fair line to me looks to be about 2/1 Smith, but with Gerwyn being this good at this point in time, it might be even longer and it's really hard to bet against the Iceman.

van Barneveld/Burton - Barney's one of three (Williams, de Decker) who got a sub call, and he'll face Burton, neither player has done a massive amount this year so it's a good chance to kickstart their seasons. Barney is solidly better and should win three out of four games so Stephen isn't drawing completely dead, but the line of 10/3 on him isn't out of line in the slightest. Barney would potentially face Schindler, and in this one it'd be really tight - I'd stick Barney at 11/10, maybe just maybe make him a little bit longer given Riesa is probably the closest thing Martin has to a home event (although Wiki is now implying he's living in Offenbach).

Clemens/Whitlock - Last game, and this is one between two very fine operators who've both made a tour final this season and it's genuinely too close to call, maybe Clemens has like a 1% advantage, it's that tight. Market favours it a little bit more in Gabriel's favour sticking Whitlock at just odds against, the game is in Germany so that's not unreasonable. van Duijvenbode awaits the winner and whoever faces him ought to be longer than 2/1 - but not much longer. 9/4 seems about right, maybe pull it back to 2/1 if it was Clemens with a home crowd or something like that.

So that's the preview of the first two days, just the three bets, and not too many where we were close but opted to be cautious. They're getting better at this line setting malarkey it seems.

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